Saturday, March 31, 2018

Kawa Kawa 2018: Pre- Lenten Visit

Kawa Kawa 2018 
Pre- Lenten Visit

The Kawa- Kawa Hill and Nature Park in Ligao, Albay province 
is a hill without a hilltop as there is a hollowed crater- like 
depression at the summit.The name was derived from the Bicol
 word Kawa or Caldero” as its shape resembles a cauldron.

I featured Kawa- Kawa in this blog few years ago
and it’s been a while since we last visited the park.
We decided to return this year, a week before the
Lenten season to avoid the massive crowd. Gone
was the sunflower farm at the base of the hill.

The Carmelite Church was almost done,

…and had and impressive tabernacle and altar.


There were still few people during our visit
so I was able to take photos of the stations
of the cross sculptures without distractions.

The First Station, a massive sculpture of the
Last Supper was located at the base of the hill.

The station of the cross novena guide
are prominently posted nearby to make
is easier for those who wanted to pray. 

A little way up the hill, is the second station, 
the Agony in the Garden of Gethesmane

The third, Pilate condemns Jesus to die,

…the fourth, Jesus is scourged
and crowned  with thorns

…and fifth stations, Jesus accepts his cross,

…are located way up a very steep hillside, and 
it  was fine as they provided concrete benches in
between where pilgrims can rest on their way up.

From the sixth, Jesus falls for the first time, and  
all the succeeding stations of the cross are easier to
navigate as they are located at the flat summit rim,

…with a view of the city of Ligao on one side,

…and the is a hollowed crater-
like depression on one side. 


After the seventh station, Simon of
Cyrene  helps Jesus with the cross,

…a view deck was built with a panoramic
view of Albay’s third district city of Ligao,
and the town centers Oas and Polangui.


The succeeding stations of the cross
are located lining the inner sides of the
summit rim beginning from station eight,
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.

When we got to Station 9, Jesus is crucified,
we were appalled to see small children making what
was supposed to be sacrosanct images their playground.

Interestingly they were with their parents and several
adult companions and they never seemed to mind.
To our horror, they even had a group picture right
up the dais where the holy images are set as an altar.

We left for the tenth station where Jesus
promises his kingdom to the repentant thief,

….but a little later, the rowdy
family did the same thing again.

They were all over the raised platform,
noisily running around, taking pictures  
unmindful of other pilgrims praying.


We decided to slow down and let the obnoxious
family go ahead and we hade  peace and quiet at
 last when we got to the eleventh station where
 Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other.


The site of the twelfth station
 where Jesus dies on the cross;


…and the thirteenth where
Jesus is laid in the tomb,


…offers the best view of
the crater like summit.


The Kawa kawa station of the cross ends at
the fourteenth, the Resurrection of Jesus,
located a the topmost part of the crater rim.


There is also a view deck at the rear
side of the last station that offers a
magnificent view of Mt. Masaraga.


We felt sad though that there were
 a lot  of trash left by irresponsible
tourists strewn on the view deck floor,



…despite the glaring sign
asking them no to do so.

In fact we have spotted a lot of trash though
on our way up: on the side of the pathways, 


…in the lawns,




 …along the trail, buried in the leaves, 


…despite the numerous signage requesting the
guests to dispose their trash on proper places,.

On the way down, we spotted an aviary and
we marveled on the several captive birds inside.



We left Kawa- kawa a little after noontime,


...and we were glad to visit the pilgrimage site
earlier avoiding the massive holy week crowd.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Kuya J: Robinsons’ Place Naga

Kuya J   
Robinsons’ Place Naga 

It is difficult to find at seat at Kuya J Restaurant 
ever since the opened at the Robinsons Place Naga,

…as it was always full and
the queue is always kilometric.



When we finally got a chance to dine,
aside from having some of their popular dishes.



…we made it a point to order their
bestseller, the Kuya J Crispy Pata.

It did not look pleasing as it was carelessly served

in a chopping board but this crispy pata proves that
the adage ‘not to judge a book by its cover’ is right.
The perfectly fried skin was addictingly crunchy,


…the flesh was very tender and tasty,


…and the joint cartilages were gooey and chewy.
It was so good and left us craving for more.


We also heard that they serve awesome Halo Halo
and we are all excited to return to Kuya J to try it.