Monday, March 30, 2015


Location: Barangay Camaysa, Tayabas City, Quezon Province, Philippines

One of the two pools of Graceland Country Club (photo courtesy by Graceland homepage)

This 22-hectare lush and naturally-landscaped paradise embracing on its midst the 11-hectare real estate development is gaining much mileage in terms of eco-tourism attraction considering its location between the famous tourism gems of the province of Quezon (Philippines) which are Lukban Municipality and Tayabas City. Touring around the stretch of the estate is such a refreshing and rewarding experience as you see the modern amenities blended with nature at its best. Indeed, the whole of it will make one feel a lifestyle in the truest sense of luxury.

A showcase of well-planned and architecturally-rich designed estate development

The place is intended to offer the best to the guests equipped with an array of sports facilities for basketball, tennis, archery, putting green, air soft and simulated beach volleyball courts; swimming pools; boating and other water-fun activities; function halls for all occasions like garden wedding, receptions, conferences and other corporate functions, team-building, retreat and simply for a vacation for family or two to chill-out from the hustle-bustle life from Metropolitan Manila. Guests can avail of its overnight accommodations like the apartelle rooms, two-storey/two-bedroom villas, or campsite with bonfire area

Almost everywhere offers a park-like amenity to enjoy and relax

Outdoor amenities like wooden benches and swings are almost everywhere to pamper the guests as they endless stroll around the fresh environment of Graceland Country Club. One can enjoy to jog or do the biking trail around the 2.2-hectare man-made lagoon. There are available bikes for rental. An alternative for biking is horseback riding.

The place to satisfy the guests' cravings

Dining on its restaurant will offer guests a gourmet of different cuisines to satisfy their gastronomic cravings as it has the best chefs ready to give the best service. They can have it partly from the Memphis Garden Cafe and Grille.

The bridge connecting the man-made islet nestled in a fresh-water lagoon

Picnic and parties can be held in this man-made islet where state-of-the-art cottages can accommodate guests who can enjoy the scenery of lakeview-like ambiance.

Graceland anchorage on the northwest tip of the man-made islet (Model: Letty Uy)

The country club's anchorage is a busy point to host disembarking guests to engage in various water-fun activities like boating, kayaking and skiing. Fishing is even an option in the man-made lagoon.

The Anchorage: A Lovers' Lane

Most couples and lovers enjoy the double-kayaking and end up romantic as they paddle on the scenic and tranquil man-made lagoon. Model couple here is a close friend of mine in the name of Janna Del Fonso-Cabrera and her husband, Jorge.

Spacious parking lots, wide roads and pavements are evident

Other services they offer are: Day Tour, 24-Hour Front Desk, In-Room Massage, Room Service, Pool Side Cafe, Banquet and Catering Services. In addition to that, the place is child-friendly as it also provides Children Playground for them to enjoy.

This link can help you to contact them and to reach the place, you may refer to this link.

Sunday, March 29, 2015


Worshippers at the Main Door of San Felipe Neri Parish Church

This year, the celebration of Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday in the Philippine by the Catholics was on March 29, 2015. It is usually observed one week before the Holy Week. In the biblical history, Palm Sunday includes a procession of the assembled worshipers carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees. In the Philippines for example, worshippers use the coconut leaves as a substitute for palm leaves.

The imposing structure of San Felipe Neri Parish Church

This post is the celebration of Palm Sunday in San Felipe Neri Parish Church in particular located in the corners of Boni Avenue and Rev. G. Aglipay Street of Mandaluyong City. San Felipe Neri Church is one of the oldest churches in Metropolitan City of Manila. It was run by hostile Spanish friars. For sometime, it was the site of bloody encounters between Filipino revolutionaries and Spanish soldiers. Its facade has a semicircular arch main entrance flanked by niches and twin bell towers with pyramid roofs.

Outside the church at 4:30 P.M.

It was still 4:30 P.M. and the sun was still searing hot outside the church and the rest of the Worshippers were waiting for the next mass at 5:00 P.M. for the blessing of the "Palm" Leaves (actually made of coconut leaves) was to be done before the next mass starts.

Worshippers outsie the church just opposite the main door

Most of the churchgoers while waiting for the next mass stayed outside fronting the church but some preferred to stay outside because it was already crowded inside the church and the electric fans can no longer give a cool and refreshing air.

The 4:00 - 5:00 P.M. Holy Mass was almost over!

Churchgoers for 5:00 P.M. Mass schedule were eagerly waiting to get inside the church as the 4:00 P.M.Mass was about to finish. Most of them were carrying their "palaspas". Palaspas is the vernacular term for the coconut leaves designed in varying forms to resemble the original Palm Sunday in Israel.

The 5:00 P.M. holy mass just started with the priest celebrant on the altar

At long last, the 5:00 P.M. Holy Mass started and the huge crown of churchgoers were inside the church waiving their "palaspas" waiting for its blessing by the priest celebrant.

The blessing of the "palaspas"

The churchgoers unendingly waived their "palaspas" as the priest had its blessing in every meter away, whisking the holy water so that these "palaspas" can all finally be blessed. After the blessing, the 5:00 P.M. Holy Mass started.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Luneta Park is a 58-hectare or 140-acre historical urban park in the city of Manila, Philippines divided into three sections, namely: the 16-hectare/40-acre northeastern section Teodora F. Valencia Circle adjoining Taft Avenue where the Department of Tourism and the National Museum of the Filipino People; the 22-hectare/54-acre central section or the park proper that extends down to Roxas Boulevard; and the tail-end southwestern section which is almost next to Manila Bay that includes the Burnham Green, open field 10-hectare/25-acre, the Quirino Grandstand and the Manila Ocean Park.

The magical and dancing fountain of the park

Luneta is situated at the northern terminus of Roxas Boulevard. To the east of the boulevard, the park is bounded by Taft Avenue, Padre Burgos Avenue and Kalaw Avenue. To the west is the reclaimed area of the park bounded by Katigbak Drive, South Drive, and the shore of Manila Bay.

The boardwalk which cuts through the giant raised-relief map of the Philippines in the middle of a man-made lake

This park is established in 1820 when the Philippines was still a colony of the Spanish crown. Formerly called Bagumbayan before Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the national hero was executed here by the Spaniards on December 30, 1896. The park was renamed in honor to Rizal but is commonly known as Luneta Park.

The statue of Lapu-Lapu, as the center piece of the park's first section

Luneta Park has a marker called Kilometer Zero which is located within Roxas Boulevard side fronting the Rizal Monument where it serves the point from which all road distances from Manila are measured.

The statue of Philippines' National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal where in the same point his remains was buried

Its refreshing scenery and spacious playing and camping grounds continuously attracts local and foreign tourists to visit the place. Besides, there are many attractions here where tourists can surely be entertained. The cluster of magical and dancing fountains is just one of them.

This magical fountain is in the central section or park proper

The park plays a major significance to the Philippines for it was used as a venue for some political activities like staging a huge rally that toppled the dictatorship of former President Ferdinand Marcos and other major rallies against key political leaders and it was twice graced by two popes in the name of the Pope John Paul II now a saint as a venue for World Youth Day and in the January 2015 pastoral visit of Pope Francis.

This photo of Rizal Park in Seattle (Washington) was taken from this link

Dr. Jose Rizal is undoubtedly, one of the most greatest figures in history that even in Seattle, Washington there was a 9.6 acre (39,000 square meters) park which was dedicated to him in 1979 located on the west slope of Beacon Hills. This park consists of a grassy upper area with shelter and picnic tables, a wooded hillside, and an off-leash dog park at the foot of the hill.


This place is very accessible as its location can be asked from any commoner in the city of Manila. Using the LRT transportation system, one can lift at its United Nations (UN) Avenue Station. Various routes of public utility jeep (PUJ) pass through this part of the city whether along the Taft Avenue side in the northeastern section, central section or the Roxas Boulevard side and taxi cabs can take you here, too.