Brewed Thoughts: Weekend at Lucban and Liliw

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend at Lucban and Liliw

You know what they say about plans not materializing if you think about it too much. But since it was the long weekend, a couple of my co-workers and I boarded the next bus to Lucena in Quezon province for an overnight shindig. The trip felt like it went on forever. I guess if it were not for the company of friends (and the Pawn of Prophecy audio book in my iPod), I'd have probably died of boredom. We stayed at my co-worker's family residence in Lucban, arriving past 1am. It was raining when we got there and for the first time since the unbearable Manila heat, I felt the biting cold reminiscent of Christmas. I fell asleep the minute my head touched the pillow.

Noah's Ark
We got out of the bed very early, had a filling breakfast of sinangag, Lucban's famous longganisa and last night's chilled avocado. Our first agenda for the day was to go to the grotto, Kamay ni Hesus Shrine. I particularly enjoyed the tricycle ride going there---the air was cold and crisp, and there was nothing but farm fields and coconut trees along the way.

The shrine, located on the slopes of Mt. Banahaw, has a church where renowned healing priest, Fr. Joey Faller, is the parish priest. A stage was being set up near the church grounds and there were many people milling around. Apparently it was Fr. Joey's birthday that day, and the parish thought to celebrate it with a concert of some sort and some other performance. 

Offering candles & prayers
Kamay ni Hesus is actually a 292-step hill that features life-size figures of the Stations of the Cross along the way. The 50-foot statue of Jesus can be found at the top. We weren't able to make our own way up the hill as we weren't dressed appropriately (we wore shorts that day), so we just went around the vicinity, particularly in the Garden of Eden. 

The temptation of Adam and Eve
Like a bunch of kids, we were taken by surprise when we saw a huge ark at the far end of the garden. There were also statues of animals as well as effigies of famous biblical persona such as Adam and Eve, Moses and Michael the Archangel. There was also a small hill with other life-sized statues of the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the image of the Immaculate Concepcion at the top overlooking the street below.

The garden and other areas were well kept, though sadly, it looked more like an amusement park than a solemn place.

After saying our prayers and lighting candles, we made our way to the town proper where we hitched a ride going to Majayjay in Laguna, then ultimately to our destination in Liliw. I was once again amazed at how simple life in the province was. The long journey made me contemplate on a lot of things and despite the strains of travel, I felt the stress leave my body in every intake of fresh air. 

The drama of weddings
Before we made a mad dash to the shops in Liliw, we first said a few prayers at the St. John the Baptist Church (Lilio Church). As luck would have it, there was a wedding being held and I was able to snap a few photos. After a short word of thanks for our safe journey, we all went to attack the shops for some major shopping. 

Nothing but shoes at Liliw, Laguna
Most of the shoes were fashioned in the latest trend these days, which were mostly espadrilles and imitations of Sanuk and Toms canvas shoes. It took me a while and I had to scour the entire street before finally settling down on a pair of aquamarine platform sandals and some leather slippers for my dad & brothers. After the shopping, we ate a quick lunch at Mang Pabling's before heading back to Majayjay and then to Lucban.

Happy little campers
Of course, no trip would not be complete without buying pasalubong. I bought apas, uraro cookies, turones de mani, polvoron de leche and longganisa. The place was filled with the smoky aroma of longganisa dangling overhead. There's also a small window where you can see how the stuff is prepared before being sold. 

We had to cut short our trip as we needed to get on the next bus back to Manila. The road back home was twice more nerve-wracking as I particularly needed to beat the clock. Nonetheless, I truly enjoyed the weekend sojourn, no matter how short it was. I'm always thankful to be given an opportunity to travel, much more with good friends. 


  1. You only got yourself two pairs of shoes? Atrocious. LOL.

    That was a much needed break for you and your friends, mare. You need to do all this more often.

  2. Just one pair for me, mare. I bought some for my dad & brothers kasi. Anything else & I wouldn't have made it back to Manila. LOL!

    This is actually the year for travel for me, which I'm very thankful. I'm always pressed for moolah & it's quite nice that there are some opportunities for me to travel without shelling all that much. :)

  3. I haven't been to Kamay ni Hesus yet, and I vaguely remember my last trip to Liliw.

    Good for you, mare! Next time ay dalawin mo ako rito sa LB. :D

  4. Next time, dapat kami ang bibisita sayo. :)

  5. Hi, from Lucban po ano sasakyan going to Liliw?