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Thursday, April 26, 2007

San Jose Del Monte Bulacan

I am still laden with my thesis which will turn one year old this May 4 but the itch to go somewhere scenic and beautiful and (if possible) culturally rich is getting into me... To make up for my inability to do so at least for now, I am posting some photos to remind me that one day, I really am going to take that road trip no matter if I can drive a car or not. Our local tour guide for this trip to San Jose Del Monte Bulacan was our classmate Romel who was more than enthusiastic to share his hometown's sights and history... :)

The following are photos of the places we went to during our "laboy" sessions:
St. Joseph's Church

The San Jose Church at the town center, beside the City Hall. This church, from the moment I sat inside and felt its quiet and simple grandeur, became one of my favorites.

I find the stained glass art here to be really beautiful. Too bad, we didn't get a good shot of the interiors because it was too dark for our simplistic camera phones to handle.

Our tour was centered on churches. There is something about these edifices that are too beautiful and precious to overlook. I personally believe that more than a study in architecture, churches afford visitors a tangible insight into the history of the locality. It is a clear reflection of the religiosity, love for art, and the bayanihan spirit of the locals. Usually too, the history of the church mirrors the history of the place.

St. Peter's Church

St Peter's Church in SJDM is located just behind the Jollibee corner store located at the entrance of the SJDM proper. Its location makes it appear quiet hidden even if it is at one of the busiest intersections in the area. Interesting things in this church: each of the archway inside stands for one of the barangays in SJDM, the altar piece, says Romel, had cost the townspeople more than two million pesos.

The Grotto, SJDM, Bulacan
The Grotto in San Jose del Monte used to be the mother of all gottoes, so says Romel. It used to enjoy the endorsement of the Catholic church but because of issues regarding the control of the property (it is privately-owned), the endorsement was withdrawn. The Divine Mercy grotto was put up as the Church's own "official" version.

The story behind this landmark is that this was put up by a cancer survivor who was healed after she made the journey to miraculuos Lourdes Grotto in France. As a "panata", this grotto was done as an exact replica of that original grotto. Both the church and the grotto itself have their counterparts in Lourdes. The family has a house beside the church but it can be barely seen through the dense trees. A school and an orphanage also stans nearby. Other things to be seen here: the original "largest rosary" which houses the family cemetery in the middle, the stations of the cross, a picnic area ,and a market inside the grounds where activity is busy during Sunday and Saturday mornings.

I swear that as a reward after this thesis thing, I am going to finally get my own passport. I really am looking forward to it. God only knows where both luck, wit, opportunity, and adventurous friends could take me... You'll be reading all about it, of course! :)

kaigachi is a conjugation of the Japanese term "kigaicha" or crazy. It roughly translates as "crazy about something."

"One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious." - C.Jung

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