Did you know that there’s more to the Black Nazarene than the one in Quiapo? In the remote municipality of Capalonga, Camarines Norte, there exists another revered Black Nazarene that draws hordes of devotees every May. Nestled within the Diocesan Shrine of Jesus, this centuries-old religious icon attracts pilgrims from both near and far, despite being situated approximately 285 kilometers away from Manila. Once visitors pay their respects to this miraculous image, they can delve into the exhilarating ecotourism adventures that await in this picturesque coastal town.
San Juan Batangas, known for its stunning coastal getaways in Laiya, offers a lot more than just pristine beaches. Venture into the mainland and discover a world of hidden wonders, heritage sites, nature trails, and delectable cuisine. San Juan may surprise you with its rich history, scenic landscapes, and diverse recreational activities. Let’s dive in and explore the treasures that lie beyond the shores.
When heading out of Metro Manila towards the beach resorts on the eastern side of Batangas, many visitors overlook the cultural gems of San Juan Batangas Poblacion. Instead of taking the usual route along the San Juan-Laiya Road, why not turn left from General Luna St onto Hall St and uncover the young yet culturally rich heritage of San Juan town?
With Holy Week just around the corner, it’s time once again to consult a map and contemplate on doing the rounds of churches for the annual Visita Iglesia. While you’re at it, it might be worthwhile exploring Rizal Province which is renowned for beautiful, mostly centuries-old churches with some dating back to the Spanish colonial period. This year, why not hop on your bike instead of walking so you can cover more ground? After all, you’d still be using your legs as some sort of sacrifice for the Lenten season while pedaling your way to municipality after municipality of quaint, old churches steeped in history. Let’s start our Siklista Iglesia.
After more than two years of the pandemic and its seesawing mandates on lockdowns, it’s literally a fresh idea to literally go out once again in the open to the freedom of your nearest park. Imagine how we all coped staying put and working (studying for those still in school) at home, going out only on the most exigent errands.
Leprosy has been eradicated in Culion since the 1980s but the stigma still remains. It didn’t help that World Health Organization (WHO) only declared Culion leprosy-free in 2006. So why not embrace this history of healing of this infectious disease? The structures, the research, the tools and the story of the people who lived while it was a leper colony still remains. Culion town is a witness on how a community persevered and healed.
The island of Basilan interestingly has two major cities. There’s Isabela de Basilan, now the center of commerce and trade. Then there’s, Lamitan, the government seat of Basilan province. In 2017, the provincial capital was transferred from Isabela de Basilan to Lamitan City as it is formally part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). In terms of tourism, one of the main highlight for a visit in this city is to learn more about the Yakan tribe, one of the first original inhabitants of the island of Basilan.