My very close relationship with my maternal family started even way we were young, babies and toddlers actually. And I admire my maternal grandparents for bringing up a close knit among families. Not that I don’t appreciate my paternal grannies, they were the one who took care of me when I was small and growing and I’m every inch thankful to them but other than their being strict and controlling maybe it’s because my father’s side is dominant by uncles, all serviceman, which explains more why they’re unsociable I think.
Growing up with my maternal family means a whole year round of get-together –celebrating birthdays and most weekends in one roof, spending summer at the farm house and going on beach trips during the summer months. I remember us squeezing on my cousin’s jeepney to Batangas, then to my uncle’s L300 FB, to another cousin’s assembled owner type jeep, those trips were all fun and the most memorable ones.
Probably during those hay days we don’t care much about comfort, we don’t really care about how much dust we have inhaled for as long we’ll fit in, we’re good to go.
A little fast forward to August 25, 2013, we’re all grown-ups now, some were already well heeled and well wheeled, we took a road trip to Quezon for the record. Unlike those good old days, we’re now driving our very own cars, something that each family had acquired from hard earned money, a far more comfortable seat and transport, only that I miss the bonding and squeezing (like sardines) back when we were kids.
We left Tagaytay at past 7am following our coming very late from the 6am call time, blame Irish for this, and blame her long-drawn-out preparation. Hehehe. So after a little chitchat at Petron, five cars with 15 grown-ups, 7 kids and 2 tots made an express exit at Eton City. And because it’s Sunday, the drive was trouble-free except for three wrong turns and getting lost and getting to pay toll fees twice, we’re all high-spirited. 🙂 And though we were not riding in one big van all together, we kept an open line, we do call, text and facebook and ig the whole time of our four hour trip.
After two stopovers (San Pablo and at the highway of Tayabas), we’ve reached Lucban, Quezon in no time.
The picture of the 50-foot statue of the Ascending Christ made this trip a no-brainer, it’s like we decided for it overnight over a box of pizza and we’re completely drawn. We’re enthralled by its charm, its fresh air and calmness. Kamay Ni Hesus is becoming a favorite daytrip destination these days, not that it fast became a tourist attraction for its well crafted grotto and climbing hill only, visitors also trooped here for the healing mass. Fr. Joey Faller, who set the up the shrine believes that it is God’s hand using his to heal people.
The mandatory photo before the climb.
My party attended the latter part of the mass, we asked for guidance and strength to beat the difficult way up while silently asked for blessing and a little miracle to happen.
Some of my male cousins and their kids, along with Nanay, Tita Josie went ahead to climb the steep stairs while us took our time and climb little by little, picture taking once we have a nice background, resting a bit on each landing.
I’m old and this climb proves me more, finishing a lap easily exhausts me and no amount of water freshen the burning sensation I’m having. Oh God, what have I done to suffer this? 😦 Maybe I was lacking faith while climbing because apparently many aging person has negotiated the 200+ steps going up and amazingly made it without feeling the slightest exhaustion,
which was written HERE.
The kids had fun counting each step way up and way down, SAM counted 298 on our way up but based on account it’s 300+, anyhow, the younger kids loudly counted the way down but I missed to ask them about.
For someone who’s used to skyscraper in the city, getting a panoramic view atop was priceless, a beautiful view of its surrounding towns and barangays. We took a breather and embrace the cool wind, we delight our eyes on the nice lush and scenery and share our feat on doing the climb.
Really, I don’t mind doing the climb once again, only that I needed a good lunch before that. 🙂
Going down was another story as the steps were bigger and tends to be steeper (but baby Ysa was enjoying every phase of this trip). I somehow worried Nanay would not make it because she had fear of heights but none that she can brave when the maternal family is around.
The kids didn’t let the chance pass visiting Noah’s Ark, the elephant slide was an attraction alone. Noah’s Ark by the way is a house of prayer and spirituality, it’s not a big playground just so you know.
And at the shrine’s compound, there’s also a snack and pasalubong center so if you’re not stopping anywhere else might as well shop here for some tokens and Lucban deli like longganisa and broas.
And this is us after the climb (not complete in photo, I realize we don’t have actually)
We left the shrine few minutes before 2pm and headed back to Tayabas for lunch. We picked Palaisdaan, which is the first floating-style restaurant to welcome you coming from Lucban. Leoncio was able to try it last year (without me) so it’s all based on his recommendations.
The idea of its native theme is not very new to me but to some of my party who in general enjoyed fast-food served meals on trips, Palaisdaan is a nice break through. We wanted to dine al-fresco at the floating nipa huts and watched the coy fishes swam underneath but our group was too big for the bamboo raft as it can only accommodate 12 pax the max. We gladly transferred to a bigger hut, a spacious one that is concretely made on the fishpond. One settled we peek on the menu and order to our heart’s content.
We had all sorts –inihaw na baboy, pritong hito, crispy pata, sinugno, ginataang sugpo, pinangat, ensaladang pako (2 orders of each). They ordered calamares but it was missed out, well, we never followed up because everyone was so famished and dived quickly soon as the food was served.
I had no chance to take pictures at all, I tried but I can’t stop them from eating right there and there. They would probably throw me on the pond if I’ll insist my time. Hehehe. So the better way to do is join them and load my plate with plentiful of everything.
I’ll leave a photo here of the aftermath, after the maternal family finally burped! 😀
This is from the first table. The second table looks exactly the same except for some leftover pritong hito.
Palaisdaan didn’t fail our hungry pangs, we look forward to coming back because the trip is worth it and the food is fresh and delicious and very affordable. The bill didn’t even go beyond P4,000. And one more thing I like about, they served the food in one batch.
On our way home we drove back to Lucban to do the pasalubong shopping, tho mostly of them had bought the famous yema cake of Rodillas already after chancing a kiosk at Palaisdaan. The narrow streets of Lucban proper allowed me to buy also from a small store while its traffic. I got the whole cake for P260 only while they got the half cake for P160 earlier. I made a really good deal I guess. ♥
We were supposed to buy longganisa and even order to-go pancit habhab but the weather gets in the way. The rain heavily poured down making it very uncomfortable for us to look around. We decided to drive away from Lucban and drive our way home using the Sta. Cruz route this time, which is nearer based on kilometer reading but I won’t recommended it for safety reasons. It’s a mountain road with many curves and checkpoints and you’ll pass by the towns of Luisiana, Cavinti, Pagsanjan, Sta. Cruz, Bay, Victoria, Los Banos and Calamba.
My cousin Jojo managed to stop at Los Banos to buy buko pie from The Original Buko Pie, something that we have to miss again because the rain was even heavier
this time. Another cousin took a trip at Mernel’s Cake House, I didn’t know their stopping so I miss it also. 😦 The last stop they made before exiting SLEX was at Itlog ni Kuya in Calamba but salted eggs were sold out already. And the final stop was at Solenad where we had a light street food dinner at the weekend market.
I could still pull a cup of coffee at Tagaytay that night but my party was drained and heavy-eyed besides we have baby Aouie in our car.
It was a day, we had a blast, this is rock and roll. I can’t wait for next year to come, we’ll all patiently wait for the next 365 days. We’ll all wait for your homecoming Jo, Che and Jorrel. And to all the maternal cousins, thank you for the hassle-free dayout, you just made my sundate no. 7 a meaningful one. ♥
Kamay ni Hesus Shrine
Brgy. Tinamnan, Lucban, Quezon
T. (042) 5402206
Brgy, Dapdap, Tayabas, Quezon
T. (042) 793 3529
M. (0918) 247 5587