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El Nido, Palawan (Day 2) – Island Hopping – Tour A

There are 4 island hopping tours being offered in El Nido known as Tour A, B, C and D. The package we booked with the travel agency only includes El Nido Island Hopping – Tour A, which I think is the most popular. At that time I’m not aware of the different island tours, didn’t bother checking online which is unusual for me for every trip. I let my friend take care of our itinerary as I was busy planning for my wedding.

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Beautiful morning view of Bacuit Bay

I was mixed emotion regarding the tour as though my husband’s fever subsides he still can’t join the island tour. He still needs to rest and recuperate. I’m willing to stay and be with him but he insisted of me joining our friends in the tour. So I end up joining but I ask La Casa’s staff to check on him. I made sure also he’ll have his lunch prepared by them.

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9:45 AM Left La Casa Teresa

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10:00 AM –  Arrived in Seven Commandos, our first stop. As per our guide the place was named after 7 warriors who hide here during World War 2. It is a long stretched of white sand beach. I also adore the crystal  like blue water.  How I wish I could wake up to this everyday.

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11:30 AM  – We’re in Simizu (or Shimizu) Island. It used to be Pinagdungawan Island (again as per our tour guide) but they changed it to Simizu after two Japanese divers ran out of gas while underwater and died.

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Approaching Simizu Island

Simizu Island is famous for lunch stops. Boatmen/tour guides usually cook and prepare food here while guests  explores and wade in the water. You can snorkel and feed the fishes (though I didn’t see any) while waiting for your lunch.

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Lunch

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Obligatory pic while in the island

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Basking in the sun, enjoying the water. Thank’s to Phen’s Go Pro.

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1:55 PM  – We’re in Secret Lagoon. It took only 3 mins to be here from Simizu Island. To get inside one must crawl to the small entrance into the secret lagoon. That’s why it is called secret lagoon, it is somehow hidden, it is enclosed on those huge limestone formation and cliffs.

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Entrance to the secret lagoon

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Inside the secret lagoon water is shallow and is not passable during high tide. Going here, one should wear an aqua shoes as corals/stones can be prickly. It’s painful when barefoot.

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Goofing around. 😀

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Panoramic shot of the island. Such a beauty.

And we’re off to Big and Small Lagoon. Our final stop to conclude the tour. I was as excited as everyone else. I’ve been anticipating this as this was featured in the movie Bourne Legacy in 2012 and yes the sight didn’t disappoint. Picturesque indeed!

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2:50 PM – We’re in big lagoon. According to Bernard, our boatman, it is just less than 10 minutes boat ride from secret lagoon to big lagoon.

We came to a halt before finally entering the big lagoon. For what purpose? Photos of course! Haha

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The gang

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Us girls ❀

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Totally fascinated by this piece of paradise.

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We stop for a while to swim while the boys show off their diving skills. Lol. I enjoyed the water though I can’t go as far as the boys from the boat. I can swim but I’m not a swimmer. Those I believe are two different things.  đŸ˜›

We can’t bring other cameras to the small lagoon so we left it to Bernard. We only brought Phen’s Go Pro with us. Our guide Cary though accompanied us to the small lagoon. Only kayaks can enter to the small lagoon as it only has small opening to pass through. You can rent a kayak if you want but we opt to swim, walk and crawl ourselves to the lagoon. Haha, okay I exaggerated it a bit. 😀

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Kayaks for rent

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Inside the small lagoon

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View when you look up. 😛

5:00 PM – We’re back at the hotel. After the tour, some do their “work from home” duties. Sending out reports, hitting two birds in one stone. Work and pleasure.

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www.zayzaexplores.com

 Dinner

Another sunset session in El Nido. Watching the sun sets, I get a feeling of tranquility. A certain calmness I can’t explain. It always encourage me to plan, think and ponder. At that moment I’m just thankful for everything. I can now ticked off El Nido from my bucket list. Though it’s only tour A that I’m able to experience I’m glad I had a taste of this paradise. Smitten by it’s beauty I will definitely be back. Indeed a small town that definitely has a lot to offer.

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 Bits of Info:

  • Island tours usually starts at 9AM and ends at 4PM and includes lunch, boat and guide
  • Island hopping tour rates are standardized
  • There’s a 200/person Environmental Tax Development Fee (ETDF) which is valid for 10 days
  • Effective November 2013 island tour combinations are no longer allowed by the municipality of El Nido
  • There’s no ATM in El Nido so better bring enough money for your stay here

Itinerary and expenses for the whole trip is on a separate post. You may click here.

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Palawan Day 1 – The Road to El Nido

El Nido is about 420 km (260 mi) southwest of Manila and 238 km (148 mi) northeast of Puerto Princesa which is Palawan’s capital. It is a first class municipality and managed resource protected area. Last year (2014), Palawan emerged as No. 1 in the Top 30 Islands of the World poll by US magazine Conde’ Nast Traveler. Thanks to the famed Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (who was one the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012) and of course their beaches and famous island destinations as well.

We went here prior to Palawan being number one though at that time Puerto Princesa Subterranean River has been named as the New Seven Wonders of Nature. The trip happened in March 2013, less than a week after I got married. Our supposed to be honeymoon but with friends. Lol.

Our flight was in the morning, we arrived at the Puerto Princesa Airport around 9:45 AM and welcomed by Ate Grace with a banner. Haha.

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For a hassle free travel, we booked everything with a travel agency. They arranged our itinerary for El Nido and tour to the subterranean river. We were dropped by Ate Grace at Charing Terminal (San Jose Bus Terminal). We ate our take out food from Mc Donald’s while waiting for our van to El Nido.

To get here you have to fly to Puerto Princesa Airport. El Nido has an airport too but only private and expensive charter flights use it. Aside from vans (fare is P600/pax) there are also daily trip schedule for buses (both air-con and non air-con). Fares are 550 per pax (air-con) and P450 (non air-con). They leave on time so better be there ahead of your schedule trips.

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Prior to this trip my husband isn’t feeling well. That explains his grumpy photos in most of the pictures. Going back and fort to our wedding suppliers, wedding errands and stressed took a toll on him. I already had him checked by a doctor to make sure it wasn’t dengue (dengue at that time is uso). Dengue has been ruled out by the doctor, so we still joined our barkada trip. Bad wife (I knowrr). 😛 Had I known the road from PPS to El Nido was that bumpy I will personally beg off and not push through with it. The whole time I’m worried about my husband being not comfortable. He still has high fever. The road was rough  and the driver wasn’t helping by driving as if it was a smooth road.

11:45 AM Our van left for El Nido.

11:15 AM We had a quick stop over to change tire.

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2:00 PM Stop over in Brgy. 2 Roxas. Lunch time in Bottega Restobar and Spa. The place is overlooking the beach.

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3:30 PM Another stop over  in Taytay, Palawan

5:00 PM Finally arrived in La Casa Teresa Beach Resort, our home for two nights while in El Nido

At that time La Casa Teresa is newly opened so during our stay the place isn’t that organized. But I still recommend it for its affordable price. Anyway as for us we’re not staying that long so basic amenities  suited us. It is located along the quiet, cozy, and long beach of Logadia, Corong-Corong and about 2 kilometers or 3 minutes ride by tricycle from the town proper of El Nido, Palawan. To know more about them you may visit their site.

Our tour package does not include lunch and dinner, both were charged to guests on the first day so after resting for a while my friends went to Aplaya to check and take out food for dinner. Me and my husband were left behind so he could rest after that gruelling 6 hours (more or less) of travel from PPS to El Nido.

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When we asked where’s the place to eat/buy food, we’re told to check Aplaya in downtown. Just few minutes from where we’re staying. They opt to walk since tricycle drivers were asking for high price, 30 PHP each!

To end our night we had dinner just outside our room and had our first glimpse of El Nido’s famous sunset.

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Itinerary and expenses for the whole trip is on a separate post. You may click here.

 

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#JandZWedding

   JandZ

#JandZWedding #JandZ030913 #IsletaUrriquiaNuptial

Oh yes, those were the official #hashtags used for our wedding. 🙂 We’ve been together as boyfriend/girlfriend for almost nine years before deciding to finally tie the knot. It’s been a fun roller-coaster ride, lots of challenges along the way. Being in a long distance relationship is one hell of a challenge but we’re able pull it through. I’m happy I’m marrying my best friend. In just few weeks we’ll be celebrating our 2nd anniversary. So yeah, indeed a late post. Haha

As I’ve mentioned in my earlier entry it’s a rainbow themed wedding so expect to see lots of colors. Can’t decide which color to pick so rainbow it is. Do I need to repeat my disclaimer on the previous post? Haha I don’t think so but I’ve warned you though. Lol. So let me share few (FEW with me is always an understatement) photos on that special day.

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Artsy crafts you’ll see in our wedding were all made by my friend Ryan Gaspay who now has his own events planning business.

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Suit and gown by Nicky Hernandez. My husband’s peg? No less than Ryan Agoncillo. Haha

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Our wedding shoes

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Wedding rings by J’s Diamond

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I just want it to be simple. Invites by Print City

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Our personalized guest book

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Our unity candle

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With our family

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Early morning set up. The supposed to be reception area but it rained when we’re still in church so they transferred them in the open function area. I was a bit disappointed when we arrived because I really want an outdoor one.

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Bridal walk

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And so it’s official ❀

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ROYGBIV. Haha. Matching ties with the girls.

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My favorite shot with the kids. Aren’t they cute and adorable?

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My little bride

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Photo by Phen from his IG account. Bumblebee in the background. Thanks Papa Phen and Mareng Tzen for lending bumblebee. Goes with our rainbow themed wedding right?

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We had our mini photoshoot before going to the reception area. A lot of pics but just sharing some…

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My version of “The look of love” ❀

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Finally going down (I kinda freaked out since it’s a bit steep). Riding in style with this golf cart.

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A slideshow of our prenuptial pictures playing, thanks to Exposure for this freebie. 😀

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Pinwheels as table centrepiece

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Wishing tree

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First dance as husband and wife

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Our wedding cake by Gemsee’s (San Pablo)

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Souvenirs. Cafe de Lipa coffee for our Ninongs and personalized bath amenities for our Ninangs (ordered from My Secret Garden).

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Our photo wall. It is neatly set up near the photobooth area but since it rained and had to transfer everything they just plastered it on the wall. Lol. Ugh really, that rain kind of ruined everything I imagined for my wedding. #bridezilla #monsterbride #diaryofabride

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String Quartet: Beatitudes Strings Ensemble

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Laughing so hard because of Earl’s message. Remember him? The one with me on my Northern Mindanao trip years back.

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With my childhood friends. Two decades (plus some years) of friendship. You’ll see them in most of my blog posts. I always travel with them.

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Fireworks to capped the night.

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And oh yes, it won’t be complete without sealing it with a kiss.

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With my college BFFs. Thankful they found time with their busy schedules to attend our wedding.

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Will forever be grateful with my officemates for helping me plan the wedding. Special shout out to Mina (and hubby), Ryan (and RJ), Aya (our host) and Norbie. Wacky pose with them. Thank you so much for coming. And Earl, why so many pinwheels? Hakot?! Haha

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Photoboothing. Hehe. Thanks my dear friend Shy for waiting for us. Thanks for your Photo Booth  wedding gift. Hihi. To capture memorable moments and for photobooth needs you may contact Parterrific Photo Booth.

Problematic? Di maka-timing sa picture. Haha

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Photography: Exposure || #87 M. Paulino St. san Pablo City || (049) 5612736 / 09193635866

Suit and gown: Nicky Hernadez || #16 Schetelig Ave. San Pablo City || 09154014392

Music: Beatitudes String Ensemble || 22 Onyx St. Meyland Village, Lawa Valenzuela City || 09175765352

Church: Saint Paul the First Hermit San Pablo City

Reception: Villa Evanzueda || Siesta Residencia De Arago || Green Valley SPC || (049) 5630647

HMUA: Norbie Caderon

Event Styling: Ryan Gaspay

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Prenup – JandZ

This will be a very late post. I planned to write about this days after we got married but been very busy. I’m currently on my ML now not because I gave birth (well technically it is somehow the same) but it’s the opposite. I’m on my 4 months of pregnancy when my water bag broke, admitted to a hospital then had a miscarriage. If you’ll ask me if I’m okay, no I’m not (I will in few weeks/months time for sure) but I know God has his own reasons which I won’t dare to question. My faith in Him will never cease. So here I am, bummed for two months. I decided to make use of my time and update my blog. 🙂

I will be updating it in chronological order, the OC-ness in me. So let me start where I left off. I will be starting with some positive vibes and post some of our prenup and wedding pictures. Let’s start with our prenup shoot.


DISCLAIMER: Scroll at your own risk. Teehee. All pictures are raw and unedited. Not fond of editing pictures plus I’m tamad like that. I just put watermark on them that’s it. Hope hindi kayo maumay sa pagmumukha namen. Haha


Our wedding was set in March so we had our prenup last week of January. Most of the things we used here were lent by friends and officemates. From clothes (some) down to accessories (mostly as I’m not fond of wearing them). It’s more practical like that, times that friends really come in handy. Lol. We had two locations, Rizal Recreation Centre (RRC) and Hacienda Escudero.

It’s a rainbow themed wedding so expect to see lots of colours (obviously). So let’s travel back to 2 years ago…

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Location: Rizal Recreation Center (RRC)

Just a little background, RRC (as I would like to promote our town na din, hehe), it is a Christian Youth and Sports Centre. 7 hectare in size, this place is approximately 10kms away from San Pablo City and 5kms from Nagcarlan. They have a lot of facilities to offer and to know more about them, you may visit their site.

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Second Location: Hacienda Escudero

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And here’s some BTS (behind the scene) photos:

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Him being giddy and all.

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My make up artist slash  stylist na din.

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My feeling pogi hubby. 😀

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It’s kinda awkward having them around (especially in some intimate scenes, lol) but couldn’t be even more grateful they tag along.

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Those were just few (yes few!) of our prenuptial pictures. Didn’t dare to pose others as they’re not for public viewing, just joking. 😀

HMUA/Stylist: Norbie Calderon

Photography: Exposure Photo and Video by Val Porras

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And I’m back! Happy 2015!

And yes I’m definitely back after almost two years in hiatus. Ohayo Gozaimasu or good morning in Japan. I’m still in high after browsing pics of my friends who recently travelled in Japan. It will definitely be on my list. High hopes for next year. Crossing my fingers.

So many times I tried to go back to writing but as always been caught up with my life. After I get married March of 2013, I wasn’t able to blog anything. I have so many pending posts and I’ll try to finish it before I go back to work late April of this year (2015). So many things happened after I got married. But I’ll start with posting some pictures of my wedding. I just thought of sharing some personal events in my life. I’ll make a separate post on that.

We just celebrated Chinese New Year so it’s still right to say Kung Hei Fat Choi. Here’s to wishing that we all have a fruitful, eventful and blissful 2015.

CTO

CTO

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Fresh Catch Isdaan: With The Family

This will be just an update on my earlier blog on Isdaan. This trip again was last October 6, 2012 (late post). We went here after visiting Kamay Ni Hesus. We left the shrine 1:00 PM after having lunch there and arrived in Isdaan around 2:30 PM. I have returned 8 months after my first visit and there had been additional huts and displays as an added attraction to the fun park.

I’ll just be posting pictures of this fun trip (camwhoring) with the family. 🙂

Me, Jacky and Sherap.

Kids area:

Free face painting for the kids.

Bikes for the kids:

Additional area that’s been added were on the farther back side. Crowded this time by replicas of monks, elephant heads and still gigantic statues of Buddhas.

Enjoy a boat ride. Just give 20PHP for the bangkero. Just 20PHP for all of you na. Oh choosy pa ba?! 🙂 Kids should be accompanied by adults.

Early Dinner

Isdaan is now open from:

For more details of the park and other information like getting here you may check my earlier post on Fresh Catch Isdaan: The Floating Resto Fun Park.

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Kamay Ni Hesus (Hand of Jesus) Lucban, Quezon

I lost count how many times I’ve been here. The first time I was here was during Holy Week few years back and a lot have changed from then on. Back then the only highlight of the place was just the 50-foot statue of resurrected Christ on top of the hill and to reach it you have to climb 301-steps (or more). You may either climb it direct to top or follow the Way of The Cross.

This trip happened last year, October 6, 2012 to be exact when my cousin went home from UAE. A treat to her family and relatives. Yes, I know another late post. Haha. We visited the shrine then side trip to Isdaan in Calauan. I’ll be making another post on that to update my earlier blog on Isdaan.

On arrival:

Pledges and donations that helped in building the shrine.

Entrance to grotto:

Noah’s Ark will welcome you. Kids, kid’s at heart and fellow shutterbugs will be delighted to see this.

Let’s start the climb!

Almost there…

View from the top…

And going down…

Another place of prayer. I prayed with my cousin here and her prayers are answered! Praise God!

Old photos of my first visit to Kamay Ni Hesus I was able to download from my FB account.

Noah’s Ark being built.

This was during holy week so the place was jam-packed!

The Chapel during Holy Week

Kamay Ni Hesus for sure will be busy again this coming Holy Week or should I say busier because even if it isn’t Holy Week the place is a popular destination especially for Catholic devotees.

Bits of Info:

  • Kamay ni Hesus Shrine is a healing center built under the initiative of Father Joseph “Joey” Ayala Faller (a highly gifted and anointed instrument of God)
  • It is in Brgy. Tinamnan Lucban, Quezon
  • Kamay Ni Hesus is a five-hectare religious complex
  • They have retreat centers

  • They have small restaurants that offer popular local food such as pansit habhab and lucban longganisa.
  • They have souvenir shops.

  • Healing Mass at the Kamay ni Hesus Chapel is every Wednesday and Saturday and starts at 9:30AM – 12:00PM
  • Official website: www.joeyfaller.org
  • For other queries contact Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine at 042-5402206

Getting here: 

From Manila (on commute): Ride a bus bound to Lucena. From Lucena Grand Terminal ride a jeepney to Lucban. Just tell the driver to drop you off at Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine.

For Private Cars: From South Super Highway take Calamba Exit, go straight ahead passing on the national road until you reach the church of Pagsanjan, Laguna. Turn right passing on the national road until you reach the town of Luisiana, Laguna. Go straight ahead until you reach the town of Lucban, Quezon. The shrine is 1km away from the town proper.

Next: Fresh Catch Isdaan: With The Family

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