Earth Hour

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Northern Trip (Part 1)

As I've mentioned earlier, I started 2010 with a long road trip with my family. We rented a van and started a four-day trip to Ilocos Norte on the early morning of January 2.

Our first stop was in Tarlac City where we had our breakfast. We then moved on to Manaoag, Pangasinan to visit the image of Our Lady of Manaoag.

There was an on-going mass when we got there so naturally, the church was packed with devotees.  We managed to squeeze our selves through the crowd and I managed to snap this picture of Our Lady.

After being blessed by the priest we proceeded to the area where candles and prayers were being offered.  My sister bought some candles and after reciting the intended prayer, we lighted the candle and placed in the designated area.

From the church, we proceeded to what people claim as the apparition site of Our Lady.  The place was on a hillside and it reminded me of the 1980s movie, Himala.  At the foot of the hill was a well.where devotees get water which was believed to have miraculous powers.

A steep, concrete set of stairs led to a mini-shrine on of the hill.  Inside was a small image of Our Lady and an inscription that I could not read because it was obscured by smoke and candle wax.

Before we left, my family bought some items from the vendors on the site.  My sister in law bought a curious icon, an infant Jesus no bigger than half an inch with a penis! The vendor said that it brings good luck, safety during trips and success in business.  I look at it closely and realized that the infant Jesus was sleeping on the palm of a hand.

We left Manaoag before noon and headed towards Vigan where we planned to stay during the night.

Next: Vigan

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