Naga City | Camarines Sur

Naga City in Camarines Sur is known as the “Queen City of Bicol”. It is also called “Heart of Bicol” due to its central location in the Bicol Peninsula and “Pilgrim City” as it is home to the largest Marian pilgrimage in Asia.

Established in 1575, the city then named Ciudad de Nueva Cáceres (New Cáceres City), earned its status as the third Spanish Royal City in the Spanish East Indies after Iloilo and Manila.

Tourists can visit the popular Mount Isarog, Malabsay and Nabontolan Falls, Naga City Ecological Park and numerous hot springs and resorts. Aside from the natural attractions, numerous churches and monasteries, and historical landmarks can also be found within the city.

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Naga Metroolitan Cathedral. Biggest church in Bicol Region which was built from 1816 to 1831
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Holy Rosary Minor Seminary. The center of ecclesiastical education of Bicol Region which was built in 1785.

 

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Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Penafrancia. Built in 1985, the Basilica Minore was constructed as the new home of the miraculous image of the Patroness of Bicolandia.
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Ateneo de Naga University. The Jesuit university in Bicol.
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Unibersidad de Santa Isabel. The first college for women in the Orient.
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San Francisco Church. Established in 1578, it is the first church in the Bicol Region built by the Franciscan Friars.
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Quince Martires Monument. The monument was built to honor the 15 martyrs of Bicol during the Spanish Regime.

 

 

How to go to Naga, Camarines Sur?

From Manila, you can travel by land and take the 9-10 hours bus ride bound for Naga (Superlines, DLTBCo or PhilTranco). Naga is approximately 2 hours away from Daet in Camarines Norte and also 2 hours away from Legazpi City in Albay.

 

Featured Photo: Porta Mariae which was inaugurated on September 10, 2010 in celebration of the 300th year of devotion to the Virgin Mary.

 

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

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Travel Guide | Daet, Camarines Norte

Daet is the capital of the province of Camarines Norte in the Philippines. It is known as the “Gateway to Bicolandia”.  It is a popular surfing spot among surfers worldwide. It is also home to the annual Daet International Aerosports Show.

Daet was derived from the Bicol word dai-daitan which means, close to each otherAccording to the first Bicol Spanish Dictionary Vocabulario dela Lengua Vicol authored by Fray Marcos de Lisboa, it means “to make friend” or “to be reconciled”. The municipality is rich in non-metallic mineral resources such as white clay.

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The provincial capitol of Camarines Norte in the town of Daet

Points of Interest

Most Holy Trinity Cathedral: Built and was inaugurated in 1984. It is also the cathedral of the Diocese of Daet.

Parroquia de San Juan Bautista: Established in 1611, it is one of the first church in Camarines Norte in the region built by the Franciscan Friars.

Oldest Rizal Monument: The first monument in honor of a Filipino hero, Dr. José Rizal which was unveiled on December 30, 1898.

Bagasbas Beach (Featured Image): Famous for its surfing and kite boarding spot with its long stretch of coastline.

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The 405-year old Paroquia de San Juan Bautista church
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First ever Rizal monument

How to go to Daet, Camarines Norte?

From Manila, you can travel by land and take the 8-hour bus ride bound for Daet (Superlines, DLTBCo or PhilTranco) and get off at Daet town proper.

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Some sweet delicacies in Daet

*For places to stay in Daet, many cheap hotels are within the town proper. You can ask for assistance to the municipal office which is just across the oldest Rizal Monument.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Travel Guide | Argao, Cebu

Argao is located in the southeast of the province of Cebu, Philippines. It is bounded in the west by the towns of Badian, Alcantara, Ronda, and Dumanjug; in the north by Sibonga; in the east by the Bohol or Cebu Strait; and in the south by Dalaguete.

Argao got its name from a mangrove tree, named Sali-Argaw, which is abundant in its coastal areas. Argao may look simple and quiet but it will surprise you of what it has to offer. Just like its nearby town Carcar, it is one of Cebu’s oldest towns. It contains various old Spanish and American structures and natural attractions.

Places To Explore

San Miguel Archangel Church: This is located beside the town plaza of Argao. It is said that the giant mural found on the ceiling of this church was painted back in the 1800’s.

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The church under renovation

Mahayahay Beach: Visitors can swim, skim and surf for free.

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Mahayhay Beach

Riverstone Castle: The tropical castle resort was built in 2002 in memory of one of Argao’s famous artist, Jesus Galegos. It was designed by Belgian national Raphael Lemmens.

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At the entrance of the Riverstone Castle Resort

Casa Real (Municipal Hall): The oldest existing town hall in the province of Cebu.

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Argao’s municipal hall

Argao Hall of Justice: Made during the Spanish times, this building is a historic landmark in Argao. This building was also used as a ‘Cuartel’ or barracks during World War II.

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The Hall of Justice of Argao

Puerta Marina: Built to serve as an entrance to the town’s center and as a ‘baluarte’ or watchtower, used during the Moro raids.

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Capella Murtuaryo: The old chapel used during the funerals in the past.

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Argao Nature Park: Located at Suico St., one can cruise in a mini-river on a boat.

Bugasok Falls: Located at Barangay Tulalom, The falls’ depth is around 20-meters.

Balay Sa Agta Cave: The name of this cave means ‘Bahay ng Kapre’ because locals believe that this Philippine mythical creature dwells inside the chambers of the cave.

*For tourists going to Balay Sa Agta Cave and Bugasok Falls, you may contact the Argao Tourism Commission at +63 (32)-485 8063 a day before the scheduled tour for reservation of the guides. Rate is 500.00 Php per guide.

Where To Stay?

Three popular resorts you can stay in Argao are the Coal Mountain Resort in Linut-od (Contact Number: +63 (32) 516-5166), Looc Garden Beach Resort or Mahayhay Beach Resort in Rizal St. Extension (Contact Number +63 (32) 483-9516) and the Riverstone Castle Resort (Contact Number: +63 (32) 261-8883).

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Dining area at Riverstone Castle
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Wine and beer cellar at the castle

How To Get To Argao?

From Manila, you may fly to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. From the airport, you can travel straight ahead to Argao via taxi. You may also opt to take a bus at the South Bus station of Cebu City going to Argao. Travel time will take around two hours depending on the traffic.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Fort San Pedro: The Oldest Fort In The Philippines | Cebu City, Cebu

The tri-bastioned Fuerza de San Pedro or commonly known as Fort San Pedro is located at Plaza Independencia in Cebu City. It is the oldest fort in the entire Philippines where the first construction is said to have started in 1565.

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Signage near the entrance of the historical Fort San Pedro
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Photos telling the story how Cebu was founded

The fort which served as a military defence structure in Cebu to repel Moro raiders was built by the Spaniards under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The two sides of the triangular-shape fort face the sea while the third side is fronting the land.  The three bastions are named La Concepcion, Ignacio de Loyola, and San Miguel. It has a total inside area of 2,025 square meters. The walls are 6.1 meters high by 2.4 meters thick, and the towers are 9.1 meters high from the ground level.

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Army Camp turned mini garden inside Fort San Pedro
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One of the turrets of the tri-bastioned fort

At present, part of the fort is a museum where Spanish documents, artefacts, sculptures, paintings, swords and other weaponry are being displayed.

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Replica of Spanish fleets inside the fort’s museum
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Old Spanish flag found during the old revolution battle

How to get to Fort San Pedro?

The fort is located near the pier area of Cebu City. If you’re coming from Manila, there are numerous daily flights going to Cebu via Mactan-Cebu International Airport  in Lapu-Lapu City. From the airport you can take a cab and asked the driver to take you to downtown Cebu City at Plaza Independencia where the fort is located.

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Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours: Asia’s Biggest Catholic Church | Taal, Batangas

The Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours or simply Taal Church is a Minor Basilica in the town of Taal, Batangas in the Philippines.  Hailed as one of Taal’s crowning jewels, the church is considered to be the largest in Asia. Its patron saint is St. Martin of Tours whose feast is celebrated every November 11.

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The altar of the basilica

Construction of the present neo-classic style church began in 1856 by Fr. Marcos Anton and was supervised by Spanish architect Luciano Oliver. It was completed in 1878 but was actually inaugurated prior its completion in 1865. The church is 88.6 metres long and 48 metres wide. It has three naves with a grand transept and an elegant facade. On December 8,1954, the church was declared as a Minor Basilica, the third in the Philippines to be given such honor. It was also declared a National Shrine by Presidential Decree No. 375 on January 16, 1974 by the National Historical institute.

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Inside the basilica which was designed by a Spanish architect Luciano Oliver
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One of two smaller naves of the basilica
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Beautiful crafted displays on the second floor of the basilica
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Reception area for visitors of the priest in charge
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A small pond within the basilica

At present, the church allows tourists to experience a panoramic view of the town that overlooks the Balayan Bay by climbing the church belfry.

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Way to the church belfry
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The bell of the baslica
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View of Taal town and the Balayan Bay at the belfry

History of Earlier Churches: Construction of the original Taal Church began in 1575 near the shores of Taal Lake in the town of San Nicolas. It was destroyed during a massive eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754 leading to the transfer of the town and the church to its present location. Construction of the new church began in 1755 but again damaged by a strong earthquake in 1852.

How to get to Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours? Read previous blog Travel Guide: Heritage Town of Taal | Batangas, Philippines

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For this particular trip, TheTravelad  would like to thank Taal Tourism headed by Ma’am Elizabeth Quinto for the guided tour around the heritage town. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Church | Lucban, Quezon Province

Lucban, Quezon in the Philippines is not just known for its Pahiyas Festival, Longanisang Lucban and Pancit Habhab. Nowadays, it’s getting more popular as a pilgrimage site for Catholics to repent, give thanks and pray for healing at the shrine of Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Church.

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The 50 ft. tall  statue of the Risen Christ

The 5-hectare shrine of Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church was constructed on February 2002. It is located at Brgy. Tinamnan.  The shrine houses the Healing Church, Noah’s Ark, Sea of Galilee, Holy Family Park, Garden of Eden, Luklukan Ni Maria, Pastoral Center founded by the Healing Priest, Fr. Joey Faller and the Via Dolorosa Grotto which features the world’s third tallest Risen Christ statue standing at 50 feet high.

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The Healing Church
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Huge replica of Noah’s Ark
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Illustration of biblical characters Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden
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Sea of Galilee

Via Dolorosa Grotto Schedule:

Monday & Tuesday:  8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Thursday & Friday:   8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday: 7:00 AM-5:30 PM

Healing Church Mass Schedule:

Monday:   9:00 AM

Tuesday:   9:00AM

Wednesday: 9:30AM – Healing Mass

Thursday:  9:00AM

Friday:   9:00AM

Saturday:  9:30 AM – Healing Mass ; 5:00 PM – Anticipated Mass

Sunday:  7:30 AM ; 9:00 AM ; 10:30 AM ; 11:30 AM ;  2:30 PM – Healing Mass

How to get to Kamay Ni Hesus?

Regular commercial buses ply the Manila-Lucena route for three hours or the Manila-Sta. Cruz, Laguna route. From Lucena City or Sta. Cruz, Laguna, there are jeepneys and mini buses to that will take you to Lucban. There are bus terminals located along EDSA-Kamuning in Quezon City, Araneta Center in Cubao and Buendia-Taft Avenue.

Side Trip: SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA PARISH CHURCH

The San Luis Obispo de Tolosa Parish Church commonly known as the Lucban Church is just few minutes away from Kamay Ni Hesus shrine. It is located at the very heart of Lucban in Barangay Poblacion. The church was first built in 1595 but was ruined in 1629. The second church was constructed between 1630 and 1640. Unfortunately it was seriously damaged by fire in 1733. The present church was completed in 1738.

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The baroque designed church with its three-storey facade.

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph

St. Mary Magdalene Church | Kawit, Cavite

The St. Mary Magdalene Church of Kawit, also known as Kawit Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is located few minutes away from the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite. The president of the First Philippine Republic, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized in this church.

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Inside the old church of Kawit
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View of the ceiling near the altar

The construction of the present Kawit Church started in 1737.  The church is cruciform architecture with single nave. It is primarily made of bricks, stone and wood.  At the right side of the façade is a four-story bell tower. The sides of the church have a total of 14 sets of windows each with a small stained-glass depicting the fourteen Stations of the Cross. Below each window is another arc-shaped window for air circulation.

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Arc-shaped windows for ventilation of the church

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At the back door side of the church

During the Philippine-American War in 1898, the Kawit Church was almost destroyed by the bombardment of the Americans. The church was restored in 1990 by the citizens of Kawit. During the same year, it was marked as a Historical Structure of the Philippines by the National Historical Institute now known as the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

How to get to St. Mary Magdalene Church?

From Baclaran, take a bus bound to Cavite City which passes through the town of Kawit, Cavite, Travel time is nearly an hour. It is just few minutes away from the Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine. (Read previous blog about the shrine here.)

Disclosure: TheTravelad personally writes his blogs for informational purposes. All photos and content provided in this blog are owned by TheTraveLad. Photos may not be used without permission. For more comments and suggestions, you can send an email to thetravelad@yahoo.com.ph