This weekend we went to Lucban, to the huge shrine there. we slept over Uncle Bing’s house Saturday night. Haha it was soo much fun working the Sari Sari store! And sweet to sleep in a room with air con. Then we headed out early Sunday morning.

I was really tired but I couldn’t sleep in the car because driving in the Philippines is FRIKKIN SCARY! The highway is really a road with one lane of traffic either way. Along the side are homes, shops, lots of kids and animals walking. It’s like an obstacle course. You’re always either passing or being passed, there are unforseen barriers, branches, potholes, speedbumps, speople laying out rice to dry…thank Goodness Uncle Bebing’s a good driver.On the way we passed by Lake Caliraya in Laguna Province. This is a man-made lake built by Marcos which he used as a personal water-skiing resort. The enginering is quite ingenious, water is pumped up from Laguna Lake and then flows back down to the lake creating hydroelectricity.

We also stopped by the Japanese Garden, created by Imelda as a tourist attraction – I guess to attract Japanese tourists. The place is huge, but somewhat plain. I would guess in the time of Imelda it was full of flowers but now, like a lot of the Marcoses’ works it has come into disrepair. I guess that’s why the Marcoses remain somehwat controversial. O one hand they took on a lot of ambitious projects – unlike a lot of hte curent politicians who are content just to sit around. On the other hand, in order to accomplish those projects they displaced a lot of poor people, stole a lot of money and held the country in a state of fear with constant killings and disappearances.

Japanese Shrine

The top of the garden overslooks Caliraya lake

Mad fish in the pond!

We had the great idea to catch fish, so first we tried with a bottle

Then with hands

We didn’t get any fish :(, but apparently the attempt was really exhausting

And finally, to Lucban!

Eating Lunch

This place is known for their pancit canton, and indeed it was amazing

These are pahiyas. They’re basically rice paper, ground rice which is mixed with rice and then dried. Here in Lucban during their fiesta the whole town is covered in pahiyas, floats int he parade, hanging from the houses and balconies. The festival is in May so I might not be here at that time.

After lunch we headed to the Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine.

That’s right, something like 280+ steps. As you go up those different statues and stouff are the stations of the cross.

By the way, I’m not wearing htat towel on my head to be religious, I’m wearing it cause it’s really hot.

View from halfway up the mountain

Just to be clear, I’m not trying to blend in or anything, the pic just turned out that way. Also, I’m not wearing that towel on my head to be religious, I’m wearing it cause it’s really hot.

By the way, have I mentioned that I’m scared of heights? Yeah, going down was wayyy harder than going up, especially since a lot of the steps are uneven. But hey, if nuns in heels can do it, so can I in my tsinelas.

At the top. And this is why it’s called Kamay ni Hesus

Hot and winded

Looking over Quezon and Laguna

Ah, down finally1 at the bottom, a pieta

And a grass hut

There is also a chapel at the foot of the mountain where we heard mass afterward.

Some peopl efound it fitting to sleep during mass. tsk tsk.

The view from our parking space

Close up of bird poo. But what you should really be looking at is hte small homes on the side of the road.

On the side of hte road you can also see lots of animals, like these horses

An old Spanish church in Quezon province