Thursday, March 15, 2007

Calamba, Los Baños, and Tagaytay

On this, our last full day in Manila, My Two Senior Citizens decided to go on a short day trip to Tagaytay and other points South. Thanks largely to my previous excursion with my friend Noel Pasilan, I more or less knew which places to go and which sights to see. So we rented a van and off we went.

Our first stop was Festival Mall in Alabang. That was about as uneventful and unexciting as it could get. Still, it's a good pit stop for bathroom and brunch.

Next, we headed for Calamba, rapidly becoming one of my favorite destinations south of Metro Manila. My Two Senior Citizens didn't feel like going into the Rizal Shrine, so we ambled along San Juan Bautista Church.

I never did take walk around the church grounds before, so it was a pleasant surprise to find their garden with statues and gigantic reliefs of the Stations of the Cross. What first caught my eye was this life-size diorama of the conversation between Jesus and the Sinful Woman at the Well of Sichar.All tastefully done. I'm glad the parish community did not adopt the typical candy colored figures so common in Philippine church surroundings.

After Calamba, we headed to Los Baños. Along the way, we came upon a very colorful parade of dancing women. It must have been a town fiesta of some sort; and silly me, I forgot to ask what the event was.

I asked the driver to let me off so I could take pictures. And what should greet me first was the sight of one of the barangay marshals sideswiped by an oncoming bus! The picture below is the immediate aftermath of the accident.

The poor fellow was sprawled on the ground. His companions picked him up. Some of the other marshals signalled for the bus driver to pull over. I was worried they would beat him up. But then they took a look at the victim, saw that he wasn't too badly hurt, and eventually waved the bus driver on.

Important rule in the Philippine countryside: no blood, no foul. Gah!

UP Los Baños was a very pleasant experience. I had been to the town proper a couple of years back but I didn't have time to visit the campus. Sprawling is one way to describe it; but it's idyllic academic calm has to be seen to be believed.

Senior Citizen Dad commented that the palm-lined streets reminded him of Beverly Hills. Can't say that I could disagree.

The picture at the topmost of this post was also from UPLB. What first caught my eye was the concrete dome cabana; and when I saw the magnificent tree behind it, outstretched branches and all, I was totally blown away. It was a scene straight out of Middle Earth. Just don't mind the graffiti that insensitive philistines scrawled all over the cabana posts.

After that, t'was Tagaytay and home. Nothing more to write about, except that the Two Senior Citizens were quite pleased with the trip.

More photos in my Flickr set. You might also want to take a look at the Way of the Cross reliefs.


  1. I really liked you Stations of the Cross photo slide show. I sent the link to it to a number of friends.

  2. Thanks, RTS. I'll put up a dedicated post soon.