koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Road Less Travelled: Visita Iglesia de Malate (or Manila)

Holy week for me was all fun and adventure… that was the usual getaway. Sand, beach and more sand!

But this 2011, I decided to change my course. It’s been a while since I last attended a mass, so maybe, a little sacrifice for God is what I needed to do to make up for it.

Visita Iglesia. Or simply church visit. But to give it a little twist… we visited 7 churches on foot. Yes, we walked the whole time.

So our Journey started… but to make it more interesting, we decided to focus our church visit to a few spots in manila or specifically Malate that was less popular. Instead of going to big cathedrals and churches like that in Baclaran or Barasoain, we opted to get to know a few hidden churches that are totally and unbelievably alive and still existing.

LOCATION: Estrada Street, Malate
LANDMARKS: If you happen to know the road to Angelo King (College of St. Benilde) from Taft Avenue, just go straight. It’s the little white-painted church on your left side. You can also go there via SLEX (But you gotta be careful coz you might miss Estrada Street from there)
COMMENT: I’m fairly familiar with this place coz we used to hear mass every Sunday at Santisima when I was a kid. So re-visiting it now seems like a trip down memory lane. It felt good to see the church again, but now, along with unfamiliar faces.

LOCATION: Pasaje Galvan, Leon Guinto Street, Manila
LANDMARKS: It’s along Leon Guinto. Between San Andres St. and Estrada St. It’s a bit hard to find since you got to go through this small road (Esquinita) to get there. The best thing to do is once you see the old hotel called Kanumayan, ask for directions!
COMMENTS: It’s really interesting to see a chapel in the middle of a residential and crowded esquinita (or narrow road). And what’s more interesting is, it’s located at the second floor of a residential house. The church’s a bit small and tight but once you get it, it’s really holy inside.

LOCATION: San Andres St. Manila
LANDMARK: Jollibee on its left. Nearby 7-11. It’s surrounded with different shops, fast foods, and street vendors. It’s totally crowded.
COMMENTS: This is our parish church back when I was in Elementary and High school. It’s our school’s church actually. So it’s really nice to be back there. I remember our First Friday masses and our recognition days… This is a church full of memories.

LOCATION: Neptune Corner 7th Street, Manila
LANDMARK: If you are familiar with the streets of Manila, you might be aware of the street called Onyx. From south super hi-way (northbound) turn right to San Andres, then you’ll come across a fork, take the left street (Diamante St.) then. Go straight, and then you’ll get to an intersection (Onyx Street), turn left. At this point, you’ll be driving (or walking) a fairly long road. On your left side, watch out for the 7th street. Once you turn left (again) you’ll never fail to see the church from there.
COMMENTS: When we got there, the church was under renovation and scaffoldings where all over the place. But even with all the stuff, the church is alive with lots of people hearing the night’s mass. I wasn’t really able to get inside coz I didn’t want to disturb the people.

LOCATION: Paz Street, Paco, Manila
LANDMARK: You can never miss it at night, since its smacked right in the middle of the market area of Paco, Manila with colorful lanterns hanging from tree branches.
COMMENTS: For so many years that I’ve stayed in manila, it’s my first time to actually get inside this church. I used to dread the idea of going to Paco since it can get real messy with the public market on site. But that night, it was fairly quiet compared to its usual craziness. Church-goers flocked and were even excited to get inside the huge church.

LOCATION: MH Del Pilar corner Flores St. Ermita
LANDMARK: Ermita park and 7-11 just across the church. You can never miss it, especially if you are a regular malate-goer
COMMENTS: This place was where my mom went to school during her elementary years. It was kinda old, and surrounded by night clubs and bar. It’s actually ironic that there is a church in the middle of this night district. We all know what’s really going on with those night bars. Maybe it’s a way to reach out to those who are lost and confused. Or maybe it’s plain coincidence.

LOCATION: MH Del Pilar Street
LANDMARK: Easiest way to get to Malate Church is via Roxas Boulevard (Baywalk Area) then when you see Aristocrat Restaurant (you can’t miss it!), just turn right. You’ll see Malate Church in an instant!
COMMENTS: For our last stop for our Manila/Malate Visita Iglesia, we chose to get to the famous Malate Church. Actually, it’s a memorable place for me since this is where I was baptized 25 years ago. It’s amazing that it is still existing and much patronized by people. I just hope that in the next 25 years of my life, I can still go back to this place and be able to reminisce.

NOTE: Really sorry about the blurry pics. I forgot to bring my camera... tsk tsk.. so its my phone that saved the day...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Who let the dogs out? We did!

Me and Haz decided to join the Doggie Run organized by Pet Express last March 26, 2011. We registered for the 1.5KM race since I, do not have the training to run and so if my Tamtam (Pomeranian). Haz, on the other hand, had been running and jogging with Kulasa (Pug) around their village… so in a way.. They can take the longer races but still opted for the shortest (for my and tamtam’s sake hihihi).

Registration fee was Php 350.00 but I think it was worth it since it includes a racing shirt, a racing bandana for the dog, racing bibs for me and Tamtam, and a loot bag with dog foods, treats, GCs and shampoo.

We got there around quarter to 5AM, race time supposed to be at 5:30AM. But since we got there early, we had time to roam around, check out the competition (hahah as if were gonna win) and just hang out for a bit.

At around 6AM, the race started with the longest (5KM), then after a few minutes 3KM started shortly. Then the most awaited and the cutest race (coz 1.5KM was intended for toy dogs, the road was packed with cute little creatures that try to be sporty like the larger breeds).

Of course, Tamtam being the lazy little monster that she is, ran for about 5 yards and walked for another 3 yards then its rest for her! So for the rest of the race… I was carrying her, with a water bottle (as of she’s gonna dehydrate) and my bag. I tried begging her to run, acting like I was going to run with her, but NOPE. She just wanted to sit or be carried throughout the race.

But fortunately for Haz, her Kulasa was really a sport. She ran with Haz despite her being so chubby and heavy. She ran more than half of the race, walked for a quarter and then finally begged her mommy to rest for a bit. They rested for a while, then Haz decided to just carry her little baby, which was okay at least Kulasa tried her best.

By the time, I caught up with them; I was running while carrying Tamtam, Haz was also doing the same. Then we just walked the rest of the run.

Finally, we reached the end and the first thing I did was REST! It wasn’t easy carrying everything including my baby Tamtam while running.

Based on the results… Here’s our time and place! (Courtesy of Pet Express) Tamtam and I: Bib 87 and Haz and Kulasa: Bib 91

Though Tamtam didn’t exactly run, we really had fun being able to enjoy this activity together. Ever since, Haz and I wanted to run together. It was just perfect that since we are both pet lovers, we were able to bring our babies too!

I think for me, this is a nice way to promote love for our pets and animals in general. To see them with their mommies and daddies, running and having fun together, it was like these animals are really a part of the family (which for me, really is).

So until the next run, I will still bring Tamtam and maybe, bring my other dogs too! I will sure enjoy another bonding activity with my Tamtam, Haz, and her Kulasa!

By the way, I just want to congratulate my friend, James and his Brews for winning the top spot for the 1.5KM race!

And we ended the race at Starbucks! Yep, we were starving and we needed caffeine shot to last the entire day!