Sunday, July 26, 2015

Magnificent Bacacay

There is no place like home and for me there is no place like Bacacay.

My hometown Bacacay is situated in the eastern slope of Mayon Volcano in the province of Albay, the Philippines.

It is a coastal town, the entire coastline of which offers enchanting panorama of beaches and tropical islands.  

Having stayed in this place for two decades, I afforded the tranquility of the place and the picturesque landscape surrounding me every single day. What  a privilege indeed to belong to this place!

As a community deeply rooted in profound Catholic faith, the center of Bacacayano's life is the church. Every Sunday, Bacacayanos would attend mass and would actively participate in religious activities. A testament to this is the fact that our town produced a significant number of priests.  

Here's a glimpse of my hometown in her natural exquisite simplicity.     

An old photograph of our town's church.

The facade of our town church now.

The magnificently designed altar of our parish church.

The ruin of our old church which was transformed into events hall called "Porta Fidei." 

Our town's municipal hall commonly called "Munisipyo."

The ruins of Spanish era watchtower at Roca Baluarte
used to spot incoming Moro raids.

Majestic sight during island hopping. 

Busdac Beach


Misibis Bay

The amphitheater at Cagraray Eco Park overlooking the sea.  

Sula Channel, a haven for ships during typhoons

The Boguias islet

The entire coastline of my hometown has the potential for beach resort development.
What sets it apart is its black sand due to the volcanic nature of the place.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Looking Back: The Tridentine Mass

At the heart of Catholic faith is its highest form of worship which is the Holy Eucharist commonly known as the Mass.

Some Catholics may not be aware that the mass we have now, the so-called ordinary form, came about after the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council. 

But on July 7, 2007, the Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI issued the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum which allows and instructs the priests on the celebration of the mass in its form promulgated in 1962. That kind of the mass is now known as the extraordinary form.

In one article by "The Economist", it was observed that this form of mass can attract many participants especially among the youths. 

In my personal experience, I got to appreciate this mass as I attend over time. It is indeed lovable in its solemn form and can lift your spirit high in holiness. I would say, the extraordinary form resonates my identity as a Catholic.

Some conservative Catholics would even profess that they like the extraordinary form because it is the kind of mass heard by the saints since time immemorial.

For me, I am privileged to have been drawn by Divine Guidance to this community celebrating the extraordinary form every Sunday, 3:00 p.m. at St. Joseph's Church, Victoria St., Singapore. 
The priest sprinkling the congregation with holy water at the start
of the mass while "Asperges Me" is being sung. 

Incensing of the altar

The priest praying over the bread and wine

A solemn communion
(Photos credits to Extraordinary Form Community Singapore)

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum in Singapore

Unknown to many, in Singapore's Chinese Garden is nestled a Live Turtle and Tortoise Museum.   

The museum exhibits 3456 collections of turtles and tortoises, the most interesting of which is that it exhibits 1000 of these as live species. For that, it got an accolade from the Guinness World Records.  

The museum is housed in a Chinese-style complex with a garden and a mini lake where small turtles can be fed by visitors. There is also an area where you can find aquariums housing the collections of rare species.

Enjoy my photographs of the museum and what is has to offer.   

Facade of the museum complex 

The entrance to the turtle and tortoise museum

Chinese lanterns adorning the hallways by the koi pond.

Lanterns adorning the hallways leading to the exhibit area

Kois racing to catch food.

The moment you enter the museum, you will be greeted by this certificate from Guinness World Records.  

It is also interesting to see this tortoise a la Foo Dog with the red ornament for good luck. 

A cute ensemble of playful little monks.

Here are some interesting specimen of turtles and tortoises which to my eyes look rare. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Visit to Chinese Garden

One of the more popular places to visit in Singapore is the Chinese Garden. 

Well it is good to pay a visit there because the entrance is free and at the same time, there are many attractions to see. 

It does not just offer a good view of manicured landscape, but also a glimpse of rich Chinese culture.  

Here are the attractions at the Chinese Garden.

View of the Pagoda from the fields

Indians playing cricket at the Chinese Garden fields

River by the Pagoda

River at the entrance of Chinese Garden

The majestic Chinese Pagoda

Interesting attractions at the Chinese Garden are the statues of Chinese Legendary Heroes which include the world famous movie character Mulan and of course the great philosopher Confucius. 


Here are the stately Chinese style bridges you can see there.

More distinctively Chinese style structures you can see in the place. 

The place is dotted with good views as below.

I'm a fan of Confucius that is why my attention was captured by his statue and the corresponding inscription at its base.

I agree 100% with what he said. As such, he encouraged teachers to do their best so that all their students can learn well from them.

What I am most happy about in the Chinese Garden is that there are statues of animals in the Chinese zodiac or Sheng Xiao. So, I took a photo with the animal representing my Chinese zodiac which is Rat!