Last weekend, April 3, 2009, we finally got to go to a private resort in Catanauan, Quezon. We were invited last year but were unable to accept until last weekend. We were picked up at the Mall of Asia by our benefactors at around 10PM. Since it was a Friday night and the with Skyway construction after Bicutan, we expected our journey to be slow moving. But we didn’t expect that it would be that bad. It turned out that there was a stalled truck just past the Bicutan offramp.
After those two obstacles the pace of our journey got better. Since our destination was in Bondoc Penninsula, our route would take us throught the towns of Sto. Tomas (Batangas), Alaminos (Laguna), San Pablo (Laguna), Tiaong (Quezon), Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucena, Pagbilao, Malicboy, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, etc. all the way to Catanauan. Manong Nilo, our driver and elder brother of our benefactor, is an excellent driver. His mastery of the route was the reason why we arrived as early as we did (around 3:30AM). He is jovial and friendly. He told us about the drudgery of life around their area, and how their family really strove to make a life for themselves outside of their place. In so doing, they became successful, and returned to their barrio to make improvements and benefit their “kababayans”.
The number of vehicles gradually decreased as we approached Pagbilao. Traffic became almost non-existent after the junction where the road to Bontoc Peninsula veers to the right from the Pan-Philippine Highway (going to Gumaca and the Bicol Peninsula).
We arrived at our destination around 3:30AM. We were ushered upstairs to our rooms where we could finish off our night’s sleep.
We awoke around 7:45 that same morning and had breakfast. After our meal, we changed into our bathing attire so that we could enjoy the sun, sea, and shore.
After some time, our hosts let us take turns riding their jet ski. Everyone had a blast! It was really great fun riding it.
The resort also had a pool, although it was rather deep. After swimming we rinsed off and proceeded to explore the sea shore towards the west end near the mangrove.
Inside the structure are life-sized statues depicting the Stations of the Cross. Along the walls are murals done by local artists illustrating images from our Salvation History. At the top is a dome-covered platform where mass can be celebrated. At the very center is a small raised dais with the symbol of the Holy Trinity. On this dais, and no where else on the platform, your voice reverberates. It is said that the center of the platform is a focal point of positive energy that have healed numerous pilgrims. At night, when the cross atop the dome is lit, it can be seen as far as Marinduque across the Tayabas Bay!
Since cameras are not allowed inside, I can’t show you anything. You really have to come and see.
As we continued our homeward journey, we made a stop over at the town of Sariaya to buy some “pasalubongs”. The going was great until we reached the outskirts of San Pablo. It was a slow drive until we reached Sto. Tomas. From there, it was easy going back to the Mall of Asia, where our weekend began.