April 2020

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"While Lucban continues to preserve the tangible and intangible remains of its past, the town also continues to embrace changes."

► I loved the changes... It did complement the past of Lucban, something that is still thriving in our present modern time.

► It was a gloomy day, but the mode of our family bonding was like sunny day!

[Lucban, Quezon Province, Calabarzon (Region 4-A), Luzon Island, Philippines]
▼ COVER PHOTO▼ YOUTUBE
EDMARATION
| 1 | [LUCBAN] ► LUCBAN CHURCH GRANDLY STANDS IN THE DOWNTOWN OF LUCBAN WITH THE CLOUD-CLAD PEAK OF MOUNT BANAHAW AT THE BACKGROUND.


I have a big fascination for old/historical things. In Ilocos, I grew up seeing big old churches. As a kid, the old churches in my province were nothing but a normal public place. As I grew up, I learned the rich heritage and culture of the place where I was born. Because these are part of my identity as an Ilocano, my appreciation for the old churches in Ilocos also bloomed.

Speaking of old churches, I revisited the Lucban Church. It's my third time to visit Lucban as a tourist (for leisure). I had the chance to visit this town for several occasions now because there is a tour coordinator in my hometown ▼ #VIGANLATEST STORIES COVERING VIGAN
targeting "religious older adults" for a pilgrimage.

While most joiners were our older aunts and uncles (titos and titas), millennials like me were also welcome.

LUCBAN CHURCH
| 2 | [LUCBAN] ► THE CHURCH OF LUCBAN FOLLOWS A STYLE OF BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE.
The organizer was not really marketing Lucban as a town to visit. She only offered a pilgrimage tour to Kamay ni Hesus. There is no real Lucban itinerary. The tour bus would leave Lucban for another pilgrimage site located in another province, after Kamay ni Hesus.

I've joined this pilgrimage tour for the third time now since 2014. For the succeeding tours, my main purpose was not really to visit the Kamay ni Hesus pilgrimage site anymore, but to explore the other side of Lucban—including the other towns of ▼ QUEZONLATEST STORIES COVERING QUEZON
province. While joiners spent several hours at Kamay ni Hesus, I have always drafted with me a personal itinerary covering Lucban and beyond, which I did with my siblings in 2016, and now (2020) with my parents.

LUCBAN CHURCH
| 3 | [LUCBAN] ► THESE COLORFUL SMALL HUTS WERE DISPLAYED ALONGSIDE THE FENCES OF THE CHURCH SQUARE.
As the tour bus reached the destination (Kamay ni Hesus), I immediately figured out how to commute to the downtown of Lucban.

For our convenience (my parents are getting old), we just hailed a tricycle driver and took the trike to make it easier for all of us. Taking a jeep would be cheaper, but less convenient. Somehow, the 10-peso difference was not a significant damage for a working adult like me.


 ►  What's New in 2020?


It's extremely interesting to witness the dynamism of a place. While Lucban continues to preserve the tangible and intangible remains of its past, the town also continues to embrace changes.

So what's new? My last visit to this church was in 2016. I noticed the red bricks installed around the church premises. The streets around were also changed into cobblestone (kind of, not sure but it looked like that).

LUCBAN CHURCH
| 4 | [LUCBAN] ► THIS STRUCTURE MADE OF LIGHT MATERIALS STILL STANDS BESIDE THE CHURCH, BUT IT'S NOW STANDING OVER RED BRICKS.
LUCBAN COBBLESTONE STREET
| 5 | [LUCBAN] ► THIS STREET IN LUCBAN HAS TURNED INTO A COBBLESTONE PAVEMENT.
I loved the changes. The changes applied, in my point of view as a non-historian/non-anthropologist, was pleasing to my eyes. It did complement the past of Lucban, something that is still thriving in our present modern time.

As a resident of a World Heritage City, I also noticed changes like these in my hometown; and they were very welcome.


 ►  Bringing my Parents to Lucban Church


It's my father's first time in Lucban. It's my mom's third visit; and it's my youngest brother's second visit.

Prior to this, my mom called to inform me that the tour coordinator organized another trip to Lucban. She told me she would like to join the tour again not because she wanted to revisit Lucban, but because she wanted to see me here in Manila (aww, she missed me). With that, I told her to secure a slot for the five of us (whole family) and considered this a family bonding. Unfortunately, my other sibling wasn't able to join us due to work commitments.

LUCBAN CHURCH
| 6 | [LUCBAN] ► WE TOOK THIS FAMILY PHOTO (INSERT EDISON) IN FRONT OF THE LUCBAN CHURCH.
LUCBAN, QUEZON
| 7 | [LUCBAN] ► EDISON WAS MISSING DUE TO WORK COMMITMENT.
LUCBAN, QUEZON
| 8 | [LUCBAN] ► IT FELT GOOD TO HANG OUT WITH MY FAMILY. I'VE BEEN WANTING THIS BADLY SINCE I WAS BASED IN MANILA.
We skipped the Kamay ni Hesus meantime. We had ample time to visit Lucban. I didn't want to just spend all our time at Kamay ni Hesus when we could explore the downtown to find new food destinations and visit historical sites.

There was a wedding going on when we visited the Lucban Church. Although it was gloomy that time (it rained a little), we were not stopped to marvel on its beauty.

LUCBAN CHURCH
| 9 | [LUCBAN] ► THE DETAILS OF THE WALL OF THE CHURCH CANNOT GO UNNOTICED.
LUCBAN CHURCH
| 10 | [LUCBAN] ► MARCH BRIDE INSIDE. BEST WISHES!
LUCBAN CHURCH
| 11 | [LUCBAN] ► IT WAS A GLOOMY DAY, BUT THE MOOD OF OUR FAMILY BONDING WAS LIKE A SUNNY DAY!
Sadly, the clouds covered the beauty of Mt Banahaw. It would have been much better if we were able to see the beauty of the mystical mountain from the church.


 ►  Taking Aerial/Drone Shots of the Church


I brought my drone in this trip with the eagerness to capture a different perspective of Lucban. At first, I was hesitant to bring out my drone because of the strong wind, but my drone managed to fly safely.

LUCBAN CHURCH AERIAL/DRONE SHOT
| 12 | [LUCBAN] ► CAN YOU SPOT US?
LUCBAN CHURCH AERIAL/DRONE SHOT
| 13 | [LUCBAN] ► MOUNT BANAHAW CONCEALED ITSELF FROM US.
LUCBAN CHURCH AERIAL/DRONE SHOT
| 14 | [LUCBAN] ► UP CLOSE WITH LUCBAN CHURCH'S FAÇADE
Prior to flying, I asked permission from the admin office of the parish if I could fly my drone. One of the personnel gave me an overwhelming positive response. I brought out my drone and launched its flight. Curious kids and some random individuals started approaching us. Curious kids were in awe. I knew they wanted to see what's on my screen but they seemed unsure what to do. I could see the amazement on their innocent faces.

I, too, was amazed to see the compact downtown of Lucban and to see the Lucban church serving as a majestic centerpiece of the town from the air.

This ends our family visit at Lucban Church. 💚 | end of story |


Maps Showing the Location of LUCBAN

If on mobile, tap map to reveal the color.
MAP OF LUCBAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the categories "Heritage" and "Churches". See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph and Mike Gonzalez and Eugene Alvin Villar (of Wikipedia).

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.
UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
► 12-April-2020: This post was published.

LATEST STORIES COVERING [LUCBAN] | SEE ALL IN A SEPARATE WINDOW


MORE STORIES COVERING QUEZON | SEE OLDER STORIES


LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES









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Some cool netizens liked, commented, and shared this.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"This Palawan trip has indeed given me enough time to self-reflect and remember those beautiful and innocent moments in my life that I deleted. I'm definitely gonna check my old configuration..."

► I didn't expect that this time would bring me back to my old self. I miss those days of youthful fun, really. I just overdid it. I don't blame anyone though, not even myself. I was young and careless. Making a mistake was part of the process.

► It was my old self who didn't care how good I should appear in photos. Browsing my old photos, I realized how my self-esteem changed a lot since then. I'd swear, whenever I look back to those photos, it's cringeworthy. I wonder where on earth I gained that level of confidence to post those photos, and still felt good and proud about it. Today is a different story.

[Palawan Province, Mimaropa Region, Luzon Group, Philippines]
EDMARATION
| 1 | [BATARAZA] ► THESE CULTURAL PERFORMERS, DURING THE TOWN'S FOUNDATION DAY CELEBRATION, WERE SO AMAZED TO SEE A 'TRAVEL VLOGGER'. MORE THAN 5 YEARS AGO, REGULAR LOCALS DIDN'T EVEN KNOW/CARE ABOUT BLOGGERS/VLOGGERS.
The rising popularity of YouTube may have killed the traditional blogging style, but it has also given bloggers a new way to express themselves online (through videos). While video blogging (in short, vlogging), is an old stuff, its popularity skyrocketed just recently when YouTube opened its partnership program for video creators to publish ads.

The internet community today (mostly, if not all) thinks that being a blogger is also being a YouTuber. It's not actually a wrong assumption, but it's not always the case. There are also bloggers who thrive in their rich world of wordplay and poetry.


 ►  Flashback: A setback of my travel goals and style



I've reached that point of becoming too busy for my corporate career—too busy that I didn't even care about the dates of upcoming special occasions or national events. Indeed, when you enter a different season in life and decide to take the road to maturity and real adulthood, there are previous habits and lifestyles that need to be deleted in your life.

As I've become more career-oriented, I also became very conscious of my time—spending it for myself to become as productive as possible. One of those habits that I gradually deleted in my life is the utilization of my precious time for too much fun (including my leisure travels and too much social media). Don't get me wrong. Having fun and using social media are not really bad; however, danger comes in when too much attention are allotted for the aforementioned, hence endangering our balance (homeostasis) as a holistic human being.

So what's the connection of homeostasis to my recent travel to Palawan? I would answer this way. I went to Palawan without knowing I would celebrate the Chinese New Year there. Straight from work, I took my flight to Palawan. As I said, I've reached that point where I've become too busy that I already didn't care of these national or international events that I used to fervently track. I didn't know it was going to be the first day of the year of the metal rat!

Since I'm new to the world-of-too-much-work (another season of my life), I'm still learning how to balance it, again; or shall I say, re-calibration?

I was afraid to live another imbalanced life (before was too much fun, less career). I wanted to bring back the old fun and figure out how to balance it with my new world—a probinsiyano millennial doing corporate jobs in the big city.

An invitation of a friend to visit an isolated island in the Sulu Sea was an idea that I entertained. We've planned for this trip for several months; and that trip was the reason why I was in Palawan. I took this opportunity to undo and recover the deletion of "too much fun" in my life.

I reformatted my life recently, but I forgot to save a back-up copy of the configuration that once made me a very positive and happy man. Now, I want to recover those—not necessarily everything, but even a small portion of the data will do. I know I could develop those remaining data into creating a more complex yet life-changing (for good) existential algorithm.

After almost three (3) years of living in the busy world, it's now "been there, done that." I already have a first-hand experience of both perspectives—too much fun and too much work. I would say I'm wiser today than yesterday.

This Palawan visit would jump-start another season in my life—with new lessons learned as an adult. We should not stop improving ourselves, should we?


 ►  Puerto Princesa: Chinese New Year 2020



I didn't expect that this time would bring me back to my old self. I miss those days of youthful fun, really. I just overdid it. I don't blame anyone though, not even myself. I was young and careless. Making a mistake was part of the process. It's weird, but those times I made a mistake were seasons I didn't really consider myself to have committed a mistake. For me it was a learning curve.

Now that I've been exposed to more complex life processes, I could probably go back to the old fun with an army of wisdom and maturity in me.

Chinese New Year Palawan
| 2 | [PUERTO PRINCESA] ► IN EVERY SHOW, THERE'S ALWAYS AN INTRO. FOR ME, MY LIFE IS ALSO A REAL-LIFE SHOW WITH MANY CHAPTERS; AND THIS TRIP WAS THE INTRO FOR MY NEWEST SEASON IN LIFE.
Walking randomly in and around the downtown of Puerto Princesa allowed me to time travel to my old style—something I dearly miss.

I knew myself that my taste of a good travel is not really seeing the most popular tourist attractions. Don't get me wrong. I also love visiting the popular tourist spots; but I feel like I could level-up my appreciation for a destination when I walk (or simply sit still) solo while I introspect. I know this is an old story. Many travel bloggers have said that, but I will still say it because I mean it.

Chinese New Year Palawan
| 3 | [PUERTO PRINCESA] ► TRAVELING WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS IS VERY FULFILLING, BUT TRAVELING SOLO IS MY ORIGINAL STYLE. I TRAVELED WITH SOMEONE THIS DAY, BUT I MADE SURE TO HAVE AN AMPLE "ME-TIME."
Chinese New Year Palawan
| 4 | [PUERTO PRINCESA] ► VALENCIA STREET IS THE EPICENTER OF PALAWAN'S CHINATOWN.
I love these: observing people, looking at the trees, counting the fastood restaurants I saw, counting the lanes of a street to figure out how broad it is, stepping onto covered drainage manholes, searching for the tallest building in the downtown, counting how many floors that building has, and more.

Walking along the Rizal Avenue of Puerto Princesa made me discover that the city was going to stage a Chinese New Year event at the Chinatown Center Palawan (Valencia Street, near the public market). That moment, I realized I would be welcoming another lunar year outside my hometown Vigan. I immediately went back to the pension house where I stayed to take all my blogging essentials with me. You know, blogging and traveling were the most important duo of my old self.

I got back that enthusiasm to document and blog this event. I lost that enthusiasm, but I'm recovering it back.


 ►  Resurging the Travel Spirit



Admittedly, I gradually lost both the desire to travel and the desire to blog/write lately. For the past few years, there was also a sharp decline of blogs published daily. I don't know exactly the reason why that happened; but I surely know myself that I also became inactive in blogging not because I joined the bandwagon, but because I changed my priorities.

Majority of bloggers are millennials (indeed, this is a millennial thing). I believe, the reason why others set aside blogging in the mean is the same as mine.

I thought I was going to graduate as a travel blogger. Aside from the fact that I shifted to a different career (still related to health care though, but this is the hipper side of the nursing profession), I admit that my interest to travel also declined by time, probably because I've been to the places I once drooled to visit; and the travel satiety has taken me over.

One thing more, I don't have much liberty now like I used to do. Before, I could ask a vacation leave for a month—something that was easy-peasy for me to do when I was still hospital-based; not because my health care service wasn't needed, but because I had the privilege to ask for it with an army of supportive bosses and colleagues who support my life passions outside my nursing profession.

I thank God for this time. Visiting Palawan (and that island in the Sulu Sea) has caused the heavens to pour out the spirit of travel-joy for me. That emotion is something that I consider a spiritual experience—a personal moment when traveling changes your view of the world (in an affirmative manner) and of your existence (more on the motivational and anti-depression side). How cliché is that?

I could somehow say that I've just risen from the travel grave. On the third day, I resurrected. Yes, I just did. This was an 11-day adventure.


 ►  Bataraza: Visiting My Relatives



I'm beyond joyful to reconnect and be hosted by no other than my relatives in Bataraza, Palawan. Visiting my relatives in Bataraza allowed me to decode my genetic make-up. Reconnecting with my relatives and learning more about the history of our clan solidified my love for travel. I may have set it aside mean time, but I knew it's gonna haunt me back.

EDMARATION
| 5 | [PALAWAN] ► I TOOK THIS SELFIE INSIDE A VAN GOING TO BATARAZA FROM BROOKE'S POINT.
I had a great time chatting with my auntie about the diaspora of our clan. My father is as well part of the diaspora that happened every generation—from Mindanao, he migrated to Vigan (and many of his siblings too left their hometown in Kabacan, North Cotabato without losing their strong connection to their hometown).

Our clan has a long history of migration. However, we could only trace our forefathers 3 generations ahead of us through reconnecting with relatives and reconciling our family tree (a cousin of mine is active in tracing more though).

EDMARATION
| 6 | [BATARAZA] ► MY AUNT AND MY COUSIN TOURED ME AROUND THIS TOWN IN SOUTHERN PALAWAN.
EDMARATION
| 7 | [BATARAZA] ► MY COUSIN, WHO WORKS AT THE MUNICIPAL HALL, HELPED ME SECURE THIS VIP SEAT.
What enticed my paternal bloodline for continuous migration every generation is something that I'm still trying to figure out. One thing is greener pasture. My great grandfather went to Mindanao and acquired hectares of land. As a child going home to Mindanao, I was amazed to see those fields that were so huge and wide the eye can see. Mindanao was indeed a fertile soil for them to till. Me, my brothers, and my cousins under my Eteng lineage love traveling and going to new places. I could probably say that it's part of our genetic makeup to have that strong desire to explore new places and conquer new territories. You may challenge me to show a scientific evidence but I'm not going there. My intuition and guts are enough. It's natural. We love going places but we never forget where we came from.

Not all people love to travel; but my clan, majority of us, are vagabonds. Many of us are migrants too. We didn't settle in one place to form a tribe. We instead conquered new territories, from generations to generation.

Having born and grown in Vigan, I consider this city as my hometown by heart and spirit. I think we were tasked by destiny to repopulate or Eteng-ize Vigan. 😂

Kidding aside, I've just found new reasons to travel (to reconnect) as we (our clan) were spread (both Eteng and Guquib) from the flower farms of Benguet, to the valleys of Kalinga, to the rice fields of Isabela and Cotabato, to the towns of Palawan, and to the communities near the Agusan marsh! That's all I know for now. I'm excited to find more!

Note: We are of Ilocano-Cordilleran heritage and we speak Ilocano even some were from Mindanao (some millennials of our clan have adapted the local language though, but still could understand Ilocano).

This is just the story of my Eteng (my grandmother) lineage with roots from the land of warriors (then Kalinga-Apayao). My Guquib (grandfather) side is another story, but has the same migration plot.

From the three original old folks, the most ancient that we could trace (our ancestors), we spread like wildfire in the Philippines and in the world. 😂

Like a lost tribe, we now have a strong connection through social media. Most members of the clan were never seen by me in person. Annual clan reunion is also happening for many years now.

Now I got more reasons to travel far and wide with all these blood-connections.


 ►  Brooke's Point: How I Lost My Self-Esteem?



After visiting my family in Bataraza, I went back to Brooke's Point town where my travel buddies were waiting. We visited the downtown and enjoyed how idyllic it was. Few meters away was the market where I met fellow Ilocanos. I didn't expect I was going to meet one here. One of them was from Pangasinan, and they speak Ilocano at home. I learned that there is a significant Ilocano community in this town—like Ilocanos who haven't assimilated to the local language.

EDMARATION
| 8 | [BROOKE'S POINT] ► THIS FEELING IS SO FAMILIAR—LIVE JOURNAL AT PORTS, SLEEPING AT TERMINALS. YEAH, VERY TRADITIONAL 'POOR TRAVEL BLOGGER' STYLE.
I miss the old travel style that speaks, non-verbally, of who I really am—randomly meeting locals and learning their stories. Come on, it's so inspirational and interesting to hear the stories of these people. How cliché is that?

I admit I deleted these travel styles I used to embrace because some people called it superficial whenever I claim and write about it online. I was swayed to believing them. You know, I sometimes consider the comments of other people, for my self-improvement; but not all of them helped me improve.

Because my stories of immersing myself with the locals and appreciating the local way of life were things that were viewed as superficial in an attempt to romanticize my travel stories, I shifted to doing what I thought was a more acceptable travel trend—the instagrammy style: glossy, nice view, nice hotel room, aura, filtered photos, nice clothes, taking off my clothes to show my skin and body, choosing the best angle, and mostly unrealistic stuff. I'm not against the instagram travel style because I don't have the right to dictate what other travelers should do. I, myself, was influenced by that style and trend. I'd admit that I still do it now; and I liked it. The former replaced my old travel style of being dirty poor in my travel narratives and ugly in photos.

My visit to Brooke's Point made me remember my old self on the road: dirty, poor, ugly, sunburned, broke but happy, etc. It was my old self who didn't care how good I should appear in photos. Browsing my old photos, I realized how my self-esteem changed a lot since then. I'd swear, whenever I look back to those photos, it's cringeworthy. I wonder where on earth I gained that level of confidence to post those photos, and still felt good and proud about it. Today is a different story. I've been more insecure of my self when I was exposed to a new environment that's devoid of acceptance, saturated with unnecessary competition. I tried to blend in the new crowd, but I lost the true identity that defined who I am.


 ►  Ending Thoughts


This Palawan trip has indeed given me enough time to self-reflect and remember those beautiful and innocent moments in my life that I deleted. I'm definitely gonna check my old configuration, and extract the essential basic html codes of my life I used to replace (with a more complex process), leading my life to suffer the effects of a lower bandwidth. It was so complex, yet unnecessary—limiting my potentials and ability to develop a new better version of me.

I surely will undergo a travel reconfiguration by fusing the essentials of both my old and new versions. For my resurrected travel bug, I'll ctrl+alt+delete, switch user, trouble shoot, reconfigure, and reboot. I'm excited to travel more like I used to do. There is a saying clinging in my head now: "Old, but gold." I'm going back to my old style, mixed with the essentials of the new world. I can't wait to test-run my new, yet classic version.💚 | end of story |

I value your thoughts! The comment box is located at the most bottom part of this section, or above (in the beginning of this article). :)



Maps Showing the Location of PALAWAN

MAP OF PALAWAN
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the categories "Travel Diaries" and "Feature Posts". See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try the activities or see the properties/places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time.
UPDATE HISTORY FOR THIS BLOG POST
► 05-April-2020: This post was published.


LATEST STORIES COVERING PALAWAN ISLAND | SEE ALL IN A SEPARATE WINDOW


MORE STORIES COVERING PALAWAN | SEE OLDER STORIES


LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES








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NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.