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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pasig River


Ever wonder if above photo is actually the stretch of Pasig River?, well me too. This is one of the few times I've seen Pasig River at its finest, at least in this photograph.
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The Pasig River used to be an important transport route during the Spanish Era. However, due to negligence and industrial development (not to mention the informal settles along the bank of the river), it has become very polluted and is considered dead by ecologists.
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Health authorities found its coliform content to be extraordinarily high. The entire stretches of the river acquired dark murky color and emits foul odor, I wonder how the children living beside the river withstand it. I've heard many stories about the beauty of this River but it seems it will just stay in the memories of these lucky people who have seen the once clean river.
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Its been 18 years since the government started rehabilitating Pasig River, but how far have they accomplished?. Aside from the new playground and some repainting job done on the walls I've never seen any significant changes on the river. There are more court battles going on between the government and the stakeholders and less of improvement. Unless the source of the problem is addressed, the effort to clean the river will just be a waste of time.
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Projects to improve the river is still ongoing to restore it but its a long way to go, our help is needed to accomplished the goal to clean Pasig River.
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I am just lucky to capture an image of Pasig River which looks so clean (at least in this photo)
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I use Canon 400D and 18mm-55mm kit lens, Aperture Priority at ISO400
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Our 3rd Anniversay

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It's been 3 years since we exchanged our vows but our love for each other is still getting stronger. Each day with her is a blessing from God. It is like a glimpse of heaven. Just to be with her completes my day. I am always excited to go home from work, for someone will open the door for me and will dance with me even if there is no music being played and who will embrace me and kiss me so that my frail body will regain its strength.

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I'm glad I've found my long lost rib, ...my one true love...

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of this video may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photo story was created by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the author. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Marikina River Bank


The image shown above is the one near the Riverbanks Mall where the Amphitheater is also located. It serves as the main activity area of the City where concerts are held and other shows as well such as the year-end concert by the top local performers. You can also enjoy different activities as well like boat riding and biking or simply have a sight of the transformed Marikina river.
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There are also restaurants and bar on both sides of the river where you can enjoy a sumptuous food with your family and friends. Having a picnic here is also ideal for families as well. If you happened to be in Marikina Riverbank, you may also visit the Riverbanks mall where the World's Largest shoes is located, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
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Marikina Riverbank has been transformed into a leisure park that serves as the focal point of the city’s tourism program. It spells magical transformation never before known and experienced at least in the Philippines.
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More about Marikina City click here.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Hoyop Hoyopan Cave

A natural tunnel-like structure in Camalig, Albay. Legend says that these caves were the primitive habitats of the natives in the area.
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‘Hoyop’, is a Bicolano word for ihip (blow). It's so cool inside as if you're inside an air condition room. Hoyop hoyopan Cave is one of the most popular attractions in Albay. It could be reached by any type of motor vehicles.
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The cave, which was discovered during the Japanese invasion has 3 layers. We were accompanied by a guide who accompany us inside the cave. Entrance fee to the cave is P20 per person plus a guide fee which is not fixed (it's up to you, how much you will pay the guide).
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There are a lot of stalactite formations inside the cave that may amaze you. Personally I found the formation too ordinary since I already seen the stalactite and stalagmite formation inside the Underground River in Sabang, Palawan.
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The nice thing about the cave is, it doesn't stink and the not so nice about it is there are some human alterations of the cave, like the concrete stairs near the entrance but allotting a couple of hour to visit the cave is still not a waste of time.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Believe...in Jesus

"Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." -John 20:25
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How many time have we heard the words "To see is to believe"?. Many people still believe that Jesus died and did not rise from the dead and worst many don't even believe that Jesus exist.
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Today, people are still too busy looking for visual signs of Jesus' existence, such us miracles or waiting for extra ordinary things to happen in their lives before serving God. There's nothing wrong about it as long as the faith remains even if all these visual signs are gone.
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Miracles do happen all the time, we were just too preoccupied waiting for big things to happen. I've experience many miracles in my life and I also experienced many unfortunate events and I felt the Lord's presence, that He is real.
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If we are doubters, any proof is insufficient but if we are believers, proof is not anymore necessary. Are we a doubter or a believer?
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Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." - John 20:29
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Cagsawa Ruins

In 1814, Mayon Volcano erupted and sent lava flows cascading down its sides. Over a thousand people fled to the church believing that they would be saved from the wrath of Mayon Volcano, no one survived the tragedy. Today, only the church tower remains and serve as a memorial. It became the symbol of Bicol Region's strength and resiliency to face and rise from the ravages of Mother Nature.

Today it is called Cagsawa Ruins Park and a popular destination among the visitors of the region. The park offers tourists and local residents with restaurants that serves native food and delicacies. I haven't tried their Inasal na sira (grilled fish) and Bicol express due to time constrain but many had said that these dishes should not be missed.

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Aside from restaurants, it also boast of a medium sized swimming pool with plenty of loungers where visitors can laze and gaze at the majestic view of Mount Mayon. Plants and flower lovers will be thrilled with the display of exotic flowers and orchids that are on sale inside the park.

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At the entrance of the park visitors will find a wide variety of souvenir shops and stalls which showcase native products and handicrafts. A wide selection of T-shirts with native scenes and designs are also available.

Hopefully by my next visit I could see the majestic vista of Mount Mayon unhampered by the clouds.


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How to Get There:

Cagsawa Ruins Park is a few minutes away from Legazpi City. Lagaspi City is about an hour away from Manila (by air) and about 9 hours travel time by air-conditioned buses that ply the route daily.
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Things to Do in Cagsawa Ruins Park:
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Aside from enjoying the view, you could try taking pictures doing some fancy and trick shots. There are a lot of young photographers there who are ready to teach you if you want to learn some.


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mayon Volcano

Mount Mayon also popularly known as Mayon Volcano is an active volcano found in the Bicol Region province of Albay. Renowned as the "Perfect Cone" because of its almost perfectly conical shape and makes it easy to remember and recognize.

It is considered the world's perfectly formed volcano. The upper slopes of the volcano are steep averaging 35-40 degrees and are capped by a small summit crater. Its sides are layers of lava and other volcanic material.

It is also the most active volcano among the active volcanoes in the Philippines having erupted over 40 times in the last 4 centuries. Killing thousands of lives and destroyed many homes . The most destructive and lethal recorded eruption occurred in February 1, 1814 that buried the town of Cagsawa, only the bell tower of the town's church remained above the new surface (see above photo). The scene of the erupting volcano maybe magnificent and amazing afar but its wrath will make you think twice before going nearer.

Though the volcano is dangerous, it still captivates many people whether it is calm or not. Last year, I was given the chance or have the courage to go to the Bicol Region (I really can't stand, literally and figuratively traveling longer than 4 hours).
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Seeing it from afar, Mayon Volcano amazed me with its shape and grandeur. I was so excited to go to the Cagsawa Ruins for a closer look but the clouds does not permit me to see the volcano in its entirety (some people said, if Mayon Volcano likes you, it will allow you to see its wholeness, I wonder).
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Anyway, there will always be a next time.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Do Not Be Afraid

“The soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day.” - Matthew 28:15

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The pharisees and the chief priests are very proud to say that they are following the laws of Moses to the letter. They were rejecting Jesus as the true Messiah sent by God to redeem His people. One reason I had read: Jesus is not a direct descendant of King David and many more reasons to justify the rejection of Jesus. Up to this day the Jewish people are still waiting for their messiah, the one who will freed them from their enemies.
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During the time of Moses, their ancestors were stubborn to believe all the miracles they have seen even up to the time of Jesus they still don't believe. The pharisees and the chief priests have seen many times the miracles of Jesus and yet they still don't believe. It is much easier to believe if they just opened their eyes and see and understand the miracles and teachings of Jesus. They just quoted many laws of Moses instead to discredit Him but they end up humiliated.
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The foundation of our faith is the resurrection of Jesus if he is not risen from the dead our faith is useless. We believe in Jesus' resurrection, it gives us hope to continue waiting for the second coming of Jesus and it also gives us strength to continue our mission to proclaim the Good News to all nation.
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More twisted facts will emerge to discredit the resurrection of Jesus or even His existence but I fear not. Heaven and earth may fade away but the truth about the resurrection of Jesus will remain.
Let us share the Gospel of the Lord and be a witness to others so that the unbelievers will finally accept Jesus in their life.
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Easter is not about the easter eggs nor easter bunnies, it is about the resurrection of Jesus and the new life He offer to us.
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Happy Easter Monday to all.
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Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me." - Matthew 28:10

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jesus! is Alive, Easter Sunday

"Then the other disciple also went in, the one who had arrived at the tomb first, and he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he had to rise from the dead." - John 20:8-10


Alleluia!, Jesus! is alive, these words of praise is echoing all over the nation as we celebrate Jesus' resurrection.
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The life, passion and death of Jesus will only be in vain if He is not risen. The death of Jesus is not the final chapter of His life but just the climax of it; the salvation of mankind. His resurrection is the ultimate and final chapter of His life. This is the most glorious day of our faith.
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Our mourning has come to an end and the darkness has been conquered by the eternal light of Jesus.
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The death of Jesus causes fears, hopelessness and uncertainties among His early followers but the resurrection of Jesus gave them new hope, strength and certainties. Through His resurrection, Jesus is vindicated, that what He had preached is the truth after all. His enemies are defeated and in shame.
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The renewal of our baptism (which symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus) is a reminder for us of a new life and the forgiveness of sins of all men and freedom from bondage. Easter is also an invitation for us to remain in His light and a calling for us to share His light to those who are lost and in need.
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May we remember also the apostles and disciples of Jesus who spreads the Good News around the globe despite all the persecution and danger they faced, without their hard work the Good News wont reach our households today.
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May the Easter lead us to a life which is pleasing to God.
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Happy Easter to all.

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"Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem." -Luke 24:46-47



© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Vigil (Holy Saturday)

"Do not be amazed! you seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; He is not here." - Matthew 16:6

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Every year, I look forward in attending the celebration of the Easter Vigil. I am so excited to hear once again the salvation history through the 7 readings in the Old testament. The psalms is sung in glorious hymns.

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Tonight we enter the Church with only one source of light, the Paschal Candle, the light of the Jesus who is risen from the dead. We will leave the church carrying the light of Jesus and share it to others.

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Our sins are forgiven, the shackles of our past is broken, our wounds are healed and our tears is replaced with a smile because of the risen Lord. The celebration is a reminder of the Lord's goodness and love for us. He died for our sins so that we may live and enjoy once again the fullness of life in God's presence.

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There are 3 important elements or symbols in the celebration of Easter Vigil, the light, water and fire: The light which represents Jesus, is our guiding light in our mission and service; the water which cleanses our souls and sins; and the fire which represents the Holy Spirit who strengthens us.

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No one but the devil and God's enemies are lamenting when Jesus is risen, everyone is rejoicing and celebrating. Let the devil feel that way by carrying the light of Jesus in our lives everyday.

Jesus is risen and let us celebrate his victory

Let us sing "Alleluia, Jesus is alive"

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"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." - 1 Peter 1:3

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

"When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit." - John 19:30
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Today's Gospel is the narrative of Jesus' passion and death.

We call this day "Good", but what is good about it when we know that Christ died on the Cross. When we know that it is the day of betrayal, rejection and abandonment of those people who followed Him. It is the day of darkness and turmoil. It is the day of hopelessness and grief. So, what is good about "Good Friday"?.

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Good Friday marks the beginning of a new life for us. Jesus sacrificed His life, he accepted all humiliations and pains, all the suffering and tears to save us from eternal death. The Lord is good and just, it is written that the punishment of sin is death. His love for us is immeasurable so He took our place instead.

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When we sin against God, it is like nailing Jesus on the across again and again. Where there are sufferings, it is like a "Calvary" for Jesus once more. Rev. Andrew Sails said in one of his sermon,

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"Were you where when they crucified my Lord?, Of course you were, Of course we are, with hammers in our hand…"

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Are we going to continue nailing Jesus on the Cross?, I hope not...we hope not.

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Then what is good about this day?, it is the goodness of the Lord, his love and his mercy.

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Let us reflect on Jesus' goodness and think about the good things we could do to our neighbors, to our family and to the poorest of the poor.

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"Suffering in itself has no value. The greatest gift we can enjoy is the possibility to share Christ' passion." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Holy/Maundy Thursday of the Lord's Passion

"If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do." - John 13:14-15

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Today we commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the Ministerial Priesthood. On this day all the priests all over the world is renewing their vow and celebrates the Chrism Mass. As the priest presider explained, both sacraments demands service.
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Unlike the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), the Gospel of John don't have the narrative of the institution of the Eucharist but rather he focused on the essence of the Eucharist which is service. Jesus showed us the true meaning of service by washing the feet of His apostles.
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I remember in one of the retreat of our Music Ministry, (during the time when I was the ministry head), the facilitator told me to washed the feet of all the members of our group. Without them knowing of what will happen, They entered the room one by one and I washed and kissed their feet. Some were hesitated to allow me to do it. I've learned the true meaning of leadership: service, love and humility
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It is difficult to love some people, but the Lord showed us the unconditional love that we should imitate. Accepting all of us despite of our shortcomings and wrongdoings. He gave his life to us, broken and poured out to us so that we may be sanctified. Jesus calls us to do the same, to love and serve one another without any conditions.
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Let us think about the times when we rejects God's invitation.
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"Christ changed himself into the bread of life. Changing himself into bread, he became totally at our disposal so that, having been fed by Him, we would feel the strength necessary to give ourselves to others." - Mother Teresa of Calcutta
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Holy Wednesday of the Lord's Passion

"Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me."Deeply distressed at this,they began to say to him one after another,"Surely it is not I, Lord?"He said in reply." - Matthew 26: 21-23


In today's Gospel, Jesus revealed to his apostles that one of them will be betray him. One by one they asked Jesus, "Is it I, Lord?" but Judas asked differently, "Surely, it is not I, Rabii?". All but Judas, was doubting their loyalty to Jesus, they were afraid that they will commit something wrong against Jesus. We all know that Judas did betrayed Him.
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But what motivated Judas to betray Jesus?, He was motivated not only by greed but also by disrespect, disappointments and loss of faith. He lose his hope because of the series of event that happened.
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Many speculates that his damnation (?) was not because of his betrayal but the despair which resulted him to commit suicide. Jesus said when he was hanged on the cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing", is Judas not covered by this words?. I put a question (?) mark in the word "damnation" because we could only speculate on Judas. The Lord only knew what happened to him after he committed suicide.
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In our life, there might be a time that we commit an act of betrayal to Jesus. We don't really literally trade His life for 30 pieces of silver. There might be a time that we lose hope in Jesus and turned away from him and find other sources of strength and hope. Let us all remember that Jesus is our hope even if all hopes faded away.
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Let us examine ourselves rightly if we are betraying God or not and ask Him to strengthen our faith, hope and love that we may not fail or forsake Him whenever we are tempted o turn away from Him.
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Prayer:

God our Father, we are exceedingly frail and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking. Strengthen our weakness, we beseech you, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts; for Jesus Christ's sake." - Prayer of Thomas Kempis

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Tuesday of the Lord's Passion

"It is the one to whom I hand the morsel after I have dipped it."So he dipped the morsel and took it and handed it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot." - John 13:26


The Gospel for today is about the two apostles of God. Judas Iscariot who betrayed Him and Simon Peter who denied Him 3 times. Judas as we all know, sold Jesus to the enemies for thirty pieces of silver while Peter denied Jesus for 3 times. They both knew that they committed a big mistakes to Jesus. The difference is on how they repent.
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Judas was bothered by his conscience and guilt, he decided to kill himself. Peter on the other hand did the right thing, he asked for forgiveness. I wonder what will happened if Judas asked God's forgiveness, maybe he will also be a saint and he also enjoyed the Kingdom of God.
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All of us sins against God but it is up to us if we will continue to turn our faces away from God or repent and have a new life. I've heard people said that God wont forgive their sins, that they are not worthy of God's love. Jesus already sacrificed His life for us to live a better life. The Lord is just waiting for us to receive His grace, it's a free gift, the only thing we should do is open it and accept it..
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Do we want to be the Judas Iscariot or the Peter who is forgiven
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"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." -Romans 3:23
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Prayer: Lord forgive me from my sins, cleanse my heart and my soul, use me for your glory.

"Ang Nazareno" Photo Gallery

Jesus was brought to Caiaphas

Jesus was ridiculed by the Pharisees

The Pharisees

Jesus was brought to Poncius Pilate

Jesus was questioned by Poncius Pilate

Ecce Homo

Barabbas was freed

The Passion of Christ

The Crucifixion

"Father!, forgive them for they know not what they are doing"

"Behold!, the King of the Jews"

The 11 Apostles after hearing the Good News that Jesus is alive.

The Resurrection



© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.


Ang Nazareno

The Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of the Abandoned annually holds a stage play of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This time the young and talented youth of our parish stars these annual event.
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Unlike 2 or 3 years ago, where most of the dialogue was delivered through music, this time it is more of an exchanges of lines between the characters. The one who portrayed Jesus Christ is effective, full of emotions though lacks intensity in his voice but nevertheless caught my emotions off guard. The scene while he carried the cross is very effective were he passed around the crowd/audience going to Golgotha/Stage.

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A re-run will be held this Holy Wednesday at 9pm right after the procession at the Church Patio.

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How to Get There:

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In Cubao, Aurora Blvd., Ride a jeep with a "Calumpang" signboard or ride the LRT line 2 in Aurora then ride a jeep going to Calumpang at Katipunan Station. Estimated time of travel is about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic condition. The Church is in front of Kapitan Moy in J.P. Rizal Street

Photo Gallery

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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Holy Monday of the Lord's Passion

"Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." - John 12:7-8



Today is the beginning of the busy days among Filipino. "Pasyon" is being held in almost every streets in the country. "Senakulo" is being staged in different parishes and communities which is more often done not becomes a form of entertainment rather than a tool to help us remember and reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
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In a few days we will be witnessing once again those people who will do their "Penitensya" (penitence) or inflicting pain to themselves which they said is their form of devotion to God.

I have nothing against such practices but sometimes or often times I am disappointed with the people who participates in these activities. "Pasyon" for one is always a victim of mockery, each year melodic adaptation seems unacceptable, at least for me. Imagine hearing someone singing the "Pasyon" to the tune of "Bikining Itim" (black bikini). Sometimes I wonder, do we really pleases God with these things.

The Gospel is telling us to focus on Jesus, to focus on His sacrifices and victory. He is more worthy of our time and attention, and of our worship and praise. There's no need for us to hurt ourselves for God to forgive us, a true and authentic repentance is enough besides He already won the battle.


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!, Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come! Hosanna in the highest!" - Mark 11:9-10


Today, we celebrate Palm Sunday, the beginning of our Lord's Passion. Jesus entered Jerusalem as if entering the Lion's den, where all His enemies were waiting for the right time to arrest Him. People were rejoicing, singing and praising Jesus but a few days after, a number of them abandoned Jesus during His passion and death. Not even Peter, the one who told Jesus that He will stay with Him no matter what happened. Afraid, Peter denied Jesus thrice.
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In our life, we rejoices whenever we receive blessings from God but sometimes or often times we also blames God when there are persecutions, trials or difficulties in life. Think about it, Jesus' victory over sins will not be possible if He didn't faced His sufferings and death.
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The one who always trust the Lord even in times of persecution and trials or even in times of doubt is the one who will be blessed by the Lord...even more. We will not reach Easter Sunday if we are not to cross or face Good Friday. The Lord will always be with us and will make sure that we will be victorious over the Good Fridays of our life so that we may sing "Hosanna in the highest!" forever.
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Let us reflect on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. Let it remind us of all that we have suffered and all that we have borne with tears. Let it also reminds us of the goodness of the Lord, on how He saved us from death.
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"Life may be difficult and sometimes frustrating but it is more difficult to be nailed and hanged on the cross". - Anonymous
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Caramoan Peninsula


Caramoan is a 2nd class municipality and is one of the thirty-five municipalities of the Province of Camarines Sur and is situated at the heart of the Caramoan Peninsula at the southernmost tip of Luzon. Caramoan Peninsula is isolated from the rest of Camarines Sur, its secret paradise remains unexploited from commercial tourism,.. well, good to hear that but I think this wont be long since it slowly gains its tourism popularity around the country.
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You can enjoy its beauty in many ways. There is kayaking to experience for ocean adventurers, snorkling and scuba diving to experience the diverse marine life which will surely captivate all aqua lovers. There are also treking, rock climbing and cave exploration among others. There are lime stone cliffs and secret lagoon in the Peninsula which added to the beauty of Caramoan.
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After the place has been featured in the news and local television programs, local and even foreign travelers started to explore the beaches of the peninsula. Last year, the 8th season of "koh-lanta," French edition of "Survivor" was shot entirely in Caramoan which resulted to the temporary closure of Gota Beach to the public.
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Contrary to the public announcement that the only beach closed is the "Gota Beach", we were not allowed to enter in an island because of this "Survivor" shooting. The two (2) men in military uniform even fired warning shots just for us to leave the island in dispute, but I'm sure this is not the order of the public officials of the province. They were just a bunch of trigger happy individuals who wanted to show their superiority over us whose only wish was to enjoy the beauty of Caramoan Peninsula even just for a short while.
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The photo shown above is one of the many islands around the peninsula, it was the only island we were able to explore.
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Many people said that Caramoan would be the next Boracay of the country but I hope not. I always love places in its natural setting, less structures and less crowded the better, I just love Caramoan as it is.
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I hope I could go back to this wonderful place in the near future before its natural setting be altered and forever be gone and hopefully no one will stopped us this time.
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© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.
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