Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lucban's Religious Attractions: Lucban Church and Kamay ni Hesus

Lucban's green surroundings and pleasant climate is not only perfect for a stroll and relaxation, somewhat it also contributes to making someone in the mood for deeper spirituality. I am a believer that God is everywhere and is always with us, maybe I just feel his presence stronger in places like this.

St. Louise Bishop of Toulouse Church (Lucban Church)
located in the heart of the town

This church that was built with lime and cement will surely have you glancing twice when you pass by. The uneven tone and the intricately designed arches and sculptures of the facade  are evidence that it was built in a different era here in the Philippines. Moss and tiny plants growing into its walls only added to the charm of this church.

The present church is the fourth that was constructed in this area, with the first three ruined in fire. It was completed in 1738.

The bell tower is a three tiered structure just right beside the church. Looking at it reminded me of Crispin and Basilio from Jose Rizal's 19th century novel, Noli Me Tangere.

Getting inside the church, I admired the wide arched windows and ceilings. Contrary to the old looks of the facade, inside it felt a bit modern, perhaps with the colors used on the walls. It still looked impressive though with the lit chandeliers that added to the grandiose of the interior.

Kamay ni Hesus Church
Brgy. Tinamnan

In about  a 15 minute ride from Lucban town, you will reach this famous religious attraction in Lucban. I wasn't really excited going here when I'm making our itinerary for this Quezon trip but things changed when I set foot in Kamay ni Hesus.

I was expecting a church and a long flight of stairs leading to the top of the hill where the a gigantic image of Jesus Christ is erected. What I didn't expect is the nature feel of the place. I am a hardcore nature lover - and wherever I feel the soft wind brushing my skin, whenever I inhale the grassy smell on air, that already feels like heaven to me. :) This is how this place appealed to me. We walked into a vast hilly and sloping terrain, landscaped with numerous plants and trees. It was a cloudy and a bit foggy when we went there with occasional drizzles and I couldn't even ask for a better weather.

Kamay ni Hesus has a church where healing masses are held. The administration also offers retreats and . I believe that the place is perfect for those purposes. I am not a religious person but I know that this place is perfect for a meaningful quiet time and recollection. Staying overnight isn't a problem since there's Noah's Arc, an accommodation facility added to shelter pilgrims. Kamay ni Hesus is also a park that features important Biblical Symbols and events.

One important thing to take note though, during masses, people aren't allowed to climb the grotto, the gates are locked preventing anybody from entering the entrance and you have to wear the "proper attire" (anything not short and sleeveless) if you're planning on hiking the grotto, otherwise, you won't be allowed to. It might have slipped my sister's mind that we're also visiting this place other than the beaches of Pagbilao Quezon so my sister only brought shorts and not the "proper attire". Naturally, she wasn't allowed to enter the grotto, after waiting for an hour for the mass to finish. She took it well and totally understood since she's a church choir member in Singapore and is familiar with the rules. I'm the one who felt bad for her though specially she's the one who really looked forward visiting this place. But that's life, and I want to say, that's the Catholic Church. So all three of us didn't pursue hiking the top. It was more than enough that I've said my prayers. :)

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