And I thought that was the last sequel on my Bicol Holiday! 🙂



From CWC in Pili, Camarines Sur,  we first passed by 2 Churches in Naga before driving back to Manila.  A quick breakfast after, and we were on our way.  Having driven from Manila to Bicol via the Tiaong-Sariaya route, we chose to take a detour via the Tayabas-Lucban-Majayjay-Nagcarlan-Calauan route on our way back.  This way, we circled around Mount Banahaw before reaching the more  familiar  SLEX.


Truth be told,  I was itching to have lunch at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan  in Tayabas, Quezon.  The day of the Pahiyas Festival in  Lucban, Quezon , we passed by this eating place then crowded with far too many merrymakers.  The idea of dining on a floating raft appealed to me.  It should also be something novel for the grandchildren too.  You think I spoil them?  Naaah.  Just that I love keeping score of doing many “firsts” with them not-so-little-ones.   I look back at my childhood years, which are by and large kind of blurred now,  and remember mainly the “first times”.   So, let us just say I want to be remembered by these elves via these many “first times”.


Palaisdaan @Tayabas, Quezon



On full stomachs,  we decided to shake off some of those calories by visiting Kamay ni Hesus in the next town of Lucban, Quezon.   No, we did not walk all the way up.  Not enough energy for that.   But we stayed and walked long enough to feel a few calories lighter after visiting the Church ,  the souvenir shop , and saying our prayers.


Majayjay Church in Laguna


From Lucban,  we saw signs pointing left if one were to drive towards Majayjay, Laguna and pointing right if one were to drive towards Sta. Cruz, Laguna.   I made the decision to turn left.  And boy, was that one truly winding road around Mount Banahaw.  It may be the next town crossing from Quezon to Laguna, but forget Kennon Road.  Forget the “bituka ng manok” drive from Quezon to Bicol,  this is one LONELY drive towards Majayjay.  Lonely because we must have spotted only a couple of cars on the same winding road.  The public buses and jeepneys must have turned right, ei?  Well, they know better!


Inside Majayjay Church


Initially, we were awed by sights of Mount Banahaw and rice paddies laid out like mini rice terraces.  Not for long.  We were so eager to hit town after that lonely drive.  Ravines galore, I’m telling ya.   Never again.  You bet we all heaved a sign of relief when we found Majayjay Church, and most fervently said our prayer of thanks.


Beautiful Majayjay Church!


From Majayjay is another winding route towards Nagcarlan. Whoa, we are truly circling Mount Banahaw.   But this one’s more manageable.  Another 18th century church begging for an honest preservation job.  For sure,  these Churches are truly our heritage. No temples, no pagodas.  We have our Churches!  Ironically though,  I find half-hearted efforts , if at all, to preserve these heritage sites.  Breaks your heart.   😦


Nagcarlan Church


Thinking the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery is right beside the Church,  we parked nearby.   Finding none, we asked the locals for directions.  Not too far away is the Underground Cemetery, another heritage site.  It was getting dark by this time and it started drizzling.   I didn’t ask the kids to go with me as I thought they’d find the place creepy.  Never mind that the underground crypt is a former secret meeting place among the revolutionaries then, and thus part of history.  With my nephew-in-law, I jumped out of the car and entered the “compound”.   There was a small chapel. No signs.  No directions. But we found a non-descript door leading to a stairs which we took to go to the underground crypt.  It is rather small, much to my disappointment.  Poorly lit,  it can certainly give you goose bumps.  We didn’t stay very long.  In fact, we had to hurriedly climb up as we heard some clanging sounds from the ground floor.   As it turned out,  it was 5 in the afternoon of a Friday night.   “Shop is closing”.   The caretaker, or gatekeeper was busy locking up the place for the weekend.  That , without checking if there was anyone down below?????


Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery


By the time we got out and ready to drive away,  we snapped one last photo of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery.  With that unconcerned gatekeeper putting the lock on the gate.  Imagine how it must be spending a weekend here.  Yay!  Now that would make for an interesting episode! 🙂