Monasterio ala Rio De Janeiro: Tarlac

If only I can go to the Americas, I prefer here:

Considered as the sixth largest city in the world, Rio is filled with beaches and nightlife. But when you are down and lonely and wanted to do a pilgrimage - you can go to its 30-meter high statue located on the top of the Corovado Mountains.

But given that I don't have enough funds even to apply for a VISA and be a tourist, and not really into travelling (since I prefer reading more), I was yet recruited as a foreign exchange student by the classmates' field trip and went to a province having the same vibe as with the Jesus the Redemeer's.

We went to San Jose, Tarlac.

From the wikipedia blurb:

San Jose is a third-class municipality in the province of Tarlac, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 33,960 people. It was created into a municipality pursuant to RA 6842; ratified on April 21, 1990; taken from the municipality of Tarlac City.

The municipality is a quiet place filled with vast farmland and goats and cows. I remember my travel in Northern Ireland filled with green pastures and SHEEEEEEEEPPPPP~ (baa-aaaaah!). I was fortunate that I only went there for a weekend getaway, since I used to live in the city, and being stuck in the countryside will be painful for me. Do not get me wrong, I actually envy those who retire in these places filled with serenity and fresh air; but as young as I am, I'd rather stay and work in the city.

And being that joiner in their weekend getaway, before doing the pilgrimage, we became guests in a farmland resort owned by a retired officer of The GFI - and small world - we used to be counterparts when I was back in the government service. Deja vu encounters, eh? We used to talk about opening up new bank branches to cater financial services to the target clientele.

It was fun meeting him again after years, when I became part of The Bank and he - happy and retired, with his son succeeding his footsteps and his advocacy.

His property - the farmland - has also a man-made resort to accommodate guests who are planning to go on a pilgrimage. We are not the first set of dabarkads who did this - he accommodate lots of folk. But it was tough to market his place - since San Jose is far from his place, two hours via jeepney. But knowing his place has a swimming pool, might as well use it and spend the night merrily before attending a solemn sundate with the Lord.

His residence is where the orchids were planted. And his residence isn't near the farmland.

They got a swing to where you can relax. This is one nice residence.

If this isn't called a selfie, then what is this? Duofie, then? Haha

Farmland on a sunset

Ella and Bianx poses at their tipsy point

Pictures for swimming~ because we were tipsy and we need to swim and we love picture-taking

I met new classmates! There's the son named Gene, and there's a guy with a girl who topped the graduating class in law school named Jake, and there's this brother from another chief named Chris! Chris is also a protégé of my chief way back in my government days, he used to be my partner in another agency - from the Department of Budget and Management. He recently resigned from the GFI to be part of the big bank - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

And so a cloudy sundate arrived. We have had our breakfast buffet and photo-op, yet again...

Field-trip participants (from left to right): Bianx, Josh, Jules, Jake,
Jay, Gene's bro and dad, Gene, Chris, Ella and Jed
Before leaving the resort, we enjoyed the videoke sessions and did the #TimeMachineSundayTunes, a recent term I coined while we sang all the songs of the 80's - the country and those old rock that are full of soul. It was Chris who started it, then I joined... and so did Jed and Jay... we sang the songs we remember from our parents. And it was awesome. HAHAHA

And so we did the pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage-half-of-the-way: the group striked the pose in the middle of the road

The "weeeeh~" pose


We're here!
The Redeemer Statue in the cloudy sky

Flowers in the garden of Monasterio

Group picture under the Redeemer Statue

Proteges of the same chief: We finally met after years of phone correspondences in the workplace

I feel like a proud ate of these kiddos
Lovers in Tarlac
Klasmeyts: Future Seniors of the GFI looked at the serenity of Tarlac's greenery

Pumi-Pre-nup ulit?
And so it was. We offered our praises, said our graces and surrendered our problems in the holy mass for the pilgrims.

Facade: The Servants of the Risen Christ Monastic Community Church
offer masses for the Pilgrims at 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM

Landscape and peer photos are owned by Jed Ambojia. Read his romantic rants and escapist episodes here

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