|Kalbaryo - Brgy. Libid, Binangonan, Rizal|
Last October, during my "jobless" days, I was able to visit some nearby attractions here in Metro Manila. Two weeks before this Rizal road trip, we've been to Laguna, more for a food trip than a road trip, though...hehe. ;) Anyway, for our Rizal road trip, we visited Binangonan and Antipolo. In Binangonan, we tried to visit the municipality's parish church, the Sta. Ursula Parish Church. Unfortunately, since it was a weekday then, the church is closed so I just took some photos and then headed to our next destination: Kalbaryo Binangonan.
|Sta. Ursula Parish Church - Binangonan, Rizal|
Kalbaryo Binangonan or Mt. Calvary of Binangonan is located on a hill a few minutes ride from the town's parish church. Near as it is though, it is not an easy ride. The town's road network is narrow, a one-lane street that's only good enough for two tricycles to pass along each other. So when we mistakenly turn the wrong street, we had a hard time turning around causing traffic on that narrow street. Good thing the people (drivers and other commuters) there were all level-headed, never heard even a tinny honk. (Tip for road-trippers: leave your car some place else where it's safe and take a tricycle going to Kalbaryo, it would be easier (and safer) for you and your car, too.)
|the entrance and the cemented stairs to Mt. Calvary in Binangonan|
At last we found this gated entrance signifying the start of the hike to Kalbaryo. There's no parking space available (another reason not to bring a car) for visitors so we had to ask favor from one of the residents if we could park our car in front of their house. They allowed us to, so we left and start our hike.
I read somewhere that it would only take a hundred or so steps to reach Kalbaryo but I found out it's not. Don't get me wrong though, it wasn't that difficult. It's just that we got there at around 2PM, with the scorching sun accompanying us, making our hike difficult. And I think it's not just a hundred steps or so but more or less 200 steps (tried counting the steps but failed...hehe). To top it off, we didn't bring water and we didn't see any store anywhere along the trail (at that time). At one point of the hike, I got worried. Not for myself but for my friend who's not into such strenuous activity and who has hypertension. So we rest for a while when we got to the chapel ruins, half-way through the hike! (Tip for hikers/pilgrims: bring water, lots of water and a hat/umbrella or something to protect you from the heat of the sun, especially if you're going there during summer at around mid-day to early afternoon.)
|Chapel ruins at Calvary Hill - Binangonan|
|Chapel ruins, Calvary Hill - Binangonan|
|a few more steps from the chapel ruins is this guard house... with no guard :D|
Several more steps from the guard house and I saw it, the steel cross standing 15 feet from its base and the image of Mama Mary enclosed in a thick glass casing. According to the town's government website, a wooden cross was originally built there by a religious man in 1972 but was later on replaced by a steel one, the one standing up to this day. Through the years, Kalbaryo has become a religious and tourist attraction of the town, with many pilgrims/visitors going there especially during the holy week season. But I think it's best to get there off-season, you'll feel the peace and quiet more during those days.
|just a few more steps...|
By the way, I mentioned earlier that I got worried for my friend during our hike. He actually complained about the heat and his breathing. But he continued the hike. He made it to the top first, actually. I asked him how he is and you know what he told me? He said he thought he's not going to make it but when he saw the cross and the image of Mama Mary, he felt something. He felt as if Mama Mary is encouraging him to continue, telling him that he'll be okay. And he actually is, thank God!
|Our Lady of Mt. Calvary - Binangonan|
We stayed there for a while, saying a short prayer and thanking the Lord for our safe journey up there; breathing in some fresh air and absorbing the picturesque view all around us. It's a quiet and peaceful afternoon, with only us and a (dating?) couple, locals I believe. I could stay there for a longer time, just sit there all afternoon and watch the sun sets in afterwards. But we have to go, we still have some place else to go, some place else to visit. Maybe someday, I could visit the place again and do just that - watch the sunset. Maybe... ;)
|view from the Calvary Hill: the town of Binangonan and Laguna Lake, Makati/Taguig(?, not sure) on the far side|
~ oo00oo ~
Binangonan's Calvary Hill
Brgy. Libid, Binangonan, Rizal
Date of Visit: October 28, 2013
~ oo00oo ~
After two months without updates (except for a short Christmas post), at last I made one again. Hopefully, from this time on, I could do it again regularly. ;-) Kung Hei Fat Choi everyone! :-)