Laguna | A Thanksgiving Visit to St. John the Baptist Parish Calamba

St. John the Baptist Parish Calamba
St. John the Baptist Parish, Calamba, Laguna

After our visit to the Rizal Shrine during our (my friend and I) Laguna road trip last October, we also went to St. John the Baptist Parish (also known as Calamba Church) to visit the church and to pray and thank the Lord for a safe trip. The church is located just across the Rizal Shrine, the birthplace of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. Built in 1859, this church is where Jose Rizal was baptized in June 22, 1861.

Laguna | Orient: The Original (and the Best) Buko Pie Bakeshop

@ the Orient: The Original Buko Pie Bakeshop in Los Baños, Laguna

I've known this buko pie brand since the late 90's. My former supervisor (from my first job) used to bring us buko pie from this bakeshop. He told us then that this is the best buko pie in Laguna. And I agree!  At least from the several brands I tried, this is the best so far.

Anyway, we were here last October 15, during our road trip to Rizal Shrine in Calamba. My friend, who is also familiar with this bakeshop, bought three boxes of pies (2 boxes of buko pie and a box of pineapple pie) and two packs of espasol (a tube-shaped rice cake with grated coconut and milk rolled in toasted rice flour) for his family. Me? I bought a box of buko pie and a pack of espasol, too. But before we could get our orders, we had to endure more than an hour, an hour and half I think, of waiting. A lot of people, mostly tourists (see the photo below), were queuing up to buy their famous buko pie. Most of them bought not just a box or two, but five boxes of buko pie, some even more. That's how famous this buko pie is. ;)

Laguna | Road Trip to Rizal Shrine in Calamba

Rizal Shrine - Calamba City, Laguna
Rizal Shrine - Calamba City, Laguna
now painted pale green (originally white) to emphasize Rizal's surname and to honor his family and their way of life;
Rizal came from the Spanish word "ricial" meaning "green field ready for harvest"

It has been a while since our (me & my friend's) last road trip. Last holiday (Eidul Adha or Feast of Sacrifice) however, my friend somehow found time for another road trip, amidst his busy schedule. Our destination: Rizal Shrine in Calamba City, Laguna.

Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna is the birthplace of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. This Spanish-inspired house by the Mercado (later on changed to Rizal to avoid scrutiny of the Spaniards) family is the first stone house built in Calamba during those times. However, the shrine today is just a replica of the old house of the Rizal family; the original one was destroyed during World War II. The shrine, as seen today, was restored/reconstructed through Executive Order No. 145 of the then President Elpidio Quirino, under the supervision of Architect Juan Nakpil. It was funded mainly by the contributions made by the Filipino school children and was inaugurated on June 19, 1950.