As the jeepney passed along Pakil’s highway, I saw a “Turumba” marker that points to a street, leading to San Pedro de Alcantara Church. I could see the belfry already, and it took a five-minute walk from the highway. Inside the church, I took photographs of the prepared floats for the afternoon’s procession. I then asked a parish servant where the Our Lady of Turumba was, and he told me to proceed to the chapel at the second floor. I went to the chapel and prayed, but I did not see a statue of Our Lady. I did not do my research beforehand, so I was walking around the second floor, looking for the image. Only after I went home that I knew that the image is an oil canvas painting not a statue, and indeed the relic is encased inside the chapel on the second floor.
It was past noon already, and the sun was at its highest. The heat did not deter me, but I was concerned about my skin and skin tone. Anyway, I was going to my second stop already—Paete, the town famous for its woodcarving. I took the jeep to Sta. Cruz and alighted at the street marker leading to the town proper. After a few turns, I was able to reach Santiago Apostol Church, where Ian and his friends Joel and also Ian approached me. We had lunch together at a small eatery and shared our travel stories.
Right in front of the eatery, we witnessed the 3PM Good Friday procession, marking Jesus Christ’s death. There was a unexplainable, bordering on eerie solemnity about the procession, as all we heard were the rhythmic stomps from the men that were carrying the glass-enclosed image of Jesus Christ’s body.
Again, we were dropped off right at the street leading to San Juan Bautista Church. We witnessed its sad fate—though still whole, it was damaged and unpreserved. I found out later on that typhoon Milenyo destroyed the church’s roof, and since the parish does not have enough parishioners than it used to and the parish itself is not financially wealthy, they instead replaced the original stone roof with a steel roof.
We went back to the highway and took the jeepney bound for Lumban, which is famous for its hand-embroidered Barong Tagalog and gowns. The church was a long walk from the highway, and I could already sense the tiredness of my companions, who were traveling from the day before. We reached San Sebastian Church and explored what used to be an infirmary to ailing Franciscan missionaries.
We also saw the nearby Lumban River, where the Laguna Copperplate Inscription was found. According to history, it is the earliest known written document found in the Philippines by Alfredo Evangelista in 1989.
Summary of Expenses if Coming from Cubao or Buendia Bus Station
|Bus from Buendia or Cubao to Sta. Cruz Terminal||150php (estimated)|
|Jeepney from Sta. Cruz Terminal to Pakil||22php|
|Jeepney from Pakil going back to Paete||8php|
|Jeepney from Paete to Longos, Kalayaan||9php|
|Jeepney from Longos, Kalayaan to Lumban||11php|
|Jeepney from Lumban to Pagsanjan||8php|
|Jeepney from Pagsanjan to Sta. Cruz||8php|
|Jeepney from Sta. Cruz to Pila||17php|
|Bus from Pila back to Buendia or Cubao||130php (estimated)|
|Subtotal Transportation Expense||363php|
|Money left for food and other expenses||137php|