Travel: Tarlac Trip - Day 2

January 17, 2015

Yesterday, we found out that the swimming pool can't be used by the kids because the filter was broken.  Apparently, someone was rather lazy in cleaning the buildup on the tiles and was simply using a chemical to "clean" the pool.  This ultimately clogged up the filter totally causing it to fail.

However, I considered it a blessing in disguise because it meant that we had all the time in the world to explore Tarlac.  The kids were playing with their cousins and having a grand time even without the pool. So Patrick and I went to the Tadeos' market spot in the town square and we did a bit of walking around too.  

Gerona Public Market
Gerona Town Hall

This was the first time I've ever walked around Gerona but Patrick seemed to know his way around from previous trips when he was a kid.  He said there was a lot that has changed but essentially everything is still the same.

In the afternoon, Kuya George, Patrick and I went for a road trip.  Kuya George wanted to test the Mazda 6 for himself and it was a treat that Patrick was driving one for this trip.  From Gerona, we drove around Moncada with its quaint Spanish houses then went on to Paniqui and Camiling.  Kuya George wanted to show Patrick a new, shorter path in going to Lingayen, Pangasinan.  It was practical to know these things from someone who's a native around the place.  The drive was awesome!  Lots of scenic views, mostly of farmlands.  Every once in a while you'll see huge houses/mansions that were built by people who worked abroad.  As we reached Camiling, the mountain ranges of Zambales were clearly very visible.  Here is a short clip of the scenery we passed on the way there.

On the way back, Kuya George stopped at the St. Jose Maria Escriva Parish Church in Magaspac, Gerona, Tarlac.  It is the first and only Diocesan Parish of the Opus Dei in Asia.  The Parish was established in February 2003 but the construction of the actual Church began in 2010 and was blessed in February 14, 2014.  The Church was designed by Father Alex Bautista who was himself an architect before he became a priest.

The Church is simple and subtle on the exterior which is why you'll be surprised when you get inside.  It's bold yet not flashy.  It's extremely well-thought of and I especially loved the Baptistry.  It's private and can probably accommodate 50 people.

View from the back
Close up of the altar
The ceiling
Baptism Altar

Where the Child is Baptized
Close up of the Baptistry Font
Where you dip your fingers in Holy Water
The Confessionals
Because of the long drive, embarrassing as it is to admit it, we all needed a trip to the restroom.  I was so amazed at the completeness of the restroom that I couldn't help but take pictures of the interior of the girls' restroom of the Church.  It had a bidet sprayer, tissue paper, soap, strong running water and it was so clean!

To see more pictures and to know more about the St. Josemaria Escriva Parish Church, you can visit their Facebook site here or through the Tarlac website here.

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