Thousands of pilgrims are expected to climb Kawa-Kawa Hill and National Park in Ligao, Albay, this Holy Week to reflect on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ by praying before the 14 life-size Stations of the Cross stretching 1.37 kilometers to the top.
Dubbed as “the hill without a hilltop,” Kawa-Kawa has become famous because of its hollowed top that resembles a giant cauldron, which is actually the English term for “kawa.”
Last March 8, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon led 3,000 youth for a trek up Kawa-Kawa for the 5th Diocesan Youth Way of the Cross.
Religious, ecology site
Through the kindness of Albay Rep. Fernando Gonzalez and his wife, former Ligao Mayor Linda Passi Gonzalez, we were able to experience Kawa-Kawa.
Meng Canlas, producer and director of “Seven Last Words” on Channel 13 (Good Friday, April 18 at 12 noon to 3 p.m.), cameraman Chad Dawal and I brought Fr. Albert Adison, chaplain of the Ospital ng Maynila, to Ligao to deliver the homily on the Second Word, “Today, you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Councilor Ted Residella, who owns Twin Peaks Hotel where we stayed, told us how he and Representative Gonzalez would go down to Laguna to buy plants and small saplings of trees and bring them up the hill to plant. It all started in 2007 and after two years of exhausting work, the hill was opened for its first Via Crucis in 2009.
Tourism coordinator Nestor Rabe joins Representative Gonzalez and City Councilor Monching Garcia every Thursday to air “Kawa-Kawa: Our Program” over Sky Radio 93.1 FM, 10 a.m. to 12 noon.
Divine Mercy Monastery
At the foot of Kawa-Kawa Hill is the Divine Mercy Monastery of the Carmelite Nuns of the Holy Trinity. Designed by architect Jeruby Sevilla, it is under construction. Right now, the nuns are staying in a small convent that has a chapel, a cloister and a wide porch. We had a beautiful time talking to Sister Francis, Sister Carmela and Sister Angel who kindly fed us breakfast after the early Mass.
There is a columbary beneath the unfinished monastery. For inquiries, call Sister Francis at 0905-2821485. Buying a crypt can help speed up the construction of the monastery.
Ligao City anniversary
Last week, Ligao City celebrated the 13th anniversary of its cityhood. Led by Mayor Patricia Gonzalez Alsua, daughter of the late Ligao Mayor Francisco Gonzalez, the celebration included the mass wedding of 118 couples at the St. Stephen Protomartyr Church. Fr. Monching Segubiense, parish priest, and assistants Fr. Al Anthony Compuesto and Fr. Francis Segarra concelebrated the nuptial Mass.
‘Embrace your mission journey’
On its 27th year producing the “Seven Last Words” for Good Friday on Channel 13, Make Mine Creative Productions has adapted the theme, “Embrace Your Mission Journey in the Year of the Laity.”
Homilists are: 1st Word: Fr. Anton Pascual; 2nd Word: Fr. Albert Adison; 3rd Word: Fr. Javy Alpasa, SJ; 4th Word: Fr. Erick Santos; 5th Word: Fr. Allan Samonte; 6th Word: Fr. Arlo Yap, and 7th Word: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Holy relics to be exhibited
The Work of the Saints Apostolate will exhibit the Relic of the True Cross and holy relics of the saints for veneration in the following churches: San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City (March 23); Metropolitan Cathedral of Naga (March 25); St. Gregory the Great Cathedral in Legazpi (March 26 and 27); Shrine of St. Padre Pio in Sto. Tomas, Batangas (April 2); San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa (April 3); Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Barangay Javarela, Gen. Trias, Cavite (April 5 with 11 a.m. Mass by Fr. Ruel Castañeda, and April 6 until 3 p.m.); and Cathedral of Malaybalay, Bukidnon (April 9 to 11).
The All Saints calendar is now available at P120 each. Contact Leandro at 0917-5579391.
Book on Padre Pio
St. Pauls has published the book, “A Spiritual Son is Born: Our Story with Padre Pio of Pietrelcina,” by Fernando F. Sanchez Campos.
Mercedes Arrastia Tuason, Philippine ambassador to the Holy See, will welcome guests at the book launch tomorrow, March 24, 4 p.m., at Pavilion B of Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.
Cardinal Tagle, special guest
In his book, Fernando Campos, the ambassador of Costa Rica to the Holy See and to the Sovereign Order of Malta, relates the dramatic story of the miraculous healing of his son and wife through the powerful intercession of Padre Pio.
Kannawidan Iloko Foundation for Arts and Culture will host a Panagyaman ken Pammadayaw, a Eucharistic Celebration, with North Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, on April 5, 5 p.m., at North Greenhills Clubhouse, Johnson Park, North Greenhills, San Juan City.
Quevedo joined the consistory last month in Rome where he became the first Ilocano cardinal. He hails from Sarrat, Ilocos Norte.
The Mass will be followed by a testimonial dinner and program.
Relatives, friends and fellow Ilocanos are invited. They may contact Ogie Balmaceda Alviar, 0920-9059175; e-mail [email protected]; or Nora Castro Bautista, 0917-8347815, e-mail [email protected]