The Project 4 Community, trying to beat the threat of "La Niña," went on pilgrimage on Monday, May 8, 2006.
The plan was first to try the popular "Razon’s" halo halo and pancit luglug. Then on to San Sebastian Church to view the original image of our Lady of Mount Carmel, which was first brought to the Philippines by the Recollect Fathers. Afterwards, we agreed to watch the famous sunset at Manila Bay and take a stroll at the new Baywalk of Roxas Blvd. Since we would already be in the vicinity, we would try to seek an audience with our newly installed Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales who happens to be a long time family friend of Sis Sally, our local prioress. He resides at the Arzobispado, near the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.
But, as the saying goes, "We plan, God directs." Calling to try to make an appointment, Sis. Sally was told that the Cardinal’s schedule was so hectic that Sr. Elsa, sister-in-charge at the CBCP, suggested we "ambush" the Cardinal when he comes down to start his scheduled activities in the afternoon. At the very least, we would get to kiss the Cardinal’s ring. It was necessary to be early, to catch him before 3:00 pm. And it came to pass, the Cardinal graciously received us! He made us feel important, as if there were no other people waiting for him. We spent a memorable and leisurely thirty minutes with the Cardinal. To top it all, at the end of our visit, he gave each of us a beautiful Rosary from Rome, a souvenir we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
After out visit, we felt there was no sense retracing our steps to go to San Sebastian, much less to have a snack at faraway Greenhills. Instead, we had a simple agape at Chowking and then, we spent some time in prayer at the Manila Cathedral. With our luck still holding, we found the underground crypt open to visitors so we were able to view the niches of Jaime Cardinal Sin and the other Archbishops of Manila who are buried there.
Bay Walk at dusk is a wonderful sight to see. Though the setting sun was partially obscured by some clouds, the beauty of creation was still breathtaking. These are one of the times when we believe there really is a God.
Supper was definitely another story to tell. We ate at the Aristocrat Restaurant, their chicken barbecue to die for among Filipinos both from here and abroad.
Enjoying the famous Chicken Barbecue at nearby Aristocrat...
With happy hearts, filled stomachs and aching arthritic bones, we rested that night with thanksgiving to a great God, each in her own way, and a prayer for those who made it an experience of a lifetime, specifically our dear Prioress, Sis. Sally, not to forget Sis. Fe [Buenaventura] for the use of her van, What with the high cost of gas these days! Indeed, Project 4 TOCs are blest.