Monthly Archives: October 2015

Guimaras: Holy Family Hills

The Glass Chapel

The Glass Chapel

Built in 2000 as a place for quiet reflection and spiritual renewal, Holy Family Hills is home to various religious sculptures and structures, which include those of St. Michael the Archangel, Blessed John Paul II, the Holy Family, and St. Therese of Lisieux.   It also has a Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes and a Glass Chapel (pictured above), and is perhaps most popular during Holy Week because of its Station of the Cross.  This was our stop after Neptune Pittman’s Garden.

Statues of the Blessed Virgin, St. Michael the Archangel, and Blessed Pope John Paul II

Statues of the Blessed Virgin, St. Michael the Archangel, and Blessed Pope John Paul II

The drive here was particularly jarring because of the rough road so when we reached its gate, I opted to walk to its main building.  On the way there, I passed by this patch of grass with yellow flowers.

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Google identified this as the Perennial Peanut (Arachis glabrata) and this site said it’s edible as its yellow flowers add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture to salads and stir-fries.  Hmm, interesting, because I always thought this is some sort of weed.

The place was sprawling and covers about 52 hectares (128 acres) and there are mango trees planted everywhere onsite.

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Did you notice the cow underneath the mango tree?  They’re everywhere too.
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After walking for about 15 minutes, I finally reached its main building, which is where the Glass Chapel is located (the one with the red roof).

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Here’s a closer shot just so I could capture the flame trees , which were in full bloom during our visit.

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To my right (when facing the chapel) were sculptures of these scenes from the Nativity, but it was just so hot I did not dare go far and took just two photos.

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There’s a tableau too of The Last Supper.

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This was my favorite among the many sculptures there because of its vivid color and more real-like facial expressions.

And here’s a collage of statues of The Stations of the Cross.  Again, as it was too hot, I did not dare venture far out and just took mostly zoomed-in shots.

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The Holy Family was also one of the most prominent structures on these hills.

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But my favorite would have been the views from the Glass Chapel, which was unfortunately closed.  Still, this view more than made up for it.

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And it’s because of the fiery flame trees, which happened to be one of my favorite trees during summer because of their lovely orange-red flowers.

Across the Glass Chapel was this giant cross.

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And if you go beyond the fountain, you’ll be rewarded with views of the sculptures and the hills.

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Rolling Hills is located in Tamborong, San Lorenzo, Guimaras Island.  Entrance is free.

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Note: Please refrain from wearing skimpy clothing (short shorts, spaghetti or tube tops, etc) when visiting this place (the caretaker told us that there were instances when they refused entrance to those who they deemed immodestly dressed).

For more information about Holy Family Hills in Guimaras, visit its official website.

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Guimaras: Neptune Pittman’s Garden

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We visited this small but lovely garden resort in Guimaras in May last year.   Entrance fee is at Php 50 per adult (children are charged Php 30).

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While famous for its garden, it is also popular among locals for its pool.

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The first one is taken from the side of the main house and the second one was taken in front of its rooms.

While my friend was being shown a room, ever the flower lover, I opted to check out their garden.  I was amazed at some of the plants they have since it was my first time to see them.  Most interesting was this “butterfly plant” that according to the staff has stages: first it sprouts yellow flowers.  The yellow flowers then become green butterflies that later turn brown, thus the name.

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Isn’t it amazing?  And the green and brown ones do look like butterflies.  The staff said the owner got it in Indonesia.  Unfortunately, they are not selling this specific plant, which saddened my friend.

I did a Google search and was able to identify the above as Yellow Butterfly Vine (Mascagnia macroptera).  According this site, the name comes from the greenish, butterfly-shaped seedpods the plant produces, though it does attract butterflies.  Interesting.

At their garden, I also spotted these familiar flowers.

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I can name the white cattleya (upper right), the Bengal trumpet (upper left), and the crown of thorns (lower left), and Bengal Trumpet, but not the other three, though I’ve seen them many times before.

These flowers looked familiar, but I couldn’t identify their species.

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I also discovered the Ashoka tree, which literally meant sorrowless (the label is spelled Asoka, but most Google sites I’ve seen spell it with an H) .  To Hindus, the tree is sacred.

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I saw these unfamiliar flowers too.  If anyone knows any of these, please leave a comment or send me a message.  I specifically would love to identify the white flower with the colorful lavender and yellow-orange center (bottom center) because it looked so pretty.

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And here’s my ultimate favorite, which Google identified as Ipomoea quamoclit or cypress vine.  Its other names include cyprressvine morning glory, cardinal creeper, cardinal vine, star glory and hummingbird vine.

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Isn’t it so pretty?  It was my first time to see such a dainty, star-shaped flower.

Aside from these flora, I was also charmed by Neptune Pittman’s landscape and décor.  This is their restaurant.

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And here are photos of their landscaped garden.

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Wherever I looked, there’s something that caught my attention, say the lovely green chairs, the wind chimes made of painted tiles, and the wooden furniture.

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Neptune Pittman’s Garden also had a spa, which was as charming as the rest of the resort.

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I’ll end this post with my favorite shot in this set, which looked like an illustration off the book The Secret Garden.

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Someday, I’m going to have a house with a garden as beautiful as the above.  *wink*

Neptune Pittman’s Garden is located in Buenavista in Guimaras.  Contact them via +63 33 580 2286.