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PHILIPPINES | Monday, 19 September 2016 | Views [966]

My family at Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador City, Philippines

My family at Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador City, Philippines

Anticipation tingles in the air, a blend of anxiety and excitement, as we embark on a transformative road trip from Zamboanga to El Salvador City, Philippines. With family close and a deep connection to nature, this journey evolves into a profound blend of therapy and devotion, etching itself as a lifetime's most cherished voyage.

In the tranquil embrace of a 3 am dawn, the moon casts its radiant glow—a beacon of hope within the shadows. This luminous reassurance accompanies our expedition, a reminder that even in darkness, courage finds its way. Guiding my family forward, the panorama unfolds—a post-El Niño aftermath. Earthly tones shift to shades of brown, mountains scorched, whispering tales of a recent fire's uprising. Yet, resilient smiles from locals assure us of their strength amid adversity.

Steering along the Kumalarang highway reveals nature's hidden treasures and complexities. Subanen houses, delicate huts adorning the roadside hills, beckon reflection on life's simplicity. Amid this tableau, the expansive horizon reveals itself as we ascend the Lanao del Norte mountain highway. Mount Malindang emerges—Asia's UNESCO World Heritage site—its denuded forest silently masking its grandeur. Unseen, it passes our peripheral vision, igniting a call to preserve the legacy of our forebears.

Navigating the winding road, the coastline captivates with its tranquil expanse, lulling us into a calming reverie. Nature's song resonates, yet its tranquil facade masks a keen intent—to remind us of our vulnerability in exchange for the safety of our family.

Arriving at the shrine, our journey morphs into a prayerful odyssey. Ascending the 200 steps to the Divine Mercy statue—a towering 50-foot manifestation of Jesus—our spirits soar. The juxtaposition of sea and statue, a serene tableau, amplifies our connection with the divine. Contentment envelops us, united in familial bonds and unwavering faith. Abbé Prevost Lescaut's words echo, "The heart of a father is the masterpiece of nature." In this moment, I etch my commitment to a duty that shall forever remain.


Tags: adventure, cagayan de oro city. divine mercy shrine, divine mercy, driving, family, religious journey, road trip



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