We did not have any vacation or travel plans last Christmas break because we have a lot of errands to finish. But my grandmother-in-law spent her holiday in my mother-in-law’s house so pinasyal siya ni hubby. After Christmas, off we went to Sto. Tomas Batangas to revisit National Shrine of Padre Pio.
We’ve been here last year so we were really surprised of the big improvement. Sementado na ang parking area and they even have designated parking for PWD. Upon arrival, my husband dropped us off near the shrine. After few minutes, the guard saw us and he said, “Sir, pwede po kayo magpark sa loob, may sinilip po kasi ko kaya di ko kayo napansin”. He noticed na may nakawheel chair kami na kasama so don’t forget na may special parking for PWD. Good thing, hindi pa nakakaalis si hubby or else, malayo ang lalakarin niya pabalik sa shrine.
The National Shrine of Padre Pio was established so people will have a place for evangelization and catechism. Thanks to Ernesto and Adelaida Gonzaga for donating 1.6 hectare land and Dr. Isabel Malvar-Villegas for donating 200sq m of land.
The structures in the shrine are all nature and eco-friendly and it was designed to fit our culture and tropical climate. You can see stone, wood, bamboo and sasa. It was conceptualized by Rev. Fr. Jojo Gonda and according to him, the salakot-shaped roof of the church serves as a reminder to people that God protects his people from evil and harm and it protects farmers and fishermen from the rain and heat of the sun.
We arrived before 8AM and the mass starts at 10AM so it was a long wait. We were not able to tour the whole place because of the rainshowers. You can check my video here.
They also sell massage oils, cream and other souvenirs.
Rose & Grace
After mass, we went straight to Rose & Grace Sto. Tomas Batangas branch. It is easy to find the restaurant because it is located along the hi-way. We’re a frequent diner of Rose & Grace in Sta. Rosa Laguna branch, you can check our experience here and here. But it was our first time in Batangas branch.
This restaurant is much bigger compared to the Laguna branch and they have bigger parking space too but there are so many diners so securing a parking slot is not easy. Good thing we were able to park immediately.
My husband ordered Bulalo, 2 order of Tulingan na isda, Grilled Liempo, Lumpiang Shanghai and Rice. For a group of seven, we paid more or less P1400. If you check the photos, nabawasan na ng ulam, gutom na kasi mga kasama ko. Hehehe!