MELT YOUR STRESSES AWAY
WITH A RELAXING VISIT
TO DARIOK HILLS
In UK, the day before ASH WEDNESDAY
will be celebrated by PANCAKE DAY.
It was meant for people to consume all extra supply in their pantry.
This means using up all the milk, eggs, flour, and butter.
Cooking the PANCAKES is a way to mark that this day
is the last day of indulging
before CHRISTIANS enter the LENTEN SEASON
where we are supposed to live a LEAN, SIMPLE
almost AUSTERE LIFESTYLE.
Today, ASH WEDNESDAY
marks the start of Penitence and Repentance for the Christian world
as we enter the Lenten Season.
The season invites us to draw closer to our creator
by means of meditation & devotional
so you have visions of quiet contemplation.
Books, nature, and quiet time can help you enter in that state.
The season will culminate on the celebration of Easter Sunday.
The thought of it looms heavy in the mind.
Though we should still practice abstinence from all things
luxurious, rich, or indulgent,
let us not starve ourselves of the simple beauty
that is ever-present in nature and our surroundings.
This post aims to capture to simple pleasures from living a simple life.
Have a blessed & thoughtful Lenten Season & Springtime everyone!
We have included some springtime photography from England
to inspire you to meditate in life during this Lenten Season.
If you are interested in checking out our springtime photography,
check this link:
Dariok Hills is just a short drive from Santiago City proper.
If you’re tired of all the hustle and bustle of the city,
Dariok Hills proves to be quite an oasis for city dwellers.
It offers the serenity & tranquility that is missing from city life.
Escape the city without the luxury price tag.
You can visit Dariok Hills free of charge
though you will have to clear through a gate
manned by a friendly security guard.
Dariok Hills feels like a fusion of Tagaytay, Laguna,
and perhaps Balinese tropical charm.
Santiaguenos can be proud of their very own tourist destination.
Dariok Hills is a mixture of private and government properties.
The main highlights here though are
The 12 stations of the Cross,
The Transfiguration Chapel,
and the Shrine of our Lady of La Salette;
all big attractions for devotees during the Lenten Season Holy Week.
For us, it is nature giving back to us because it is looked after with love.
ELINTOCATOC & BALINTOCATOC
Elintocatoc – to go up
Balintocatoc – to go down
It is common belief among the people
that there used to be two names for the said place,
Balintocatoc and Elintocatoc.
The two were used interchangeably,
but many were confused and they decided to choose only one name for the place.
The people chose by logic and meaning.
Elintocatoc means to go uphill,
meanwhile Balintocatoc means to go downhill.
They said that everyone that goes uphill
will also go down after some time,
so they called the place “Balintocatoc”.
HOW TO GET HERE
You can come here by private means
as there are no entrance fees and as far as experienced,
there are no parking charges either (at the time of writing).
If you wish to travel here by public transport,
you can take a tricycle from Santiago City proper
though you have to agree on the price straightaway.
If you look like a tourist, of course you will get a tourist price tag lol.
As for a price guide,
be looking to pay no more than 1 GBP .
Please make sure you have Philippine money
as locals don’t accept foreign currencies as mode of payment.
If you pay with Philippine money,
make sure to have at least exact amount
as some drivers can play you up with having no change,
unless you really intend to do some charity which is also a noble cause:)
HOW MUCH TIME TO ALLOCATE
Well, it all depends on your travel goals.
If its just for sightseeing or a drive around (picture taking included),
you can tour the place in just a short 1 hour or even less.
If its some soul-searching,
well a good half-day can do the job,
unless you’re a really lost soul lol.
You can allocate more if you want to have picnic lunch
as there are alot of nice picnic spots about,
provided the weather is nice and sunny
as the spots were talking about are not covered.
THE PASSION OF CHRIST
Now we’re on top of the hill
and this scene is reminiscent of when Jesus was nailed on the cross with 2 others.
I have to admit I know just a general knowledge of my bible story
but will have to ask my Salettinian tour guide
for my Religion 101.
I am quite proud of myself that I have matured quite Spiritually
but spiritual maturity is not the same
as having a thorough knowledge of religion.
I am a very spiritual person but not religious.
I’ll have to leave the details for you to ponder lol.
This is a blog post about travel and not religion…:)
For a more thorough reading regarding
The Passion of Christ,
we found a very good post by the BBC,
Click on the link below to go deeper on the subject…
OUR SALETTINIAN TOUR GUIDE
Zynervyl is a University of La Salette High School Student
and is our knowledgeable tour guide.
La Salette is one of the most prominent higher institutions
of learning in the City of Santiago,
it offers education for all levels-
from preschool to postgraduate degrees.
To learn more, please visit the link below.
THESE DOGGIES SO CUTE
You’ll have to forgive me for having taken
quite a few photos featuring these dogs.
I think they’re not puppies anymore but they just look too tiny and cute.
Our goal in coming to this place is to chill,
and you’d have to agree these cuties add colour to this blissful place.
We’re not quite sure who owns these dogs
but we’ve got a feeling they are the neighbouring property’s pets.
Lucky chaps, quite a nice playground huh?!
The Flora here is really inviting you to enter a state of calm.
When you’re on the hills, all you hear is the Sound of Nature…
unless the neighbouring private properties
used to have their videoke switched on
which for me is typically Filipino,
but if you are here to meditate you might find it a bit off-putting.
Don’t mind them too much, that’s part of your ZEN training lol…
This is probably a depiction of Mary,
the Mother of Jesus carrying the now dead Jesus and lamenting and grieving His death.
I am not too concerned about the accuracy of depiction,
for me what matters most is that when you are walking up the hill,
the scenes invite you to meditate on your existence at a deeper level.
It’s a bit like if Jesus was really born on Christmas Day 25th of December:
that is not really a big issue for me.
The value of it is the Spiritual meaning and not its accurate depiction.
After all spiritual things are only conveyed with the Holy Spirit,
without the inner workings of the holy spirit,
I’ll have to admit, life is very superficial.
You don’t have to agree with me,
I’m just talking from personal experience.
ANG SAMPUNG UTOS NG DIYOS
This is the depiction of The Ten Commandments on a stone tablet.
Of course, now its in Tagalog Version, or Filipino.
CAN I TAKE YOU HOME LOL!!
Of course, these lovely dogs never left us
the whole time we were there.
I could bring one of them home lol,
but the Ten Commandments are just too hot on the collar.
Ok, leave the dogs alone for crying out loud.
Hang on there cutie,
one of you can really sit on my lap inside the car lol.
I really can’t get enough of these lovelies,
is this supposed to be a test on Temptation or what? :)Peace…
180 DEGREE VIEW
This is another great scene depicting Jesus nailed on the cross.
Oh please, of course Im not mocking.
This is very meditative and spiritual for me.
At the same time very therapeutic.
Its like a spiritual cleansing for the soul.
The view also affords you a 180 degree view of Santiago City
and neighbouring towns depending how far your eyes can see:)
Understand that Dariok Hills is crowded
with devotees during the Easter holidays.
So if your plan is to really meditate and unwind,
you’ll have to come here when the crowds have gone,
otherwise you’ll be in for some festive atmosphere
as compared to a more laidback outing
you might have envisioned yourself.
This is the Transfiguration Chapel according to our tour guide Zynervil.
It was locked when we visited the place.
Maybe they have opening times I don’t know,
you will need to do some more digging
if your aim is to use the chapel on your visit.
As for me the Whole of nature is really my chapel.
And the temple is inside my heart.
These benches are reminiscent of picnics in the park back in England.
Where there’s a park, there’s a picnic.
LOVE LOCKS OF FOREVER
This is the Santiago City version of the Paris ‘love locks’
which unfortunately in 2015 was removed
due to a collapsed railing of the Ponts des Arts in Paris France.
Not quite sure what is Dariuk House for.
It could be a restaurant, hotel, cafe, or a function hall.
The property sits facing the lawn.
It was closed when we visited.