“Pray, hope, and don’t worry” is Saint Padre Pio’s oft-quoted advice. (Photo credit to May Ann Priela Figura)
If visiting the emerging tourism hub, Sto. Tomas, one can visit the National Shrine of Saint Padre Pio which is a favorite religious pilgrimage destination in the south of Metro Manila. There are two things that make pilgrims visit the Shrine. First, Padre Pio is a mystical and miraculous Capuchin priest who received the stigmata (wounds of Christ). Second, the Shrine has a welcoming ambience which makes it a suitable place for prayer and meditation amid the expanse of nature.
The Shrine also has other places of interest like the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the St. John Marie Vianney, the Chapel of Reconciliation, the Mother of Mercy Belfry, the Chapel of the Living Water, Stations of the Cross, and Calvary Site. Religious articles and other Batangas products are available in the vicinity. The National Shrine of Sto. Padre Pio, Sto. Tomas is just 69 km away or an hour and 45 minutes drive from Manila.
Malvar Shrine and Museum
Kagitingan at pagmamahal sa bayan (greatness and love for country) are two virtues exemplified by Gen. Miguel Malvar. (Photo from nhcp.gov.ph)
September is the birth month of Batangas hero, Gen. Miguel Malvar, making it a timely season to visit the Malvar Shrine and Museum. The Museum houses artifacts and other personal belongings of Gen. Malvar who is known as the last Filipino general to surrender to the Americans. He is also subject of a Bill seeking to declare him as the second President of the Philippines being the Commander-in-Chief after the surrender of Vice President Mariano Trias and President Emilio Aguinaldo in 1901. Before and after Gen. Malvar became a war general, he was a farmer who started sugar and orange farming in Sto. Tomas.
The Malvar Museum is located between Jollibee and Rose and Grace Restaurant; and across The Lifestyle Strip and Shell Gas Station. The Shrine where the monument of Gen. Miguel Malvar is erected is locally known as Parke.