"Fill your little life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show."
Happy Chinese New Year! Today, me and my family had a little road trip and went to Sierra Madre, which was such a great great place! It's so nice, and it isn't even costly. I strongly recommend everyone to visit it.
The Sierra Madre Mountains is the longest mountain range in the Philippines. Running in the north-south direction from the provinces of Cagayan to the north and Quezon to the south, the mountains form the eastern backbone of Luzon Island, the largest island of the archipelago. It is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the east. The Pacific coast of Luzon along the Sierra Madre is less developed as the lofty and continuous mountains forms a bold and an almost inaccessible shore, exposed to the full force of the northeast monsoon and the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Some of communities east of the mountain range and along the coast are so remote they are still only accessible by plane or by boat.
We woke up at 5 in the morning and left the house at 6:30 am. It took us about an hour to get there, but I am telling you that it was all worth it. We saw mountains, which were the first sign of Sierra Madre. The mountains themselves were beautiful. The wind caressing my face, with my hair flying away was purely priceless.
When we finally reached the top, we went to a church or place of prayer called Regina Rosarii. We thought it was drizzling qhen we got out of the car, but we later found out that it was just because of the clouds. Its farm land spans 13 hectares of rolling hills and endless forests. They are ran by sisters, who are very kind and even smiled at me when we were lighting a candle. Regina Rosarii is a place of peace, silence, and haven. It isn't a park, a playground, or a picnic area, as the staff had said, but a place where you can relax and enjoy the silence. If you're planning to visit, be informed that you'll have to bring a jacket because it is very very cool there, and Regina Rosarii is closed on Tuesdays except on Holy Week.
They also have a souvenir shop with rosaries, postcards, pictures, candles, and statues.
You will also have to attend an orientation near the souvenir shop before you can continue your walk up the mountain going to the statue of Mama Mary.
At this side of Regina Rosarii, you can buy candles and light them, explore the labyrinth, take photos, and enjoy the cool breeze and wonderful view. I have to say once again that it is very very cold at Sierra Madre, so bring a jacket. After the hike at Regina Rosarii, we went to Cafe Katerina, and ate some Bulalo. The inside of the restaurant was really cool even without an electric fan or air conditioner. They had seashells decorated on each wall and more seashells hung on the ceiling which always made a clinking sound.
And after eating, we went to the rooftop of the restaurant and enjoyed the spectacular view, and took some group photos.
And lastly, we went to Sierra Madre Resort and did some sightseeing. We passed through a hanging bridge only made out of wood and rope, and there was even out without any wood.
There was also a gigantic statute of Baby Jesus where you could sit and enjoy the breeze.
There was also a wishing well and I got three free wishes! (One was for good health, the other was to become a better writer, and the last was to have high grades at school) One more thing you should know about Sierra Madre Resort is that it is filled with dogs. My dad even called one which was climbing up the hill, and we pet it, and I was so so happy (I AM A VERY BIG ANIMAL LOVER PEOPLE!). And I also saw a furry white horse from afar.
We walked some more until we reached the parking lot and ate some chips while we remembered the majestic moment that could never ever be replaced.