BREAKING

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Early Visita Iglesia with Zooper Cruise of Zoomanity Foundation


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Visita Iglesia is an annual tradition my wife and I do but this time (with apologies to her) I get to experience it alone  with other people (twice) and break the tradition since I got an invite to do an early Visita Iglesia with Zooper Cruise (part of the Zoomanity Group but advertised as under Zoomanity Foundation) of the Yupangco Group of Companies, a few days before the actual day, and another invite with another group who are members of the Miata Club of the Philippines. We did the early Visita Iglesia on a Holy Tuesday (March 27), and the other on a Maundy Thursday (March 29) but it got extended until Good Friday (March 30) when we visited another member's luxurious condominium unit at Tagaytay Highlands. To tell the long story short, my wife and I had to cancel our own Visita Iglesia for this year.

This blog, as the title implies, is all about the early Visita Iglesia with the Zooper Cruise (Though I am a bit confused why they used "zoo" in the name but probably just to indicate that it is operated under the Zoomanity group.

As they advertised, you can get to try a Visita Iglesia like no other for only P1,399 per person. But since I am among the media, the tour was offered to us for free so we could help promote it to our readers, or viewers since I also captured the activity on video of which I will alternate showing on our official Facebook page and official YouTube channel.

The Lenten Week activity (normally done on a Maundy Thursday or like us who do it every Good Friday to avoid the same crowd practicing the activity) is just an example of how we could appreciate a tour via the ferry boat that cruises via the Pasig river. There are actually several options to take advantage of how traffic-free the Pasig river cruise is. Minus the seasonal smell of the Pasig river, the ferry cruise could be a great option to travel and tour aroun the Metro especially if the LGUs of each city would participate in rehabilitating not only the Pasig river but also the sights or locations that we passed by.



 


This is not my first time doing a Pasig river cruise as I have been with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Council twice already, and I could say that there has been a lot of improvement already. This means they are actually doing a great job.

Visionary businessman and agriculture & animal theme-park owner Robert Yupangco sees the potential of the Pasig river cruise so he invested on it. We need more people like him who would take the risk just to prove that there is a visible tourism potential. Some people may call him crazy, but we should rather call him a hero for such an act. We need to emulate his practice because in the long run we will all benefit from the same vision. We need not look far for a solution to the traffic because it is right under our noses. Not to make fun of the pun, but making the Pasig river less smelly is a nationwide task. Each of us should cooperate. From the big businesses to the informal settlers along the rivers, a lot of great possibilities can happen if we all take part in the noble goal.

We are tourists in our own country" says Robert Yupangco, the main man behind the Yupangco Group of Companies which includes the Zoomanity theme-parks.

The Zooper Cruise took us to 7 churches around Makati and Manila. Meeting place was at UnliCity (located at the 3rd floor of Century City Mall) which is also part of the Yupangco Group of Companies.  The tour is actually a combination of a by road and river travel (transport by shuttle and cruise) so it involved going to the different ferry ports in Makati and Manila and some travelling by road to a few of the churches.

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Church

St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Church

Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church

Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church

Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church

Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church

Sta. Cruz Paris Church

Sta. Cruz Paris Church

Binondo Church

Binondo Church

Manila Cathedral

Manila Cathedral

San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church

The churches we visited were St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Church located in Bel-Air Village in Makati, Nuestra Senora de Gracia Church (also known as Guadalupe Church) located in Guadalupe, Makati, Our Lady of the Abandoned Parish Church in Sta. Ana, Manila, Sta. Cruz Paris Church in Sta. Cruz, Manila, Binondo Church (also known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish) in Binondo, Manila, San Agustin Church (also known as the Immaculate Conception Parish) in Intramuros, Manila, and the Manila Cathedral (also known as the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception) which is also in Intramuros, Manila.

Below are some of the sights you'll see along the Pasig river:





It took almost the entire day for the Visita Iglesia since we got back to our origin at around 4pm already. Registration for the tour started at 8am and we got down from UnliCity at around 8:30am, and to a shuttle sometime after a few minutes.

They let us stay at a church for around 20 minutes which includes time for prayer and photo ops. For a media like me who takes both photos and videos, it was enough. But I was also documenting the attendees so I am rarely in the official photos and videos. However, I never forget to do my own selfies (posted on our social media pages) though you will notice I am a bit haggard due to that tedious task. I guess I need to find a way to always bring at least one team member with me for travel-related events like these so we could divide or alternate the tasks.




The rewarding part is seeing how the attendees appreciate the tour. I could see that they are somewhat tired and exhausted sometime in between and especially at the latter part, but I could also see that it seems worth the effort for these people. After all, we should be doing a form of sacrifice (all those bits of walking and boat transfers) including fasting (the merienda of macaroni salad was not enough to satisfy) but I heard during one of the interviews that it was intentionally meant that way for this particular tour since it was Visita Iglesia.

Thank you Zooper Cruise for another unique and memorable experience.

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