When mom saw the Regina RICA images on her Facebook feed, she kept on bugging me to research on where it is located. When I told her that its in Tanay, Rizal she said that she would like to visit it once she goes on vacation. Tanay Rizal is 3 hour far from where we live (we took our 2 tricycles to go there with the whole family. I think it is an hour away if you will commute via jeepney). We went there last weekend.
|Regina RICA's entrance gate|
At the entrance gate there are two sculpture of Dominican saints, St Catherine Sienna and St Dominic.
They are closed during Tuesdays because that's the off of the nuns who is maintaining the place. Regina Rica is a place of prayer, pilgrimage and peace, so dress code is strict. It is not allowed to wear shorts and spaghetti straps. Visiting time is at 8:00 am - 5:30 pm.
When we arrived at the gate, there is a shuttle going to the Regina Rosarii Chapel. We paid for 5 pesos each excluding the kids, which are free. But you can also walk.
|The way going inside Regina Rica. Can you see Mama Mary?|
There was a construction going on to the Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia (RICA).
|This is the view infront of the chapel|
|The well with water and you can also see coins at the bottom part of this|
|Regina Rosarii Chapel|
We arrived exactly at 11 am where there is a scheduled mass. We stayed there to listened to the mass and had our St Pio chains and replica be blessed. We also had a blessed oil after.
|Regina Rosarii Historical Marker|
Mom got these at the entrance of the chapel. She is really confused why we need to pay for these when in abroad it is given for free. Well, I just told her na it's for donation na lang din. Donation with a price. :p She paid for the rectangular one on the left for P20 pesos.
After the mass, we went downstairs to eat. The Pasilungan (where they sell food is under construction that time) and was moved downstairs. We brought our cooked food and I think we are the only family who brought food. Mom was embarrassed because we didn't buy anything. I told her na it's okay, we didn't go there to eat but pray. Atleast nakatipid pa kame and we finished eating earlier than the others who are still waiting for their orders. Good thing is wala namang nanita sa min na bawal kumain ng baong food kasi we have kids who are so noisy. :) We arranged the table and cleaned it before leaving.
Ossuary means a container or room in which the bones of dead people are placed.
After we ate, we went uphill to see Mama Mary up close. We saw a shop selling rosaries and mom bought two for our two tricycles. We didn't take the 308 steps and went to the other way up instead because we have kids and it will be difficult to climb up that high. The other way from the left (going from the chapel) is much easier for us.
Before we went up to Mama Mary, there is an orientation for first timers for the do's and dont's. It was conducted by one of the nuns (sorry I forgot her name because I was attending to my other twin who is crying that time). She mentioned the history of the place and about the statue of Mama Mary. The Black Virgin Mary stands 70 ft tall and on her arms is Baby Jesus. Under Mama Mary's mantle are 17 sculptured angels and with one angel crying. The 16 angels are smiling while the other one symbolizes the sorrows because of our sins.
Taking pictures inside is prohibited so we took turns to go up and take pictures outside. Inside is the chapel called SULOD - Sanctuary of Universal Love and Devotion, where you can offer prayers. In Ilonggo Sulod means enter. Once you go up, you need to carry your slippers. Once I got up infront of Mama Mary, I hugged her and offered my silent prayer. It was a great feeling and we are so blessed that day.
After that we bought candles to offer for our intentions. The colors of the candles have different meanings. We bought 5 candles for:
Aqua: for thanksgiving
Brown: for safe trip/good job
Orange: for good health
Rose: for love of family
Violet: for financial prosperity
We silently prayed for our intentions and also give thanks for all the blessing that we received. The cost of the candles each is P20 and you can also bring it home after.
Next is we went to the The Pilgims' Labyrinth, a wonderful symbol of the journey of meditation. It symbolizes man's search for God at the center of their being. This is an avenue to pray as you walk towards the center of your being. When you reach the center, pause a while and pray.
|Mom looking for coins|
It's like a maze, as you walk you can silently pray. As you reached the center, there are coins which you can tossed as you wished.
|While walking towards the entrance gate. Babye Mama Mary!|
We decided to walk going back to the entrance.
|Handong: Shady Area|
As we went up to the entrance, we saw some kubo's where pilgrims should dine. But from the moment that we were there, it was under construction.
Then we passed by St Hildegard's Haven of Health and Healing while we were looking for the entrance of the man made falls that we see from afar.
|Mom walking at The Wellness Park|
This is The Wellness Park where you need to go barefoot to feel the stone massaging your feet. It was a relaxed feeling as we are all tired from walking.
The Wellness Walk is consists of river stones.
Regina Rosarii is indeed a place for peace and prayers. A perfect place to contemplate and worry less. It was a very meaningful weekend for our whole family especially for my mom. We are continuously thankful for everything.
To get directions on how to visit Regina RICA, please click here.