Joshua Gabriel L. Benitez
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GROUP REFLECTION The whole outbound trip was fun. You get to see interesting views, bond with the class and learn something about the place. Besides fun, it was tiring. Squeezing in a narrow cave made us sweat, but in the end we all got out. The mountain climbing was difficult as well, especially when you're running out of breath fast. It was a test of strength and stamina. Its just like life, these obstacles come in your way but hard work will make you overcome them. It also taught us respect towards the place itself and the locals taking care of their sacred grounds. Respect to their beliefs and the rights to believe what you think is right and true. We also saw the beautiful nature which should be nurtured and taken care of considering countless people try to take the road to cleansing like we did. We also got to know each other more through all the activities held during the field trip. We've also realized important things about ourselves spiritually with the help of friends. In the end, it was a very fulfilling experience not just physically and socially, but emotionally and mentally as well. It was also enlightening because of the new experiences and the fun things we went through. We won't forget this moment.
THE KINDGDOM'S ENTRANCE - There is a tablet-like rock in the middle of the woods along our trail to the Husgado cave which they call the "Book of Life" (Unfortunately we don't have a picture of it). The locals and devotees believe that if you write your name here, it will ensure your entrance to the kingdom of God, and this will actually be etched or be written on St. Peter's book. It is also said that if you die and you "wrote" your name here, your soul would be immediately transported to heaven. In Catholic beliefs, we won't know whether we would go up there unless we die and discover it ourselves. It is most likely similar to the Proclamation of God's Kingdom where those who believe and love will see for themselves the Kingdom of God while those who do not will be treated accordingly.
GATEWAY TO HEAVEN - This gate of theirs is named "Ciudad Mistica de Dios" in which the locals believe that this is a legitimate entrance to God's kingdom or heaven itself, whereas it got its name from. We passed through this to access the path towards the adventure waiting for us at Kalbaryo and the Husgado cave. Also, the flags of all countries are included in the arch symbolizing the unity of all countries toward the kingdom of God. Catholics believe that in order to enter God's kingdom, you should be a clean person with faith and belief to His word. Also, people say that you'll go to heaven if you don't do bad things to your neighbors.
THE CLEANSING WATERS - This is the Lagnas River where the locals would light candles in front of Sta. Lucia's image and then bathe to the cold rushing waters of the river to be cleansed. It also serves as a preliminary stage pf preparation before heading to the Husgado Cave and Kalbaryo. As per our schedule, we made it here after we hiked and went inside the cave for the sole purpose of cleaning ourselves. According to an article we found, Jews would wash up before entering a certain temple because they believe that temples are sacred and holy places free from impurities and uncleanliness.
CAVE OF JUDGEMENT - The Husgado Cave, where locals believe that those who enter the cave, will be judged. If you come out clean, without cuts and bruises, then it is believed that your sins have been cleansed, you are forgiven, and you are starting anew, while those who come out of the cave with cuts and bruises, are those who are not pure and who are not forgiven. Locals say that those who are not forgiven are just left there to die. To us Catholics, forgiveness is a process or an action which is not infamous. God's love is unconditional and never ending. According to His gospel, He is a God who is willing to forgive until the end of time and He will not stop forgiving the sinners because He is a loving God, and His love makes the people better in every way.
FINAL DESTINATION - Standing on the mountain are the members of Group 4 as they finish the trek to Mt. Kalbaryo. There are countless rocks there that devotees bring with them during the hike as a symbolism of their sacrifice. They believe that the sacrifice they're making are similar to how Jesus Christ carried His cross on top of Mt. Calvary to save the human race from their sins. Also, according to the facilitators, they believe that Mt. Kalbaryo itself is where Jesus carried His cross and where He died! In our Church's belief, this type of "sacrifice" is discouraged because according to them, Jesus' sacrifice isn't meant for people to recreate but as a reminder that we should turn away from sin, have full faith in Him, and believe in His word.
CALM BEFORE THE STORM - Members of Group 4 of the section 10-SPC limbers up or stretches before engaging into the strenuous activities planned for the outbound trip. ELASTICITY is involved here simply because once the muscles have stretched, they can endure more stress resulting to higher performance and less muscle fatigue.
RAINBOW AFTER THE RAIN - Lorenz Quimson of 10-SPC rests and smiles after the long hike to the top of the Kalbaryo. The cross at the background has a wire that creates a pulling FORCE for it to maintain its position and for it to resist the force of the wind.
A WALK TO REMEMBER - Manuel Rendon and another SPC member walks as they journey towards the Husgado applying NEWTON'S THIRD LAW which states that "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
JOURNEY TOWARDS THE MOUNTAIN - Members of 10-SPC poses during the trip to Mt. Banahaw inside the tour bus as the force of INERTIA pulls them as the bus accelerates and decelerates.
CONQUERING CHALLENGES - Joshua Benitez smiles after a heart-pounding hike to the top of the Kalbaryo as GRAVITY pulls him down.
ENGLISH - Captions & Cutlines
Stay tuned as the members of Group 4 10-SPC, discovers the hidden sanctuary of Mt. Banahaw