LIFE LESSONS

Life Lessons in Regina Rica Recollection

In every recollection, I always look forward to a meaningful reflection about my spiritual growth. I try radiating this positivity to my fellow youth ministers by encouraging them to do the same. However, some reflections are just beyond the usual recollection. Some reflections are best learned from life’s greatest and toughest experiences.

Last Sunday, July 22, 2018, our Parish Youth Ministry Core Group and Facilitators went to Regina Rica for our midyear recollection. It was raining cats and dogs at this time. However, we decided to push through. The roads leading to Tanay, Rizal almost prevented us to travel. There was zero visibility in the area. But, thank God, we still arrived before Regina Rica opens.

We were about to enter the gates when the guard stopped us. He told us to move backward and wait outside. We asked him politely if we could just stay right across the gate, but he refused. Our driver that time, Bro. Mark, had no choice but to move backward—and this event changed the course of our story.

When we moved backward, we smelled burnt rubber inside our car. It was a terrible smell. We ignored it believing that maybe it was just a simple concern. We proceeded inside the venue and prepared our things for our recollection. We reflected in a nipa hut until afternoon. We attended the Sunday Mass, and had our lunch after. I slept while waiting for the next instructions.

We were supposed to visit the huge image of Mary on top of the hill. However, when our Spiritual Director told us that our car wasn’t working, we had to accompany him at the repair shop.

It was still raining hard when we walked towards the repair shop. We rode a tricycle, still, found ourselves not protected from the downpour. We were told by our SD that our car needs to be towed. Oh, my, gulay.

It challenged our faith and our renewed promises to the Lord. We never expected this to happen. We were in Tanay, Rizal! How could we go home? We had no choice but to commute. We definitely found this risky and tedious way of going home. We asked our younger fellow youth ministers to go home ahead of us. The three of us waited for the towing truck. It arrived at six in the evening and reached Taytay at around nine in the evening. Thank God for this. I seemed simple, but, when we were at that place, we were confused, worried, and frightened.

We realized that this event in our ministry taught us a lot of things.

First, there will always be consequences in backing out. Quitting shakes not only ourselves, but also the people around us. When we moved our car backwards, three parts of the engine broke. Same with our life’s toughest decisions. It has a domino effect. Thus, let us be firm in every decision we make. Ask strength and wisdom from God who could enlighten us about our next move.

We’ve also learned that the evil always tempts us and uses our weakness to shaken our faith. The devil always uses instruments which are so tempting! Thus, we always need to practice our faith wholeheartedly and intentionally. Always pray and seek help from God who strengthens us and protects us from all forms of danger. Seek God for He will never ever leave you nor forsake you. He is always with you!

Lastly, it is always better to catch up with your real friends. Never assume that your friend is okay just because he says so. Everybody needs constant reminders and care. Everybody needs a complement. Everybody needs your words of encouragement. Let us use the power of words the uplift our friends who are brokenhearted. Let us be an instrument in making them develop their personal relationship with God. At the end of the day, we will all feel good for this contribution to our friends. Let us make them feel that they are valued, loved, and appreciated.

 

Wooh. So that’s basically what I’ve realized about life. Challenges are constant, and so are the solutions. Keep your faith. Remember that God will never ever leave you nor forsake you.

TRAVEL

Regina RICA in Tanay, Rizal

It was November 30, 2012 when I first visited Regina Rica. I even posted about it on my blog. Today, January 31, 2014, I got another chance to visit this wonderful place.

After the orientation with a nun from Dominican Sisters, we immediately started to walked the trail going to Mama Mary. The trail started here:

As mentioned by Sister Efy (not sure about her name), RICA is a place for prayer. Their sole purpose is to let the people draw closer to God through contemplating. They are encouraging every visitor to pray and contemplate as they walk. They also encourage the people not to be noisy because the place is kept to be holy.

When I reached the top of the hill, I noticed the candle lighting station there. I didn’t hesitate to pick a candle for my intention. There’s a donation for that candle, too. After picking out what candle to light, I also picked a paper to write my intentions on it. I had two papers, good enough to cater my prayers. Then, I already went to the station meant for the lighting of the candles. There you would find a prayer to be read as you light your candle.

I had no chance to take a picture of a place they call ‘Labyrinth’ because I had fun while walking on it. It was a trail as well, a circular one, which allowed the people to follow the blocks which will be leading them. The end station of the trail was in its center part. There stood a tree wherein you can pray silently.

I didn’t have a chance to visit the Adoration Chapel. But it’s located inside the image of Mary. We just had our some pictures near Mary’s image.

This was on our way down the trail.

Picture with Ate Beth, my friend and church mate.

Perfect view.

Literally, a lost sheep who visited us during our lunch.

 

If you are tired listening to the voices you hear in the city, you must visit this place. Even though its location is too far from Manila, you will surely find it worthy to visit. In just one day, I have attended the Mass, been healed, and been blessed. I also find this place perfect for recollections, retreats, and other contemplating activities.

I also adore their VEGIE SANDWICH. This sandwich is made purely of vegetables. Their bread is also free from any oil for it was steamed. This costs P100.00 but good for three persons.

If you’re interested, call the good people who made this place possible. You may reach them by calling 401-20-36.