A trip to Caramoan is not complete without the side trip to Tabgon where a rather large image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Mother of Peace stands atop Caglago hill.
It will take you a flight of stairs worth five hundred and twenty-five steps to reach the chapel and a few steps more to touch the feet of Our Lady.
Because I have been living a sedentary lifestyle for the past x number of years, I huffed and puffed my way up. Halfway through the first set of steps, I felt my heart pumping loudly and my head throbbed like crazy. Uh oh. Anxiety attack has kicked in. My legs began to harden, beads of perspiration covered my forehead, and I felt sweat tracing my spine. Go or no? I asked inside my head. Go! Ginusto ko ‘to.
With that inner resolve to go, I went on with the climb with much effort. Grabeng effort talaga. I rested when I can’t take the heat and tiredness no longer. I watched my breathing since I didn’t want an asthma attack after the anxiety attack. Na-ah. Bad combo. So I consciously breathed in and out. Once I’m good to go, I started with the steps again.
While resting amongst the steps, I marveled at the view around: island rock formations amid a sea of blue with specks of lush green foliage. The sight was indeed, beautiful!
And finally, I saw a green clearing which lead to the chapel where other visitors were. There were a handful of people also marveling at the view on top, also resting from the climb. Then, the glorious image of Our Lady clothed with the sun appeared. There was not a hint of weariness anymore. It was worth the climb after all.
At the back of the image was a place where candles were burned as symbols for the prayers said. I murmured my prayer and held on to my heart as I whispered my wishes. It was a great journey: the Caramoan gift as a whole and the cemented trail to be in touch with Mama Mary.
Indeed, every journey is worth it. And as Miley had said in her song,
Ain’t about how fast I get there Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side It’s the climb
If given the chance to go back to Caramoan, I’ll definitely won’t mind going uphill again to meet Our Lady.
Dare to join me? 🙂