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Regina RICA: A Solemn Sanctuary

Our initial plan was to go to JE Camp, Regina RICA, and Daranak Falls, but because we spent almost 3 hours at JE Camp, we just decided to drop the other two destinations from the list after our very late lunch at Halamanan.

Just like how we got to know about Pinto Art Museum and JE Camp, Regina RICA was also just a recent discovery of Mark and I because of my mom. Thanks to her adventures with her friends, we got to know of another sanctuary not very far from our hometown.

Regina RICA (Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia) is a pilgrimage site that's relatively new and has become well-known for its huge statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

After paying for the parking fee, we got to the reception area for registration. I was wearing a sleeveless dress (mig-thigh length) and didn't know of the dress code, shorts (women) and sleeveless tops (for men and women) aren't allowed, so one of the Dominican Sisters lent me a long skirt and because they ran out of balabal (poncho) I just used my Hello Kitty shirt. We then we headed to the orientation area, where another Sister gave a brief background about Regina RICA.

Situated on top of a hill, amidst the 13.5 hectares of land and lush greens, is a 71-foot tall statue of the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

In order to get to the Virgin Mary, visitors need to climb up the Sacred Trail. It's a 300-step trail made of bricks. Some of the bricks had footprints engraved in it. Visitors may have their footprints engraved for Php 1,000.00 as gift/love offering.

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The 300+ steps may be a lot, but climbing up the trail becomes a lot more bearable and fun because of the flowers and lush greens surrounding the trail.

Oh, remember the shirt and skirt that the Sister had me wear because of the strict dress code? Mark and Jaoey kept on teasing me and calling me manang (old-fashioned). Well I'm admittedly a manang in so many things, but definitely not in the way I dress, but I'm not also the liberated type though. :p So, what do you think of my OOTD? :p

Even if the sun was scorching hot and our feet were kinda tired, they were nothing compared to the joy that every step brings as we were nearing the Blessed Virgin.

I was personally in awe the moment we reached the end of the trail and saw the statue up close. It was just so beautiful.

The view of the Sierra Madre Mountains from the top of the hill was also amazing.

There's an area at the bottom of the statue where you can pray and offer candles.

Visitors may also climb up inside the statue where there's a small prayer room. Mark, Chino, and Jaoey went inside the statue, and because I am afraid of heights, the scaredy cat in me told me to just stay. :p Here's a glimpse of what's inside the statue:

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There's a separate walkway going down the shrine where you will be led to their chapel...

and a Way of the Cross sprawling the grounds.

Aside from the shrine, there are also a few other areas in Regina RICA that visitors may check out. There's a koi pond, hanging bridge, garden, and some huts and tents were visitors may stay for some picnic. There's also a place for some refreshments and souvenirs.

More photos HERE :)

Although a parking fee is needed, there is no entrance fee to visit Regina RICA, though donations are accepted. Visiting time is from 8am to 5pm, Wednesdays-Mondays, closed on Tuesdays. And please don't forget the strict dress codes for visitors. :p 

Along Marcos Highway, Sitio Aguho
Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal
Tel. No.: (+02) 985.3878 / (02) 401.2036
Mobile No.: +63.919.269.4286
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