Assumption in the hills
You will be driven by us until short before the actual entrance to the Holy Shrine Montecueva in the village of Rizal. A fascinating sight is lying in front of you and creates an inner question: "Do I must go this way up?"
The path leads beside the backyards of small houses, whose residents have specialized already to sale and offer besides water in plastic bottles, any kind of drinks, small snacks and sweets.
Shortly gone over a bridge of a streamed mountain creek, where you can watch at playing children and women, washing their laundry and lay them on flat rocks for drying. After five minutes walk only you reach the actual portal and the entrance of the way going up to the cave.
The steep winding road in switchbacks guides up to the peak of the mountain. The path upward describes for the pilgrims the Cross and Christ's agony. So it seems too. Fourteen small stations, where by each one, a table shows the suffering of the route up to the grotto.
Reaching the top, the path divides into one to a large grotto, which was converted into a chapel and the other one to the main peak. In previous years there was only a very large stalactite cave, whose famous residents here were only fruit bats.
Impressive the design and layout of the chapel, just like an Auditorium Maximum, stalactites hanging from the ceiling, sediment eroding is found in the walls.
One wonders: You're already so high, how can that be? Therefore you should consider the archaeological history of the Philippines.
Continuing uphill you reach in front of an exterior flat chapel with an impressive statue of Jesus, which was moved in the course of the reconstruction measures of their actual location. Our discussions with the architects and landscape designers of the plant showed, that here will arise an impressive shrine in the next few years.
Even older people should be able to visit it. It is planned to be built up a chairlift right from the road to the peak.
On the plateau once it will be built in formal steps like a staircase a community center and a new convent with overnight opportunities. A complete glass front displays to the south and leave the view to the far shrine of the Virgin Mary.
The architect told us, that one of the big problems would be to keep the lime-sandstone always in moist condition. Once the stones should be dry, the cave gets fragile, would be in danger and could collapse.
Urges us to the question: Why then to build up a further church in the surrounded area. The plans are pompous, but are ecologically implemented step by step.
Impressing is the farsightedness and the view from the top of the mountain, before you compete to go back again.