It was Ate Rhea's birthday and aside from the usual lunch or dinner out we wanted to do something different, like go out of town to enjoy summer. We ended up at Malolos mainly to visit the historic Barasoain Church. I've been here several times but the boys haven't, so we figured this was as good a time as any to bring them.
Barasoain Church is almost 130 years old. I love its imposing facade and the well-kept grounds and convent. I know from a previous visit that there's also a museum at the second floor in one of the buildings. We toured the whole place and discussed the historical significance with the kids. Not that they listened but at least we tried, right? Hahaha.
I also love the church doors. They're bordered by grand arches and made of huge slabs of wood with intricate carvings. Not to mention they're ancient.
We also went to another fantastic church nearby, the Basilica Minore of the Immaculate Conception. It's less famous than Barasoain, but it's just as historical. Emilio Aguinaldo stayed there while he was the country's president.
It makes me happy that the church is very well-maintained. The whole place is clean and freshly-painted and is not in the usual sorry state of our heritage sites. I love the magnificent interiors.
Like in Barasoain, the doors are also fantastic. What talent to come up with such detail in the wooden doors.
In front of the church is a centuries-old tree known as Kalayaan Tree. It has its own historical marker as the site under whose shelter President Aguinaldo 'conducted affairs of the state'. Cool. It doesn't show any wrinkles, too, for something over a hundred years old. Hahaha.
And then we were off to the boys' most awaited part of the trip: lunch at Hernz Ice Cream Specialties. Our office has a manufacturing plant in Bulacan, and this is where my friends and I would usually go for lunch when we have meetings there. Their specialty is the crispy pata kare-kare, and I just know my kids would love it, so I've been wanting to bring them over for some time now.
I love Hernz, and now all the rest of my family do, too. It's one of those local restos that serves good food, has a nice ambience, and does not rip you off in terms of the price.
We ordered the crispy pata, bulalo, stir fried tofu, and fried rice. All good, and we even had left-overs for home. The crispy pata and tofu were big hits with the kids. They also loved their shakes and floats.
Since this was Ate Rhea's birthday celebration, we also ordered for her the ice cream specialty, something called Flaming Kisses. The waiter served it in grand production mode, complete with the promised flames. Hahaha. Ate Rhea was embarrassed by all the attention, but I hope she was also secretly pleased. Hahaha.
We were teasing her that she's 130 years old like Barasoain Church.
Me: Ate, ilabas mo na yung senior citizen's card mo!
Boots: Ate, pag old ka na, pwede ka ng manood ng hubad!
HAHAHA. That was definitely The Winner Joke of The Day.