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I personally like following the footsteps of Jesus’ early ministry in Tiberias with His disciples.

We visited the Church of the Transfiguration at Mount Tabor, then the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish at Tabgha, and had lunch near the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

After lunch we had a beautiful mass and annointing of leadership at the Church of St. Peter in Capernaum, then proceeded to where Jesus gave the sermon at the Mount of Beatitudes.

Then we ended the day with the best Feast I’ve attended, at the Blue Beach near the Sea of Galilee.

Here’s the photo essay of Day 2 of our Holy Land Pilgrimage with Bro. Bo Sanchez…

LEONARDO’S BREAKFAST

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We enjoyed a buffet breakfast at Leonardo’s Hotel for the next 3 days. Here are my favorites…

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The buffet spread of different salty cheeses…

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…cottage cheese, and white cheese.

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A selection of eggs cooked in different styles. I especially like the hard boiled ones. 

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Also love the sweet crunchy vegetable salads. 🙂 I would just add olive oil and some cheese to enjoy them.  

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I always make sure to get the date honey and tahina to enjoy with bread or crackers. 

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Seeds, dates, raisins, and plums for a healthy breakfast. 

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They always have soy milk or low fat milk for your cereal or daily milk consumption. 

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Don’t forget to try the yoghurts, too.

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I would usually start off with a plate of salad with egg and bread with date honey.

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I particularly like the crossaint because of its crunchy sweet outer skin.

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I became addicted to this local volcanic chocolate. (Would you know what this is exactly?)

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I’m craving for these croissants with volcanic chocolate. 🙂

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For dessert, make sure to try these sweet preserved dates…

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…or a huge slice of halva, which is made from sesame seeds.

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The hot chocolate is good so make sure to order it every breakfast. 🙂

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I would usually indulge in the croissants with hot chocolate every breakfast.

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The priests were kind enough to hear confession in the morning after breakfast, or after coming back from the tour in the afternoon.

 

CHURCH OF TRANSFIGURATION @ MOUNT TABOR

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After the morning prayers and worship, the assigned flock would give out bible quotations for the day. 

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Welcome to Mount Tabor.

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It’s actually one of the rich neighborhoodss we’ve been to in the Tiberias area, with gated single detached houses. 

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The key here is to be early because there are a lot of tourists who would go up via the transfer vans. 

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You can get your freshly squeezed pomegranate here while waiting for the van.

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The van transfers are included in the pilgrimage tour package and bring you to the peak of Mt. Tabor. 

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You’ll love the relaxing view of the winding road to the top.

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It only takes 10 minutes to reach the peak vs. the 15- to 20-minute waiting time for the vans.

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You’ll have to do a short hike to the church amidst the beautiful trees and scenery.

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Skip the shopping here. It’s better to buy in Bethlehem or Jerusalem.

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(Matthew 17:1-13) The Transfiguration

1 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3 Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

6 When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.7 But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”8 When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

10 The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12 But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13 Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.

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The Church of the Tranfiguration is built on the mountain where Jesus is believed to have transfigured with Elijah and Moses in front of Peter, James, and John the brother of James.

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As you enter, you’ll see the remnants of the ancient 4th c. Byzantine era-church and the 12th c. church from the Crusades, where the new modern church is built upon.

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This is one of the modern churches designed by Architect Antonio Barluzzi completed in 1924.

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I love the beautiful golden mosaic of the Transfiguration, which is designed to be illuminated by the sun on August 6 – the Feast of the Transfiguration.  

Here’s a video of a pilgrim’s mass being celebrated in the church.  

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The church is designed with two towers built with a mini-chapels for Elijah and Moses.

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The North Tower holds the Chapel of Moses.

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The Chapel of Elijah is located in the South Tower (the chapel on the right when you enter the main church).

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In every Holy stop, Bro. Carl Fontanilla leads us in a reflection of the Bible Reading.

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On our hike down to the van pickup point, we noticed this beautiful lemon tree. 🙂

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I can just imagine how Jesus and the disciples would have climbed Mt. Tabor during those days, without roads like these. Some pilgrims chose to hike up to and down from Mt. Tabor.

 

CHURCH OF THE MULTIPLICATION OF LOAVES AND FISH @ TABGHA

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We proceeded to the Church of the Multiplication of Loaves and Fish in Tagbha. 

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(Mark 6:30-44) Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them.34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the hour is now late. 36 Send them away to go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” 37 But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and see.” And when they had found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” 39 Then he commanded them all to sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41 And taking the five loaves and the two fish helooked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people. And he divided the two fish among them all. 42 And they all ate and were satisfied. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. 44 And those who ate the loaves were five thousand men.

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Bro. Obet Cabrillas leads the reflection for the Green Bus group.

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These are the tiles of the ancient church where the modern church is built upon.

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The rock under the altar is believed to be where Jesus stood to bless the fish and loaves to feed to the crowd. Pilgrims would touch the rock, put religious articles, and say their prayers.

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You can also light a candle for your petitions.

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Make sure to appreciate the large olive tree in the courtyard of the church, where some pilgrims would have their reflection sessions.

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Outside the church, our tour guide Ronin explains to us how a traditional olive press works to produce olive oil.

 

BET GABRIEL KOSHER LUNCH WITH A VIEW OF THE SEA OF GALILEE

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We had lunch at the Bet Gabriel Restaurant located on a Cultural & Social Center on the Kinneret.

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Its beautiful limestone structure houses an auditorium, ampitheater, and a movie theater for cultural and performance arts.

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The restaurant has a high ceiling with well-designed leaflike trusses and chandeliers.

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Best of all, it has a magnificent and relaxing view of the Sea of Galillee, which you can enjoy for free. 🙂

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The set meal lunch with a mezze serving of Arabic bread, fresh vegetables, hummus, and mashed eggplants.

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I always enjoy the sweet vegetables and hummus combination. Make sure to make the most out of every meal because you’ll miss this when you go back home.

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For the main dish, you can choose a grilled chicken… 

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…or St. Peter Fish, which is like our local Tilapia.

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For dessert, sweet dates! 🙂

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This is the grassy plains and view of the Sea of Galilee at Bet Gabriel.

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This is one of our favorite nature and cultural spots in Tiberias, Israel. 🙂

 

CHURCH OF ST. PETER @ CAPERNAUM

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After lunch, we proceeded to Capernacum, which is the home base of Jesus and His Disciples during His early ministry.

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Capernaum was a fishing village before and the center of Jesus’ Public Ministry after He left Nazareth. This is the hometown of the Apostles Simon Peter, Andres, James, and John.

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The Church of St. Peter is an cctagonal church…

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…built on top of what we believe was the house of St. Peter in Capernaum.

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Fr. Joel Jason gave a beautiful homily during the mass for Day 2 about saying YES to God’s calling, inspired by the YES of St. Peter.

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Every mass is very special because as the pilgrimage progresses, you become more open to receive the blessings and message of Christ in your life. 

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Communion is a crucial part of the pilgrimage. 

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At the center of the church is the glass-enclosed foundation built over the house of St. Peter.

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Bro. Bo led the pilgrims in a prayer and annointing of Christian leadership. 

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Our tour guide Ronin explained to us the significance of the Church of St. Peter…

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…and the importance of the ruins of the old town of Capernacum. 

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This are the remains of one of the oldest 4th c. synagogues ruins where Jesus is believed to have preached in the town of Capernaum.

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Ornate stone carvings in the synagogue ruins.

 

MOUNT OF BEATITUDES

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After mass, we headed to the Church in the Mount of Beautitudes.

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The church is located on a hill with a beautiful view of the Sea of Galilee believed to be where Jesus delivered the Sermon of the Mount.

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As you enter the church, you’ll see this beautiful painting of the Sermon on the Mount.

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(Matthew 5:1-12) The Beatitudes

5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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The interior and altar of the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes.

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You can offer your mass intentions here for a $15 or 50 shekel donation.

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Bro. Bo gave a beautiful reflection in this amphitheater about the Beatitudes.

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Afterwards, there was a surprise post-marriage engagement proposal from Bro. Hermie to wife Reng Morelos, complete with engagement ring.

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The Mount of Beautitudes has a nice elevated vantage point of the Sea of Galillee.

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Imagine the crowds gathering here with Jesus giving His sermon. The natural acoustics of the place would have made it possible for Jesus to be heard by many people.

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Don’t miss the opportunity to get a great souvenir photo here, like couple Red and Rosalin Perea. Make sure to include the Sea of Galilee in the background.

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After the Church of the Mount of Beatitudes, we went back to Blue Beach for The Feast worship near Leonardo’s Hotel.

 

THE FEAST @ THE BLUE BEACH

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Welcome to the Blue Beach! 🙂

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The al fresco setup of one of the best Feasts I’ve attended.  

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The awesome view of the Sea of Galilee from the Blue Beach during sunset.

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Bro. Adrian Panganiban and music director Didoy Lubatan led the introduction of the Feast.

It was a fun spiritual gathering.

Not all the people who joined the pilgrimage were familiar with The Feast, so this was a good glimpse of the experience…

The Feast is a community praise gathering…

…usually led by Bro. Bo and His Feast Builders… 

…with a reflection on the Word of God…

…and testimonials of God’s grace and blessings. 🙂

It ends with a Community Worship to God. 🙂

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After the Feast, we walked back to Leonardo Hotel for dinner.

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In the evenings we would usually eat vegetables. 

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A light balanced dinner to end the day. 

To be continued…   

HOLY LAND PILGRIMAGE with BRO. BO SANCHEZ

Live an Awesome Life,

Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our Holy Land Trip. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here

P.S. The Next Holy Land Pilgrimage by Bro. Bo Sanchez is on February 10-19, 2015. For more info, you can email Tita Beckie at [email protected]

P.P.S. The pilgrimage tour costs P340,108 (exchange rate P44.65 – $1) for a couple, broken down into the following:

  • Tour Cost: $2,995.00 x 2 = $5,990
  • Airline/ Other Taxes: $495 x 2 = $980
  • Tip Fund: $100 x 2 = $200
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner: $130 x 2 = $260
  • Travel Insurance: $45 x 2 = $90
  • Philippine Travel Tax: P1,620 x  2 = P3,240
  • Airport Tax: P550 x 2 = P1,100

Note: There’s a $300/person non-refundable reservation for the trip, which is deductable from the total amount.

Overall, the Pilgrimage tour with Bro. Bo Sanchez is relatively more expensive than the other pilgrimage trips organized with Executive Resources. But it is the best experience for us because of The Feast (Community Worship Gathering) and the Feast Builders who make the trip awesome. 🙂 

TIP: You can decide to book your own airfare if you plan to visit other countries after your pilgrimage.