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Monday, September 2, 2013

Caleruega: Close to Nature, Closer to God

Every summer, our family always goes on a picnic out of town. We’ve done it a thousand times in Tagaytay, so this time we decided to look for another place. We still wanted it to be somewhere near. Batangas had always been our favorite escape. It’s just a short drive from Manila and it offers lush landscapes and nice beaches.

I’ve been hearing about Caleruega for quite some time. It is famous as a wedding location. Some celebrities and popular personalities got married there. But they also say that if you want some quiet time away from the city and a place where you can contemplate, this place is perfect. We decided to spend a day here, to bond and just to appreciate the wonders of life as a family.

We left Manila at around 9:00 AM and arrived there after a couple of hours. The road going there off the highway was rough and a little bumpy. I’m not even sure if you can reach it by commute. We wanted to drop by the church but there was an ongoing wedding. It is obviously really known for it hehe. So we just went ahead to the park.

The entrance fee is PHP 30.00 per person, parking is free inside. If you’re parking outside the church or the park, I think you have to give the local people some fee for looking after your car. As you walk along, you will notice how well kept the place is. It is very clean. Everywhere you look, there are trees, flowers, flowing water, just pure nature.

We headed to the picnic area right away so we can leave our stuff and wander around. They are renting out a big tent with tables and chairs. It is PHP 250 for half day and 500 for whole day. I also noticed that some people brought their own tent so they can take a nap there. There were just like 6-8 tents for rent, so it is not really made to accommodate a big crowd which is good.

The place where the tents are, is sheltered by tree canopy, the ground covered by grass and surrounded by trees. We actually had fun horsing around there. After having our lunch, we started exploring the park with our dog.

The flora, they all look amazing.

Walking through the wooden bridge, you will pass by a pond full of Koi fishes. So zen.

If you get tired of strolling, you can stop and rest at this little hut just before crossing the suspension bridge.

When you cross this bridge, you may take a short hike to the hill where there is a chapel.

Don’t worry the way going up is not steep.

It is an open chapel. It is just like a big tent with some brick columns.

 The view from up there is breathtaking. The verdant mountain and the trees are stunning.

The entire place is not really big. You can easily explore each corners of it in less than an hour. What you can basically do here is just relax, unwind, meditate and revel in God’s creations.

Our family had fun here in Caleruega. It’s not that easy to reach, but it’s definitely worth it. The atmosphere is very laid-back and it makes all your worries disappear. We left the place with our hearts filled with so much joy.

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~E. E. Cummings