Saturday, April 23, 2011

Way to the Cross the Caleruega way!

Get close to nature, get closer to God!

Doing Way of the Cross is one of the well-known traditions done by most Filipinos during Lenten season. This activity remembers the final hours of Jesus; this is also a devotion commemorating the Passion.

In our family, the stations of the cross is a kind of a "must-thing" which have to be done every year. It's more of a tradition and definitely became a routine in the clan. It is our own way of showing repentance and sacrifice; which I believe, are the sole schemes of Lenten Season.

This year, we're lucky to do the stations of the cross at Caleruega. This is a house of prayer and renewal located at Nasugbu, Batangas. With almost one and a half hour road drive from Batangas City, one can reach the cool, atmospheric Barangay Kaylaway, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas where Caleruega is located. This place is perfect for retreats, recollections, prayer workshops, children/youth camps, marriage and family celebration venue, seminars, and agricultural, environmental and camaraderie-promoting activities. 

These are the unique views and infrastractures which can be seen at Caleruega:

The Transfiguration Chapel

The Transfiguration Chapel

With a European-inspired architecture, this chapel in Caleruega, situated at the top of a hill with Renaissance-themed stained glass portraying the Lord Jesus Christ, is a perfect location for solemn Christian activities.

Ifugao-themed Stations to the Cross

I remembered when we first stepped to the place, no one among the members of the family thought that the Ifugao carvings hanged along the roadside garden of the place was Caleruega's own rendition of the stations to the Cross. The stations have sculptures depicting the fourteen scenarios of Lord's sufferings with Ifugao characters-- wearing G strings and more of a Filipinoish-scheme.

Hanging Bridge

Though not situated above a deep creek or any high elevation, the hanging bridge in Caleruega is more than enough to add excitement and funny-thrill in a Christian and quiet setting.

Shrine at the top of the Hill

The trek going to the shrine.

The shrine above the hill.

The overlooking view.
Lenten season is about sacrifices. And taking the trek going to the shrine at the top of a hill can be a simple sacrifice. With the dusty wind and sand-like soil, and with the scorching heat, it is indeed a challenge to reach the shrine and pray-- overlooking a wonderful view.

Aside from these, Caleruega also offers nature-friendly environment with its colorful and eye-catching flowering plants gazing along the gardens and in some pathways. There are also numerous ponds which habitate gigantic golden fishes which became one of the attractions of the place. Moreover, Caleruega also offers a clean environment, which can be a manifestation that the thirty pesos, collected  as an entrace fee for the marvelous place, is spent well.

Caleruega is indeed a nature friendly environment!

Before leaving the place, I promised to myself that I will come back to Caleruega because it's a perfect gettaway to refrain ourselves and our minds from stressful activities in school and at work. It can also be a perfect avenue to find tranquility and to skip the huzzle and buzzle the busy city environment offer.

Forgive me for this. But I can say, I really enjoyed my Caleruega trip!
Happy Easter guys! =]

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