The perfect place to spend a reflective moment – calm, quiet, peaceful, I must say, is the Monasterio de Tarlac, a 50-hectare monastery located at the heart of the 278-hectare Tarlac Ecotourism Park in Brgy. Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac. It is known to be the only place in Asia where you can find fragment of the Sacred Relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ.
“You’re not here by coincidence, you’re here for a reason.” I still remember this vividly uttered by the priest.
It was on a rainy Saturday morning when my parents and I headed the place. It was a long winding roads, mountains, rice fields and greenery on the way up to the monastery. The towering statue of Christ with open arms like the one in Brazil is the main picture subject of this place which stood at the cliff overlooking the vast mountain terrain and a spectacular view.
No entrance fee is being charged although a parking fee of PHP50.00 is suggested. We were able to catch the 10:30am mass. The chapel is quite small to accommodate growing number of devotees but they provide extra chairs outside. Despite of this, the solemnity of the mass is still there that it actually made me goosebumps almost the whole time! The music made it more distingue. They provide paper and envelope where you can write your petition letter and wishes plus any amount of money as your offering. You may drop it in the box but better keep it and offer it yourself during offertory. Due to long line and rain, we didn’t get the chance to line up for the relic of the Holy Cross.
We then proceed to check the place. It has also beautiful landscape to make the place more relaxing. People around are all courteous. The restroom is clean and well-maintained. There is also a store where you can buy snacks and souvenirs. It is advisable to go during day time and depart before the sun sets.
It was mentally, emotionally and spiritually refreshing. I am thinking of going back with my husband.
Everyday at 10:30AM except Thursday.
Sunday at 10:30AM and 3:00PM.
Pilgrims Daily Mass and Veneration of the Relic of the True Cross of Christ at 10:30AM. Every Thursday, the Monastery is closed for maintenance and monastic program.
HOW TO GET THERE
To get to the monastery, guests can take the NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) from Manila to SCTEX (Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway) and exiting at Hacienda Luisita. Taking MacArthur Highway, proceed to Tarlac City and turn left after Sogo Hotel and before SM. Follow the road leading to Brgy. Tibag junction, going to Monasterio de Tarlac at Eco-Tourism Park, San Jose, Tarlac. Guests coming from the north should head to Tarlac City where they will take a right turn going to Uniwide Mall. Following the service road and turning right to Carangian Bridge, guests will see markers leading to the monastery. For me, commuting is not advisable.
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About the Author
- Maw is a corporate girl during weekday s, currently working as assistant accountant in a multinational company During weekends or her free time, she likes going to the mall shopping, visiting cafes or restaurants she has never been to. She loves traveling and she loves to capture memories. She loves dressing up.