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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Caleruega in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas, a place for nature adventure and be closer to God

The church on a hill in Caleruega is very popular for weddings and special mass, the place is a nature haven and also a magnet to people who loves the view of awesome landscape, its my first time here to see the Batulao mountain and its one of my dream to climb and hike that mountain, it’s a start for me to enjoy the view first and plan soon for a mountain adventure, most newbie for mountain hikers starts there.

Caleruega’s name is inspired from that town in Spain, I’m not sure if it resembles the same structure or style, but here in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas, it has its own identity.

I learned about Caleruega after googling some places to visit in Tagaytay, I read some blogs and posts of some people who went here to do photo ops, nature tripping, picnic and attend a wedding. Caleruega is not just a place for picnic and photo ops, it’s a place where you can rediscover yourself, reflect and meditate and also a place where you can stay closer to God.

from their pamphlet:
Caleruega was named after the birthplace of St. Dominic de Guzman, father of the Order of Preachers. Wishing to honor and remember the legacy of their founder, the Filipino Dominicans established Caleruega with the hopes that it will, like the town of Caleruega in Spain, be a birthplace – a genesis for people speaking to and for the Divine Creator.

Silence, solitude, harmony the majesty of creation, the freedom of Light, and the passion to share God’s Word – this is Caleruega: the seedbed of preachers, the cornerstone of spiritual inspiration, Come, walk in His presence.

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Caleruega’s major promotion here is that the place is close to nature and closer to God.
Its easy to go here, thanks to some travel bloggers who shared a tip on how to go to Caleruega by riding a jeep or bus.

How to go to Caleruega via commute
1. Ride a Nasugbu bus and mention that they drop you off in Evercrest
2. If you will ride a jeep from Tagaytay, just board a Nasugbu bound jeep – fare is PHP13 each
3. At Evercrest, ride a tricycle going to Caleruega, trike fare is PHP20 per head. Special trike price is PHP60
4. There are no tricycle terminal in Caleruega, I suggest you arrange a pick up schedule with the trike driver

5. Going back to Manila, there’s a lot of aircon bus passing by near the trike terminal, there are bus going to Pasay and Cubao.
6. If you plan to go back in Tagaytay, just board any bus with Pasay or Cubao signage.

Entrance fee to Caleruega is PHP80, and it comes with a free map
opens from 7am-5pm only.

At the edge of a hill in Caleruega, you’ll see this awesome landscape view of some hills, field and the backdrop of Batulao mountains. I call this place The Shire in Batulao, hehhee inspired from the village of hobbits in Lord of the Rings saga.

I took this photo using my Olympus E-520 DSLR with 40-150mm lens. Its awesome and I can feel that I’m so close to this mountain. I will conquer you soon!

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My wife took this photo using our iPad mini hahhaaa.I’m so wasted already because of the heat and thin air around the hill. The heat is bearable even if its summer, the cold breeze still helps you to cool down even if you are under the sun. Make sure you wear your sunglasses, hats or umbrella for protection against the sun.

Cenaculum and the fountain compass
Upon entering the Caleruega complex, you’ll spot firs this fountain with a compass floor design. The Cenaculum building that looks like a church is the retreat center, office and dining area for retreat participants.


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1) Dominicum’s grand staircase 2) statue of (not sure if Magadalene or Mary)
3) bamboo chandelier at the covered dining area 2) statue of St. Dominic

It’s a long uphill walk if you will go to the Caleruega church on a hill also known as the Transfiguration chapel, there’s a brick staircase going up and you’ll see the retreat cottages and some cafĂ© along the way. The Caleruega church is a popular wedding venue and also a good background for prenuptial photography.

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that could be my fancy photo op pose hahahaha

“Thy will be done” sculpture stands infront of the Transfiguration chapel

I didn’t got a chance to enter the church to do some photography and add this church for my blog post collection of churches. There’s a wedding going on inside and here’s my view from outside the church..zooming in with my telephoto lens.

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1) windows of the Transfiguration chapel 2) statue of a baby Jesus at the rosary shrine
3) statue of angels at the Transfiguration chapel tent 4) fountain of compass


Our Lady of the Holy Rosary shrine here in Caleruega, with an amazing backdrop of the green fields and Batulao mountains.

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1) colorful lanterns 2) wooden chairs at the retreat cottages 3) Lion bust head at the fountain area inside Cenaculum 4) stained glass art of St. Dominic inside Cenaculum


The fun part here in Caleruega is the nature trip adventure, there are lots of trees around the complex, I also love to observe the birds flying around the mini forest. There’s also a Koi pond area, elevated and walkway trail, The most awesome part here is the hanging bridge.

Here’s mommy Lace and baby Ash bravely walk through the hanging bridge. One of our companion got chickened out hahahaha. There’s a ravine below the bridge full of trees and pond.

At the end of the hanging bridge there’s another hill. We don’t know what’s on top so we climb up to check out the view. I’m glad that there’s a mini sari sari store nearby, I bought some cold Coke to power up my feet for a short climb. Mommy Lace went back to the bridge, and it left us baby Ash, aunt Helen and me to climb the hill.

On top of the hill is the Transfiguration chapel tent.

There’s also a nice view while you are on top of the hill. Check out this pic of baby Ash and Aunt Helen.

Cute dog roams around the hill

Time to go down….. nakakapagod lang talaga, I suggest you bring some extra clothes and a towel
and also lots of bottled water.

My view of the ravine while I’m at the hanging bridge here in Caleruega.

If ever I will visit this place again, I will be ready….I want to do some bird photography here and also have picnic with my family.

Its okay to bring your packed meals, but make sure you cleaned up after using the tables or sitting on a grassy field.

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.
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