Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weekend Escape: Caleruega Experience

Summer in Japan is August, and since I’m an English teacher at the Manila Japanese School, we get to have one month summer vacation in the rainy season.

       So here’s the predicament that I always encounter in many an August summer past. How do I spend it when it’s almost always raining?

     We do not question rain in August. But one whole month of being cooped up does not do justice to the will that is inherent in us. So in the spirit of experiencing the great outdoors, rain or no rain, we marched on, armed with cameras, pocket money, determination and a toothbrush.
       I also checked the weather forecast hoping against hope to at least have a nice weather. Of course I was disappointed. The weather report said drizzle in the morning, rain in the afternoon, rainstorm in the evening and clear at night. Same was to happen next day. I did not want to dampen(sic) my spirit. But I imagined a drizzly early morning where we can enjoy the gardens of Caleruega and a hot coffee at one strange, mystical cafe where they do cafedomancy.

         At five in the morning we headed to Nasugbu while sombre skies with pewter clouds hovered above us.
 We took a left at Evercrest Golf and Country Club. Along the way there was an abundance of yellow flowers on the roadside sprinkled amongst the short grasses. We passed by one or two cows grazing on the edge of the road.
        Then we shifted our eyes and feasted on a beautiful though cloudy Batulao mountain, serenely gazing at the green fields that was spread below the horizon.

        As promised, the sun did not appear, but there was no rain either. Anyway, we enjoyed our luck so far.
The gate of Caleruega was not grand. It was very simple as it opened itself to retreatants and day visitors like us into its arms.
        I was excited though because I know that beyond the bend was a surprise. I’m a sap for “secret” places.
So there is this long path which was fenced in on the left by large piled up stones making a wall.
        Hiking that path will not only give you a feeling of deep serenity, it will also lead you to springs of water strategically placed along the sides for thirsty travellers.
        Before you reach the end of that path, your eyes would have rested upon a koi pond. Zen was the word that popped into my mind. We tarried on the wooden planks that served as walkways, peeking at the kois idling in the water.
         It was a huge picnic place.There was even a bon fire set up for campers( for a minimum of 20 pax).
Beyond that garden was a hanging bridge that opens to an even wider field. If you hike that trail you would find yourself in the Tent Chapel.

        At the administration building which we have skipped unknowingly, there was a shortcut to the Transfiguration Chapel. This was situated in one of the most beautiful gardens I have seen. Well maintained with personal touches of the landscape artists. Kudos to whoever they are.

Entrance fee: 30Php
Picnic tent:250Php

Admin Building at the background

Koi Pond

Transfiguration Chapel

1 comment:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a beautiful adventure this is. Such a lovely spot, I would go, too, rain or no rain!!!