How was our Caleruega Family Retreat Experience? How much is the family retreat fee and its inclusions? These are some of the questions I have in mind prior to our family retreat. I’ll be sharing our Caleruega journey and tips for a relaxing Caleruega tour.
I’ve known Caleruega when I was searching for a beautiful place in Batangas. I love the beach. I am a nature-lover so when I saw some pictures of Caleruega, I got interested to go there. When my sister visited our country to see my sick father, Caleruega is in the list of my sister’s itinerary short vacation in the Philippines.
We attended the 11am mass. We went there at around 10:20am and lucky to have our seats inside the Caleruega Transfiguration chapel despite the crowd. Since my extended family travel all the way from Manila, right after the Holy Mass they starved. Although there is a big function area for serving food, it is only available for the people who have a retreat and seminars. As much as we want to explore Caleruega, we just went straight to Twin Lakes to eat lunch with the whole family. Also, we have three senior citizen who gets easily tired of walking. I told husband that we will be back here to discover the beauty of nature and feel the solemnity of the place. That was last August 5, 2018.
Fast forward, we finally explored the place of Solitude, Caleruega as of this writing. After three months, we were able to go back there for a Caleruega Overnight Family Retreat.
Our Caleruega Family Retreat Experience
It was Saturday, the 2nd day of November when we drove to Caleruega. It is also a celebration of All-Souls Day here in the Philippines. On the way from Imus Cavite, we stop-over and dine-in at the newest restaurant Ribchon”Home of the Baby Back Baboy” located at Mahogany Avenue, Maharlika West. My husband’s colleague is the business owner of this restaurant.
Along the way from Tagaytay road to Batulao Nasugbu,Batangas, there is a moderate to heavy traffic on a Saturday noon time. We have spent about an hour on the road before we reached the final destination. After confirmation from the guard, we went straight to the parking space inside the vicinity of Caleruega near the church.
We arrived at around 1pm. Our check-in time was 2pm in a quadruple occupancy cottage. The staff at the lobby area gave our room keys and give us some instructions to rest, eat snacks at 3:30pm provided in the main function hall, and the priest who will inform me again for the time to meet the priest who will facilitate us.
Prior to our retreat day, I called the Caleruega contact number to inquire. They advised me to send a letter of request for the family retreat. What’s the topic to tackle in the retreat by the facilitator? I also provided a family background.
What is Caleruega?
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 to and for the Divine Creator.
At Caleruega, there is silence, solitude, harmony, the majesty of creation, the freedom of light, and the passion to share God’s Word. It is a seedbed of preachers, the cornerstone of spiritual inspiration.
Retreat Room at Caleruega
We stayed at a quadruple room 5 named “Blessed Jordan of Saxony”. The room is simple and clean. There are four single beds in the room, a big window, back door, big closet, extra chairs, working split-type aircon and a spacious toilet and bathroom with hot and cold water option in the faucet and shower area. The room is conducive and we felt homey. My only suggestion is bring extra blanket because the blanket provided is a thin cotton blanket.
The first snack we had is a creamy spaghetti and cranberry juice. My children, husband, and I loves the taste of their spaghetti.
At around 4pm, we met Fr. Melchor Saria who is our retreat facilitator at the Verital Hall. We are four in the family retreat – my husband and I, and two children.
How much is the Caleruega family retreat fee and its inclusions?
Day 1 PM Snacks, Dinner
Day 2 Breakfast, AM Snacks, Lunch
Are there any Caleruega Horror Stories to tell?
Definitely none. My husband and I read some horror stories from other sites saying they’ve experience something scary while they are in a retreat at Caleruega. But, with our family retreat, there’s nothing to be scared of. As for our family, as long as we’re together and have faith in God, nothing bad or frightening will happen. We just trust our Lord, Jesus Christ! There is just one strange unexplained happening, my selfie stick and mobile phone won’t work while we are taking pictures that night after the talked as we walked to the pathways on our way back to our retreat house. I wanted to capture the beautiful night scenery but failed. Still thankful, I took one photo there before walking to the pathways. When we’ve reached our room, I checked my mobile phone again and it worked there.
The next day was a refreshing and relaxing adventure.
Caleruega Tip: It is better to walk and go around the must-see sights at Caleruega early in the morning at around 5:30 or 6am.
Since we spent the night in a retreat room, we woke up early in the morning at 5am. We prepared ourselves for the walk and jog. We wore our on-the-go comfy clothing – shirt, jogging pants, and rubber shoes. But, before that we are actually in our pajamas when we walked around the transfiguration chapel and the nearby sights from our room then changed to see more. We went straight to the Tent chapel which is at the peak of the mountain. Along the pathway, we passed by the Manaog Drive via Crusis. It’s wonderful to see the Koi fishes at the Koi pond and its walkways.
The hanging bridge at Caleruega is a thrilling experience most especially to my kids. We brave passing it through in going to the Tent Chapel. You”ll be amazed in everything you see in Caleruega.
Must-see sights at Caleruega
- Transfiguration chapel
- Tent Chapel
- Fountain compass
- The Dominicum’s Grand Stairway
- St. Dominic’s Point
- Manaog Drive Via Crusis
- Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
- “Thy Will be done” sculpture
- Koi Pond and its walkways
- Hanging bridge and Kampo Arriba
- Kampo Terraces and Amphitheater
- Worm Farm and Compost Production
When we reached the Tent Chapel, it is a breathtaking view. As you look around, you’ll appreciate it more.
Summary review of our Caleruega Family Retreat:
We had a refreshing and relaxing Caleruega Family Retreat. It is a great place for reflection and a comforting place to appreciate God’s creation by being closeto nature. Family is everything. During our stay, we don’t use gadgets. We only use it to take some photos. The quadruple occupancy cottage is clean and enough for our family. The toilet and bathroom is clean and spacious. It has a hot and cold option when using the shower or the faucet. It is a peaceful place and the air is so fresh. During the night, we smelled the sweet scent of different flowers that is still fragrant in the morning when you wake up. Everything we saw is beautiful. The food is superb! The food serving is big, healthy, and nutritious. You’ll get fat if you don’t walk around 🙂 . Their staff is kind and approachable. Caleruega is well-managed and organized. It just saddened me seeing some people visiting the place who do not care to throw their garbage properly and not following the rules or signages there. Our retreat is indeed priceless and worthy of the experience.
For souvenirs and pasalubong, they have a souvenir shop where you can find religious items, unique pieces, and food. To support the Dominican’s mission, I bought a jar of Pure Raw Wild forest Honey which cost at Php400 and special atsara.
What to do in Caleruega? It is a wonderful and a relaxing place for retreats and recollections, leadership and team building camps, prayer and renewal workshop, marriage and family encounters, weddings and receptions, art music, liturgy, and care for creation workshops.
Caleruega Sunday Mass: 11am
For more details about Caleruega, please contact them at:
0921 270 9890 ; 0921 830 4226
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday to Saturday : 8:00am-12nn; 1:00pm-5:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am-10:30am; 1:00pm-5:00pm
Caleruega Philippines is located at Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas.