Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Caleruega on a hill

A rotunda in a cul-de-sac fronting the administration office that looks like a church perched on a hill welcomes you to the retreat that is Caleruega.

Coming off the Silang exit along the Southern Luzon Expressway, a two-hour drive takes you to this spiritual haven that can also be an available venue for your commercial functions, be it for your company's spiritual retreat, or an escapist wedding set in the midst of lush, green surroundings.

Inside the administration building, a chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene takes you for a surprise, and your thoughts begin to swirl around the debate whether she was the Messiah's wife or a plain prostitute rescued.

Nevertheless, the whole Caleruega experience can literally take your breath away on any non-rainy day, as you walk up towards the chapel itself located on the topmost hill, and then walk towards the hanging bridge on the very fringes of the Caleruega estate, only to walk up again the steep incline towards your car parked in the busy rotunda in the cul-de-sac fronting the administration office.

Caleruega is not commuter-friendly. Located in Nasugbu, Batangas, just a few meters away from the boundary of Alfonso, Cavite, the haven sits behind a golf club. One can easily miss Caleruega altogether, since only a small arrow perched on an electric post along the national highway points to the direction of the golf club's gate. Not one notice tells the commuter that one has to pass through the golf club's gates to reach Caleruega. Upon reaching Caleruega, that's the time you get to know how to reach Caleruega, through a map in the brochure that tells you how to reach Caleruega. Don't forget to pay the 50-peso fee per head, and sorry, no discounts for kids.

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