Caleruega

60 Comments

Caleruega is probably known as the most popular wedding chapel around Tagaytay. It is much photographed, and the image of the chapel of Transfiguration is most likely etched on the visitor’s, or prospective visitor’s minds.

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But what exactly is Caleruega? Caleruaga is a town in Spain, the birthplace of St. Dominic de Guzman, father of the Order of Preachers. The Filipino Dominicans wanted to honot the legacy of their founder by naming this retreat destination in his honor.

Many people think of Caleruaga as a Tagaytay destination. It may very well be, because it is but two kilometers or so away, near Hillcrest (formerly called Evercrest), in the town of Nasugbu, Batangas. Its topography and climate will indeed make the visitor think he is still in Tagaytay.

THE CENACULUM

The Cenaculum is the very first structure that one will see upon arrival at Caleruega. This is also the gateway to the Chapel of Transfiguration, and to the retreat center accommodations. I would advise visitors though to save the visit to the Chapel of Transfiguration for last. Toilet facilities are available inside the cenaculum.

The Cenaculum

The Cenaculum

It is advised that visitors park their cars around the fountain in front of the cenaculum from where they can start the short walk to the koi pond, the hanging bridge, and the tent chapel.  For tired legs, park benches are available on a shaded area near the parking slots. (UPDATE: Friends and a reader have reported that Caleruega does NOT anymore allow parking inside).

Park here so you can make a quick exit when you are done with your visit.

Benches near the parking slots

Benches near the rotunda/open space in front of the Cenaculum

WALKING AROUND CALERUEGA

Walk to the road on the right if you are facing the cenaculum. It is a beautiful walk, with interesting hand carvings representing the Stations of the Cross on what they call the Manaoag Drive. You will arrive at the beautiful koi pond surrounded by ferns and walkways, leading to the camping area and amphitheater.

Manaoag Drive Via Crusis

Manaoag Drive Via Crusis

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CROSS THE HANGING BRIDGE AND WALK UP TO THE TENT CHAPEL

The hanging bridge is lovely. The walk uphill to the tent chapel is easy, and I counted 100 steps. There are benches around for those who may get tired easily.

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walk up the hill from the bridge to the tent chapel

walk up the hill from the bridge to the tent chapel

the tent chapel of Transfiguration (not to be mistaken for the main chapel accessed from the cenaculum, which one should save for last)

the tent chapel of Transfiguration (not to be mistaken for the main chapel accessed from the cenaculum, which one should save for last)

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THE GARDEN CAFE
Walk back from the tent chapel via the same route taken going there. Relax and have a drink, or buy mementos at the Garden Cafe. Or visit  the lettuce greenhouse, and the plant nursery where you can buy seedlings.

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REMEMBER THAT IT IS A RETREAT CENTER

The pamphlet handed out to visitors define Caleruaga as a sanctuary amidst the beauty of nature where pilgrims are open to prayer, to creative transformation, and to Gospel values. While there are camping grounds, visitors must not, and can not use the grounds like they were camping near the beach. The whole complex is a No Smoking zone. Silence near the retreat centers is observed.

Silence Here please

Silence Here please

gazekubo

gazekubo

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accommodations and facilities for retreatants

accommodations and facilities for retreatants

WHAT YOU CAME FOR: THE CHAPEL OF TRANSFIGURATION
From the cenaculum, take the door on the right and find the signages leading to the chapel. You will pass thru the retreatants accommodations (section just above). In front of the chapel is another famous icon: the sculpture named “Thy Will be Done”. Say a prayer or two inside the chapel. Or attend mass is one is scheduled.

The Chapel of Transfiguration.

The Chapel of Transfiguration.

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right in front of the chapel : Thy Will Be Done

right in front of the chapel : Thy Will Be Done

CONTACT DETAILS:

For your inquiries, please email caleruega_philippines@yahoo.com or call +639218304226 during daily office hours 8:00am-5:00pm, Manila time.

MASS SCHEDULE

Regular Sunday Mass is at 11:00 AM at the Transfiguration Chapel of

HOW TO GET TO CALERUAGA.

Visitors pay an entrance fee of P30 per head. Their phone numbers are +63 921 270 9890 and +63 921 830 4226.  To get there, I have searched online for a map and here is what I deem to be the best, just note that Evercrest has been renamed Hillcrest :

There is now a sign from the main highway on the right side, at the corner of Evercrest, that says CALERUEGA. Follow the road from there.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS.

Go to Tagaytay:

From Makati via SLEX (South Super Highway) take the Eton exit. Follow the TO TAGAYTAY signs and turn right after the Tagaytay Public Market towards the Tagaytay rotunda. Upon reaching the rotunda. Take the road going to Batangas and follow this map..

Alternatively, from Manila take the Coastal Road and take the Aguinaldo Hi-Way passing thru Imus, Dasmarinas, and Silang and on to Tagaytay. Follow map.

From Tagaytay: take the road to Batangas until you reach the next town of Alfonso (where Tagaytay Royale and  Sonya’s Garden are). Immediately after Alfonso is the town of Nasugbu. Go past the “Welcome to Batangas” sign. Drive on until you get to Hillcrest (formerly Evercrest).

Take that road on the left. You will see the entrance to KC Hillcrest Hotel on your right. Drive past Hillcrest, past the Don Bosco Chapel on a Hill, until you get to a crossroads. Take the right turn (there is also a Caleruega sign) and drive until the end of the road (before you reach the end of the road which is Caleruega, you will see hillside accommodations on  your left). The road stops at the entrance to Caleruega.

COMMUTING TO CALERUEGA.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Take any bus that passes thru Tagaytay. These are buses destined for  Nasugbu, Balayan, Lian, Tuy or Calatagan. Get off at Hillcrest (drivers/conductors might still know it by its former name Evercrest, be aware) in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas (the conductor can drop you there).Tricycle service is available at Hillcrest entrance. Or hike 2 kilometers to Calerueaga..

you will drive past these hillside accommodations

you will drive past these hillside accommodations

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60 thoughts on “Caleruega

  1. Hi. Is this open everyday? I’m planning to get there on saturday. How many hours will it take to get there i’m from edsa rotonda. thanks! pls reply asap.

    • It is a church, so it must be open everyday. From EDSA near Pasay, I figure it will take 3 hours. Not really sure, I go around in my own vehicle. That is my best estimate.

  2. Good day:) I just want to ask about the camping area. After visiting the beautiful places there, is there any camping area where you can stay for overnight with your tent? Thanks. I hope you answer it ASAP.

  3. Been there many many times… the place is also good for family picnics and well maintained surroundings is noticeable..

    The bad thing is they won’t allow you to park inside considering you’ve pay the entrance fee. Another bad thing we experience getting there, bukod sa lubak – lubak ang kalsada na katagal-tagal na, for many years na nagdaan, ganun parin , lahat pa ng pupunta duon, oblige na mag park sa labas, siguro we are not the only one na na-gasgasan ng kotse pagpunta dyan sa Caleruega. I’m sure madaming na-victimize ng gasgas kotse dyan sa parking sa labas ng Caleruega. Dapat gawan iyan ng paraan ng management. Nakakahiya naman sa mga bumibisita dyan, tapos pag uwi puro gas-gas ang kotse, like what happen yesterday.. Pinagmamalaki pa naman namin yan. Dapat binabantayan din ng mga guard nyo ang mga naka park na mga kotse sa labas.. OK

    Again, bawal na DAW mag park sa loob ng Caleruega, kahit duon sa tapat ng picnic grounds, kaya mapipilitan kayo mag park sa labas, which is unsafe para sa mga may dalang sasakyan like cars, tyak pag-uwi nyo puro gas-gas na ang mga kotse nyo.

    • I was lucky that they were still allowing parking inside the compound when I went there last. In fact, I showed the photo of the parking area in my blog. Sad to hear they do not allow that anymore. In fact, I also heard the same thing from a friend who went there a few months ago. I wish the management of Caleruega will at the very least assign guards to prevent the gasgas-kotse thing from happening. Yes, I think they should consider this, even if they might say this is outside of their property. But people go there and park outside because of Caleruega.

    • Thank goodness I was able to read your comment just now. I was planning to surprise my wife by bringing her there today, on a weekday, thinking there wouldn’t be any hassle since we’d probably be the only visitors.
      Too bad they don’t allow parking inside. If they won’t then they shouldn’t charge parking fees. And if they do charge parking fees the very least management can do is assign guards to look after the cars of pilgrims.
      Oh well, maybe next time…

    • Sir pwede pa din po mag-park ng mga sasakyan sa loob ng Caleruega. Last po na punta ko is January 2016. Kapag full parking na po sa loob, meron po silang Parking Area na safe po talaga and it’s FREE. Kapag full parking na din po dun, no choice na talaga mag-park sa labas, which is unsafe talaga.

    • Quite honestly I don’t remember, but it is nothing prohibitive. As to “gasgas-kotse”, you will see that that was a report from one of my readers. I did not experience this myself. The road to Caleruega is not “matarik” or steep. It is an easy drive, even if some portions of the road are unpaved.

    • From Olivarez, ride a jeep with a signboard going to Nasugbu, then alight at Evercrest, from Evercrest, meron na po dun tricycle going to Caleruega 50/trip

  4. They are charging 30 pesos as “entrance fees” for maintenance, not as parking fees. While it is just my view, I dont think we should treat like some tourist spot and the place owes us convenience or anything. It is a place of prayer and not necessarily some business who gets money for profit. Just my side though.

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  6. Hi there 🙂 how can we get there in Church, if we’re from Manila ? And the estimated cost may applied back -forth? Thanks

    • Caleruega is at the start of Nasugbu, just past Tagaytay. Take any bus that goes to Nasugbu via Tagaytay and ask the driver to drop you off at Evercrest where there is a sign TO CALERUEGA. There are tricycles from there. Sorry but I did not commute and can not estimate cost.

  7. kapag po ba galing ng Amuyong tas papunta po sa Caleruega magkano po ang bayad at magkano din po ang entrance fee sa Caleruega?

  8. Very beautiful place…..nice place to have muni-muni sessions. Last year, 2015, accdg to one of the priests there one night per room is p1000….maybe with food already, not sure…can’t remember what he said.

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    • Go back to Tagaytay where there are many places to visit. Like Picnic Grove, Sky Ranch (where there is a zipline), People’s Park, or the Ayala Mall, or the many restaurant options : the high-end Antonio’s (by reservation), Sonya’s Garden (in Alfonso) where the lunch is salad, bread and dips, plus pasta (it was P650 per head the last time I was there), Mushroom burger, or just stop by a ridge and get photos of the volcano and lake.

  10. Hi! been there yesterday.. thank you for the map you provided here, it was a great help since we commute by bus.. but “Evercrest” is now named “KC Hillcrest”.. just in case you want to update.. 🙂

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