Haven in the mountains: A visit to Monasterio De Tarlac-A A +A
Monday, April 5, 2010
THE road leading to Monasterio De Tarlac is almost a two-hour ride on a private vehicle from Clark Freeport. We proceeded in an average speed going to Tarlac province taking time to enjoy the scenery, from the province’s urban centers to the rural backdrop that set the ambiance upon approaching our destination.
Our destination is the rustic Barangay Lubigan in San Jose, Tarlac. The village is surrounded by hills and rolling mountains of many names. We passed by Luisita before we ventured into the ascending roads to Lubigan. It was like an ascent to heaven as the snake roads takes you to the elevated location of the Monasterio. The Monasterio is in fact located inside the 278-hectare Tarlac Ecotourism Park developed by Governor Jose "Aping" Yap as his legacy to Tarlaquenos.
Upon entering the main complex area, one would be amazed on the human structures and the natural wonder of the location that sits atop the mountain slopes and provides a magnificent view of Lubigan and other surrounding villages. The view is breath-taking and one could in fact spend a full hour just staring at the scenery.
In this magnificent structure, the sacred relic of the true cross finds refuge under the care of the Servants of the Risen Christ. The congregation has only 30 contemplative monks or religious brothers nationwide. They are also called "frater" to the Catholic community.
The relic, which was housed in the Monasterio since 2005, had been drawing hordes and hordes of devotees who find refuge in the serene location of the relic and the spiritual sanctuary that the Monasterio provides. The relic is contained in a silver reliquary housed in an ornately decorated glass case on one of the altars of the Church of the Risen Christ in the sprawling monastery where one also finds a 30-foot statue of the Risen Christ.
To accommodate the growing hordes of devotees to the shrine in Tarlac, the Priory of the Risen Christ decided to celebrate the Holy Mass there every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. After, pilgrims are allowed entry to the reliquary to pay homage and be blessed with spirituality.
The complex had also undergone many developments, to accommodate pilgrims, the brothers have constructed facilities, picnic groups and religious structures to keep up with the religious significance of the area. Here one can relax with family members or attend mass and contemplate of life and personal spiritual growth. The Monasterio is closed during Thursdays for regular renovations.
The Lenten Week may be over, but a visit to Monasterio De Tarlac is still worth the long hour drive. Here, you can find a haven in the mountains.
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