Caleruega is famous for at least two things : weddings and retreats. With the beauty and tranquility of the place, it is very easy to understand why. It is often mistakenly said to be found in Tagaytay City but its actual location is Batulao, Brgy. Kaylaway, Nasugbu Batangas. It is also becoming a popular bonding place that is close to nature for families and friends.
What is Caleruega?
Caleruega was founded in the year 1995 as a Retreat Center administered by the Fathers and Brothers of the Dominican Province of the Philippines. It continues to be a popular venue for retreats up to the present time. Its only “competition”, if it could be termed as such is the popularity of its own Transfiguration Chapel as a wedding venue.
It enjoys the cool breeze that is often the advantage of elevated places. As such, Caleruega has also been discovered as a nature-tripping area where families and friends can enjoy each other’s company against the backdrop of nature at its best. “Close to Nature, Closer to God” is a very apt greeting found on the grounds of Caleruega.
My First Visit to Caleruega
I have been hearing about Caleruega long before I first set my eyes on it. Just a couple of months after I gave birth to my youngest child in 2004 , my family was invited to attend the wedding of my husband’s cousin in Caleruega. When my father-in-law (beside me in the photo below) was alive, he always requested all his children to make time for any family occasion together with their respective families. So when I came together with my then two-month old child to that wedding, it was just as expected by everyone of us. I just made sure that my child was bundled up quite well as it was a very windy day. The practice of being present as a family in any occasion is a practice we have retained together with the siblings of my husband and their respective families.
My Recent Visit to Caleruega
I had the opportunity to come back to Caleruega together with my own family. We just wanted to be in a place where we can relax and take the children away from their gadgets. We found what we were looking for and more.
A visit to Caleruega will allow people to see the Transfiguration Chapel where the weddings are held, the ethnic interpretation of The Way of the Cross, the Koi Pond, the Camp Site and Picnic Grounds, the Hanging Bridge,and the Tent Chapel, among others. The long walk to the Tent Chapel was quite a challenge but it was definitely worth it. Our only regret was that we didn’t bring any food with us which could have allowed us to stay longer. After enjoying the beautiful scenery for some time, the younger kids started to ask for food so we had no choice but to descend to our way back.
Entrance fee: P30.00
Caleruega is a two-hour drive from Metro Manila, accessible via Tagaytay City. After making a right to Nasugbu until the welcome arch, vehicles can turn left to Evercrest Golf Club. Those who intend to come by public transportation such as a bus going to Nasugbu, Balayan, or Calatagan can take a tricycle from Evercrest or choose to be more adventurous by walking the 2 km road to Caleruega.
I enjoyed my two visits to Caleruega both for a wedding and a simple bonding time with my family. The place is nothing short of enchanting although the road leading to it was quite rough and we were stopped along the way many times by children asking for coins particularly during my last visit. It is very easy to understand why it is a popular wedding venue but marrying couples should consider providing or at the very least facilitate transportation and lodging arrangements for guests. I am not exactly sure if the Tent Chapel which provides a spectacular view, is used for weddings although I can just imagine the great difficulty if a couple actually chooses to do so instead of using the Transfiguration Chapel. Caleruega offers the most suitable picnic grounds but it is better to bring food so that young children will be contented.
Will I come back to Caleruega? Given the chance, I would, although I would really like to use my next visit in the Retreat House. Silence is beautiful sometimes and it can be found in Caleruega.