Caleruega Church Wedding
Good Reviews and Photos of Caleruega Church
We went to Caleruega Church few days ago to sponsor the wedding of a niece. This church as shown in the wedding invitation is located at Brgy. Kaylaway, Nasugbo Batangas, Philippines. I am not familiar with the place even if I frequently visit the famous beaches in Nasugbo, so I googled to know more of the place and based on the write-ups I saw in the net, I learned that this has become a dream wedding place for many couples. Furthermore, the photos I saw are very impressive.
I provided here two photos of the church which I myself took. These photos showed how Caleruega church looks from outside.
The Road Map to Caleruega Church
Travel Time and Experience in Going To Caleruega Church
Based on the information given by the groom, it will take us around two hours to reach the Caleruega church, and it is just some few distance drive from Tagaytay City which is a very familiar place to me. So as to give my family and some relatives some time for eating and enjoying the captivating view of Taal Lake view in Tagaytay before we finally go to the exact venue for the 3:00 PM wedding, we left our home as early as 11:00 am.
At exactly 12:00 noon we were already at the heart of Tagaytay, so we stopped to eat at Leslie's Restaurant. After eating we took time to visit the view deck of the restaurant so we could enjoy the Taal Lake more and the cool breeze as well as to have some souvenir photos as well. Before 2:00 PM we left Leslies Restaurant to resume our travel to the wedding venue.
With help of the road map provided in the wedding invitation, we traveled our way to Caleruega Church. As soon as we saw Royale Tagaytay,, we knew that we were already about to exit Tagaytay to enter the town of Nasugbo. The first landmarks are the arch of “Welcome Nasugbo” and Petron station so as we saw them, we knew we were on the right tract. Some short drive after, we finally saw the HillCaleruega sign on the right side of road where we turned left as shown in the given road map. Then we proceeded to locate the exact place. Along the road we saw the Chapel on the Hill on the left side which made us quite confused. We thought this was the Caleruega church but as it looked different from the photos we saw in the net, I went on driving till we reached the end of the road with a road sign “Caleruega Retreat Center, then rightward is a downside rough road. Again, we were confused and were just asking each other “where is the Caleruega church?”. So, we decided to stop and made a call to the groom to ask help.
Fortunately, the groom confirmed that we were not actually lost. We were on the right tract. As instructed by the groom we had to just pursue the rough, non-cemented, worn-out road which is not really short and to me it was killing the excitement because it felt like the road would wreck my new wheels. Nevertheless the Hillcrest Golf Course on the right side of the bad road provided a relaxing view so we were somewhat relieved until we finally reached the place.
Getting A Parking Space Dilemma
As we reached the exact location we looked for the entrance where our car could enter and park properly but there was no such gateway. We saw only a stiff stairway to the church for the guests who want to walk up their way right from that entrance. The church is built on a high ground so we wanted to just enter through a gate to avoid walking up that stairs so we went on driving downward to find the entrance.
As we reached the end of the road we saw a gate and it was written on the gate the following notice : “Limited Free Parking Space only”. It was still around 40 minutes before 3:00 PM and it was Monday so we knew we could avail of the limited free parking but the guard upon asking us what is the purpose of our visit told us that we can opt also for a free parking near the gate leading to the church itself. So we drove back near the entrance of the church hoping to find a gateway to the parking this time around but there was none. After getting so confused as what parking space that guard was telling us, we finally came up to the right conclusion that the parking space was the side of the road itself. Thinking it was not safe to park just on the side of the road we drove back to the guard who did not even recognized us and asked us again the purpose of our visit and told us again we could park near the church entrance but we told him we prefer to avail of the free parking inside and he let us in.
Part of the Well-Manicured Caleruega Retreat Center
The Beautiful Setting of the Caleruega Retreat Center
As soon as we were allowed entry to the gate, we discovered that Caleruega church is just a part of the entire vastness of Caleruega Retreat Center. The Retreat Center as a whole is nice.
As we entered the area, we thought the big building fronting the parking space was already the church but we were told it is the Cenaculum. The surroundings is a beautiful landscape. There are trees and plants all around. It was like a well-manicured forest. The trees and plants are in right places and there were sitting benches under the trees and some chairs and tables inside open reception halls where guests can sit around to rest. There were also tropical flowers around that made the garden lively and colorful.
We were not able to go around more even if we would have wanted to see more of the beauty of the entire place because we were also excited to meet the other members of the entourage that were already in the church so we all walked our way leading to the church after a short tour around the Cenaculum .
It was a very tiring upward walk from the parking lot to the church which was built in the highest level of the retreat center ground. It was actually climbing a hill that we did. The only difference is we could see lovely backdrop as we were all catching our breath. The ladies who were in their high heels regretted and wished they had worn slippers first. At any rate, we decided not to rush to avoid tiring ourselves too much. So from time to time we had to stop to breath and enjoy the beauty of the scenery around us. It was then that we realized the guard was right when he told us to just park near the entrance. The stiff stairway is far easier than the long upward walk we had. At any rate, at least we saw more of the beauty of the Retreat Center so that was something that console us apart from the fact that our car was parked in a safer place.
Indeed, the ladies who were in their high heels really suffered more but we were all relieved as we finally reached the front of the church. To beat our weariness we just laughed off that tiring experience and then we took some souvenir photos among the lovely flowers and plants
Inside the Caleruega Church
Calaurega Church is Actually Just a Chapel
After the picture taking and some chit chat we decided to finally enter to see the church itself. I got quite disappointed as I discovered it was much much smaller than I was expecting. I was thinking it was like the Manila Cathedral or San Agustin church in terms of size but I was wrong for it is only a chapel. It has less than 20 pews and so the distance from the door to the altar is only few meters. This made the red carpet walk too insignificant because it is more or less 10 steps only. The groom, the whole entourage and the bride had to climb the stairs leading to the doorway so it led to some disadvantages. It was quite hard for the bridesmaids and female sponsors wearing high-heels and long gown but thank to their male counterparts that helped them manage to climb without tripping. However it was a different story for the bride for she had to march alone to the altar. So it was obvious it was hard for her to climb the stairs with her high heels, wedding gown with long tail although she tried to smile. Anyway, she was able to make it, so she finally was able to enter the door and then marched briefly to the red carpet to her waiting groom.
So the wedding ceremony went on. Sadly, the priest who officiated the wedding ceremony is not impressive either.
I learned later that Caleruega church is not really categorized as church but a chapel because its real name is Transfiguration Chapel of Caleruega. Except for the fact that it was built on a hill, and occupying the highest part of ground of the Retreat Center, the church itself has nothing exceptional to boast about. This made me wonder why my niece and his bride chose this very far chapel when there are big churches nearer our place. Even the beautiful scenery around this chapel is not worth the long travel time and effort.