This Holy Week 2010, my family decided to go to Tarlac City to see Monasteryo De Tarlac. My dad saw it on TV and we felt it was something we should go to this Lenten season for reflection. Coming from Bulacan, the travel was smooth because the traffic was really light. We didnt also find it hard to get to the place because of the signages on the road. But the travel was really long. It took us around 3 to 4 hours to finally arrive at the monastery.
It is situated in Brgy. Lubigan, San Jose Tarlac City. From afar, the statue of the Risen Christ could easliy be seen because it stands 30 feet high. The construction was not yet completely finished but in general it was suitable for a retreat or pilgrimages. There is a small chapel where we heard mass and a big plaza like outside. There was also hectares and hectares of land filled with trees. The highlight of the monastery is an arqueta where the relic of the cross of Jesus is placed. We heard the Liturgy of the Word followed by a healing session. After which everyone was given a chance to touch the arqueta of the relic of the cross and pray for their petition.
I would say it would have been a lot nicer if the place was fully constructed because there's not much to see. Then again, I was not there to tour the place but to seek for serenity and peace. I would say the place and the sermon of the priest really opened my eyes to the true meaning of the Lenten season. It is a time where Jesus reminds us of how great His love for us is.
For others who would like to visit the monastery, here are some of the tips you might find useful:
Monasteryo de Tarlac
Sanctuary of the Holy Cross
Srvants of the Risen Christ
P.O. Box #21, Tarlac City, 2300
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile No.: 0916 250 8414
Tel. Nos.: (045) 493 - 3002/493 2252
Schedule of Ministries:
10:30 Am Masses (Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday)
Confession: 30 mins before and after mass
Veneration of the Relic of the True Cross follows after the mass
Thursday; The Monastery if closed
Retreat and Pilgrimage activities: Make prior reservations with Father Thomas Laurence, SRC 0915 3328888, 0919 558 5000
How to get there: (From sunstar.com)
From Manila, take North Luzon Expressway (Nlex), exit at Sta. Ines Toll Plaza in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Proceed north to Tarlac City. Upon reaching Barangay San Sebastian (Hon Kee Tea House), take a left turn to the bypass road (Tarlac-Pangasinan) towards the town of Camiling. Follow the 36-kilometer backcountry but well-paved road to Barangay Lubigan in San Jose, Tarlac.