Tagaytay is one of my favorite places. That is why, I was very happy when I had the chance to visit the place again last Friday, January 15 to look for a retreat house – our community is planning to go for a retreat on February 22 – March 3. We unanimously voted for Tagaytay as a venue for a retreat, knowing its nice weather and beautiful sceneries which are conducive for prayer and spiritual discernment, but choosing a venue for it is another story.
After many days of browsing our Catholic Directory and the internet for a retreat house in Tagaytay, we ended up having three choices – 1. Franciscan Missionaries of Mary’s Landas Buhay Retreat House; 2. La Consolacion Sisters’ Tahanan Santa Monica; and 3. Carmelite Missionaries’ Center of Spirituality. Our trip to Tagaytay aims to help us come up with our final choice.
Last Friday, Rodel and I left Antipolo at 5am to catch the 6am bus trip to Tagaytay. We arrived on time at the bus station (San Agustin Bus) but the bus left at around 30 minutes past 6. Traffic going to Tagaytay that day was not heavy so I enjoyed the trip, there was a tv/dvd on-board and they played the movie Avatar. We reached Tagaytay at 8:45pm then immediately looked for a place to eat breakfast. We ate at Chowking and ordered one of their Almuchows, King’s Special – surprisingly, we liked it and I am recommending it the next time you are having a craving for fast-food breakfast. After eating our breakfast, we went to our first stop – FMM’s Landas Buhay retreat house which is very accessible, few walk away from the rotonda.
FMM Landas Buhay Retreat House:
FMM’s retreat house rate: Php 650.00 per head/day, single room, common toilet and bath, inclusive of 3 meals and 2 snacks.
After seeing FMM’s retreat house, we headed to La Consolacion Sisters’ Tahanan Santa Monica. It took us more or less 10 minutes to go there through a tricycle, we paid 40 pesos for our fare.
La Consolacion Sisters’ Tahanan Santa Monica:
La Consolacion’s retreat house offers single room with private toilet and bath, 3 meals and 2 snacks at 700 pesos per head/day. Sister Noeme told us that we can even request for any food we like to eat during the retreat since she’s the one in-charge of the kitchen and she was my classmate in Sojourn way back in 2000.
After saying goodbye to the La Consolacion sisters, we proceeded to the Carmelite Missionaries’ Center of Spirituality located in Kabangaan Road. We thought that it is near Tahanan Santa Monica so we decided to walk – which took us almost an hour to reach our destination, it was really a long walk!
The gate of the Carmelites’ retreat house, the building’s edifice, and its very efficient guard who did not let us in without first calling the sisters of our intention to inquire from them about their services were quite intimidating but once inside, we received a nice welcome from them. In fact, they invited us for lunch maybe because they noticed that we looked so tired from walking under the heat of noon time sun, but anyway, my heartfelt gratitude to the Carmelite Missionary Sisters who welcomed us and brought us to their dining hall :) especially the sister who knew our congregation in Africa very well.
Carmelite Missionary Center of Spirituality:
Carmelite missionaries’ retreat house’s rate is 900 pesos per person/day, inclusive of 3 meals and 2 snacks, single room and private toilet and bath.
After our visit to the Carmelite Missionaries, we went to Our Lady of Lourdes parish and tried to look for the retreat house managed by the Capuchin Friars but sad to say, we were not able to find it. Anyway, we felt that we already accomplished our mission so we decided to eat our snacks at Mushroom Burger – to make our trip memorable…duh! :)
Yesterday, I presented the results of our “ocular inspection” to our community and after my report, we, as a community decided to have our retreat at…
FMM’s Landas Buhay Retreat House :)