If you are planning for a blessed trip this Holy Week or want to have a summer getaway, why not experience both in one stop at the Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort in San Joaquin, Iloilo? Read on and find out why Garin Farm Pilgrimage is called a “Journey from Creation to Ascension”.
If Quezon Province in the Philippines has Kamay ni Hesus (Hand of Jesus) and El Salvador, Misamis Oriental has Divine Mercy Shrine with a statue of Jesus Christ at the top of the hill, then Iloilo has Garin Farm. Located in San Joaquin, Iloilo, Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort is a 14-hectare property serving as a pilgrimage site and a resort offering leisure activities for all ages.
Given that about 85% of the Philippine population is composed of Christians, it is not surprising that pilgrimage sites like Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort get attention from a lot of devotees, especially during Holy Week.
The entrance leads you to the Farm part of the resort, where you will walk under a tunnel of vines. Agriculture adherents will already find heaven in this part of Garin Farm. Showcased here are many kinds of vegetables, herbs and farm animals . The farm advocates organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices, as well.
Walking through the tunnel of vines and seeing lush foliage around might urge you to take a deep breath and enjoy the countryside atmosphere. Be careful not to inhale too deeply, though, as the smell of poultry, pigs, goats and carabaos might not be in your pleasant zone.
Also read other Holy Week Sites in the Philippines: 8 Churches in Batangas for Visita Iglesia
It is quite a long walk under the tunnel of vines before you will finally come to an expansive open space reserved for recreation. This is where the Resort part comes in. Various activities for kids and adults alike can be enjoyed here, including swimming in pools, kayaking and fishing in an artificial lagoon, golf carting, horseback riding, biking and zip-lining.
It was already late afternoon when we arrived so we didn’t go around much in this part of Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort.
Garin Farm Pilgrimage
Just next to the recreational area is where you will find the pilgrimage site, starting with the story of creation at the Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark and the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses, depicted in statues.
A steep flight of stairs will lead you to a majestic cross sitting on top of the hill. Even elders can take the journey up the 400 plus steps as there are nine stations in between where you can stop and reflect for a moment. The nine stations portray different Biblical scenes in the life of Jesus, starting from his baptism up to events leading to his crucifixion and resurrection. Christians or not, this pilgrimage is a good way of educating your kids or of oneself about the Bible story, from the Christian perspective.
Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem
The Last Supper
The Scourging at the Pillar
The Dark Meditation Tunnel
Reaching the big cross is not the end of the journey yet. Facing the cross, move to your left to find the Divine Mercy Dark Meditation Tunnel. The walk inside the dark tunnel isn’t that long, with small LED lights (just like in an aircraft isle) on the side to guide your way. Just before the end of the tunnel is a lighted image of Jesus, King of Mercy and small chairs where devotees may wish to sit for meditation.
Entrance to the Dark Tunnel
Divine Mercy Image of Jesus
The end of the tunnel leads to a blinding white space with the angels and the saints paying homage to the image of Holy Trinity at the center. The dark path symbolizes mankind’s journey of earthly hardships and challenges. Before entering triumphantly into heaven, the portion where the image of the Divine Mercy shines from the darkness probably represents contemplation, forgiveness and cleansing.
The sun is almost setting by the time we emerged from the tunnel. I would imagine the place to be glaringly whiter during midday, but of course, the weather will be hotter. If you peek beyond from the statues, you can also admire a view of the mountains and the coast.
View from the top of the pilgrimage resort
I wasn’t aware that on that day, the moon will rise as a Supermoon (November 2017). Too bad I only have a wide angle lens with me where the moon registers only as a tiny dot in the entire image. Frustrated that I will not be able to take home a super nice shot of the supermoon, I contented myself with watching the moon glow over a perfect heaven-like backdrop.
I am just glad we made it to Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort on that day after our enjoyable stint at the peaceful Nogas Island in the neighboring town of Anini-y in the province of Antique. Click here to discover the hidden charms of Anini-y.
Check out other Iloilo and nearby travel destinations here:
How to Get There
From Iloilo City
San Joaquin is located south of Iloilo City. You can ride a jeepney from Iloilo Terminal Market along De Leon Street at the town center or from Mohon Terminal along Osmeña Street. Travel time is approximately 2 hours. You may also take a bus or van from the Molo Terminal near the Molo Church. Just ask the driver to drop you off at San Joaquin where tricycles going to Garin Farm are parked. Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort can then be reached with a tricycle ride.
If driving a private car, take the Iloilo- Antique National Road and once you reach the San Joaquin Cemetery, you will later see a sign pointing the way to Garin Farm on the right.
From Caticlan/ Kalibo/ Antique
Take a bus or van bound to San Jose, Antique. Public transport bound to Iloilo is rare but if you do catch with one, be sure first that the bus is via San Jose. Get off at San Jose, Antique Terminal then transfer to a bus or van bound for Iloilo. Ask to be dropped off at San Joaquin where tricycles going to Garin Farm are parked, then finally take the tricycle to Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort.
Garin Farm Rates
Find Garin Farm rates on various activities below:
|Entrance Fee||Php 150|
|Operating hours||8:00 AM to 6:00 PM|
|Air-conditioned Cottages: |
|Swimming Pool||Php 80|
|Horseback Ride||Php 60 (2 rounds)|
|Goat Cart Ride||Php 30 (2 rounds)|
|Scooter||Php 30 (5 min)|
|All Terrain Vehicle||Php 100 (5 min)|
|Boating (30 min):|
Php 40 (1 pax)/ Php 30 (2 pax)
Php 90 (2 pax)
Php 40 (2 pax)
Gate to Pavilion
Pavilion to Cross
Cross to Pavilion
|Billiards||Php 60 (1 hr)|
Garin Farm is not yet available in online booking platforms. You may contact them at +63 033 314 7555 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you wish to stay at nearby areas or nearby towns, you can compare all top travel sites in just one search by clicking the link below:
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