Imagine a tranquil environment, a deafening silence and a gentle hush of the wind that tingles the hair in your skin – its God’s abundant love felt and experienced.

Perched on a mountain hill, Monasterio de Tarlac was a piece of heaven on earth.

In 2015, I was part of the prayer petition for healing. A year after, it was my turn to give back and to pray for others.

I was grateful to PLM- Student Catholic Action for allowing me to join the pilgrimage team.

Monasterio de Tarlac is where the Relic of the Holy Cross can be found. It is rightly placed atop a mountain at San Jose in Tarlac.

The monastery is run by the Servants of the Risen Christ (SRC) Monastic Community, founded by Fr. Ronald Thomas Cortez in 1998. In 2005, Fr. Cortez attended the World Youth Day celebration in Germany, where he met Msgr. Volker Bauer, the custodian of the relic. At the time, Msgr. Volker was looking for someone to whom he can entrust the relic since the monastic life in Europe is slowly dying. Aware of Fr. Cortez’ Monastic Community in the Philippines, Msgr. Volker entrusted the relic to him. And so in 2005, the holy cross came to the monastery.

The relic authenticated by a papal seal is believed to be part of the cross discovered by Saint Helena in Jerusalem, the mother Emperor Constantine the Great. It was believed that Saint Helena excavated three crosses in Jerusalem which were believed to be the crosses used during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. She brought a woman who was about to die and asked her to touch the first two crosses but nothing happened. When the third cross was touched, the dying woman was healed.

This story of Saint Helena is not often told but for the Filipinos, it is remembered through the month-long festival in May honoring the Virgin Mary, known to many as Santacruzan or Flores de Mayo held on the last day of the festival.


A must-visit pilgrimage venue. You don’t need to go to Brazil, we have a local version of the Christ the Redeemer in Monasterio de Tarlac.

Here is my A Dose of Ramedy today:

Travel more while you can. Go to a pilgrimage site and enrich your Catholic faith. Spend your long- weekend meaningfully.

Have a blessed day!

Monk day

Want to live like a monk? Here is your typical day.

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