Monasterio de Tarlac

How it came to be….

December 1999 – Gov. Jose V. Yap attends  “Simbang Gabi” at St. Therese of Child Jesus Parish  in Ramos, Tarlac Presided  by Fr. Ronald Thomas  “Archie” A. Cortez Parish Priest and Superior  General  of the Servants of the Risen Christ.  Fr. Archie, also the prior Founder of the SRC Community relates the story about the founding of a monastic community in Ramos, this caught the attention of Governor Yap, and on that same occasion, the idea of a bigger and better location was conceived. Yap offered a portion of the newly  established Tarlac Eco Tourism Park in Brgy. Lubigan San Jose Tarlac.

January 2001 – Comerstone  laying on the foundation of the 20 has. Monasterio de Tarlac, symbolized by the erection of the first cross.

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March 7, 2001 – Blessing of the Prior hermitage.

December 2, 2002 – Groundbreaking of the proposed monastic community and blessing of the 30-ft high statue of the Risen Christ by Most Rev. Gabriel Reyes, D.D., Bishop of Antipolo.

2003 – Construction of monasteries, kiosk, 5 hermitages for monks and other facilities.

2004 – construction of the Oratory (Chapel) and a 12 – room dormitory for monks.

November 2006 – Renovation and redesigning of the Oratory to Reliquary to house the relic of the true cross.

January 30, 2007 – Inauguration and blessing of the chapel and reliquary presided by his excellency most Rev. Fernando Filoni, D.D. apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, assisted by several  archbishops, bishops and priests.

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Occidental Mindoro

Known as “Marine Wonderland,” the fantastic land that is Occidental Mindoro is endowed with marine beauty from its virgin forests, beautiful white sand beaches, islands and islets rich in marine life, coral gardens, mysterious caves, and cascading waterfalls.

It has one of the country’s wondrous secret hideaways, the Apo Reef, which is regarded as the second largest in the world. This 34-kilometer reef in Sablayan, which is located in Apo Island, is acclaimed as the best in Asia and as the diving mecca of the Philippines. The Apo Reef Marine Park includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Cajos del Bajo, which are surrounded by waters with over 500 species of marine life and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400 to 500 kaleidoscopic coral species.

Mt. Iglit in San Jose is a game sanctuary for the tamaraw, a wild animal found nowhere else in the world, bearing a resemblance to the Philippine buffalo, commonly known as carabao. Mamburao boasts of an elongated strip of beach with natural and rustic surroundings. In Lumang Bayan, Sablayan, a five-hectare park overlooking the sea, known as Presing Park, is frequented by promenaders.

Occidental Mindoro is a diving paradise with so much to offer divers out to discover several unexplored shoals and atolls. The areas around Ambulong Island, Ilin Island, White Island, and Pandan Grande offer a fertile diving ground surrounded by exquisite coral reefs and colorful marine life, ranging from exotic fish to exquisite seashells.

Every 25th to 27th of April, residents of San Jose celebrate the Saknungan, a 3-day thanksgiving festival highlighted by streetdances and parades. Saknungan is a Mangyan term which means “”bayanihan”” or the spirit of cooperation, brotherhood, and unity at work – the spirit portrayed by the Mindoreños day-to-day, especially during the planting and the harvesting seasons.


Things to Do and see in Occidental Mindoro

Apo Reef National Park (Apo Island, Sablayan; 3 hours by pumpboat from the capital to Sablayan)
One of the dive sites frequented by most divers in Occidental Mindoro is the Apo Reef. It is acclaimed as the best in Asia, and as the diving mecca of the Philippines. It is a 34-kilometer reef, located 20 miles west of Mindoro proper, with a narrow channel running east to west, dividing this reef into two lagoon systems, north and south. Underneath, the clean waters, fine white sand, and numerous corals are visible.
The Apo Reef Marine Park includes the fascinating bird-populated islands of Binangaan and Caios del Bajo, which have a variety of birds that can irresistibly lure birdwatchers. The surrounding waters are abundant with marine fauna and luxuriant coral growth represented by approximately 400-500 kaleidoscopic coral species. Marine life includes varieties of sharks, stingrays, and manta ray

Pandan Island (Sablayan; 15 minutes by pumpboat from Sablayan port)
Pandan Grande Island is a 30-hectare islet surrounded by a white sand beach and is also the site of a 20-room divers’ lodge made of native cottages. This beautiful little coral islet is located with snorkelling distance from a submarine drop-off, inhabited by schools of reef. A yacht ride may be taken to the island.


Special Interest

Deep Sea Scuba Diving

Go for a dive and savor the panorama of your life, with a breathtaking view of the world’s second largest coral reef, schools of fish in shoals and atolls, and sunken vessel sites. Take pride in the precious marine heritage of the Philippine republic.

Swimming and Snorkeling

These are pleasures which fit the affordability level of the average tourist, local or foreign. The waters of Mindoro Occidental are pristine and pure, unvisited as most of its shores in comparison to more popular ones.
Sightseeing. Pay exciting visits via island hopping to conversation sites, natural parks, reservation areas, and animal sanctuaries, notably the wildlife reserves covering the endangered tamaraw species.

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