Caleruega. Closer to God, closer to nature.
The Transfiguration Chapel. The chapel on the hill, sitting on Caleruega’s highest peak.
It was the chapel of my wedding dreams. I saw this chapel in a movie years before I met my husband and I wished for it to be the venue of my wedding…. cheesy, yes! That was years before I thought about going to Manila so distance-wise in terms of Iloilo-Manila-Nasugbu,Batangas, it was short of an impossibility. But ex-boyfriend, now husband of 11 years made it a dream come true.
Caleruega is located at Batulao, Bgy. Kaylaway, Nasugbu, Philippines. It is at the end of a narrow, dirt road coming from the national road right after the “Welcome to Nasugbu” sign. Once you see the sign, the Evercrest Hotel wouldn’t be far ahead and there’s a narrow road to the left which you should take and off you go towards Caleruega.
The administration building called the Cenaculum greets each and every visitor. It looks imposing and its front stairs look old. This is where the office is located and this is where we reserved the chapel for our wedding on August 2014. The reservation was made a year and a half before our wedding day! Well, Caleruega is known to be one of the most popular wedding venues.
Its rustic facade belies the grandeur inside.
I love this pair of staircase meeting mid-bottom. Its red wood add to its old-world allure.
Caleruega is most often associated with Tagaytay, a tourist favourite because of its cooler weather. It’s no surprise that it has a number of evergreen trees leading towards the chapel.
The manicured lawns add charm to the place and makes every corner a photo zone for tourists. And makes every bride float through its cobblestoned pathways towards the door of the chapel…
So on December 4, 2005 – after 8 years in a relationship – we became husband and wife.
He surprised me – and the rest of us – with his wedding vow. He sang Michael Buble’s “That’s All”. Here’s the cheesy video, lol:
Two items that hold a sentimental addition to our wedding gave honour to our parents’ wedding day. I had my parents’ and my parents-in-law’s wedding photos printed on fabric and had them sewn in our ring and coin holders.
Despite the changing of times and values, I hope my own sons would see the importance of honoring us in the future. Not necessarily by including our wedding photos in their wedding ceremony (big lol) but by embracing the values that we hold dear.
Our Las Arras (wedding coins) were old 1 peso coins. These coins aren’t being used anymore but my father has so many of them collected through the years. It wasn’t hard asking 13 of these coins:-).
We had different giveaway to our ninongs and ninangs (wedding sponsors). As thank you gifts, we gave our ninangs silver jewellery boxes. Too bad I don’t have a photo of that elegant jewellery box. Our ninongs received this petroglyph of Caleruega:
We visit Caleruega when we can when we go home to the Philippines. The last time we went there was December 2014 with our sons. We wanted them to see where we got married and where we started as a family. The place was filled with tourists. It has become even more beautiful and we had the chance to explore its much wider (than I imagined because I only focused on the chapel before) area – the gardens, the hanging bridge and the picnic areas.
I thank my husband even more today for giving us that wedding to remember. And as it is a go-to place for weddings and retreats and sightseeing, the management makes sure it retains its charm. So fine with us who wish to pass on its significance in our lives to our children.
I used my cellphone camera to take photos of pictures from our wedding album. Digital files are buried somewhere:-)