journal, travel/landmarks

Anniversary Throwback of Caleruega 11 Years Ago

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.

The Chapel of Transfiguration at Caleruega

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.

in front of the Cenaculum


Its rustic facade belies the grandeur inside.

staircase inside the Cenaculum

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:

Manny and Wendy Wedding Preview from rbhomestudio on Vimeo.

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.

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:-).

Las Arras

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:-)

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15 thoughts on “Anniversary Throwback of Caleruega 11 Years Ago

  1. Aw, everything about this is so precious. It’s so lovely to look back and remember such fond memories. It looks like everything was just exquisite and grand to be sure. ^^

  2. This is really beautiful! I don’t know if I’d call it a regret, but one thing I wish I could have done before (though I really lacked time) was to pay more attention to the little details of our wedding. What you did with the pillows was just beautiful and touching. I bet your parents were extremely touched. The coins was also another beautiful touch. Your hubby seems like a real romantic, and I’m very happy to read you got your dream wedding. 🙂
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  3. What a lovely place for your wedding! So awesome that you got to have the wedding of your dreams there. Thanks for sharing such a special day with us 🙂

  4. Very lovely place and a wonderful wedding. I’m curious, what is the significance of the 13 coins? why not more or less? could you do a post on the typical wedding traditions in the Philippines? I’d gladly read it too!

  5. I’m half Filipina and I’ve experienced one wedding in the Philippines, but it was with tribes in Banaue and was totally different than this! It’s so interesting how different the many traditions of the Philippines can be. Your photos are so beautiful!

    1. Wow, Lauren! nice to know your Philippine lineage. We have so many regions with different practices. I wish I know all of them or have witnessed all of them.

  6. Wow! Sounds like you had an almost fairy tale-esque wedding. How does it feel that 11 years have passed since the date? It’s also cool that the arras are part of weddings in the Philippines, just like in Mexican weddings.

  7. OMG! I’ve never been there but you just validated the rumors I hear about the wedding reservations there. The wedding pictures on fabric is a great idea. I’ll definitely consider it in my future wedding. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. You’re welcome. There are so many wedding ideas, right? When I was planning for my wedding, it was a jungle of choices out there, hahaha!

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