Garin Farm: A Journey to Heaven

Have you ever wonder what it looks like in heaven? When I was still this little girl, my mother used to read me one bible story before going to sleep and it makes me think how would the heaven looks like for real. So when my relatives announced that we will be going to Garin Farm, my heart leaped for joy because I know I would be a stairway closer to heaven.

Garin Farm is known for pilgrimage site and tourst destination in San Joaquin, Ilo-ilo. From the city of Ilo-ilo, it is approximately 50 km ride down to the last town int he south of the province which is the San Joaquin. I was with my relatives during the travel, so I didn’t mind taking long rides because it’s been awhile we haven’t seen each other. Moreover, I enjoyed watching the peaceful living of people we passed by. There will be signage and billboards of directions along the highway going to Garin, so there will be no worries in getting lost.

There is an entrance fee of P 150 and sadly outside food and drinks aren’t allowed since they have their own canteen inside for you to order. As you can see, there a lot of activities you can do in this 14 hectare resort. You can go swimming with their pool, zipline, horseback riding, kayaking, billard and many more. Actually, you can also spend a night with your family if you want to see what it looks like during night time.

Before you reach the main attraction of the farm, you will be greeted by their farm animals like the chickens and ducks with their not so good odor. It will take you a 10-15 minute walk along the pathway with their different farm animals. There are some points where you can go closer to them and take a picture since you don’t usually see this in your everyday life. However, my Titas weren’t interested on those since they spent their childhood life in their province and gets tired right away during long walks. So they opted for a golf cart going to the center of the resort.

After the funny odor that you breath to and the pretty long walk, you will be rewarded with this breathtaking view of a 5000 square meter, man made lagoon where you can go kayaking. Probably, this is one of my regrets on why I didn’t go experience their activities. I could see people enjoying paddling around the lagoon. On the upper area is the Garin Farm’s swimming pool and cave-like cottages for those people who wish to spend a night in the farm.

Here is the main attraction of the Garin Farm which is the Garin Farm Pilgrimage: A Journey from Creation to Asension in which you’ll see life size statues depicting different Biblical Events. Their peak season is during the Holy Week, where people flock in this place and pray while climbing the 456 steps going to the Divine Mercy Cross.

Before you finally reach the top, you have to go through this pitch-black tunnel and meditating all the darkness, worries and troubled feelings in life. Inside the tunnel, you’ll see an illumination of Jesus Christ’s image and you can speak a little prayer leaving all your burden behind.

As the light appears on the end of the tunnel, you’ll be greeted with voices of angels singing “Hallelujah!” and I can’t help it but get a little bit emotional. The feeling was light after casting the burdens in the tunnel. The light filled me with rapture of peace in my heart. It was so beautiful. No wonder, people spend an extra mile during Holy Week just to experience this piece of heaven on earth.

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Marica, a 20-something lady who loves to explore new things in the world while juggling her life in the medical field.

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