On my recent visit to Iloilo, Garin Farm is top in the list of my  must-visit places. The images of the white Sacred Heart with the angels that I have seen on Instagram fascinated me and I wanted to experience it first hand.

Located in the Municipality of San Joaquin, the 14 hectare farm is 53 kilometers away from Ilo-ilo City and would take an hour and a half to two hours travel to get there. On the way, you will pass by a picturesque coastline, a few Spanish era houses and churches.

 

When I got there, I was surprised that aside from the religious site, there was an honest to goodness livestock farm replete with poultry, anglo-nubian goats if I’m not mistaken, Peking ducks, carabaos and other farm animals. I realized that Garin Farm is a multifaceted experience – agriculture, leisure and pilgrimage .

 

 

When  you enter  the farm, the first thing that you will  notice is the strong organic smell of animal droppings. Well, I guess it’s part of the experience when you go to a fully functional farm.

To reach the pilgrimage site, you have to walk on a slightly sloping pathway. Fortunately, it has a canopy of vines that protects you from the harsh sunlight. If you walk fast enough, this will take less than 10 minutes. But I suggest you take time and look at the livestock along the way. There’s even a “bahay kubo” with a garden planted with all the vegetables mentioned in the “Bahay Kubo”song. This completes the agriculture experience.

 

 

The narrative of the pilgrimage takes you  to a journey from creation to ascension. It starts when you pass through a stone entrance that leads to a 456-step stairway towards the Divine Mercy Cross. Before going up,  you will experience the “creation story” when you walk around a tableau from biblical stories.

 

Photo : Irma Boza

 

When you reach the top, you will be greeted by a life size figure of the Sacred Heart. From there, follow  a short path leading  to the meditation tunnel. As you grope your way in the darkness you will reach an area where you can see a bright image of the Sacred Heart.  You can meditate here  for a few minutes.   

 

As you move  towards  the end of the tunnel you will literally experience “going into the light” – from total darkness, to a blindingly  white tableau of angels blowing their trumpets  facing the huge cross.

 

 

 

My Thoughts on Garin Farm

 Combining agriculture, pilgrimage and leisure is a unique experience that can be enjoyed by the entire family. If you are not a Roman Catholic, the farm and leisure activities alone are worth the visit. Overall the experience offered by Garin Farm is worth the visit.  

Tips and Reminders :

  1.  It is better to experience the pilgrimage when the sun is not so hot, as much as possible go there early.
  2. Bring a sunglass or hat. When you reach the ascension part of the pilgrimage, the combination of pure white paint and the glare of the hot sun is harmful to the eyes.
  3. If you don’t want to climb the stairway, you can actually pay for a golf cart to bring you directly to the top using the side road.
  4. If you want to spend the night at the farm, there are hilltop rooms available at affordable prices.  
  5. Other things to bring : sunblock, water and umbrella. 

 Things you can do at Garin Farm

Swimming at the Pool
Fishing
Play Billiards
Horseback Riding

BoatingActivities :

Single Kayak 
Double Kayak 
Pedal Boat 
Rubber Boat 
Water Bike
Waterball 

 

Please visit their Facebook Page for more details :

https://www.facebook.com/GarinFarmInlandResort/

Garin Farm at San Joaquin

Brgy. Huna, San Joaquin
Iloilo, Philippines 5024
Telephone Number: +63 033 314 75 55
Mobile Number: +63 916 667 6851
Email: info@garinfarm.com / bookings@garinfarm.com