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.
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 :
- It is better to experience the pilgrimage when the sun is not so hot, as much as possible go there early.
- 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.
- 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.
- If you want to spend the night at the farm, there are hilltop rooms available at affordable prices.
- Other things to bring : sunblock, water and umbrella.
Things you can do at Garin Farm
Swimming at the Pool
Please visit their Facebook Page for more details :
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: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com