Guimaras: Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey and Trappist Monastic Food Products

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The monastery is home to the Contemplative Trappist Catholic Christian Monks of the Philippines and a popular retreat house.  It holds the distinction of being the only trappist monastery in the country.  To tourists, it is a popular destination because of its gift shop that sells what many consider are the best among Guimaras’ products – aside from fresh mangoes, that is.  These include mango-flavored otap, piaya, barquillos, pastry bars, etc.

Because the monastery is also a retreat house, it offers room accommodations at a super affordable price.  This is the building where the accommodations are housed.  It has a common living room and dining area.

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We stayed there for a night and it cost us only Php 800, with meals for 2.   Don’t set you expectations high though, as the amenities are basic.

Because my friend had a miscommunication with her contact, we ended up with a non-air-conditioned room, though it did have a fan.
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The room had 2 single beds with thin mattresses.  While cramped, it was clean, though the bathroom and toilet weren’t so.  I also remember that the wall socket cover was detached and there were scotch tape marks on the walls.

Now this is my favorite part about our stay.  The food was really good.  It’s not something fancy as they serve lutong bahay (home-cooked) food, but this is the reason why their food is special – it will make you remember or yearn for home.

Our dinner consisted of Molo soup (my favorite and an Iloilo specialty dish), Fried Chicken, and Adobong Sitaw.

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I loved everything, especially the sitaw, which I haven’t tasted for years now.  The Molo soup was especially good and the chicken was tasty.

For breakfast, we had egg omelette, longganiza, and banana.  Another simple but good meal.

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The downside in their food?  They serve it in a mess hall where all guests converge for a meal so we had to be mindful that there is enough food for everyone.  Even when I liked the Molo soup, I hesitated in coming back for a second helping since there was no refill (it later arrived, but by then, most were done eating).  Come breakfast, the banana ran out and those who came in late were served papaya.

Trappist Abbey Church
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This is the church inside the monastery grounds.

Here’s another photo, but taken from the side during our early morning walk before check-out.

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The Grounds

The place is ideal for soul-searching because of its peaceful ambience.  There were secluded benches too where one could contemplate, or just be one with nature.

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During my morning walk, I also chanced on this cute cow.

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He just looked so adorable!  We also had to laugh at his antics.  He kept going in circles so he ended up wounded tightly to a tree so I came over and fixed it.  We then continued our walk.  On our way back, he again did the same thing so I again helped him, but the moment I turned my back, he again started going around the same tree!  On a serious note, I pitied him as he should be roaming freely instead of being tied to a tree.

The abbey has a garden too and these are just some of my finds.

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I loved their roses, especially the pink one.  It’s our local rose and the last time I saw it was way back in elementary.  We had the same variety at school and it was my favorite.

Gift Shop
The abbey is self-supporting and primarily does so through its gift shop.  Having stayed there for 2 days, I could attest to how popular their gift shop was as people would go there in droves.  Note its operating hours as I saw tourists leaving the place with dejected looks because when they arrived at 5-6 PM, the shop was already closed.

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Most of the gift shop’s products are mango-flavored as shared in my introduction to this post.  Too bad the jams were not available when we were there, and so were the drinks.

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Aside from mango-flavored delicacies, they also sell crinkles.

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And religious carvings, wooden crosses, books, wind chimes, coin purses made of native materials, wall decor, etc.

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Here’s my loot from there: mango barquillos, mango biscocho, mango bars, and mango empanaditas.

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I gave them out to friends as pasalubong, though I kept a box of mango bars for myself as it was so good.

Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey is located in Jordan, Guimaras.  Visit their official website or contact them via +63 33 581 3393 or +63 33 581 3385.  During our stay there, the brother in charge of their guest house was Brother Moses and his number is +63918 421 2852.


5 thoughts on “Guimaras: Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey and Trappist Monastic Food Products

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