I love colors, books, stories, worlds, wings, pixie dust and you.
It is, for some people, daunting to enter a convent. Imagine cutting yourself off from most parts of the outside world. Think of waking up in a structured day where all activities are scheduled. Moreover, the mere thought of being secluded for religious formation may not look inviting anymore especially that a burgeoning love for travelling (or what some people call “wanderlust-ing”) has become widespread. But of course, the religious way of life will still work for those who are called to try or to embrace nunhood no matter how difficult it seems.
The thing is, “formands” and nuns themselves aren’t entirely robbed off of the opportunity to see the beauty of creation. Aside from missionary nuns being sent to different places for religious missions, some nuns are actually living in convents built in places where tourists flock.
1. Pink Sisters’ Convent and Chapel, Baguio City
Sisters Convent or The Convent of the Most Blessed Sacrament is the noticeably pink infrastructure near the famous 50’s diner along Brent Road, Baguio City. The convent has contemplative nuns who wear pink habits. The cool weather, pine trees, and scenic views which tourists visit Baguio for made the congregation extra-serene and conducive for contemplation, and perhaps, for religious formation as well.
2. Saint Bridget’s Convent Oblates of the Most Holy Savior, Tagaytay City
This convent is situated at Barangay Mag-Asawang Ilat, Tagaytay City, near SVD Road. The Bridgettine Sisters regularly conduct a Healing Vigil every first Friday of the month. During this time, they open their congregation for laypeople who wish to join and stay there overnight. In the morning until afternoon, they queue up to the visionary Mother Thomas for a one-on-one talk. With Tagaytay’s cold air, rolling hills, and the refreshing sight of ocean and Taal, one can say that Bridgettine Sisters are lucky or “blessed” to be secluded there.
3. Carmelite Monastery, Zambales
This Carmelite Monastery in Castillejos, Zambales (relocated from Mangan-Vaca, Subic, Zambales) is the “Instagram-able” chapel that most tourists go to. Specifically, they do photoshoots along the monastery’s alleys that are made of brick walls and archways. It also overlooks a breath-taking view of green plains and hills, which is surely a perfect scene to look at when Carmelite nuns are meditating.
4. Our Lady of Sorrows Sisters Servants of Mary, Siargao Island
Our Lady of Sorrows Sisters Servants of Mary (or OLSS-SM) welcomes women who are called to become missionary nuns. Although their convent is mainly situated in Greenheights Village, Paranaque City, one of their communities to which they send their nuns for missionary work is the white enormous church in Surigao – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish established in 1635 and it is known to be the oldest Parish of the Diocese of Surigao. Specifically, this is located in Del Carmen, Siargao Island, near tourist attractions such as Del Carmen’s Mangrove Forest, Sugba Lagoon, and Poneas Hilltop Hidden Lake.
5. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Convent, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Puerto Princesa is known to be one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the Philippines, especially for beach lovers. The thing is Puerto Princesa is also a blessed place since this is one of the provinces where Recollets or AOR (Order of Augustinian Recollects) friars and nuns laid a foundation for their missions. They specifically built Our Lady of Mount Carmel Convent at Purok Mangingisda Brgy. Inagawan, and celebrates regular masses both for locals and tourists along with the fresh salty breeze blown from the sea.