Carmelites of Cebu

The Gate with the Conventos founding date

The Gate with the Convento's founding date

Carmelite Monastery

The beauty of Cebu city is that it’s metropolitan, well developed, but hidden behind its progress are sacred grounds that continues to provide spiritual sanctuary for centuries to its inhabitants.

One of my favorite places to visit is the Carmelite convent and chapel, founded in the mid 1900’s by the Carmelites here in Mabolo. It has a quiet small garden, where I would just take a seat and rest. It have several rock benches, mature trees with broad leaves scattered around the convent grounds that supplies ideal shade.

The Carmilite Chapel with the familiar Carmilite symbols

The Carmilite Chapel with the familiar Carmilite symbols

The place is perfect for finding serenity and God– even Arroyo, stressed out with numerous issues on her presidential campaign against Poe (who got cheated big time) silently flew and sought asylum inside the Carmilite convent, startling even her closest cabinet members and perhaps, the sisters.

Inside the classical gothic chapel are beautiful candle stations. I often light candles after dropping coins in the  donation boxes. Candles are mysterious things, they have the power to unwind your weary mind, and its light is like a mirror where you could see yourself and reflect on the troubles you face. I’m always looking to lit candles, even when I was a child, I did it for fun then but now that I’ve matured, it feels very different.

Inside the church is a relic – a small piece of rock from Mount Carmel, taken from where the Holy Virgin appeared and delivered her divine message. It’s sheltered inside a transparent container, just beneath a life-sized statue of the Nuestra Sra. Del Carmen.

 The Entrance of the Monastery, a Carmelite sister at the gate.

The Entrance of the Monastery, a Carmelite sister at the gate.

I’m sure that we all wore Scapulars when we were kids. I use to wore them even when I’m playing basketball. I’ll never take them off until it gets worn out – then I’ll just buy another one. My mother told me that it have mystical powers. Anyone who wears the Carmilte Scapular would be kept away from harm, the Virgin promised, something that I would discovered to be the truth later in life.

I have a scapular, placed inside my car; I’ll momentarily stare at it and say my little prayer before heading out. In 2005, I suffered a terrible accident; I collided head on with a jeep somewhere in Tunasan, my car was badly wrecked, windows smashed into pieces. I momentarily lost consciousness upon impact but regained it just in time to drive my car to safety near the shelter of Pepsi Muntinlupa. It was a hit and run, when the police came they were told by the tambays to look for the jeep, they never caught that bastard who crossed his driving lane to overtake causing the collision.

I was rushed to the hospital; fortunately, it was Asian Hospital, one of the finest medical institution in southeast Asia. Aside from stitches and some hours of observation for possible head trauma, I was out of the hospital in less than 6 hours. I attribute this unbelievable survival to Our Lady of Perpetual Help and the scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

Being here in the Carmilite Convent and Chapel is always a special occasion for me, I doubt it if I’ll be able to make a pilgrim to Mt. Carmel, I know seeing that little rock in the Carmelite chapel is the closest I could get to that miraculous mountain.

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8 responses to “Carmelites of Cebu

  • Anonymous

    living in a convent really feels so good…it feels like living with christ…

  • Charmaine

    I would like to ask if the church has a spot for nunnery? I mean I would really want to be one of the nuns here. If there is, please I hope to have the details. Thank you so much. I am very much willing to serve the Lord.

  • kneehighconverse

    I always come here as a student before to pray for guidance during exams and hardships at school but now that I have graduated and have my work, I still come here almost everyday to pray and ask God for guidance.

    This is a very quite place indeed, an ideal place to reflect the things going on about your life. There are instances when I feel like my problems are all not going to be solved but lighting a candle and saying a prayer here, I am able to sift through the issues and find answers to my questions.

    I guess the connection also starts with how the feast of the Virgin of Mt. Carmel and my birthday are just days apart.

    • De AnDA

      I felt the same way. There’s reason why Cory and later on GMA picked this monastery when they needed peace and protection. It must be those high walls and that solid steel gate! 🙂

  • kiko

    Did you know that this was the hidding place of the former President Cory Aquino during the coup de ‘tat? Yes its true, she was with the late Ramon Mitra that time.

  • Cebu Philippines Expat

    It seems like such a tranquil place to restore and rejuvenate the soul. People in Cebu Philippines are spiritual and whenever I’m in Cebu I feel a calming effect….

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