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31/365: When In Iloilo: The Trappist Abbey and Pasalubong

As the  month of January ends this also ends my series of “When In Iloilo” posts.    But this does not mean that I will not feature Iloilo anymore.   If something new and exciting comes along I will definitely share them.  

Buying “PASALUBONG” is of course the perfect way to end a trip.  During my early visits to Iloilo the first memory that comes into my mind are the pasalubong houses located around the city.  Not until we had an unplanned trip to Iloilo's paradise island of Guimaras.  This gives me a warm memory of a place that we accidentally discovered – the Trappist Abbey located in Bgy. San Miguel, Jordan Town in Guimaras Island.

We found this place while rushing back to home after enjoying the white and beautiful beach of Guimaras Island. We want to reach the Jordan Port so that we can take the pump boat that will bring us back to the city proper before it gest dark. I saw some signage and a chapel.


I immediately asked our hired service about it and our driver said some things a bout a chapel, monks and a souvenir store.  We forgot about reaching the port before it gets dark. It was a quick decision from the whole family to make a stopover at the chapel to say a thanksgiving prayer. By the time the service stopped we are all running out of the car heading to the chapel while visually auditing the vicinity. We all find it amusing to find such a place.  SERENE and PEACEFUL are the perfect words to describe the place.

The place has three major parts. The Guesthouse, The Abbey Church and The Factory.


The sign says:
“Welcome to Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Abbey.  We welcome you as CHRIST would because you are in fact the person of CHRIST.  When you come into this place we receive God’s mercy and love in you.  Please feel free to join us in our prayers.
Thank you,
The Monks of O.L.P.

The very simple structure of the chapel.


The chapel’s main entrance.


The very modest church interior that gives more meaning to the serenity of the place.

The Trappist Monastery grounds is a peaceful and sacred enclave in Guimaras Island run by monks of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. These monks follow the rule of St. Benedict and are best known for the extreme austerity or strictness that characterizes their discipline.
The monks earn a living by selling souvenir items and processed foods such as jellies, jams, candies, piyaya and more.  They sold it in a small shop within the monastery grounds.  All the products are from ingredients grown in the Trappist ground.
People are allowed to tour the monastery grounds, visit their prayer areas and can talk with the monks.  There are also available guest houses at reasonable prices.  A good place for a retreat. (From various sources)
We saw some monks  but they seem to be in meditation so we did not bother them.  After praying at the chapel we proceeded to the souvenir store.

Amazing!  I only see this kind of place in movies and I am feeling so amused that I am actually experiencing it.

Image00902 Image00903

I know that it will not be often that  we will be in Guimaras so I took  the opportunity to give my share to this Abbey.  We bought all our pasalubong here in Trappist. 
Aside from the historical churches Iloilo is also famous as the origin of delicious delicacies.  Biscocho, Piyaya, Barquillos, Bayi-bayi, Butter Scotch, Pinasugbo and a lot more.


Wewin’s and Biscocho Haus are two of the popular pasalubong stores in Iloilo City.

The “Biscocho Haus” located in Jaro, Iloilo City has a very nice waiting area.  I remember the time when my family was eating some delicacies inside this store/house while seated in a beautiful family bench. 
Digital image

Which among this “pasalubong from Iloilo do you like best?


  1. Before I head on with my comment, I just want to say that - as far as my history would tell me - Guimaras is a separate island-province with a capital of Jordan. Iloilo being part of the four provinces that comprises PANAY ISLAND - Antique, Aklan, Capiz and of course - Iloilo. Ilo. Guimaras is between Negros and Panay Islands.

    Anyway, back to the famed TRAPPIST ABBEY in Guimaras. I've read all about it in Oman's blog. Lucky you - since you were able to meet some monks around while in Oman's first encounter of the place, he didn't even meet one of 'em.

    And wow, the pasalubongs - drooling! I personally like to eat "piyaya' and butter scotch.

    And for the record, Guimaras owns the distinction of having the 'sweetest mangoes in the entire Philippines' and in the world - I guess - of which these mangoes had travelled the world into the Britain's Buckingham Palace for the Queen's delight. And story reveals as well that no one could ever bring any other mango seed into the island in order not to spoil the pure breed of mangoes there.

    Now, I must say that you're a well - travelled person in the Visayas region and I must say in the whole Philippines?

  2. Para sigurong ka-level ng good shepherd ng bagiuo na ang part ng proceeds ay sa charity.

    Naku, confirmed. I'll refer to your January 2014 posts 'When I'm in Iloilo'...

    Minadali ko ang pagbasa ng title at ang akala ko ay massage clinic ang feature mo. Hehe

  3. Di ko alam kung pumasok unang comment ko. Babalik ako to make sure. Hehe

  4. charaps naman nyan hehe even ung cartoon sa tv natatakam ohh!
    simple lang yung church which add some solemnity on the place

  5. Namiss ko ang mga pasalubong na yan, one of the reasons kaya gusto kung bumalik ng Iloilo bukod sa pagtikim ng lapaz batchoy at siempre ang mapuntahan na din ang Guimaras!


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