You don’t have to be a hermit, of course.

But for the soul harried by city life, El Retiro is the perfect escape. Its gardens–perpetually cloaked in calm greens–evoke serenity: a testament to the religious congregations that have helped transform the hilly terrain into a pocket of paradise.

Located within commuting distance from the commercial district, El Retiro is, first and foremost, a religious retreat. There are three chapels in the compound. The first, which also serves as the Cabid-an chapel, is set amid the ricefields and is visible along the highway. Further up, framed by lush gardens, is the chapel in the compound run by the Sister Servants of the Divine Healer. Up a few more meters is the Monastery of Saint Clare, a favorite among pilgrims.

For the not so religious, El Retiro is a haven of calm just the same. There is something about the trees, the gardens and the grottoes that provides a respite from the aches and cares, the noise and the beat of everyday life.

You can find more great escapes here.




the circles of el retiro





  1. where is this hermitage?

    1. it’s in Sorsogon, the southernmost province of the island of Luzon in the Philippines, thanks for dropping by …

      1. Oh my goodness, a place to go when I go home. Thank you.

  2. The last time I went to El Retiro was to attend Misa de Gallo, perhaps 10 years ago!

    I heard it’s not open for weddings anymore, is this true?

    Salamat sa pag feature sadi na lugar.

    1. they allow receptions pero an weddings sa mga parish na lang ata, bihira na magtugot sa mga chapel. as always, thanks for the visit :p

  3. Hi Anna,

    May I repost this? I am coming up with a list of Bicolano bloggers and writers and it’s a bonus I came across an article featuring a hidden travel find.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: