Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bukidnon: Overnight stay at the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay

Have you ever wondered how it is to live a monastic lifestyle? I've heard a lot of good things about the Benedictine Monastery of the Transfiguration in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. While most people just do day-trips to the monastery, I got a chance to stay overnight at the guest house.

The centerpiece of any visit to the monastery is the church designed by Leandro Locsin, National Artist for Architecture. Although Locsin did not live long enough to witness the completion of the church, the plans of the church were the last he signed before he passed away.

If you stay overnight, you can actually join the monks in prayer. They pray seven times a day beginning at 3:40 a.m.

Staying at the monastery is actually a great opportunity to get away from city life and reflect. Personal retreats at the Monastery of the Transfiguration are quite popular. And it's quite affordable too since they charge just Php750/person (Php700 for twin sharing) for a one-night stay inclusive of really delicious meals.

The monastery is quite famous for its Monks’ Blend Premium Coffee (which is the coffee used for a popular ice cream brand), Monks’ Peanut Butter, roasted peanuts, and piniato (peanut brittle).

And it also serves great food which I got to savor while during my stay. With Dom Martin Gomez, OSB, a Kapampangan, in-charge of the kitchen, it's no surprise that the food they serve is superb. I was lucky they served me the Pinutos na Humba which is among their specialties.

In fact, one of the more popular activities they organize at the monastery every second Sunday of the month is Breakfast with the Monks, a sumptuous buffet spread they prepare for Mass-goers after the 8 a.m. Mass. Every month follows a different theme such as Spanish, Chinese, Kapampangan, Ilocano, Visayan, and other types of cuisine.

Another attraction of the monastery is the Museum of Transfiguration Monastery which houses an exhibit of Filipino liturgical vestments. A project of Dom Martin for the Philippine Centennial, it highlights the various weaving traditions all over the country elegantly used in church vestments. Dom Martin or Gang Gomez, was a top couturier before he chose to live the monastic life. I was impressed with the intricacy of the different Philippine hand-woven fabrics and how they were creatively harnessed for religious vestments.

To inquire and reserve for a stay at the monastery, contact Dom Martin Gomez, OSB at (0917) 5105585.

Monastery of the Transfiguration
San Jose, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon 8700
Tel. No. (088) 2212373 / 2214708
Monastery Farm (0927) 3975350
Gift Shop (0915) 9860167
Guest House Reservations (0917) 5105585
Wedding Reservations (0915) 9860167
Breakfast with the Monks (0916) 4545916
Vocation Inquiries (0916) 3650147
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