Balaan Bukid (Holy Mountain) located in the municipality of Jordan in Guimaras Province is a popular destination for local and foreign pilgrims. This sacred place gets most of its visitors during Holy Week.
Besides Holy Mountain’s sacred function it is also a beautiful nature’s wonder. A mountain provided with a nice dirt road path leading up to a hill with breathtaking view of Iloilo City. Perfect for a small one day trip for everyone at every time of the year.
So even if you are not a Catholic devotee Balaan Bukid is a place to go for those seeking a little bit of relaxation for your body and soul. The path itself is a little spiritual journey in which you enjoy the stillness of nature. Hike is about 30 minutes long, road is not too easy and not too hard, sometimes steep, but that’s just part of the journey. You will meet the 14 Stations of the Cross along the way depicting significant events of the life of Jesus. Stop or pass by. It is your choice.
There is a small chapel of Ave Maria Purisima, a big cross and a wonderful, panoramic view of Iloilo City waiting for you above.
At the top of the hill that is the place where you have this tingling but calm sense at the same time, sense of being alive. Feel the uplifting life energy flowing through every cell and bone in your body. Here and now. This is the moment you know that everything is gonna be alright. It is already. A place where you remember how it is to believe in something. Believe in what? Forgotten dreams maybe or higher power..maybe miracles?..and above all – yourself.
At the peak of Balaan Bukid anyone will find something for him or her if he (she) will give in to the magic of the mountain. And listen.
Take a deep breath and meditate. Feel alive. And allow yourself to see things from a different perspective.
You know you have witnessed a drop of magic when you feel that deep calmness and warmth inside while going down the hill. You feel rejuvenated, happy and calm. Ready for new adventures of life.
Balaan Bukid in Holy Week
There is a special reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion called Pagtaltal held annually on Good Friday in Guimaras and culminating at the top of Balaan Bukid. It is a vivid costume parade. The man playing Jesus carries the Cross all the way up to the hill of the mountain and is actually being crucified at the top. Pagtaltal which in local dialect means remove ends when Jesus is being removed from the Cross and laid in the arms of his mother.
How to Get There
Take a ferry at Ortiz port in Iloilo City to Jordan Wharf in Guimaras. It is a 15 minutes long ferry ride. From Jordan Wharf take a tricycle which will take you to the foot of Balaan Bukid. During the Holy Week, there are special transportation for taking visitors directly to the foot of the mountain.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Catholic devotee, a man seeking for inner peace or a nature enthusiast the charm of Balaan Bukid will not leave you indifferent. What kind of revelations have you had at Balaan Bukid? I would love to hear your thoughts. Write your comment below.