Tranquility at Gethsemane Iloilo

Those who have read the Bible, especially the Book of Matthew, the Book of Mark and the Book of John, are probably familiar about Gethsemane Garden.

It’s a secluded garden where Jesus and his disciples often went to. It was also there when Jesus prayed with anguish the night before he was captured and crucified.

Located at the foot of Mount Olives in Jerusalem, this place continues to be a favorite haven for praying and meditation by Christian pilgrims.

But you need not go to Jerusalem to find Gethsemane.
You can find solace and tranquility in a place called Gethsemane Retreat right here in Iloilo.

Located at Brgy. Napnud, Leganes town, it is a getaway that is perfect for prayer, worship and for meaningful gatherings.
To go there, take a tricycle bound for Brgy. Napnud at the Leganes Market. The transportation fare is 10 pesos per person.
You will pass by a highway and will turn right to a rough road prior to reaching the gates of the retreat house. Outside is a brick fence with a sign Gethsemane Retreat.

Upon entering, you will see a long pathway enclosed by a canopy of trees. At the right side is the function room, dormitory and receiving hall while farther at the left is a cottage. All are surrounded by landscaped gardens filled with plants, flowers and trees.

It is owned by Carmela Jamora, a devout Catholic and supporter of the Opus Dei, the personal prelature of the Roman Catholic Church.

A teacher of Catechism, she brought her students there. Then one day, an Opus Dei priest suggested, “Why not turn it into a retreat house?” And she did.

Since then, the place has been a favorite retreat house of Opus Dei members, Westbridge School for Boys and people from different faiths.

It can accommodate 20 persons at one time in its 16-bed dormitory and four single rooms for a retreat. They have four comfort rooms and shower rooms.

It has a chapel and a function room called Hall of Mary that can accommodate 150 persons.
The buildings are typical of a convent.

Everybody is welcome for a day trip, overnight stay or longer retreat.

Once in a while, you need to take a break to give your body and spirit the needed rest. Once your body and mind are rejuvenated, you’ll be happier, lighter and more focused when you’re back to your routine.
Gethsemane Retreat can be reached through phone number 329.13.53. /

By Marie Katherine Villalon. Photos by Glen Jumayao (Email:

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