Batangas Province is now booming on tourism as pilgrimage for many Roman Catholic believers. The province has many religious sites to offer to those who want to make their faith stronger or whether they are asking for something.
Monte Maria is one of them, it is a large statue of the Virgin Mary situated on a mountain in Batangas City. It is an international pilgrimage center the statue is a multi-level structure where it has series of function areas. As of writing, Monte Maria is still under construction, but other areas are already open for visitors.
How to Get There:
Via Public Transportation
- Ride a bus going to Batangas Grand Terminal which costs ₱195 if you’re coming from Cubao and addition ₱10 terminal fee if you’ll ride at the Araneta Center Busport.
- From Grand Terminal, ride a jeepney going to city proper of Batangas City. Alight at the provincial capitol, ask the driver where to alight. The fare costs ₱11.
- From the capitol, ride a jeep going to SM City Batangas (Libjo route). The fare costs ₱9.
- At SM City Batangas, proceed to the parking area at the back where jeepneys are parked. Find the terminal of the jeep going to Ilijan then ask the driver to drop you off at Monte Maria. The fare to Monte Maria is ₱40.
- You may opt to ride a tricycle going up Monte Maria but you can just walk uphill.
The entrance of Monte Maria is an unfinished arch and you will be greeted by angels on it. Vehicles are allowed to enter up to the statue of Monte Maria to allow the elders and PWDs to reach the statue without the difficulties.
Monte Maria Chapel
There are two chapels in Monte Maria, one at the base of the statue and the other one is just lower than the statue. The chapel, lower than the statue has a nice golden altar. It is also more peaceful and tranquil in that area because less people come there. Beside the chapel, there’s an area where you can light candles on for your prayers.
Along the path going to the chapel, there are several statues that I thought were unfinished stations of the cross. But, I realized that there is no nativity in stations of the cross, so therefore, it is not. I do not know what they are for.
Monte Maria is still not finished as of writing, there still a lot of things they are trying to do in the place. But people are already allowed to visit the place but limited to the base. Visitors are not yet allowed to climb up the statue. Monte Maria aims to be a pilgrimage center of the Philippines similar to the Redeemer in Brazil. Monte Maria is higher than the Statue of Liberty in New York, USA.
There’s a church at the base of statue which I believe where they hold mass regularly. I also think that it is only temporary because the altar looks less fabulous than the chapel’s and the seating capacity is very small considering it would be an International Pilgrimage.
Since the statue is standing on top of a hill, you have a majestic panoramic view of Batangas coastline. You’ll be able to see from afar the Verde Island, the lone island barangay of Batangas City and the Batangas Bay where you can see the Petron refinery.
I went there when there were only few visitors, and I think it’s very peaceful when there are less people. I am not a fan of crowded places, because it becomes chaotic and stressful rather than it will give you tranquility. It is best to visit on weekdays to avoid the crowd. Though I am not sure if it’s crowded on weekends.