In a glimpse, one wouldn’t think that a small town like Cardona, Rizal in the Philippines would have something hidden somewhere in the mountains. But a hint would unfold soon as we approach it, a white cross visible in the green panoramic view, the Puting Krus.
An organization called the Krus ng Kapayapaan established the place on top of the mountain in Barangay Del Remedio. They kept images of saints and allowed devotees, tourists and locals to visit them during holy week pilgrimages or during ordinary days. This undertaking started in 1977 and continues until today.
There are 20 images of saints in Puting Krus. Locals and people from different places like Quezon, Sampaloc, etc., visit especially during the Holy Week. There were no particular targets because children, teenagers, adults, elderly and even persons with disability visit the place. During the Holy Week, Puting Krus’ caretakers give holy oil to the visitors. Masses are held on the first Saturdays of the month, every Easter Sunday and on the feast days of the saints.
Four people were taking care of the place. They close in the evening to protect the place from drunkards and other people who may not be one with their belief. However they give considerations if there are masses or other occasions that may take place in the evening.
How Does it Look Like
Flowers and plants bloom well. They were planted by the lady who lives there. She takes good care of the plants and flowers. Renovations like repainting are done only if necessary. Some of the images of saints however are protected in a glass cage because the materials used in it weren’t good enough and the sponsors didn’t spend more money for it.
There is also a small chapel which can accommodate around 100 people. During ordinary days, people may enter and pray provided that they let the caretakers know about their intent. On special occasions, masses are held in here. Just in case you want something badly and you feel like your prayers are not enough, there’s a very deep wishing well just outside the chapel. For desperate measure, just throw a coin after whispering your wish.
They also have a new project, a small cave which is planned to be the new entrance to the Puting Krus so the visitors can pay their respects to it before proceeding to the other attractions. The new project is currently on hold due to insufficient funds.
Puting Krus, Church and Government
Though they have the same interest, Puting Krus is not under the administration of the church in Cardona but they do lend images of saints if the church needs it. The government wasn’t giving any contribution to the place either. Their fund comes from themselves.
Krus ng Kapayapaan
Krus ng Kapayapaan was founded by Milagros Mauricio Villanueva in 1977 at Sampaloc, Manila. Villanueva received God’s will to build the site on that particular mountain through her dream and so they did it. The members of the organization were not just from Cardona but from different places like Batangas, Bulacan, Bicol, Pateros and Pasig as well.
The images of saints were from Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, and Manaoag, Pangasinan. The other images are donated by the sisters and brothers of Dr. Paz Dela Cruz and the other members of the organization.
- They went to Zambales during the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo.
- They pass around Lady of Lourdes and Sto. Niño in every house of Brgy. Del Remedio.
- The Lady of Manaoag was sent into different places every Saturday but lately they decided to keep the saint on their chapel because some of their members are getting old and some of them have passed away.
It is located in the uphill of Barangay Del Remedio in Cardona, Rizal. Don’t know where Cardona is? You’re not alone. A lot of people don’t know the location of my hometown. So yeah, I’ll just provide the map below. You’re welcome.
How to get there
From Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, take a van to Cardona. The fare is Php 60 and the ride takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions in the city. Get off in Sto. Rosario Parish Church (Cardona Church). Go to the back of the church and look for the street with the big white cross. Take up the street and follow the 13 stations of white cross which will lead you to the big Puting Krus on top of the mountain. It is an easy climb as the road is concrete. It is also impossible to miss it as houses dotted the way and you can easily approach a local for directions.
When to visit
You can practically visit anytime but it is best to visit during the holy week as locals also make their way up there as a pilgrimage. During holy week also, there are vendors selling food in front of the attraction. So in case the short climb of around 20 minutes take it’s toll on your tummy, you can always replenish with the food available in the area. It is also advisable to come early for the fresh morning breeze and while the sun isn’t being a huge pain in the… yet.
Since you’re already there, why not make the most of it and visit nearby attractions. Unfortunately, there’s nothing much to see in Cardona but you can visit the nearby town. St. Jerome Parish Church of Morong, St. Joseph Church of Baras and St. Ildefonso of Toledo Parish Church of Tanay were some of the oldest churches in the Philippines and it will certainly wow you with it’s ageless beauty.
While in Tanay, you can also visit other destinations like the Regina Rica, another pilgrimage site; charming falls like Daranak and Batlag Falls; go mountain climbing and spelunking in Mt. Daraitan, Calinawan Cave and Masungi Rock Formation. You might also want to visit Pilillia Wind Farm just next to Tanay, Read the reasons why you should visit here.