Garin Farm In Iloilo: What's Life After Death?

Garin Farm In Iloilo: What’s Life After Death?

Here’s a fact you should always keep in mind: we’re all going to die. Whether you’re rich, poor, young, or old, it’s an inevitable reality. While everyone knows their time will come, nobody is willing to accept it. As I explored the whimsical and enchanting grounds of Garin Farm in Iloilo, I couldn’t help but wonder why we’re not embracing this fact. 

Is it a hard pill to swallow?

Is it too early to think about it?

Or are we just afraid of the unknown: the afterlife?

The truth is, no one knows exactly what happens after death. 

Some say we’ll go to another dimension and hang out with the most extraordinary people in history. 

Others believe it’s an eternal sleep. 

I don’t know if there’s an afterlife or a paradise waiting for us once our time is up. 

But I do know this world, this life, is beautiful. 

And I want to make the most of my existence by creating memories and exploring places.

That’s why I was here at Garin Farm, a stunning resort that had been on my wishlist for years.

And ironically, people say Garin Farm is a preview of the afterlife.

My Garin Farm adventure 

06:01 AM: Mactan International Airport

Damn it! 

My flight was delayed again! 

I arrived early at the airport without sleep, expecting things to be smooth and a breeze.

But that’s okay.

As I’ve always said, travel isn’t always rainbows and butterflies.

It’s messy, unpredictable, and anything but a straight linear line. 

There are detours, missed trips, and unexpected surprises. 

Sometimes, you’ll find yourself lost in a remote land, navigating through language barriers and cultural differences. 

Plans change, flights get delayed, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate. 

But that’s what makes travel an adventure. 

It’s in those unscripted moments where the magic happens, where you discover lessons and create unforgettable memories. 

In fact, I had a problem a few hours earlier when my tour operator canceled my Iloilo day tour out of the blue.

Despite these minor inconveniences, I was still excited to see Iloilo’s wonders, especially Garin Farm and Miagao Church.

Well, at least, I got to see this stunning sunrise before my flight. 

07:01 AM: Iloilo International Airport

After my operator canceled my Iloilo day tour, I searched for options.

My first option was to commute and do the classic DIY adventure.

While I love DIY adventures, this option has a few downsides.

For one, I don’t have a lot of time to commute and explore the attractions in Iloilo on my own.

Second, I was still recovering from an ankle injury that I suffered during my Mount Kalatungan hike.

So, I scoured several Facebook tour groups, and fortunately, I found Michael, a taxi driver who offers an Iloilo day tour with Garin Farm.

When I arrived at the airport, I immediately called Michael to pick me up and start my Garin Farm adventure.

07:57 AM: The drive to Garin Farm 

Life is a short trip.

So enjoy the journey, and make every second count.

On our way to Garin Farm, I discovered beautiful sights and gained local insights from my tour guide, Michael.

I learned how to travel to the base of Mount Napulak and learned a few things about the quirky tiny town of Guimbal.

What’s more, we stopped by the mysterious vanishing mansion in Guimbal, Iloilo.

And I was loving every second of this journey. 

For some people, it may not be a smooth-sailing picture-perfect trip.

But to me, it’s way better than hours of scrolling through Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong.

Social media has done wonders for almost everyone these days.

But it’s also creating a toxic society characterized by anxiety, depression, burnout, attention deficit disorder, and narcissism.

And sometimes, social media is robbing us of the opportunities to enjoy simpler pleasures and explore our beautiful world.

08:37 AM: Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort

I finally made it to the gates of Garin Farm Pilgrimage Resort.

For years, I’ve been dreaming of visiting this famous resort and pilgrimage site in Iloilo.

And I was just a few steps from making those daydreams a reality.

What took me so long to chase this dream?

I should have done this trip months ago. 

Sure, life has been a rollercoaster ride and a mess, but we should always take time to pursue what we want to do.

You see.

Life is fleeting.

What if you don’t wake up tomorrow and miss out on all the adventures you want to go to?

What if it’s too late to live and embrace the beauty of life?

Do we have to wait for the afterlife for happiness?

What if there’s no life after death?

Do we have to wait for retirement to enjoy life?

Hell no!

The average life expectancy in the Philippines is 71 years, while the retirement age is 65.

So, we work for over 40 years to probably enjoy only 6?

08:40 AM: The tunnels of Garin Farm

The tunnels of Garin Farm are a thing of beauty.

They are simple, but they do look easy on the eyes. 

And they would have looked even more enchanting if the whole archipelago hadn’t been affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

Along the way, I saw some fascinating features of Garin Farm, including whimsical sculptures and Bahay Kubo (traditional houses).

Even with my slightly painful left ankle, I walked on the paved pathway and lived in the moment.

And that’s something I haven’t done in a while.

The thing is, we worry too much about our future.

But maybe, we don’t even exist in the future we worry about.

So, why not live and do more than just exist?

Why not enjoy the beauty of our world before it gets too late?

08:49 AM: The Pilgrimage area of Garin Farm

The Pilgrimage Area is the undisputed star attraction of Garin Farm.

From a 480-step stairway to a 101-foot-tall cross, this area has a plethora of mesmerizing features. 

As I entered the area, I saw whimsical statues depicting the Old Testament. 

First, I saw the statues of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark.

Later on, while ascending to the cross, I discovered that these statues were arranged chronologically, from the Book of Genesis to Jesus Christ’s ascension.

And I love the metaphors and touches of storytelling of these statues and stairs.

I know people consider these statues attractions, but they can also be an educational experience for kids.

In some way, these statues remind me of the Picture Bibles I read in my younger days.

Even if I’m not overly religious, these stories gave me wisdom and knowledge when I was young.

Then, I arrived at the resting area where people were taking a breather after climbing 480 steps under the sun’s scorching heat.

There’s actually a shortcut to this part of the pilgrimage area: a golf cart ride.

But if you are capable of climbing these steps, do it.

I may not be a saint, but I did have a blast admiring the statues and metaphors of the climb to the cross.

I climbed a few steps from here and entered the Dark Meditation Tunnel. 

Like the climb to the top, this dark tunnel metaphorically represents human and spiritual life.

For religious people, the dark tunnel could represent Purgatory, a place of purification before you can enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven.

As a person who loves philosophy, this tunnel to me represents life’s hardships.

And we all have these dark tunnels in life.

These tunnels are the gloomy days when everything seeds to go downwards. 

These are the rough patches where we experience struggles, casualties, and battles on our journey.

But as they say, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you just keep walking and fighting these battles, you’ll soon find the light.

And in Garin Farm, I was blown away by the beauty in front of me at the end of the tunnel.

I felt like I was stepping into a dream or another reality. 

The glistening white statues and towering cross of Garin Farm made me feel like I was in an enchanting celestial empire.

But it was also blinding, with the sun’s glare bouncing off its white surface and statues.

I had to wear my sunglasses, as I admired the intricate sculptures in front of me.

Slowly, I climbed the stairs, and headed to the next level where the towering cross was located. 

Some people say it looks and feels like heaven.

The pearly white sculptures and the classical music in the background (Messiah by George Frideric Handel) make this place look like the heaven depicted in the Renaissance period.

For a while, I was alone in this area, admiring the beauty and details of every sculpture.

The angel sculptures here look precisely as the Renaissance paintings have depicted them.

Moments later, a horde of tourists arrived in the area, prompting me to exit it and “go back to the world.”

Afterward, I descended from the area and began exploring the rest of Garin Farm.

Most people go to Garin Farm just to see the Pilgrimage Area.

But there’s more to this farm than the place called heaven on earth.

After all, Garin Farm is a leisure park, retreat place, resort, and farm combined into one.

While exploring the farm, I saw several interesting whimsical sculptures and photography spots.

There’s also a lagoon, a swimming pool, and a host of other recreational activities.

Some of these amenities weren’t open, likely because they were still under maintenance.

Then, I climbed to the restaurant and returned to the entrance of Garin Farm. 

10:15 PM: The continuation of my Iloilo Day tour 

From Garin Farm, we traveled to Miagao Church and stopped by Guimbal.

So far, my Iloilo day tour with Garin Farm has been an absolute blast.

And it was just starting.

It was the remedy I needed after months of non-stop work, bills, and headaches.

I was finally living after months of being a robot or a mindless mother fucking zombie.

Life is a blur, and if we don’t take time to pause and smell the flowers, we will die with regrets.

As I’ve said before, some people die at 25 but aren’t buried until they are 75.

I don’t want to be one of those casualties.

There’s so much more to life than your work and responsibilities. 

I want to live and savor every moment as if it’s my last.

They say heaven is the land of peace and ever-lasting beauty. 

It’s Neverland, a place where no one grows old.

But this world isn’t bad either. 

Have you seen the awe-inspiring sea of clouds in Mount Pulag?

How about the enchanting mossy forests of Mount Dulang Dulang or the otherworldly landscapes of Mount Hamiguitan?

There’s a whole world out there begging to be uncovered.

Don’t get stuck in one place, and call it a life.

Live. You only have one shot at life.

Garin Farm rates:

  • Entrance fee: PHP 150
  • Air Conditioned cottages: PHP 1,500 (single room), PHP 2,500 (standard room), PHP 3,500 (family room).
  • Swimming pool: PHP 100
  • Pedal boat: PHP 90
  • Boating: PHP 60
  • Golf cart ride: PHP 60 to 90, depending on the distance and destination

How do I get to Garin Farm?

The easiest and most convenient way to get to Garin Farm is to join an organized tour or get a private tour. It’s surprisingly affordable, convenient, and includes stops to several popular places in Iloilo, including historic houses and churches. If you prefer this option, please contact Michael on his Facebook page.

How much is the entrance to Stairway to Heaven Iloilo?

The entrance fee to Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo is 150 pesos.

What is Garin Farm known for?

Garin Farm is a popular resort in Iloilo, known for its enchanting Pilgrimage area, leisure activities, and agricultural features.

How many hectares is Garin Farm?

Garin Farm has a land area of 15 acres, and it’s privately owned by the Garin family.

What to bring: 

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Hat/cap
  • Water
  • Umbrella 
  • Sunglasses 

Aldrich Infantado is a travel junkie and a writing aficionado who loves to share amazing travel tips to his fellow travelers.

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