On the western side of this mountain municipality rich with marble deposits, the mystic Mt. Arayat towers over the vast plains of Central Luzon while on the eastern part lies the mountain range known as “Kristong Nakahiga” which on a clear day resembles a gigantic “sleeping Christ.”
Nestled in Sitio Balingkupang within the perimeter of the historic Biak na Bato mountain ranges, “Banal na Bundok” has become a favorite destination of tourists, devotees and local folks during Holy Week in the past 10 years
According to Ma. Divinia D. Quetua, head of the Bulacan Tourism Office, the multitudes of devotees and tourists began to flock to “Banal na Bundok” every Lenten season after Mayor Roderick Tiongson, then the vice mayor of this town, claimed he and other residents saw several apparitions on the site since 1999.
Tiongson said that on one occasion, he and three companions went to the top of “Banal na Bundok” for a Lenten retreat. He said like other devotees, he asked the Lord to give him a sign that would further strengthen his resolve in serving the people of his town.
At around 3 p.m. on Good Friday in 1999, he said they saw thousands of eagles hovering above the clouds on the top of the mountain.
“The eagles just appeared above the clouds and then they flew upwards and vanished. I knew it was a sign from Heaven. I can strongly feel it’s sacredness during that moment and I have a vision that I should convert the mountain into a holy site,“ Tiongson told a group of Bulacan-based journalists who were on a recent Media Pre-Lenten Tour facilitated by the Bulacan Tourism Office.
A giant stone cross now looms on the top of the mountain while an adoration chapel is being constructed beside it. On its slope stands life-sized icons of Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin.
Tiongson also said that markers for the Stations of the Cross are also under construction on the “sacred mountain.”
The place is now being developed by Tiongson so that people can camp, enjoy the serenity, be at peace, commune with nature while reflecting on the love of God at the same time.
After trekking the “sacred mountain,” Quetua and her staff brought the local journalists to Chez Les Saints House of Liturgical Vestments in Barangay Concepcion, Baliuag where manager Lito Santos briefed them on the intricate designs, fibers and procedures in the making of vestments for the “men of the cloth.”
The local mediamen also visited the Divine Mercy National Shrine in Barangay Sta. Rosa I, Marilao and the Chapel of the Mother of the Eucharist and Grace, a house of prayer and healing in Barangay San Vicente, Sta. Maria town where devotees can also view an ecclesiastical and cave museum that features mementos depicting the life and passion of the Lord Jesus Christ.