Saturday, February 11, 2017


Jalleca Hills, Brgy. Mantahan, Maasin City, Southern Leyte, Philippines

Note: This is a part of my 4-day Maasin City Trip which includes: Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Shrine of Our Lady of the Assumption at Jalleca Hills, Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Cathedral of Maasin, Maasin City Tour, Saint Francis Javier Shrine and Canigao Island.

The 36-meter Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary

From a 20-minute drive coming from Shrine of Our Lady of Assumption and the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, I went to this shrine, the second shrine of Our Lady of Assumption of Maasin City. Unlike the other one, this is located within the city proper.

The main gate to the shrine where the first step of 235 starts

This shrine built on top of a hill summit at 104 MASL is lower by 68 meters compared to the other Lady of Assumption shrine. Because of its accessibility, more people are scaling it. However, I noticed that some who did it have their concern on their fitness and wellness routine. I can see them repeatedly ascending and descending in jogging and dry fit suits. Others are there for the reason of breathing in fresh air.

The stairs leading to the Shrine at the hills summit

From the readings I had, I learned some facts about the shrine. Firstly, it was built in 1994 where according to the residents the city has not been hit by a typhoon until that of tropical storm named "Ramon".

A closer look of the shrine

Secondly, it was built because a certain Mila Gaviola had a dream in 1990 where Virgin Mary appeared and told her to build a shrine in her honor behind the provincial hospital overlooking the city. This was the same case with Chung, where he built the Monte Cueva shrine due to the request of the Blessed Virgin Mary through a dream.

Overlooking the city and the open seas

Thirdly, the place was called Jalleca Hill after its owners—the Jarabe, Llevares and Cadavos families. Gaviola told the Catholic owners, about her dream and persuaded them to donate the land. They readily did.

The shrine's chapel

Fourthly, the group which managed the shrine was organized in 1992 even before it was completed. It is composed of Marian devotees, some of whom belong to known families in Maasin. The late Bishop Vicente Ataviado of Maasin gave his blessing when Gaviola informed her about the project. The shrine was completed four years later through the help and donations of devotees.

While I was at the shrine

Finally, unlike the Monte Cueva, the shrine on Jalleca Hills has not been recognized as the official Marian Shrine in Southern Leyte by the Palo Archdiocese. Gaviola says the Church officials want her to turn over management of the shrine, but she refuses because it was built through the initiative of devotees like her. Without the recognition, masses are no longer held there, except on Sept. 8, the birthday of the Blessed Virgin, and in October, the Holy Rosary month. (source: Inquirer Net)


The nearest airports to Maasin are Cebu City, Ormoc City and Tacloban City. But plying from Cebu City would require you to board a ship from Cebu City's Pier 4 to cross to Hilongos, Southern Leyte for P286 which is around 5-6 hours sea travel of which we boarded M/V Joyful Stars. Then from Hilongos to Maasin is a bus service of P87 for more than 1 hour road travel.

If you are coming from Ormoc City, then it is approximately 3 hours drive at P150 fare for 131.9 kilometers via Baybay-Inopacan Road. While if you are coming from Tacloban City Airport, then it is approximately 4 -5 hours drive at a fare of P270 for 194.8 kilometers via Bato - Bontoc Road and Eastern Nautical Highway.

If you opt to take a land travel via Bicol Peninsula and Samar, take Pintados Airconditioned Bus for P1,688 fare including ferry fare in Matnog (Sorsogon)-Allen/Alegria (Northern Samar) crossing or with the same route with Philtranco airconditioned buses for P1,706 excluding the ferry fare. This is either coming from Cubao or Pasay terminals to Maasin City. The travel time is approximately 26 - 28 hours excluding the waiting time for the availability of the ferry boat from Matnog to Allen.

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