If you've always wanted to jet over to Brazil, we'll let you in on a li'l secret: you can find a piece of Rio de Janeiro over at San Jose, Tarlac! No need for plane rides here.
At the Monestario de Tarlac, a 30-foot statue of Jesus towers over the city below. Sounds like the iconic Christ the Redeemer in Rio? You bet! That's not all there is to it, though...
Monasterio de Tarlac’s claim to fame, besides the colossal Risen Christ, is a piece of the True Cross enshrined inside the monastery chapel. Backstory: it's said that when St. Helena dug under Calvary Hill in Jerusalem, she found three wooden crosses. Unsure which of the trio was Jesus’, she asked a dying woman to touch each one. The one that revived her was declared to be the True Cross.
In 2007, a splinter of that said cross was brought from Germany to the Philippines, and the relic is now kept in Monasterio de Tarlac's white Baroque chapel. So interesting!
Sitting 300 meters above sea level and perched on Mt. Resurrecion, the Monasterio is quite literally #blessed with the most breathtaking view. Plan a pilgrimage right now! Learn more here.