Last updated:

03 August 2016

25 North Santo Tomas Road, Campo Sioco, Baguio City, Philippines.
Contact Details:
Tel. No.: +63 74 424 5745;
CP No.: +63 915 655 5745
Registration Fee:
Business Hours:
8:30AM to 4:30PM (Cosmic Journey closed on Mondays)
How to Get There:
·         Take a Campo Sioco jeep at the Igorot Park
·         Take a taxi.
·         For private car, drive to Marcos Highway, then take a right turn to North Santo Tomas Road


Revisiting the Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary had been a nostalgic moment to me as it had been a venue to several self-awareness activities with my students when I was working as a clinical nurse instructor. The stonehenge, the native huts, and concrete benches had been mute witnesses to some of my students’ priceless smiles as they recounted their best life experiences as well as tearful accounting of their struggles and how they coped with it. It is basically the perfect place when you want to unwind, find the inner peace in yourself, or  discover the balance in your stressful life.
The Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, a green museum, is located in the City of Pines just a few minute drive away from the hustle and bustle of the central business district. The green museum offers a two-hour Cosmic Journey among its several programs. The Cosmic Journey walks you to 14 stations depicting natural history along its easy trail.
Following the trail gives you a serene feeling that “challenges us to reassess our role and relationship with the Universe, and to refashion our way of life in conformity with nature” (Cosmic Journey, n.d.). This had been the biggest factor why this venue is good for self-awareness activities.

  • Follow the trail as indicated by the map given by the security guard.
  •  Do not pick flowers.
  • Do not vandalize any of the art forms along the trail.
  • Be guided by the Leave No Trace mantra.
After securing a ticket, the security guard will direct you to the start of the journey.
Follow the stairs going up to the right, the left merges with the end of the journey.
You will not be lost as you will be guided by arrows, rails, and caricatures along the trail.
One of the ruins during the 1990s earthquake.
A good place to sit, relax, or even meditate. However, there are even better places along the trail.
Obviously, another building ruin.
The Hermitage near the ruins.
The first station.
“The universe came into being 13.7 billion years ago.”
Near the first station is a bell inscribed with “We are the Earth, the people, plants and animals, breath of the forest and flow of the sea.”
“I pledge allegiance to the Earth and to the flora, fauna and human life that it supports, one planet, indivisible, safe air, water and soil, economic justice equal rights and peace for all.”
Unfortunately, the concrete chairs arranged in a circular manner is located near a private building. I remember sitting and talking with my students before on those concrete chairs. I just cannot reconcile with my memory if the building was there before.
Another station.
“Planet Earth emerges 5 billion years ago.”
A depiction of the Stonehenge is the center of the second station.
One of the stonehenges. Don’t climb it just to have a selfie.
This is also located in the Stonehenge area serving as a gate or entry way.
Another place for chitchat though could only accommodate a few.
Another station.
“The oceans are the birthplace for life 3 ½ years ago. “
Adorned with shells, the min-pool at the center gives connection to the station. I remember burning papers inscribed with my students’ bitter memories here, a symbolic act of letting the bitterness of those memories go as we go on in our life.
The sanctuary is a haven covered with pine trees and Chinese bamboo. During my revisit, the bamboos and grasses are abundant awaiting for pruning and mowing.
The side rails guides you to the next station. You might as well enjoy the plants along the way.
Another station.
“Dinosaurs on the scene 235 million years ago.”
Unfortunately, the art depiction on this station is on maintenance during my revisit. Anyway, it shows dinosaur eggs and a hatchling.
Another station.
“The mammals arrive 220 million years ago.”
Well, though we are mammals humans are not yet here, I think.
Another station.
“The birds take flight 150 years ago.”
A nest made out of pine needles.
Another station.
“Flowers spread on the earth 130 million years ago.”
A flower at the center of the circular stone bench depicting the station.
Another station.
Here we are!
“The primates come forth 65 million years ago.”
Charles Darwin versus the Bible, huh?
Another station.
“Early humans lives in caves 50,000 years ago.”
Depiction of the Tabon cave.
A note inside the “cave.”
Yeah, yeah, that is the exit from the cave. Don’t worry, you don’t need to crawl or slide like in real caves.
Lo, the bridge! I have seen a few of my extraordinarily brave students cower in this bridge.
From this vantage, you cannot see the full stretch of the bridge because of its upward curve.
Another station.
“The village period 10,000 years ago.”
A traditional Cordilleran village had been used to depict the flourishing of villages.
A closer look at one of the depiction of the native huts.
It’s not typical in a native hut but it’s an artwork I must say.
The campsite is near the traditional village.
The campsite as seen from a high vantage point.
A path leading to the next station. There is a comfort room to the left of the path (not shown in photo).
Another station.
“The earth gives sweet water.”
A well depicting the station’s theme.
Another station
“The emergence of the Earth’s religious traditions.”
A bulol depicting the station’s theme.
At this point, there are still few remaining station and artworks depicting each station’s theme. However, I was already engaged in a conversation with visitors like me in the sanctuary, thus I was not able to take images. This, I guess, is a cue that you need to visit the sanctuary to see the remaining artworks, the gallery [no images shown], take a coffee at Mollies Café, or you might try the other programs being offered.

Bahay na Bato


As of the moment, BAHAY NA BATO  is CLOSED to the public. However, they have opened a new gallery building, the KAMAY NA BATO (STONE HAND) ART GALLERY BY MR. KIM, near it.

Location: Nalvo Norte, Luna, La Union, Philippines

Coordinates:16°50’51.3″N   120°21’01.6″E

Jump-Off Area: Municipal Hall, Luna, La Union
Contact Person: Tito Gorospe (Tourism Officer): 09158072728 (Mobile No.) OR (072) 607 0099 / 607 1132 (Landline)
Entrance Fee: Php20.00/pax
How to Get There:
  •  From Manila or Baguio City, take a bus bound to Laoag, Vigan or Abra. Drop at Balaoan, La Union. Take a tricycle near the Seven-Eleven Store to Luna town proper. Take another tricycle to Bahay na Bato.
  • From San Fernando City, La Union, you can take a Luna-bound jeepney. Otherwise, follow the travel plan for those coming from Manila or Baguio City.
Bahay na Bato (stone house) is situated in a 35,000-populated municipality of Luna (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2010). In reality, it is not a house made entirely from stones, although the concrete walls are plastered with stones and the floor is strewn with large, smooth, flat pebbles. Adornments of carved stones, woods and World War II items are seen inside the house. Of the two private rooms in the ground floor, the one facing the beach is sometimes open to the public. This room has a double-door access to the beach. Carved stones of different sizes and figures are strategically positioned along the hallways. The floor is also covered with smooth, pebbles and flat quarter-palm sized stones. Woods carved with faces are also mounted on the upper portion of the inner wall of the receiving hall. World War II items such as charcoal iron (de uling na plantsa), kerosene lamps (lampara), water canteens (kantina), carbide lamps (de kalburong lampara), wooden trunks (baul), and Stainless Steel mess kit dishes are also being showcased in the house.  The second floor offers a panoramic view of the pebble-blanketed beach and stone carving-strewn lawn. Big stone carvings resembling lizard, heart, sea creatures, flowers, man, hand gestures, etc. are positioned to augment or create a landscape. Though there is a minipool for children on the southern part of the house, the main attraction is still the house and its stone carvings.
The house, built in 2000, was initially intended to be a resthouse for Dr. Edison and Dra. Purita Noble; however, Luna Mayor Marvin Marron, seeing the tourism potential of the property, persuaded them to open it to the public (Marbella, 2015). The property was then opened in 2014 attracting a multitude of tourists. The local tourism office has recorded a staggering number of visitors to the new attraction. In December 2014, it registered more than 10,000 visitors, and another 7,800 for January 2015 (Marbella, 2015). 
If you visit this place, you have a big chance of meeting the sculptor of the stone-carvings, Mr. Vong Kim. He is a Korean married to the Luna native manager of the place. He usually stays at the registration booth. 
Other notable tourist attraction of this municipality is the pebble-covered beaches, even coming in different colors. According to a resident near the beach, the pebbles are believed to be living and has the ability to grow. Baluarte ruin (Biyak na Bato) and Ukkalong Falls are also gaining popularity in the place.

Here’s the admission fee and open house hours as of February 2016.

The receiving hall’s floor is covered with large flat pebbles.
The receiving hall window overlooking the beach.
The upper portion of the walls is also lined with woods carved with faces.
The hallway leading to the two private rooms and the stairs.
One of the private rooms. This rooms is sometimes opened to the public.
The eastern wall at the second floor is adorned with World War II utensils.
 Close up of the WWII utensils.
A wooden trunk as a centerpiece at the second floor.
Stone carvings in the ground as seen from the second floor window.
 Stone and wood carving in a hallway.
This carving obviously depicts the Oriental culture of the carver.
Stone-faced? Call what you want.
Your name might be in this table too.
I actually wondered how they did this.
Emotions etched upon stones.
Yes, its not slimy. Its smooth.
Homo erectus(?) with glasses.
One of the best places outside the house. Don’t just linger in the middle of the heat.
 A monster fish, perhaps.
The beach without sand.
Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed  at the beach near Bahay na Bato. The waves are strong and the beach is deep.
Pebbles and not sand. How is sunbathing done here?
 Pebbles of different colors can be picked near the Baluarte ruins.
According to the locals,during the war, this structure is connected to a nearby building through a tunnel, making it a means of escape.
But I love the view!
The Baluarte ruins as seen from the beach. Concrete posts are used to fortify the structure preventing it from collapsing. This structure is becoming an icon of Luna.
Accordingly, the structure has split during a previous typhoon.
As of the moment, BAHAY NA BATO  is CLOSED to the public. However, they have opened a new gallery building, the KAMAY NA BATO (STONE HAND) ART GALLERY BY MR. KIM, near it.
Marbella, J. P. (2015). Stones bring solid tourism in La Union. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from
Philippine Statistics Authority (2010). 2010 Census of population and housing. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from