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Matinloc Shrine

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

673G+34C Matinloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps

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expert
Nong
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Matinloc Shrine in the morning when the sunlight hits the open-air chapel and natural surroundings just right, creating an ethereal atmosphere for photos. Also, check out the secret beach hidden behind the shrine; it’s a tranquil spot which many tourists miss, but absolutely worth the short hike through the forest to find."

What is Matinloc Shrine?

Matinloc Shrine, also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc, is a spiritual oasis tucked away on the eponymous Matinloc Island, one of the many breathtaking islands that adorn El Nido's clear turquoise waters. This secluded spot is not just a place of worship but also a site of profound mystique and beauty. Structured as a monument with a religious figure at the helm, the shrine is frequently a part of island-hopping tours that showcase El Nido's sheer limestone cliffs and rich marine life. Here, spirituality goes hand in hand with nature's spectacular showcase.

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Now, while many tourists come to snap a few photographs and soak in stunning views of the Bacuit Bay, Matinloc Shrine holds a story that resonates on a deeper level with locals. With its abandoned buildings and a dusty atmosphere that time seems to have forgotten, the shrine carries an air of serene tranquility juxtaposed with an underlying narrative of faith and the island's history. There's an ethereal quality here that you feel as soon as you step onto the island, something that lingers in the quiet prayer room and the lingering gazes of statues that have witnessed years pass by.

History of Matinloc Shrine

The origins of Matinloc Shrine trace back to the 1980s when a wealthy Filipino benefactor felt a calling to build a spiritual retreat in this secluded part of Palawan. The intention was pure and simple: to create a sanctuary for those seeking peace and spiritual renewal amid nature's splendor. The shrine features a statue of the Virgin Mary, watching over the visitors and the stunning seascape that stretches beyond the horizon.

For years, the site drew people near and far for its quiet beauty and the promise of a spiritually fulfilling excursion. However, as time went on, the maintenance and upkeep of the shrine waned, leading to its gradual decline. Now, the air of abandonment only magnifies the mystery and wonder that infuse the place. It's a shrine that not only embodies the devoutness of its founders but also the untameable nature of the isle that hosts it.

Those who have spent their lives in El Nido have quite the soft spot for Matinloc Shrine. We sometimes regard it with a wistful look, as it stands as a monument to the dreams and spiritual aspirations of our community, even if it's in its twilight. The shrine, in its silent grandeur, reminds us of the persistent presence of faith, even as the worldly structures around it crumble.

Why is Matinloc Shrine Important?

Matinloc Shrine is important for a multitude of reasons, transcending the boundary of being merely an attraction. It serves as a symbol of enduring faith and as a testament to the local historical tapestry, woven into the lives of the people in El Nido. As an essential part of the island's spiritual landscape, it offers a narrative that's inextricable from Palawan's cultural identity.

Furthermore, the shrine plays a significant role in the tourism industry of El Nido, often included in tours due to its picturesque locale and intriguing history. It offers a beautiful contrast to the adrenaline-fueled adventures like snorkeling and kayaking that most tourists come seeking in El Nido. Matinloc Shrine provides a pause, a moment for reflection amidst the breathtaking scenery.

It's also an emblem of the Philippine's rich Catholic heritage, reflecting the enduring influence of religion in the country's diverse culture. For visitors seeking insight into local beliefs and customs, the shrine presents a quiet space to observe and contemplate. That's why, for many, a visit to Matinloc Shrine isn't just another checkbox on the itinerary; it's a step into a serene, almost otherworldly dimension of El Nido.

Things to Do & See at Matinloc Shrine

Visiting Matinloc Shrine promises an array of experiences that satisfy both the eye and the soul. First and foremost, explorers can take in the panoramic views of the Bacuit Bay from the shrine's vantage points. The sight of the endless blue horizon, dotted with majestic karst formations, is nothing short of stunning.

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For the introspective wanderer, the prayer room offers a moment of solace, where one can sit in quiet thought or prayer, absorbing the tranquility imbuing the place. Outside, the tangible elements of neglect – overgrown grass, peeling paint, and moss-covered stairs – add to the atmosphere, inviting a contemplative exploration among the remnants of the shrine's past.

Photography enthusiasts would be right at home here as well, with countless opportunities to capture the juxtaposition of man-made structures and the wild, natural beauty of El Nido. It's a setting that practically begs to be immortalized through the lens. And even for those who prefer the untamed nature, keep an eye open for the hidden beach nearby, a little slice of paradise often mentioned by locals, which requires a bit of a trek but rewards with pristine sands and a private stretch of sea bordered by imposing limestone cliffs.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Matinloc Shrine in El Nido?

The Matinloc Shrine, also known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc, is a sacred monument built in the 1980s dedicated to the Virgin Mary, located on Matinloc Island in El Nido, Palawan. It is part of a stunning area known for its natural beauty and is a popular destination for tourists.

How do I get to Matinloc Shrine?

To get to Matinloc Shrine, visitors usually take part in an island-hopping tour that includes Matinloc Island in its itinerary. These tours can be arranged from El Nido town proper, where boats are available to take you to Matinloc Shrine along with other nearby attractions.

What can I expect to see at Matinloc Shrine?

At Matinloc Shrine, you can see the abandoned structure and remains of a building that was meant to be a spiritual retreat. There is also a statue of the Virgin Mary, a beautiful view of the open sea, and a panoramic vista of the surrounding area from the top of the shrine's viewing deck.

Is there an entrance fee to visit Matinloc Shrine?

Yes, there is typically a small entrance fee to visit Matinloc Shrine. This fee is usually covered in the cost of the island-hopping tour package, but it's best to confirm with your tour operator.

What are the best times to visit Matinloc Shrine?

The best times to visit Matinloc Shrine are during the dry season from November to May, when the sea is calmer and the weather is more predictable. It's also recommended to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and the heat of the midday sun.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

673G+34C Matinloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps