Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Camino Ignaciano

Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Camino Ignaciano.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

  1. What travel documents do I need to join the pilgrimage?

All Filipino citizens travelling outside of the country must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months until arrival back in the Philippines.

For the Camino Ignaciano, you will also need a Schengen visa. The Pilgrims’ Center has a dedicated visa section will process this for you. The full list of requirements will be sent to you after you have reserved your place.

shengen_visa

  1. What kind of visa will I need for the pilgrimage, and what are the requirements I need to submit to apply for a visa?

For the Camino Ignaciano, you will need a Schengen visa. Our partner The Pilgrims’ Center will gladly help you in your visa application process, subject to a visa and processing fee. Some countries differ in their requirements for visa application. The complete list will be given to you after you have reserved your place. But generally, the following are required:

a.  Passport with six (6) months validity until arrival in the Philippines.
b. Duly accomplished visa application form
c. Three ID photos
d. Proof of sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your travel
e. Travel insurance is a major requirement for applying a Schengen visa
f. Compliance with any other entry requirement for each country that you will visit
g. Visa and Processing Fee

3. What happens in case my visa application is denied?

Your reservation fee of US $ 500.00 is refundable but you will be charged the US $ 200.00 administrative fee visa processing.

  1. The quoted currency is in USD. Is it possible to pay in PHP?

Our tour costs are pegged in US dollars (USD). You may opt to pay in USD or Philippine pesos (PHP). However, we encourage that you to pay in USD so that you will not be affected by the exchange rate which changes frequently.

  1. What are the terms of payment for the pilgrimage?

Full payment of the complete tour cost will be required at least one (1) month before departure date or before issuance of airline ticket. You will be informed of the last date of payment by our Pilgrimage Coordinator.

Acceptable forms of payment are cash or bank transfer. In case of bank transfer or manager’s check, please give us at least three working days to confirm receipt of payment.

We regret to inform you that we do not accept credit cards for payment.

 

WEATHER, TERRAIN, PHYSICAL FITNESS

pilgrims sm

  1. What will the weather be like along the pilgrimage route in September and October?

The average daytime temperature in Spain is around 26°C in September and October, which covers the end of summer and start of spring. Rain showers are a common occurrence during these months, but are often quick to dissipate. While the average minimum temperature may drop down to 17°C, pilgrims are still guaranteed warm sunshine on most days.

  1. What kind of terrain will we have to negotiate during the pilgrimage?

The Camino Ignaciano is a combination of varied terrain and conditions. From hilly and mountainous regions, to vineyard-dotted plains, to arid plateaus, the Camino is challenging, but never dangerous. There are dirt trails that traverse the Basque country in the first part of the Camino. There are wide dirt farm/agricultural tracks and also paved roads that connect villages and towns. Approximately 70% of the walking will be on dirt/gravel roads.

  1. How fit do I have to be to join the pilgrimage?

Please be prepared to walk at least two hours every day, and see the answers to the questions on weather and terrain above to see the conditions you’ll be walking in. If you are not a regular walker, it’s best to prepare for the Camino by starting a walking routine before the Camino and include uphill routes as well for added endurance.

  1. Will medical assistance be available to pilgrims?

Marly Camino has a well-established protocol for pilgrims’ first aid and emergency needs. Guides  and the support vehicle are are with the group at all times, ensuring that any medical needs will be addressed as quickly as possible.

 

EQUIPMENT FOR PILGRIMS

  1. What do I need to carry with me during the daily walks?

As you tread the Camino at your own pace, there will be meeting points along the way where a support vehicle awaits with fruits, snacks, and water, and first aid supplies, if needed. However, you will still need to carry a small backpack (10- 15L capacity) for essential everyday items that include:

  • A wallet with some cash and credit cards
  • Photocopies of your passport, insurance and phone contacts in a water-resistant envelope
  • A first aid kit containing: band-aids, a small sewing kit with thread and needles to cure blisters as needed, sterile gauze with small bottle of disinfectant and bandage tape, Vicks VapoRub and/or Vaseline petroleum jelly to apply before and after the daily walk, regular medication (as needed by the pilgrim)
  • A refillable water bottle
  • Sunscreen and a hat to protect from sun and rain
  • Rain coat or poncho
  1. What is the best kind of clothing and footwear for the pilgrimage?

FOOTWEAR: Your selection of footwear will be a very important decision to make since the Camino requires several hours a day of walking. Give around 1-2cm of space at the front of your shoes to allow for foot swelling and downhill movement. At the back of the heel, be sure to have a secure, locked fit to avoid blisters from developing. A good pair of trail runners or trainers provides enough versatility to walk on varying surfaces such as mountain trails, concrete or asphalt. These definitely have to be waterproof as rain may occur for a few hours on some days. Whatever footwear you may choose, have them broken in on a few long walks, to address any issues with the fit before you leave.

CLOTHING: We recommend convertible hiking pants to keep your legs as comfortable as possible during the long walks. Bring multiple short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts, as it is much better to put on extra layers of clothing, rather than being stuck in too warm or cold clothing for an entire day. If you are cold-sensitive, you can also bring long sleeved shirts and polar fleeces. Merino wool is a good fabric not just for shirts but also for socks. The material is lightweight, and does not smell nor irritate the skin. Please see the question on weather above to help you prepare the right clothing for the Camino.

  1. What other equipment will be useful to bring?

Apart from the recommended equipment above, you can also bring along other items that may come in handy during the Camino, such as:

  • A quick-drying towel or cotton bandana can be used to stay dry and cool while walking for long stretches.
  • In case foot blisters develop, be ready with an extra pair of socks and roll of micropore athletic tape.
  • Using a trekking pole or hiking staff will be helpful when negotiating rough and mountainous terrain.
  • Finally, having a camera and a small notebook and pen will help you effectively document your entire journey.

 

If you have more questions, let us know by writing them down on the comments section below.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Spain.

Buen Camino!

-Camino Ignaciano Team

Sources:

www.marlycamino.com
www.pilgrimage.ph
www.ignatiamcamino.com
www.holiday-weather.com
 

 

 

 

 

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MY IGNACIO

Editor’s Note:  This reflection was written by Sharon Roberto, a retreat facilitator at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality (CIS) in Manila. After facilitating a retreat for Jesuit Communications Philippines, she had a chance to view the finished film. Here, she talks about how Ignatius of Loyola’s journey to conversion, from Loyola to Manresa, mirrors her own life “pilgrimage,” a journey from being a “condemned woman” to one, nearly two decades later, absolutely loved by Jesus. 

 

 

MY IGNACIO  By Sharon Roberto

It was September of 2015. Jescom was on a break from filming Ignacio de Loyola and took a semi-directed retreat with Center for Ignatian Spiritualty (CIS). As a facilitator, I listened to their joys as well as their struggles, and finding God in all they were going though. A year of eager anticipation later, I was sitting in a movie house, beholding an impassioned creation, brought by a team that dared to dream. For a moment though, I was caught between the historical and the fictionalized; but I took a deep breath and ardently embraced the sacred story.

The movie had it all: Drama, Action, Sex, Violence, Damsels in Distress and an incredibly Gorgeous Knight in Sackcloth Armor heading off into the sunset. For me, this was more than just a period film or a bio-pic. Jescom had paved the way for Ignacio, the Movie to become Ignacio, My Retreat. And here is my journal.

I shed my first tear in this scene: Ignacio is offered a prostitute, but instead of succumbing to his old worldly ways, he invites her to sit and talk. He asks her name – Ana.  Encouraged, she begins to talk about her hopes and dreams.

Ignacio listens, asks, “Can you imagine Jesus sitting in that chair? Is he looking at you … what is he saying?

My tears flow with Ana’s as she looks and describes Jesus   “… looking at me … understanding me… like he had been looking at me that way all my life .…“

And this makes you happy?” Ignacio asks.

“Yes, it makes me happy.”

Ana and Inigo Ignacio de Loyola
Iñigo giving an early form of spiritual exercise to Ana in the film Ignacio de Loyola.

 

At the time of this scene, Ignacio was already removing his armor of pride and vanity and donning new vestments of humility and what would later be called cura personalis. Here, Ignacio’s special gift to the world unfolds – the gift of Ignatian Spiritual Direction. Spiritual Direction as we minister it here at the CIS. I remembered retreatants I had accompanied, each with their own unique encounter with Jesus. And I, ever in awe, a witness to the birthing of their love story with God. And now there he was, Ignacio onscreen, seemingly teasing me, “and THIS is how it’s done.

But more than the memories of retreatants past, I remembered my very first contemplation. Back then, I saw a woman condemned, body bent to the ground, head bowed, waiting for my just punishment. Then Jesus told me that no one had condemned me. I answered, “I know.” And straight from the Gospel story came his words, “neither do I condemn you.” Smugly, I repeated, “I know.” And firmly, gently, he said, “THEN STOP CONDEMNING YOURSELF.” I gasped. His words flew like an arrow and pierced the core of my soul. With eyes wide open, heart wide open, I yearned to know this Jesus who knew me so well.

That was 16 years ago. I never imagined where this yearning would take me.

Like Ignacio, I had to face my own Manresa. I had to endure the Refiner’s Fire. Deafening inner voices battered me with bitter regrets, festering scrupulosity and discontent with confession after confession, flagellating myself to receive a more “just” punishment than a “one Our Father” penance. And petrifying fear sucked me into a deep, dark cave of despair.

But my Manresa paled in comparison with Ignacio’s. My mind’s self-flagellation scars did not bleed, his self-lacerated flesh did. Much like him, I had been my own worst enemy.

It was in this intense Manresa episode that I felt a one-ness with my Saint as I had never felt before. I felt as if he had touched my own wound of self-absorption, licked it and told me, “NOW WE ARE ONE” the same words he whispered as he licked the open wound of a sick man’s leg. We are one.

I wait impatiently for Ignacio’s anguish, my anguish, to end. Amidst the turbulence of voices, he finally hears his Master’s still soft voice. He looks up, and at last, chooses Life. The Enemy disintegrates. Ignacio awakens from the darkest night of his soul and basks in the light of the Morning Star. I cheer him on as I cheer the memory of my own liberation. We are free.

I go breathless with the exuberance of consolations in the scene of Ignacio at Cardoner. My heart beats wildly as his eyes and spirit lift up to the sky in divine understanding. And I, in quiet veneration, utter, in all things Lord, You have been there, after all. In my anguish, in my elation, in ALL things, I find you there. ALWAYS. Your love and your grace, O God, these alone are enough for me. Only Your Love and Your Grace.

Iñigo at the Cardoner River

Ignacio de Loyola. Soldier. Sinner. Saint. The man I had read about and studied all these years had become REAL. This movie did that for me. My Ignacio, who through his Spiritual Exercises published 492 years ago, has made my Jesus so real to me today, and has saved my life.

So I return to, and re-imagine my first encounter with my Lord 16 years ago. A condemned woman becomes a penitent woman, body and head bowed to the ground, not in shame, but in utter gratefulness and reverence. I wash my Master’s feet with my hair and my tears, with my heart and my soul. Jesus’ hand lifts my chin so I may look up to gaze at Him gazing at me with Absolute Love.

And I give Him permission to love me.

I do not know if I shall ever pass through another Manresa on my path to complete wholeness. But what I do know is that I love being Ignacio for others, to help them notice and in their minds’ eyes, see and speak with Jesus sitting on a chair, or perhaps standing close by; to listen to their stories as they accompany Christ to his cross, as Christ accompanies them to theirs; to rejoice with them when they choose Him — choose Life.

I imagine my Ignacio asking me, just as he asked Ana, ”… and this makes you happy?”

“Yes,” I reply, “this makes me very happy.”

 

sharonandandreas

About the Author:  Sharon is a junior associate at the Center for Ignatian Spirituality, Philippines. She studies, gives and takes the Spiritual Exercises and retreats in the tradition of St Ignatius de Loyola—things that make her very happy.

 

 

To know more about Ignacio’s journey, join the Camino Ignaciano. Our Camino begins on September 25, 2017.   For more information, click here.  Or contact the following:

Pilgrims’ Center

Ms. Lenie Medina
Mobile No.+639176311902
Tel Nos.: 523-8581 to 88; 521-4156
Fax: 526-0126
E-mail: lenie.medina@execres.com.ph
website: www.pilgrimage.ph

Jesuit Communications (JesCom)

Ms. Dit Sablan
Marketing Manager
Tel nos. +632-4265971 loc 121
E-mail: jescomprod@gmail.com