Visita Iglesia 2013

Like many Filipinos, I commemorated this year’s Holy Week with a visit to various churches.  I realized that I wasn’t able to do this last year, so this year it’s a must that I outdo the shortcomings of the previous year.

My lone pic during this Visita Iglesia 🙂

As always I chose to do my Visita Iglesia this year in the city of Manila because of the number of old and historic churches.

My first church: Malate Church
What’s a visit to Manila without a quick pass through Rizal Park?
Next stop: Ermita Church

Then it was off to the walled city of Intramuros, one of my favorite historical places in the Philippines.  First stop: the oldest stone structure in the country, San Agustin Church.

I think the church is undergoing some restoration…
…and trompe-l’œil ceiling
It seems a bit creepy but the floors you’re setting your foot on (near the entrance) are graves
Inside the Church, with it’s huge chandeliers…
View from the altar

Nearby is one of the most prominent churches in the Philippines, the Manila Cathedral (Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception).

The Manila Cathedral

As we were running out of Intramuros (literally), something caught my curious eye…

It’s old but it looked important
I was right, it’s important, but I don’t see any plan on preserving this structure

Next stop, the home of the Black Nazarene, Quiapo Church.

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
Inside the Church

Next stop is the only all-steel church in Asia, San Sebastián Church.

Basilica Minore de San Sebastián
Historical marker on the Church
The magnificent interior of the Church

Afterwards, it was practically all new territory for me as we headed towards the area of Malacañan Palace.

San Miguel Church
St. Jude Thaddeus is probably the youngest Church amongst the ones I visited this year
Another amazing Church interior
Peaceful and quiet: world’s apart from the usual Mendiola
National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus
Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat (San Beda College Chapel)
An Angel greets you as you enter the Abbey

In case you weren’t counting, that’s already nine (9) churches, two more than the usual seven (7) Churches people normally visit for Visita Iglesia, but still five (5) short of the 14 churches others visit with each one representing the Stations of the Cross.  And so we continued…

Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Church
Saint Anthony de Padua

The sun was slowly setting upon Manila as we run towards our last Church on this Visita Iglesia.  Sure, that makes only 12 Churches!  We only realized that we were two Churches short after we decided to end our Visita Iglesia with Santissimo Rosario Parish.

Asia’s oldest university, University of Santo Tomas (1611) was the last stop of our Visita Iglesia
Uhm, no running inside the campus?
Church #12: Santissimo Rosario Parish
Sunset over UST’s skyline
12 kilometers, 12 Churches

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