Just like the Holy Week of the past years, this year was no different as I commemorate it with church visits. This year though, I did not use my GPS tracker as I walked practically the entire way. Here’s my route this year.
1. UST Chapel (Santisimo Rosario Parish)
Like in the past few years, I started my Visita Iglesia this year from UST Chapel. But since I started this year much earlier than before, I was able to see the inside of the chapel better as it was much brighter outside. Preparations for Easter was also underway so lights were also turned on. After saying my prayers, I was off to my next church.
2. San Sebastian Church (Basílica Menor de San Sebastián)
San Sebastian was again my second church. This is one of my favorite churches not only because of its Gothic Revival architecture but also because of its all steel structure. And as I was able to see the interior of the church this year better, I can’t help but notice how this impressive structure is in poor shape. I hope that restoration comes soon as corrosion is slowly eating the steel.
3. San Miguel Church (Regal Parish and National Shrine of Saint Michael and the Archangels)
My third church this year is San Miguel Church. It is located in one of the most peaceful neighborhoods in Manila (just around Malacañan Palace) so it’s always a pleasure for me to come to this area.
4. Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene)
Quiapo Church marked the midpoint of my Visita Iglesia. This is a very memorable church for me and I always look forward to going here even without any occasion.
5. Santa Cruz Church (Our Lady of the Pillar Parish Church)
My next stop was Santa Cruz Church. There was a fire that happened here hours earlier so I was curious if it is still open, but thankfully it looked like it was a minor one as there was absolutely no sign of it.
6. Binondo Church (Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz)
Located within the oldest Chinatown in the world was my next stop, Binondo Church. While I was here, I took the opportunity to buy some hopia for pasalubong.
7. Manila Cathedral (Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception)
My seventh and supposedly final church for this year’s Visita Iglesia was the Manila Cathedral. It was also the golden hour when I arrived so it was the perfect time to take photos. Manila Cathedral is unfortunately a very challenging subject to take photo of because of all the things that cover its façade so I just took what I can for posterity’s sake.
8. San Agustin Church (Immaculate Conception Parish Church of San Agustin)
And since San Agustin Church is practically a stone’s throw away, I decided to continue making it my eighth church this year. This is also one of my favorite churches in the Philippines because of its trompe-l’oeil ceiling, aside from being the oldest standing stone structure in the country.
This year’s Visita Iglesia surprisingly took me to new routes and gave me opportunities to see these churches in new light. I also learned a few new things about these churches so it was also educational.
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I hope you had a meaningful Lenten Season!