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Visita Iglesia 2015
Story by: jovy avisado ( Member ) on 2015-10-08
Holy Week, or what is commonly known as Semana Santa, is fast approaching. It is that time of the year in which for various reasons, Filipinos engage in travelling in different locations in the Philippines -- to make small sacrifices, soul searching, deepening one's faith, or to have some quality time with family and friends. One of the timely activities during the season is Visita Iglesia or Church Visit. It is a practice of visiting a minimum of seven churches to observe the Blessed Sacrament and contemplate on the 14 Stations of the Cross.

With the Philippines having so many churches in every corner, you must be quite confused and undecided on which ones you'll be visiting and in booking flights. Check out this list of renowned churches that you can visit in different areas and provinces. 

1. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church -- Lipa, Batangas

If you're up for mysteries, then you'll surely want to visit the Mt. Carmel Church. It is a site of the mysterious rose petals shower decades ago which is believed to be made possible by the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was founded in 1946, just a year after World War II Left the town. Its simplistic features and interiors make it as serene and as divine as churches with much ornamentations. It is the site of National Marian Congress or the National Pilgrimage of Lipa.

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Mass schedule: Mon-Fri: 6am I Sat: 6am, 7am, 11am, 4pm I Sun: 6am, 7:30am, 11am, 4pm

2. Saint John the Baptist Parish Church -- Calamba, Laguna

Just a short distance away from the historical house of our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, you'll find this century old church. It was established in 1859 and has been declared as a National Historic Landmark -- being merited as the church where young Pepe was batpized. You'll find a replica of the Garden of Getsemane at the church yard, where you can see sculpted images of the Stations of the Cross and repent your sins at the Well of Repentance.

(taken from

Mass schedule: Mon-Fri: 5:30am, 5:15pm I Sat: 5:30am, 6:30pm I Sun: 5:15am, 7:00am, 8:30am, 10:00am, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm

3. Saints Peter & Paul Parish Church -- Pangasinan

This church is one of the biggest churches in the province of Pangasinan. It was built from 17th to 19th century and was considered as a National Cultural Treasure. Through the years, this church suffered from natural and man-made destruction and was successfully reconstructed in such situations. It has an attractive Spanish and Latin American architectural design. You'll be welcomed by an array of statues which are positioned at the church's gate entrance.

(taken from

Mass schedule: Mon-Sat: 6am-5pm I (First Fri) 6am, 7am, 5pm I Sun: 5:30am, 6:30am, 7:30am, 8:30am, 5pm

4. Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral -- Baguio

Nestled on top of Mt. Mary Hill is the magnificent view of Baguio Cathedral, or what is lesser known as Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral. The church was constructed in 1920 and finished in 1936. Its design was drafted by Rev. Leo Valdemans, who's also an architect and an engineer. From the Session Road, you can ascend the hundred concrete steps as a form of penance for your sin. Upon arriving on top, the first thing that you'll notice on the church are its two spires which are uncommon in the usual church designs.

(taken from

Mass schedule: Mon-Fri: 6am, 6:30am, 7am, 12:15pm, 5:15 pm I Sat: 6am, 6:30am, 7am, 12nn, 5pm, 6pm I Sun: every hour from 5am-7pm

5. Our Lady of Penarancia Basilica -- Naga City

The church is located at the outskirts of Naga City. With a great number of devotees, the Our Lady of Penafrancia is regarded as the Patroness of the entire region and whom the Bicolanos fondly call as "ina" (mother). The church was built in 1976 and completed in 1981. It houses an image of the Virgin Mary that was sculpted in 1710. At the front of the church, you will see a pavilion which serves as shelter for the patron after the processions.

(taken from

Mass schedule: Mon-Sat: 6am, 7am, 5pm I Sun: 6:30am, 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm

6. Paoay Church -- Ilocos Norte

Paoay Church is also known as St. Augustine Church in Paoay. It's a part of UNESCO World Heritage List which was completely built in 1984 (other accounts recorded that it was completed in 1710). This church is rich in history. Back in 1896, its bell towers were used by the Katipuneros as observation posts. Its design is a mixture of Gothic, Baroque, and Oriental designs.

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7. Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church (Miagao Church) -- Iloilo

In addition to Paoay Church, the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church or simply known as Miagao Church, is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. You'll surely love this church at first sight due to the sculptures at the facade. For one, you'll be amazed by the relief sculpture of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child amidst coconut, papaya, and guava shrubs. Find out the other sculptures by visiting the Miagao Church.

(taken from

Mass schedules: Mon-Tues, Thurs-Sat: 5:30am I Wed: 5:30am, 5pm I Sun: 5:30am, 7:30am, 5pm

Have you now chosen which church are you going to visit? As the Lenten Season is also a season of travelling, plan your Visita Iglesia ahead and start to book flights now.

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