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Friday, April 6, 2012

Visita Iglesia

IMG_4383 Visita Iglesia is a Filipino tradition of visiting 7 churches or 14 churches during lent. Visiting the churches must recite 1 or 2 prayers for station of the cross for each churches. This is to contemplate on the Passion of Christ.

Other countries celebrate the Lenten season for  two days only and most celebrate it only on Easter Sunday. But for Filipino Catholics, the Lenten Season is being celebrated in a whole long week with passion  to reflect and repent.

Since it is also the longest holiday in the Philippines, there are still some who spend the whole season on a lavish vacations and holiday getaways either at the beach or somewhere else. There are still families and devotees seek serenity at their home and follow traditions like by doing Visita Iglesia on holy Thursday  to contemplate on the Passion of Christ. Visita Iglesia in Spanish term means Church Visit.

Trip Ko ‘To was created to keep tag of the memorable things and places that me and my family visited both local and international. Since it’s Lenten season we would like to share and encourage as well our dear Filipino readers to rediscover the roots of our faith while unraveling in the religious destinations in the Philippines. Here are the churches in southern Luzon that are filled with historically rich churches that are usually complimented by intriguing old Spanish style architectures that we visited this Maundy Thursday particularly in the Province of Quezon. Although we did not able to visit the 14 churches or even reach 7 churches as truly the meaning of the Visita Iglesia, we still would like to share it with you.

San Juan Baustista Parish in Candelaria


The church was renovated in 2005 and it is  where the famous Candle Festival was celebrated every 5th of February as an annual offering to the Blessed Virgin of Candelaria or in spanish called Nuestra Senora de Candelaria. The church complex also has a human size images of catholic saints and Jesus which has attract more visitors and devotees to pray.

St Francis of Assisi Church in Sariaya Quezon

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The present church (the picture above)was built in 1748. The church houses the Sto Cristo de Burgos image which is more popular than the patron saint Francis of Assisi because devotees and pilgrims considered Sto Cristo de Burgos to be miraculous. The town suffered major calamities including widespread fire and the only sculpture or image remain was the unscathed  image of Sto Cristo de Burgos. According to legend that 4 men carry the crucified Christ of Burgos wrapped in white cloth in search for a new church. After resting under a tree the 4 men cannot carry the image even with the help from other people. Taking as a providential sign, the town people built a church on the exact site where the present Saint Francis Assisi Church was located.

Minor Basilica of St Michael the Archangel in Tayabas Quezon


The church is considered to be the longest-standing Spanish Colonial church and one of the most beautiful church in the Philippines. One of the famous here in this church is the bell tower which features an 18 century clock that is still unbelievably working today despite of its being way way old . It also has the longest aisle where getting married couple will experience a very longer wedding march.

St Louis of Toulouse Church   Lucban Quezon


Like the other churches in the Philippines, this one has also undergone a test of time built in 1593 but it is still stands tall and the pride of Lucban which houses their patron saint San Isidro de Labrador. Every year on May 15th celebrated a grand fiesta known as the Pahiyas Festival to honor Lucbans Patron Saint showcasting different agricultural products particularly the famous Kiping that are being decorated on every homes external walls that are still edible  afterwards. This is a celebration for a whole years bountiful harvest through the guidance of their patron Saint San Isidro de Labrador.

Kamay ni Hesus Shrine

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The shrine features one of the country’s tallest Christ statue located about 292 steps atop and believed to be the 2nd tallest Christ statue next to the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue in Brazil. It also has live replicas of the Garden of Eden, and a model of Noah’s Ark. It is also the center for the healing ministry of Fr Joey Faller.