Holy Week is one the most anticipated religious events in the Philippines. This is the time where the whole family gets together for a reunion or observes holy week activities like Visita Iglesia.
Truly, Filipinos love to visit different churches in Manila and nearby provinces, regardless of the occasion. This church pictured above is located in Mandaluyong City. The church is named after its patron, St. Joseph, husband of Mary.
What is Visita Iglesia?
Visita Iglesia or Seven (7) Churches visitation is a staple tradition for most Filipino Roman Catholics. It was first initiated by Saint Philip Neri around 1553. During Saint Philip Neri’s time, seven churches visitation or Visita Iglesia was done by leaving the church where they attended a Mass of the Lord’s Supper and travel to nearby churches to pray before the Blessed Sacrament.(Source: Wikipedia)
As the years go by, Visita Iglesia became modernized. Even though it’s more appropriate to visit churches close proximity, others go out of their way to visit the churches located outside Metro Manila.
So, have you got your pen and paper, ready? In no particular order, here are the 14 churches you can consider visiting for your Visita Iglesia this Holy Week:
Churches in Manila
1. Malate Church
Photo credit: lougopal.com
The Malate Church also called as Our Lady of Remedies Parish Church is situated in front of Manila Bay. This church is one of my favorites as I grew up in Malate and most of the special occasions such as my sister’s wedding and baptisms happened here.
Photo credit: philippineweddings.net
The Our Lady of Remedies or Nuestra Señora de los Remedios positioned in the altar came from Spain. It was brought to the Philippines by the Augustinian Fathers who were the early administrators of the church in the 16th century.
Malate Church is located at M.H. Del Pilar St. and in front of Manila Bay, Malate, Manila.
2. San Agustin
San Agustin Church is located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila. It is one of the seven churches in the walled city to remain standing after being hit by earthquakes and battles during the Spanish era.
Due to its interiors, colorful facade, the church became a popular venue for weddings.
3. Manila Cathedral
According to Wikipedia, Located in the Intramuros district of Manila, it was originally a parish church owned and governed by the diocese of Mexico in 1571, until it became a separate diocese on February 6, 1579.
4. Binondo Church (Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz)
Binondo Church is one of the oldest churches in Manila. It was founded by Dominican priests in 1596 and was named after Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. Saint Lorenzo Ruiz was the first Filipino saint canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1987.
5. Quiapo Church (Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene)
The church is famous home for the shrine of the Black Nazarene, a dark statue of Jesus Christ. Patrons claim that the Black Nazarene is miraculous, which made it to an annual tradition.
6. San Sebastian Church (Basílica Menor de San Sebastián)
Photo credit: panoramio.com
San Sebastian Church is also located in the heart of Metro Manila. Known for its amazing architectural structure, San Sebastian Church has been declared a National Historical Landmark.
More churches on the next page: