LIST: Religious Sites in the PH You Can Visit This Lenten Season
As a religious country, there are lots of sacred places in the Philippines one can visit whether you’re doing Visita Iglesia or just taking a break to pray and reflect.
If you haven’t been to any of such religious sites before, we’ve listed down some of the spots you might want to visit for the upcoming Lenten season:
Also read: Expats’ Guide: What is Visita Iglesia?
San Agustin Church (Paoay Church)
Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Paoay Church is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, having completed its construction in 1710. It was declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the Philippine government in 1973 and was then included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site’s collective group of Baroque Churches of the Philippines in 1993.
Its facade is reminiscent of Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino influences with its gothic, baroque, and oriental design. Inside the church is the gold plated altar with a figure of its patron Saint Agustine as a centerpiece.
Also read: Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte: The Stunning Historical Icon of the North
Church of Our Lady of Assumption (Santa Maria Church)
Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur
Situated in the town center and sitting on top of a hill is Santa Maria Church, also known as The Church of Our Lady of Assumption.
It was built by the Augustinian friars as a chapel for the town of Narvacan back in 1769. The bell tower beside the church was then built in 1810, as a home for missionaries going to Abra.
Also read: ILOCOS SUR TRAVEL: Santa Maria Church Manifests UNESCO World Heritage Baroque Ensemble
Monasterio de Tarlac
IMAGE Monasterio de Tarlac’s Facebook page
Monasterio de Tarlac is situated on top of Mount Resurrection housing a relic of the True Cross and the 30ft tall statue of the Risen Christ.
The monastery also has a small chapel that holds the True Cross (a relic cross where Jesus Christ was crucified) and boasts a baroque inspired interior. On the other hand, the Risen Christ statue that overlooks the Zambales mountain rage is one of the tourist attractions here.
Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes
San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in Bulacan is a popular destination during Holy Week with its life-size 14 Stations of the Cross and a huge concrete rosary bead. Its cathedral is a replica of the Church of Lourdes in France, which is known to be a miraculous one.
The spring water is believed to be a healing one, washing away diseases and sins. They also hold “Alay Lakad” for the devotees every holy week, where everyone will walk up to the Lourdes Grotto as a sign of sacrifice.
Kamay ni Hesus
IMAGE Faye Almazan
Kamay ni Hesus is among the most popular Holy Week destinations near the Metro, featuring a 50-foot tall statue of Jesus Christ sitting on top of a hill.
It also features a chapel that holds healing masses and life-size replicas of characters from the Bible, such as Adam and Eve, Noah’s Ark, as well as the 14 stations of the cross. To reach Kamay ni Hesus, one must climb an almost 300 step stairway.
Also read: Summer in Quezon: The Islands of Borawan, Dampalitan and Puting Buhangin
Pink Sisters Convent
Tagaytay is known to be the quickest getaway near the metro. But aside from its picturesque scenery, a perfect place for reflecting and solemnly praying is the Pink Sisters convent.
The chapel is often packed with tourists especially during lent with thousands of wishes and prayer intentions dropped in a box. The nuns are often seen praying behind the grills in front of the altar.
Also read: Quick Escapade in Tagaytay
Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)
If you have no plans to go out of town this Lent, Manila Cathedral is the perfect place to still reflect and pray. It is situated in Intramuros Manila and is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, a title for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Devotees often flock to this church to do the stations of the cross or Visita Iglesia. This is also where the Holy Week rite of the 7 last words of Jesus is often done.
Also read: 10 Most Beautiful Churches in Manila
Which pilgrim sites and churches are you visiting this Lenten season? Let us know on the comment section below!