"Travel is never a matter of money but of courage." - Paulo Coelho, Aleph


March 29, 2013

Visita Iglesia in Manila

Visita Iglesia is a Spanish word of Visit Church.  It is a Filipino Catholic tradition originating in Rome to visit 7 churches on Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday).  I have my “panata” (vow, a solemn promise made to God or a repayment for a prayer or wish that was granted) to visit, pray and meditate at National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus in Manila every year.  I started this “panata” after I passed the board exam and this year is my 10th anniversary.

This year’s Holy Thursday, I had my first Visita Iglesia in which I together with hubby visited the ff. 7 churches in Manila with St. Jude as our last church in the list.

1.  Manila Cathedral
2.  San Agustin Church
3.  Binondo Church
4.  Sta. Cruz Church
5.  Quiapo Church
6.  San Sebastian Church
7.  National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

We took a jeepney with route going to Sta. Cruz, Pier and dropped at Manila Cathedral, our first destination.  The church was closed that time but the Stations of the Cross (a Filipino Catholic tradition or devotion) was done outside.

DSC_0958Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception (Manila Cathedral)

The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a Roman Catholic Minor Basilica in the capital of the Philippines, Manila.  Having been destroyed several times by natural disasters and fires during its 400-year history, the current structure standing was completed in 1958, the cathedral's sixth incarnation.  (source: WikiPilipinas)

DSC_0961a closer look of Manila Cathedral

DSC_0964Manila Cathedral

From Manila Cathedral, we walked going to San Agustin Church in Intramuros, Manila.

DSC_0966San Agustin Church

San Agustin Church is the oldest existing church in the Philippines.  The San Agustin Church lies inside the walled city of Intramuros located in the capital city Manila.  It is the first European stone church to be built in the Philippines designed in Spanish architectural structure.  It also houses the legacies of the Spanish conquistadores, Miguel López de Legazpi, Juan de Salcedo and Martín de Goiti who are buried in a tomb underneath the church.  (source: WikiPilipinas) 
In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, under the collective title Baroque Churches of the Philippines.  (source: Wikipedia)

DSC_0972San Agustin Church

There’s a museum in San Agustin Church (with entrance fee).  We didn’t go inside.

DSC_0975San Agustin Museum

DSC_0973 San Agustin Museum

DSC_0979Intramuros (near San Agustin Church)

DSC_0988Intramuros (near San Agustin Church)

From Intramuros, we walked to Manila City Hall and then took a jeepney with route going to Divisoria for our third destination, Binondo Church.

DSC_0989Binondo Church

Also known as the Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo Church was named after the sacristan, San Lorenzo Ruiz, who was born of a Chinese father and a Filipino mother. He was trained in this church then went to Japan as a missionary, where he was executed for refusing to renounce his religion. He was canonized in 1989.  A large statue of the martyr stands in front of the church, being the first Filipino saint.  (source: WikiPilipinas)
We went to our fourth up to seventh (last) destination by foot.

DSC_0992Sta. Cruz Church

DSC_0995Quiapo Church

Quiapo Church is one of Manila's most famous churches.  It is also known as the "Church of the Black Nazarene" and sometimes referred to as the "Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene."  Located in Quiapo, Manila, the church houses a large black wooden statue of Christ bearing the cross (the "Black Nazarene").  This crucifix was carved in Mexico and was brought to the Philippines from Mexico by Spanish galleon in 1767.  (source: WikiPilipinas)

DSC_0996San Sebastian Church

The Basilica Minore de San Sebastian is known for its beautiful and distinctive architecture.

DSC_1004National Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus

St. Jude Church is located near Malacañang Palace (the official residence, but not the actual residence, and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines) along J.P. Laurel Sr., Manila.  St. Jude is the patron saint of the hopeless cases.

Btw, this post focuses more on travel, information, personal experience and not religion.  Till next time!  Smile