VISITA IGLESIA: My Personal Journey

The Philippines is the only country in South East Asia where majority of the people are Roman Catholic. If we are going to trace back the richness of our history, the Spaniards led by the Magellan’s Expedition brought it to us in the early 15th century. Since then, Christianity has spread all over the country.

      Two weeks ago, we have celebrated holy week, an event which is considered to be sacred and ‘holy’ (from the word itself) especially to Catholics. Every year in the observance of this important event, the government declares for a long weekend starting from Maundy Thursday up to Easter Sunday. As a Catholic, I didn’t just observe the celebration but I was able to actively participate in every activity that the church has to offer.

      As part of the tradition, we have the so-called Visita Iglesia, an activity where the Catholics should visit at least seven churches so that they can pray and reflect through the Station of the Cross (a 14th station ritual about the sufferings of Jesus Christ before, during and after His crucifixion). If we will strictly follow what the activity should really be, then we need to visit 7 new churches: new in such a way that you haven’t been to that church before.

      This activity is performed during Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. In my case, I was able to have it on Maundy Thursday. I started at around 8 o’clock in the morning after my night shift job. I went first to the famous Redemptorist church in Baclaran. Most of us only knew this as Baclaran church but the actual name of the church is National Shrine of Perpetual Help.

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National Shrine of Perpetual Help Church, Baclaran

     Although it was still early during that time, the people however started to pile up in each of the stations to have their respective Station of the Cross. I spent 1 and a half hour to finish the session and I proceeded to the next church which is just 30-minutes away.

     The second church that I’ve visited is beside the famous mall in Pasay. One may say it’s the MOA church because of its location, but the actual name of the church is Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth And The Life.

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Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth And The Life, Pasay

Unlike the first church, this one is new (not more than a decade old) since it was only erected last 1999.

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National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Makati

     National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe was the third church I visited. It is commonly known as Guadalupe church and it’s just a walking distance from Guadalupe MRT station. The location of the church is quite unique because it was erected in a slope terrain.

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Mater Dolorosa Parish, East Rembo Makati

     I was half-way with my Visita Iglesia when I visited Mater Dolorosa Parish located at East Rembo, Makati. This church was established in 1987.

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San Roque Parish (Diocesan Shrine of Santa Maria), Pateros

     As part of the journey, I was able to visit one of the oldest churches in Metro Manila, the San Roque Parish (Diocesan Shrine of Santa Maria). Erected in 1815, this historical church is located in Pateros, the small city known for its duck-raising industry especially for producing balut.

St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church Taguig, St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish, St. Ignatius of Loyola Church Taguig, St. Ignatius of Loyola Taguig, Taguig Church, Visita Iglesia, Ignatius Church Taguig, Ususan Church, Metro Manila Church, Taguig Church Philippines, Philippine Churches

St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, Taguig

     Despite of the scorching heat of the sun, it didn’t stop me to go to St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, which marked the sixth church I visited. This small yet solemn church is located beside Ususan Elementary School of Taguig City.

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Santuario De San Antonio Parish, Makati

   It was already passed four in the afternoon when I arrived at Santuario De San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park, Makati. This was the last of the 7 churches in my line up and I was really fulfilled. During that time, I already felt the tiredness of my body physically but in contrast, I felt something different spiritually. It’s a feeling greater than the satisfaction brought by eating your favourite food or buying the latest Apple gadget.

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Inside Santuario De San Antonio Parish, Makati

      One thing I observed though during Visita Iglesia is that, most of the people sometimes don’t really pray and reflect seriously when they are having the Station of Cross, and instead they are just reciting it as if there’s a race behind: the faster they recite, the quicker they finish it. Thinking that the more church they can afford to visit equates the amount of their faith to God, which I think really doesn’t make sense at all. How about its solemnest?

      I don’t know if it’s only me but when I reflect, it usually takes an hour or so, to meditate wholly. Well, we have different perception of faith but I am pretty much sure we only believe in one God above. Now that’s a fact! (AAP)

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About Aleks

Engr. Aleksandre Pates (a.k.a. Aleks) is an I.T. Professional and Electronics Engineer by profession, but it didn’t hinder him to enrich his skills and broaden his experience in theater and literary. He is also a College Instructor/Professor, Playwright, Artistic/Creative Director, Singer, Songwriter/Composer, Resource Speaker/Lecturer of Campus Journalism, Editorial Writing, Creative Writing and Leadership Empowerment for Youth. He is a Palanca Awardee, and he was the Editor-In-Chief of The Philippine Artisan (official student publication of TUP-Manila) from 2003-2007. He is a Certified Oracle Partner Expert since 2010, and a member of the prolific playwright organizations in the Philippines, The WritersBloc. He also holds numerous positions in socio-civic and professional organizations like Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines (IECEP – Manila Chapter), and De La Salle Araneta University Alumni Association, Inc.
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83 Responses to VISITA IGLESIA: My Personal Journey

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    • Aleks says:

      Obrigado. Vou manter a minha escrita fina para os leitores que apreciam a minha habilidade. Deus mite. 🙂

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    Third Church – Our Lady Of Remedies Parish Located opposite Rajah Sulayman Park which is situated along Roxas Boulevard in Malate, approximately 2 kilometers from Our Lady of Sorrows. By foot, you can get there from Our Lady Of Sorrows by taking San Luis Street, turn right on Roxas Boulevard and walk along Roxas Boulevard northward. Cross Gil Puyat Avenue, P. Ocampo, and Quirino Avenue until you get to Aristocrat Restaurant. Turn right onto the road that borders Aristocrat until you get to Our Lady Of Remedies Parish. By car, you can get to this church from Our Lady Of Sorrows by taking Roxas Boulevard northbound lane. You can get to Roxas Boulevard from Our Lady of Sorrows via San Luis Street, the road opposite the church. Cross Gil Puyat Avenue via the flyover, P. Ocampo and Quirino Avenue. After Quirino Avenue, watch out for Aristocrat Restaurant to your right. Turn right on the street that borders Aristocrat Restaurant until you see the church. Park your car at available space in the area. By jeepney, you can get to this church by riding jeep with any of these signs: “Quiapo”, “Divisoria”, “Monumento” and “Cubao” in front of Our Lady Of Sorrows. Make sure the jeep passes through Mabini. Ask driver to drop you off at Remedios Street where Our Lady Of Remedies Parish is located.

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  39. gold account says:

    This is my first time to join the family in Visita Iglesia. It is a tradition of a Filipino family (introduced by the Spanish colonizers) where in you have to visit seven churches and reciting two stations per church. In our case, because of lack of time, we just had to recite our own prayers and intentions per church. Below are pictures of the Blessed Sacrament per church we visited.

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  44. Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
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    quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m
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    • Aleks says:

      Hi there! My advice to you is to think first the contents of your blog because people want something new and unique. For starters, you can write stuffs which are familiar to you. For example, if you like watching movies, then your blog will be something like movie review. In your article, you need to put at least an image since readers nowadays easily get bored with pure textual stuff. Thus, putting an image will at least attract them to read your articles.

      Lastly, if you don’t have your own domain yet, you can make use of free domain or free web blogsite applications available in the internet. Hope that helps! Thank you. 😀

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