Filipinos have a lot of traditions and activities during the Holy Week as a way to repent for their sins and share with the sufferings of Christ. Aside from going from one church to another for Visita Iglesia, another popular activity that Catholics observe is the pilgrimage to a certain place, where - just like in the Visita Iglesia - they recall the passion of Christ through the Station of the Cross.
Looking for a place to visit with your friends and family for this year's Holy Week? We list down 6 pilgrimage sites that are just a few hours away from Manila!
Located in the province of Tarlac, Monasterio de Tarlac is a 278-hectare ecotourism park famous for the 30-foot statue of the Risen Christ overlooking the province. It also serves as the home to the miraculous relic of the True Cross which devotees could touch and venerate after every mass.
Kamay ni Hesus Shrine in Lucban, Quezon is a place that devotees frequent to give thanks and to pray for healing. This 5-hectare shrine may be known for its Via Dolorosa Grotto, which people have to climb for them to reach the image of the Ascending Christ. The place also has a church, a pastoral center, and a retreat house called Noah's Ark where devotees could stay in if they are looking for a place to pray.
Marian Orchard is a spiritual oasis in Balete, Batangas where Marian devotees may pray, reflect, and inspire a renewal of faith. Aside from its own chapel, the orchard also has a number of different gardens where peopl could spend their time alone and in prayer. It also has a Via Crucis Garden with life-sized statues of the Stations of the Cross for those who want to do their yearly Holy Week tradition here. The place is open from 7AM to 7PM everyday, and guests get to enter the site for a fee of P50.
Considered to be a Holy Mountain, Mt. Banahaw is frequented by devotees during the Holy Week as it's believed by the locals to have mystical powers. Legend has it that the mountain's springs have blesssed water which is said to be a cure to illnesses and a charm against bad spirits.
Banal Na Bunduk Dalan Ning Krus - which translates to Holy Mountain Way of the Cross - starts at the foot of Mount Arayat. Devotees then have to go uphill to get from one station to another, until they reach the last station that's located close to the summit, making the climb more fulfilling.
Located in Tanay Rizal, Regina Rosaii Institute for Contemplation in Asia or Regina RICA is a site run by the Dominican Sister of Regina Rosaii. It's known for the image of Our Lady on top of the hill which devotees could visit to venerate the Virgin Mary. The site also has its own chapel and a number of kubols and eating places where groups could have their picnics after observing their traditions.
Did we miss the pilgrimage site you frequent the most? Share it with us down below!