The Holy Week is about to come and for a predominantly Catholic country, it is time again for reflection coupled with penance for Catholics across the Philippines. Here are some places where the faithful and even the plain curious could revitalize their spirits.
This mystical mountain serves as a border to Laguna and Quezon. Said to be imbued with supernatural qualities, it is also the closest 2,000 meter mountain to Manila making it a popular destination for mountaineers.
Fr. Joey Faller, a renowned healing priest, conducts masses for the faithful on this garden-paradise at Lucban, Quezon. A towering figure of Jesus Christ overlooks the estate with outstretched arms like that of the Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Though getting to this high-altitude town will take half of the day from Manila, it is an ideal retreat for people seeking solace and contemplation. Hanging coffins, caves and underground rivers are a must in the itinerary.
The Old Churches of LagunaLaguna shares a rich history with the Philippines’ colonial past. The Spanish, particularly, built majestic churches for the conversion of the natives and these structures are still standing today. They can be found in Pila, Lumban, Longos, Paete, Pakil, Majayjay, San Pablo, Magdalena, and Nagcarlan. Visiting them can make up the perfect Visita Iglesia across the alluring landscapes of Laguna.
Come Good Friday, there will be blood. Thousands of spectators flock San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga for a spectacle that highlights the Filipinos’ penchant for painful penance. There are penitents, flagellants, crawlers on dirt roads, and the most extreme of them all, the Cristos or those who get crucified in the supreme re-enactment of Christ’s passion.
Have a meaningful and spiritually-fulfilling Holy Week.