I recently joined a simulation tour of a Filipino Catholic’s tradition in Cebu specially relevant for the upcoming Holy Week – the ‘Visita Iglesia‘.
Spanish for ‘Church Visit‘, the Visita Iglesia involves visiting seven churches during Holy Week’s Holy Thursday which is based on an ancient practice which most probably originated from Rome where pilgrims used to visit churches as part of their sacrament for the Roman Catholic Church.
Here in the Philippines, the practice is sometimes extended to fourteen churches aiming to represent the fourteen stations of the cross before Christ’s crucifixion as depicted in the doctrines.
We only visited seven churches though, which is the more common practice. You can consider each church to represent two stations of the cross.
Our Southern Cebu Visita Iglesia started in the morning after leaving Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort where we stayed earlier, en route to Sumilon Island whose story is upcoming in this blog come April 2010.
Now, back to the churches. Being a comparatively newbie travel blogger, this post will not aim to extensively discuss the historical relevance of each of those seven churches we went to. Rather, I will enumerate the churches and each of their locations, perhaps sharing some bits of information as we go along.
It was also a privilege to be travelling with knowledgeable and historically-sensitive travel bloggers like Ivan Henares of Ivan About Town and Melo Villareal of Out of Town Blog from whom I learned a lot.
You might also consider this as a photo-compilation of Visita Iglesia de south Cebu as I gather a collection of similarly angled photos of the churches’ interiors from the same perspective and depth.
And here are the churches that we visited and their photos:
San Isidro Labrador
St Catherine of Alexandria
Nuestra Senora Del Pilar
St Michael Archangel
San Guillermo Del Ermitanio
Nuestra Senora del Patrocinio
Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception
That concludes the long journey of Visita Iglesia in south Cebu. By the way, Sago was with us through out the journey. I just decided not to post the pictures of him with the churches as it might be construed as disrespectful of the religion. Anyhow, here’s Sago with the Visita Iglesia leaflet itinerary.
Lastly, Have a solemn and meditative Holy Week while remembering Christ’s suffering on the cross on our behalf for our salvation.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. That whossoever believeth in Him should not perish but have an everlasting life” – John 3:16