A city dweller’s guide to Visita Iglesia in Metro Manila

March 28, 2024 - 9:26 AM
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Manila Cathedral_interior
Photo of the inside of the Manila Cathedral (Photo from Manila Cathedral website via CBCP News)

The Visita Iglesia is one of the most notable traditions of Filipino Catholics during Holy Week.

For city dwellers and those who will be in the capital region on the Holy Days, some entities and personalities have compiled a guide of churches they can visit for their pilgrimage.

DOT’s recommendations

For those who want to visit churches steeped in rich history and spirituality, the Metro Manila office of the Department of Tourism has compiled a list of the most iconic churches in the National Capital Region.

  • Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned — Marikina
  • Minor Basilica and National Shrine of St. Lorenzo Ruiz — Binondo, Manila
  • Manila Cathedral — Intramuros, Manila
  • San Sebastian Basilica — Quiapo, Manila
  • San Felipe Neri Parish — Mandaluyong
  • St. Peter and Paul Parish — Makati
  • Baclaran Church — Parañaque

Jollibee’s recommendations

Historian Xiao Chua also shared that Jollibee has a brochure of recommended churches Filipinos can visit around Metro Manila.

  • Shrine of Our Lady of Grace — Caloocan
  • Diocesan Shrine and Parish of St. Joseph (Bamboo Organ Church) — Las Piñas
  • Guadalupe Church — Makati
  • Diocesan Shrine and Parish of the Immaculate Conception — Malabon
  • San Felipe Neri Parish — Mandaluyong
  • Manila Cathedral — Manila
  • Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of the Abandoned — Marikina
  • St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish & Diocesan Shrine — Muntinlupa
  • Diocesan Shrine & Parish of San Jose de Navotas — Navotas
  • St. Andrew’s Cathedral — Parañaque
  • National Shrine of Our Mother Of Perpetual Help (Baclaran Church) — Parañaque
  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Pasig — Pasig
  • Diocesan Shrine of Saint Martha — Pateros
  • Santuario de San Vicente de Paul — Quezon City
  • St. John the Baptist Parish (Pinaglabanan Church) — San Juan
  • Sto. Niño de Taguig Parish — Taguig
  • National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima — Valenzuela

City of Manila’s recommendations

To those who want to explore the nation’s capital, they can visit the following churches found within the City of Manila:

  • Tondo Church
  • Immaculate Concepcion Church
  • Sta. Cruz Church
  • Quiapo Church
  • Sampaloc Church
  • Our Lady of Peñafrancia de Manila
  • Sta. Ana Church
  • Paco Church
  • Malate Church
  • Ermita Church
  • Manila Cathedral
  • San Agustin Church
  • Binondo Church
  • San Sebastian Church

Campus recommendations

Major universities in the metro also have religious sites where Filipinos can fulfill their Visita Iglesia pilgrimage.

  • The Church of the Gesu — Ateneo de Manila University
  • Most Blessed Sacrament Chapel — De La Salle University
  • Parish of the Holy Sacrifice — University of the Philippines Diliman
  • Santisimo Rosario Parish — University of Santo Tomas
  • Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat — San Beda University

Eco-friendly suggestions

The local government unit of Quezon City, which is known for its bike-friendly initiatives, similarly suggested churches that can be visited by bike or by walking, saving gasoline.

The city government listed sites pilgrims can visit in whatever district they prefer.

The Visita Iglesia is a tradition among Catholics in which they visit at least seven different churches on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday as a form of pilgrimage.

Some offer prayers to the Blessed Sacrament, while others pray in front of the successive Stations of Cross in each church.

The choice of seven churches was believed to be a reference to the Seven Last Words of Jesus or His Seven Holy Wounds.

RELATED: Your guide to Visita Iglesia