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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

7 Go-to Manila Churches for Visita Iglesia

As a dominantly Catholic country, one of our practices every Holy Week is Visita Iglesia. Traditionally, Catholics visit around 7 churches to pray, reflect, and honor the Blessed Sacrament during Holy Week. The visiting of churches is done to commemorate the suffering of Christ, as well as to meditate and ask for penance.
Here are churches within the Metro which you can visit this Holy Week:

1) Binondo Church
Photo by Lawrence Ruiz - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51373004
Start your journey in one of the oldest churches in Manila. Binondo Church is also known as Minor Basilica of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish. It was built by the Dominicans and is located in Binondo, Manila. It became a place of worship to converted Chinese Christians back in the day when the trade between Chinese and Filipinos started to increase. Today, a number of Binondo dwellers and curious tourists still visit the parish.

2) San Sebastian
Photo by Geela Garcia
San Sebastian, also known as Minor Basilica of San Sebastian, boasts Gothic Revival architecture, and is the only steel church in the Philippines and Asia. The original structure was actually built using bricks, but because of a Chinese Filipino uprising which burned down the original structure, the current edifice was built to be fire and earthquake-resistant.

3) Quiapo Church
Photo by By Judgefloro - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49290514
Quiapo Church, also known as Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, is one of the most famous basilicas in the Philippines. It is because of the said-to-be miraculous sculpture of the Black Nazarene which was carved in Mexico and was burned on its way to the Philippines. Large numbers of devotees visit every Friday, edging their knees forward to the sculpture to ask for miracle and or forgiveness.
4) Baclaran Church
Photo By Ramon FVelasquez - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25183238
The Baclaran Church is also known as the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help is one of the largest Marian churches in the Philippines. The shrine was established by Redemptionists when they began the novena in 1948. At first, only 70 people attended the novena, but after several sessions, the attendees doubled, and is now reaching thousands of devotees. Today, the church serves as home to many Marian devotees.
5) San Agustin
By Patrick Roque (talk) (Uploads) - Taken using my camera with model DSC-HX5V, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61019655
San Agustin Church is one of the two religious sites inside the walled city of Intramuros, and is the Philippines’ oldest church. Built by the Augustinians, the structure was modeled after beautiful temples in Mexico. It boasts a grandeur in architecture, very rich and grounded to the Spanish colonial history. The building has its own museum inside, which features great artifacts about the Philippines’ cultural heritage.

6) Manila Cathedral
By Patrickroque01 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61234185
Manila Cathedral is a neighboring church to the San Agustin Church inside Intramuros, and is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception or the Virgin Mary. Initially built as a simple parish back in 1571, it received multiple reconstructions after several calamities hit the city. The cathedral was then upgraded with LED lighting, advanced sound system, and carbon-retrofitted structural foundations which add a modern detail to its beautiful Roman stone facade.

7) Malate Church
By Ramon FVelasquez - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30755713
Last but not the least is Malate Church, also known as Our Lady of Remedies Parish. It follows a Baroque style of architecture and houses a statue that travelled from Spain-- it is of Nuestra SeƱora de los Remedios, the patroness of childbirth. The small but beautiful house of prayer is also strategically located in front of Plaza Rajah Sulayman and Manila Bay.

After a long day of Church hopping and driving around Manila, have a quick stopover and unwind at Century Park Hotel (CPH). Grab a soft and fluffy bibingka and hot chocolate at Cafe in the Park before heading back home.
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Launched in 1976, the Century Park Hotel remains as one of the finest hotels in Manila. It is owned and operated by Maranaw Hotels and Resort Corporation and enjoys a mix of local and international patrons. The renowned establishment has over 500 rooms in varied types and facilities for a complete dining and leisure experience. To know more about Century Park Hotel, visit www.centurypark.com or contact information@centurypark.com.phand telephone number: (632) 528-8888.

Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, Philippine Bloggers Network, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. Azrael's Merryland Blog is included in a list of top 50 Blogs in the Philippines , ranked 65th in Top 100 Blogs that Matter , 49 must read lifestyle blog in the Philippines. and rank 40th in 100 Top Philippine Blogs by Feedspot.
He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collect Transformers toys.
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MY SCHEDULE

Feb 28 - Axe event in Makati
March 2-3 - out of town
March 9-10 - hotel staycation
March 16-17 - Batangas trip
March 20-24 - Batanes trip
March 25 - Azrael and Lace wedding anniversary
March 30-31 - hotel staycation
April 18-22 - Singapore trip
June 28-30 - Toycon 2019