Visita Iglesia Guide – Seven Churches in Laguna & Quezon
The Seven Churches Visitation or Visita Iglesia (in reference to the Seven Last Words of Jesus or the Seven Holy Wounds of Jesus) is an ancient pious Roman Catholic Lenten tradition. It is one of the most popular Holy Week panatas (sacred vows) that Filipino Catholics make with a belief that their wishes will be granted after they sigh a prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in each church.
Some devotees walk barefoot from church to church. There are also those who carry a cross or hit themselves, mimicking Jesus Christ’s sufferings on his way to crucifixion, as they visit the seven churches. However, most people do Visita Iglesia with friends and families the convenient way – traveling by car to visit churches further apart, with sightseeing on the side.
That’s how we did our Visita Iglesia last year – the convenient way. We joined the Visita Iglesia Tour organized by Sole Adventours and visited six churches in Laguna. We ended our pilgrimage in the 5-hectare Kamay ni Jesus shrine in Quezon Province as our seventh church.
THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN LAGUNA AND QUEZON
(Snippets were taken from Wikipedia)
- San Antonio de Padua Parish Church in Pila, Laguna – this church was dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua in the Philippines in 1578. It is the first Antonine parish church in the Philippines in 1581 and probably in Asia.
- Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church in Pagsanjan, Laguna – this is the only Roman Catholic Church in Pagsanjan, Laguna, and the oldest church in the Philippines under the patronship of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
- Santa Maria Magdalena Parish Church in Magdalena, Laguna – this Baroque church is elevated by a flight of steps facing a plaza. It is mainly made out of sandstone. To its left is a four-storey octagonal bell tower with a square base.
- St. John the Baptist Parish Church in Liliw, Laguna – this church is known for its adobe and red-bricked façade and baroque-style architecture. On top of the wooden door entrance is a white sculpted image of the Baptism of Jesus by St. John the Baptist. It also contains stained glass images along with red-bricked columns.
- Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church in Majayjay, Laguna – one of the oldest Roman Catholic churches in the Philippines. Today, the church contains antique images of santos, reliquaries and century-old liturgical objects.
- San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church in Nagcarlan, Laguna – the facade has a semicircular arched main entrance along with semicircular windows and tall pedestals and columns present also in the church’s side entrance. The four-story brick bell tower has bells with the Franciscan coat of arms (crossed arms of Christ and St. Francis of Assisi) and Muslim inspired crenelations. This church was featured in the 1974 movie “Kampanerang Kuba” starring Vilma Santos and its teleserye remake, an ABS-CBN television series starring Anne Curtis in 2005.
- Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church in Lucban, Quezon – this is a 5-hectare shrine constructed on February 2002. On its ground, you will see life-sized replicas of Adam and Eve, Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark, and a lot more!
SIDE TRIP – Isdaan Floating Restaurant Fun Park in Calauan, Laguna – a tourist attraction in Laguna offering festive ambiance and impressive structures that will make you think you are in another Southeast Asian country, specifically Thailand. It is a resto-park with life-sized various characters scattered around such as Buddha images, dinosaurs, mermaids, gorillas, gnomes, fishes, and a lot more! The only downside of this place is expensive, low-quality foods.
SAMPLE VISITA IGLESIA ITINERARY
0300 – Pick up at Farmer’s Cubao
0400 – Pick up at Jollibee Alabang
0500 – Breakfast at Jollibee Los Banos (own acct)
0600 – ETA Pila Laguna – San Antonio De Padua Church
0730 – ETA Pagsanjan Laguna – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church
0830 – ETA Magdalena Laguna – Santa Maria Magdalena Church
0930 – ETA Liliw Laguna – Saint John the Baptist Parish Church
1030 – ETA Majayjay Laguna – Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church
1130 – ETA Nagcarlan Laguna – San Bartolome Apostol Parish Church
1230 – Lunch
1400 – ETA Lucban Quezon – Kamay ni Hesus Lucban Quezon
1600 – CALAUAN ISDAAN PARK (participants can take dinner here if they want)
1800 – ETD back to Manila
2000 – ETA Manila
- Do not forget to bring your prayer booklet.
- If you have your own car and you are traveling with friends or family members, it would be best to do DIY as you will have more freedom in adjusting or tweaking your itinerary. It can also be cheaper but tiring. Otherwise, taking advantage of Sole Adventours’ Visita Iglesia for only Php980 is a steal!
- Expect heavy traffic and a large crowd in all of the places you’re going to.
- Bring lots of water, snacks and power bars. Travel time can be too tiring.
- Use sun protection gears. Make umbrella, cap, and fan your best friends.
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