I supposed to have work yesterday but decided not to go to the office. After all, it’s just an OT. Besides its Holy Week and it’s just once in a year event. I should at least spend time to remember, reflect and repent for all my sins and to thank Jesus, as well, for sacrificing His life to save us.
The Pabasa in our place had already started when I left home to fetch my akachan (bf) and his sis (Abby). Because they’re my companion in doing the “Visita Iglesia”. :)
“Visita Iglesia” (church visit) is a Catholic tradition here in the Philippines, wherein Christians are visiting 7 different churches on Maundy Thursday to pray and reflect on the coming suffering of Jesus Christ.
They say that the tradition of Visita Iglesia on Maundy Thursday is an ancient practice (probably originating from Rome), where early pilgrims used to visit churches as penance.
In the Philippines, some of the devotees extended the Visita Iglesia to 14 churches as to represent the “14 Stations of the Cross” before Christ’s crucifixion as depicted in the doctrines. So, it’s 1 station per church.
But in our case, we only visited 8 churches — 6 of those are in Manila and 2 in Mandaluyong City. We supposed to visit only 7 churches, but when we were on our way to St. Jude, we see this church — San Beda — and decided to just pay a visit there as well. ;) Hope it’s just ok!
San Felipe Neri Church, Mandaluyong City
We started our Visita Iglesia in San Felipe Neri, Mandaluyong City. It actually wasn’t my first time in that church. Because back in College, my friends and I had attended mass there twice (if I’m not mistaken). Since we only visited 7 churches, we decided to do the first 3 station in that church.
We were just sharing one “Station of the Cross Booklet” when we started there. So, for our convenience, we decided to buy 2 more as we went out of the church. Before heading to our next station, we dropped by first at 7-11 Convenience Stores near us to buy 2 big bottle of mineral water that we can drink to quench our thirst.
Sta. Mesa Church, Manila
Sta. Mesa Church is our next stop over.
I’ve been to Sta. Mesa for so many times especially during my College days coz I used to print my thesis there. For printing costs there is sooooo cheap and really affordable — fit for students. I even went there with my akachan before just to eat “lugaw” coz there’s a place near the church that people call “BOTTOMLESS LUGAW” … as in “literally” bottomless! Yumyum! ;)
Despite of being able to go in that place for a couple of times, I never really entered that church … just now! Hehehe ;)) So, since there is this “Filipino Belief” to “MAKE A WISH whenever you entered a church for the first time” because according to others “IT WILL COME TRUE”, and so, I really did make a wish. :)
We did the 4th station there.
Quiapo Church, Manila
After the Sta. Mesa church, we ride a bus going to Manila and dropped off at Quiapo Church for our 5th and 6th stations.
It was quite a long walk from the place where the bus dropped us off to the Quiapo church. There were lots of people inside and outside the church.
After that, we proceed to Sta. Cruz church which is a just a walking distance from there.
Sta. Cruz Church, Manila
It’s all our first time in that church. Actually, we didn’t really know that there’s a church near Quiapo. But nanay (my bf’s mother) told us that there is a church along Carriedo which is the Sta. Cruz Church.
The station of the cross is located outside the church for the churchgoers and devotees convenience. We did the 7th and 8th stations there and we also made a wish. Actually, I forgot to make a wish as I entered there. I only remember when I already went out. So since, I’m still in the vicinity of the church — as in just outside its door, I decided to go back in and made a wish.
San Sebastian Church, Manila
We did the 9th and 10th stations there.
At first, we thought there were no stations of the cross there because we didn’t see it inside. Then, I decided to ask one of the church staff and direct us outside.
San Beda Church, Manila
We were supposed to proceed to St. Jude Church after our visit in San Sebastian Church, but when we were on our way to St. Jude, we saw this church and my akachan told us to dropped by inside and to give/offer one station there.
We did the 11th station there and as we entered in that church, we were all amazed of how beautiful the inside of San Beda Church. It wasn’t that neither too big nor too small, just enough. And the interior of the church caught me in big awe! The inside of that church is really sooooo beautiful! I felt like I’m in other country where religious images are painted in the ceilings. ;)
We kinda had a hard time figuring where the 11th station there. Because, there was no sign indicating the number of the stations of the cross, only the drawing/images painted in the ceiling. But we were able to find it still. Before we went outside, the 3 of us made a wish first, hoping that our wishes will come true. ;)
St. Jude Church, Manila
Tatay (my bf’s father) is devotee in this church.
Before we entered the church and while waiting for nanay and tatay to arrived there, we decided to drop by first at one of the food area near the church to satisfy our starving. Hehehe!!! We bought fruitas shake, ate palabok and also ordered siomai.
We were so full when we did the 12th station at St. Jude Church. It’s my 1st time to enter that church, so, I decided to entered there and make a wish. We went inside to where nanay and tatay were standing but decided not to finish the mass. Because, we still have 2 more stations to finish and we want it in St. Francis Church.
St. Francis Church, Mandaluyong City
Our 13th and 14th — last destination is at St. Francis Church. We decided to do it there because both my akachan and I are devotees in this church. We attend masses there and we visit the place during every special event in our life like “anniversaries” and so many more.
This church is a very memorable church in our life because this is where we both attended mass when were still not lovers (boyfriends & girlfriends) yet and just still friends. Aside from that, there are still too many reasons why we love this church … and we actually WANT to held our wedding there sooooooon!!! :)
This Visita Iglesia is actually a first time to the 3 of us. I’m so glad that Abby (sis-to-be) decided to join us. We really had so much fun yesterday with our bonding and I’m looking forward to doing this yearly with them — my akachan and my sis-to-be. This Visita Iglesia is really one of the many “Filipino Religious Festivities” that you sure won’t want to miss. ;)