Holy Week

Nope, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Just took a quick blogging hiatus over the long weekend. In my part of the world, the Philippines being a predominantly Catholic country, observed holy week recently. To know more about it, this is how Wikipedia describes this season.

To start off the holy week, I went to “Walkways” in BGC on Wednesday night. This is a yearly project done by Church Simplified. It was actually my first time to check out their interactive take on the stations of the cross. I like that their overall approach to spirituality is not all preachy. They make the biblical passages relevant to real world experiences so it gives even the non-religious types, concepts that are not far out and easy to comprehend…hence the name Church Simplified. I will definitely make this a part of my yearly Lenten tradition from now on.

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On Maundy Thursday, the grandparents whisked away our kid to the province leaving her lonely parents at home.  The husband had work so we opted to stay behind. However on Good Friday, we woke up at 5am to do the traditional Visita Iglesia, which is a Lenten tradition where Catholics devote one day to visit seven different churches. We did the tradition, albeit a little differently. Instead of driving around town, we rode our bikes.

Took this early in the morning while we were waiting for bike # 4

022Our first destination was Sto. Domingo Church. It was quite a breeze getting there as the streets were empty. We even crossed Edsa which is unheard of. You never cross Edsa on a regular day. Never.

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Second stop was Quiapo Church. Now if the streets were empty, it must have been because half of Manila’s population have made their pilgrimage towards Quiapo. There were hundreds of Nazareno devotees in their maroon shirts, walking around the streets barefoot.  We squeezed ourselves amongst the crowd, it was almost hard to breathe. The heat was insane too. It’s all part of the experience.

032After Quiapo, we headed straight to Manila. We had to make a stop by the post office to have our pic taken with the father of the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio.  035We went straight to Intramuros where we visited our third church, the San Agustin Church 041Our fourth stop was Manila Cathedral which was closed at that time. Everyone was huddled in front of the massive door where a crucifix was installed for the devotees. 044Our fifth church was San Sebastian Church. I love the classic elongated structure of this church. It was actually my first time to visit this church. There’s a saying that when you visit a church for the first time, you have to make a wish. I made my wish. 050Our sixth church was Mount Carmel Parish053
And our seventh and last top, was Christ the King Church 055And then after three hours of biking and baking under the sun, we were off to lunch. Bikers, remember…no helmet, no ride. Better safe than sorry. 028

For those of you who observe the holy week, what rituals/traditions do you usually do this time of year?

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4 thoughts on “Holy Week

  1. I haven’t tried visita iglesia, I’m actually a born-again Christian but when I got married I started attending mass in Catholic church since my husband is a Catholic Christian. Anyoo, it actually doesn’t matter because we’re both praising one God. And as long as the strong faith is there. So medyo newbie pako sa mga Catholic practices. 🙂

  2. I love your church shots! You highlighted the architectural details. 😉 btw, the san sebastian church is an example of neo-gothic architecture & its an all-steel structure. 😉

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