Visita Iglesia 2017

In my 20 years of existence and being a Catholic, I must say that I haven’t done a Visita Iglesia before or the Catholic Lenten tradition of visiting and praying in at least seven churches on Maundy Thursday.  Thus, when I tried and succeeded in visiting all seven churches last Thursday, there was a delight in me brought by a fulfilled desire to discover both old and new things and, of course, the fulfillment of finally doing a Visita Iglesia.

For this year, I decided to visit some of the oldest and historical churches in the country particularly here in Metro Manila. From Quiapo in Manila to Baclaran in Parañaque, here are the churches where my feet took me for my Visita Iglesia this year:

1. San Sebastian Church

If there was a church that I was looking forward to see in person for my Visita Iglesia this year, it would be the San Sebastian Church in Quiapo, Manila. Rumor has it that Gustave Eiffel –the engineer of the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris– was also the one behind this historical church that withstood every earthquake it has experienced since day one.

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One of the places in the world where past literally meets the present.
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The church’s interior can pass as a set of Hogwarts for a Harry Potter film.
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A closer look at the intricate details of the church’s exterior.

2. Quiapo Church

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The cream beauty of Quiapo Church’s facade.

This has probably been my third or fourth time of visiting the home of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila but it was only recently that I finally got the chance to capture the beauty of its architecture minus the huge number of devotees who flock to it.

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Seems like the interior of Quiapo Church was designed to accommodate the large number of devotees of the Black Nazarene.

3. Sta. Cruz Church

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Compared to the preceding ones, Sta. Cruz Church was designed to be simpler outside.

West of Quiapo Church and a little walk from it is a 17th century old church found in the heart of Sta. Cruz, Manila, the Sta. Cruz Church. This was actually my first time to visit the church and to reach this part of Manila so I also grabbed the opportunity to marvel at some of the remnants of the Spanish era in the said place.

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The church’s interior is as simple as it’s exterior creating contrast with some touch of gold and blue.

4. Binondo Church

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The Chinese lucky color red goes well with the facade of Binondo Church.

Another church which amazed me with its beauty is the Binondo Church found in Manila’s Chinatown. Same as Sta. Cruz Church, this was my first time to visit the landmark and true to the pictures I’ve seen, the place was remarkably beautiful with its ceiling paintings.

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Binondo Church’s interior is truly a sight to see. 
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Though Michaelangelo did not paint the church’s ceiling, Binondo Church’s interior will give you the feel similar to that of visiting the Sistine Chapel. 

5. Manila Cathedral

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The glorious Mother of all Churches, Cathedrals and Basilicas under scorching heat of the sun.

Another first for me was visiting the Manila Cathedral. Located inside the walls of Intramuros, the renovated cathedral has a simple yet beautiful interior that makes one (it made me) consider it as a venue for his/her future wedding.

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The cathedral’s arches made me imagine my future wedding after praying.
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A closer look at the intricate details of the cathedral’s facade. 

6. San Agustin Church

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Do not be deceived by the simple design of San Agustin Church’s facade.

My second time of visiting the oldest recorded church in the country, San Agustin Church looks very different when its doors are open under the bright sunlight. I was able to visit this historical landmark during my first year in college but its doors were closed during that time and we were only able to enter the church through the museum. Still, I did not know how beautiful the church’s interior was until my recent visit.

7. Baclaran Church

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Holy Week or not, Baclaran Church is always full of its devotees.

To end my Visita Iglesia, I decided to go a bit to the south and visit the Baclaran Church in Parañaque City. Same with most of the churches in this list, this was my first time to reach the place and I have to say I was surprised on how big the church was.

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My hands and eyes seem to have grown tired after a day of Visita Iglesia that I haven’t noticed how blurred this shot is. 
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