Visita Iglesia (or literally, church visit) is a Lenten tradition done by the Roman Catholic faithful primarily to meditate on the Passion of Christ. Traditionally done every Maundy Thursday, it is now practiced in any day within the Holy Week, before Good Friday comes. For this Lenten Season, if you're planning to do your Visita Iglesia within Manila, here are 7 interesting Catholic churches you shouldn't miss in your itinerary. They are relatively near to each other and are all accessible by public transportation.
Where to go for Visita Iglesia? Check out these notable churches in Manila.
1. Malate ChurchA Baroque-style church facing Rajah Sulayman park and Manila Bay. Built by the Augustinian friars, this church is dedicated to Nuestra Señora de Remedios ("Our Lady of Remedies") and is considered as one of the oldest churches in Manila outside of Intramuros.
Location: 2000 MH del Pilar, Malate, Manila
Coordinates: 14°34'9"N 120°59'4"E
2. Manila CathedralA Roman Catholic basilica located inside the walls of Intramuros Manila. Also known as the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, it serves both as the Prime Basilica of the Philippines and highest seat of Archbishop in the country.
Location: Cabildo corner Beaterio Sts., Intramuros, Manila
Coordinates: 14.5915° N, 120.9736° E
Telephone Numbers: (02) 527-3093 / 527-1796
3. San Agustin ChurchAlso located inside the historic walled city of Intramuros in Manila, San Agustin Church is said to be the oldest stone church in the Philippines. Built in 1589, it is the only Intramuros church that survived the Second World War. This church is a must-visit as it is one of the Four Baroque Churches of the Philippines declared in 1993 in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
Location: General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila
Coordinates: 14.5889° N, 120.9753° E
Telephone Numbers: (02) 527-4061
Sta. Cruz Church (Photo by Axl Guinto)
4. Sta. Cruz ChurchNamed after the Holy Cross, this church is dedicated to Nuestra Señora del Pilar (Our Lady of the Pillar), whose image was brought from Spain. The parish was established by the Jesuits in the early 1600's for the growing community of Chinese Christian converts in Manila. The current church reflecting Baroque influences was completed in the 1950's.
Location: Plaza Sta. Cruz, Manila
Coordinates: 14.5736° N, 121.0047° E
5. Binondo ChurchAlso known as the Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish. Binondo Church is rich in history as this is where the first Filipino Saint, San Lorenzo Ruiz served as sacristan.
Location: Plaza L. Ruiz, Binondo 1006, Manila
Coordinates: 14.6000° N, 120.9744° E
6. Quiapo ChurchOfficially known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Quiapo Church is home to the much venerated image of the Black Nazarene.
Location: Quezon Blvd., Quiapo Manila
Coordinates: 14.5988° N, 120.9838° E
7. San Sebatian ChurchKnown as Basilica Minore de San Sebastian, it is the seat of the Parish of San Sebastian and also the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Most noted for its architectural features, it is made from prefabricated steel parts from Belgium and is considered as the only all-steel church or basilica in Asia. The Philippine Government declared the church as a National Historical Landmark in 1973 and was also included on the tentative list for inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Location: Plaza del Carmen, Quiapo, Manila
Coordinates: 14.5994° N, 120.9889° E
Telephone Numbers: (02)734-8931
This list of 7 Churches in Manila can also serve as your guide in planning your Visita Iglesia itinerary this Lenten Season. If you're planning to stay in Manila during holy week, click HERE to SEARCH for Hotels in Manila!
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Hotels in Manila
If you want to stay for a night or two in Manila, you may want to stay at a nearby hotel such as , Ramada Hotel Manila, The Henry Hotel Manila, Amelie Hotel Manila, Orchid Garden Suites Manila, Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel, and New World Manila Bay Hotel. For the affordable hotels, you may check out Red Planet Hotel Ermita, Tambayan Capsule Hostel, BGC Hostel Manila, Go HOtel Otis, and GranPrix Hotel Manila. These hotels in Manila will surely be a good place to stay if you're planning to go on a holiday with your family and friends.
ALSO READ: Best Hotels in Manila, Philippines
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