Where to go for Visita Iglesia in Cebu and its neighboring towns down south

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Lenten season is just around the corner. You may already have your own plans on how and where to spend it just to get out of the city that virtually becomes a ghost town during this season. Some may go on a trip to Bohol or the neighboring island of Negros but for those devout Catholics who want to pay homage to the tradition, here's a list of churches in Cebu and in its surrounding towns down south that you can visit.

1. Basilica del Sto. Nino, Cebu City
Historically, this is the oldest Catholic church in the Philippines. It houses the image of Sto. Nino, which was a gift from the Spaniards when they first set foot in the island. Today, the Sto.Nino is Cebu's patron.


2. Saint Chatherine of Alexandria Church, Carcar
This church was built in 1859 under the leadership of Father Antonion Maglano. The church, with the Greko-Roman inspired architecture, sits proudly on top of one the hills in the "heritage city" of Carcar.


3. Nuestra Senora del Pilar Church, Sibonga
The church was built around 1846-1868 but it was only in 1881 that it was finished under the leadership of Father Enrique Magas. From the outside, it looks like it was built using stacked "lego" bricks but the inside is far more different. The ceiling has a huge, well-preserved fresco painting depicting various biblical scenes.


4. Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, Simala
The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist located in the hilly part of Simala, Cebu, where people from all walks of life go on a pilgrimage to pray to the miraculous Blessed Virgin Mary.


5. St. Michael Archangel Church, Argao
Located in Argao (beside the Argao Plaze), this church stands for more than two hundred years. The rococo inspired church was built in the 1780s during the time of Father Francisco Espina.


6. Nuestra Senora Patrocinio de Maria Church, Boljoon
The Nuestra Senora Patrocinio de Maria Church in Boljoon was built in the 1780s shortly after the Augustinians took over when the Jesuits abandoned Boljoon due to the lack of personnel.


7. Immaculada Concepcion Church, Oslob 
The Immaculada Concepcion Church in Oslob was built in 1830 by Father Julian Bermjeo. The church was burned down three times, more recently in 2008, but much like every Oslobanon and their faith, it continues to stand over the years.


Visita Iglesia is a common practice in the Philippines where devout Catholics visit 7 churches, usually during Maundy Thursday/Holy Thursday.


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