Visita Iglesia: A Filipino Catholic Tradition

2009-04-09 Bicol Lenten Season Visita Iglesia (21)

Holy Week, back when I was still single, was always a busy time for me because I was part of our parish's Music Ministry. Our schedules were always packed from Maundy Thursday until the midnight Easter Sunday Mass. I seldom joined my family in their Visita Iglesia trips. Now that I'm no longer part of the choir, I made it a point to introduce the age-old Catholic tradition to my son. We have been doing the Visita Iglesia with him since 2004 and it's automatic that he leads the prayers for the Stations of the Cross.

Visita Iglesia are Spanish words meaning "church visits." Filipinos traditionally visit fourteen churches in remembrance of the 14 stations of the cross. We, on the other hand, visit only 7 churches and pray 2 stations for each church. We do the Visita Iglesia after hearing the Last Supper mass which is usually held at 6 p.m. We pray the rosary at the seventh church, too. In the past years, we finished touring the seven churches by midnight. Tomorrow, we may just be visiting seven churches in Rizal and may have to start earlier than usual.

Are you also going on a Vista Iglesia trip tomorrow with your family? Here are a few things to remember:
  • Do not forget to bring your Stations of The Cross booklets and rosaries. It's better to have a copy of the booklet for each member of the family. 
  • Bring a penlight or a small flashlight for convenient reading of your prayer booklet. Most churches have their lights dimmed after the Last Supper Mass and only the tabernacle of the Holy Eucharist is lighted. Other churches also set up the Stations of the Cross outside the church where there is poorer lighting.
  • Bring water, cold juices, and snacks especially if you are going to be visiting churches with the kids. But please, don't let the kids eat or drink inside the church. Snacking can be done while in the car.
  • Charge your cellular phones. Let your kids have their cell phones in their pockets, too. That way, it will be easier to find each other in crowded places. However, put them on silent mode especially while inside the church. Guard your gadgets, too. My son's cell phone has a strap that I hook up to his belt hoop while the phone is kept in his pocket.
  • Plot the churches that you will visit in a map or have an itinerary ready. It would also be best if you can find a place to have dinner in the middle of the tour.

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  1. this Holy Week, me, my son and husband managed to join my family's visita iglesia.

  2. May I know please which churches you went to in Rizal?.....oh and if you have instructions on how to get there please? sensya na po, been trying to get info pero what I always found was a mixture of Rizal and Laguna Visita Iglesias, what I only need is Rizal lang. Ma'am, might I ask you to send it to my e-mail address as well? Thank you so much!

  3. Here's the Rizal Visita Iglesia route we followed:


    1. Immaculate Conception Parish, Phase VII Vista Verde Executive Village, Imelda Ave.
    - You may have to leave your driver's license with the guards if you have a car
    - Take the trike from Vista Verde gate 1 if commuting.

    2. Holy Trinity Parish, Village East Avenue, Village East Executive Homes, Imelda Ave.
    - Same with Vista Verde, leave your license when bringing a car or take the trike.
    - Village East is in front of Makro.

    3. Our Lady of Light Parish, Bonifacio Ave. Cainta Town Proper
    - If commuting, take jeep to Cainta Parola.
    - When driving, just drive straight from Imelda Ave. to Bonifacio Ave. crossing Ortigas Ave. Ext. until you reach the church.


    4. St. John the Baptist Parish, Taytay Town Proper.
    - Ride a Taytay jeep from Cainta church.
    - When driving, just take Bonifacio Ave. straight to Rizal Ave. (same streets actually). You’ll see the church from there because it’s kinda set atop a hilly terrain.

    5. Church in the Sky, Christ the King Parish, Muzon, Taytay, Rizal
    - You can ride a Taytay-Binangonan jeep from St. John the Baptist Church. Tell the driver that you’ll get off at Muzon Elementary School. There’s a small street across the school where you can ride a trike going up to the church.
    - From St. John the Baptist, take Rizal Avenue until you reach Manila East. Road. (Taytay Market and Club Manila East entrance gate) Drive straight to Muzon Elementary School, turn left at the small road across the school and drive straight up to Church in the Sky. The road is SUPER STEEP and it may be dark at night time so be careful driving.


    6. St. Clement Parish, Angono Town Proper
    - Take a jeep from Muzon to Angono. You may have to walk or take a trike going to the church because the jeep only passes by the main road.
    - From Muzon, take Manila East Road again going to Angono. You will see a junction after St. Clement Catholic cemetery and Angono Public Cemetery. Take the road leading to Angono Town Proper. You may have to ask the locals for directions to the church.


    7. Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Tayuman, Binangonan
    - Just along Manila East Road going to Binangonan town. I’m not sure if the Binangonan jeepneys pass by this church. But bringing a car, you’ll just have to drive straight to Binangonan taking Manila East Road. The church will be at your right.

    Hope you find this useful. Thanks for the visit.

  4. thanks so really helped! =) God bless wonder mom =)

  5. I'm glad the post helped you. Thanks for the visit!

  6. very nice and street savvy...

  7. It's holy week again.  A perfect timing to read your blog, and absorb all good information you shared.  I really appreciate the thought of reminding us on your helpful tips.  god bless us all.  =)


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