Visita Iglesia in the Philippines

Visita Iglesia” is derived from the Spanish Language which means “Church Visits”. It is traditionally practiced every Maundy Thursday or commonly known in the Philippines as Holy Thursday to visit several different Churches. I believe this started in Rome where the pilgrims asked for penance as they visit seven pilgrim churches. Some Filipinos make the seven churches into fourteen and say the Stations of the Cross with one station in each cross. Some visits only one church to say their prayers, penitence and it is their option to say the Stations of the Cross inside the church as there are already images or replicas of the fourteen different stations.

In the Philippines, Visita Iglesia also means going to confession. There’s always a long waiting line of people who want to repent and say their sins to the Catholic Priests in most big Churches here in Cebu City and I believe this is the same in most part of the Philippines.

Visita Iglesia is the time for different Churches in the Philippines to decorate their Church Tabernacle where the Eucharist is preserved. This gives the impression that the church wants the visitors to reflect the sins they made in the past and that the Lord will forgive them and give them a beautiful life. Bright lights and wonderful flower decorations are usually placed around the Tabernacle. Different Churches have different designs, some styles are minimalist and some are extravagant.

As part of our Lenten sacrifice this 2010, Lisa and I had our own share of Visita Iglesia in Cebu City. We want to show you the styles, designs and decorations of the Tabernacles of the different Churches. If this would be a contest, we already have a bet, San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in Tisa is #1 (am I being biased here?) and Sacred Heart Parish is next.

Have you been to any of these churches?

This page is last updated on Sep 13, 2010 @ 3:24 pm
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Mark Anthony Maranga Mark Anthony Maranga is a Web Designer based in Cebu, Philippines. He sells Balloons and Party Supplies in Mandaue City, Cebu and explores the Philippines tourist attractions. During his free time he take pictures and write blogs. Check his website design portfolio and know more about him.

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