visita iglesia 2015

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1-3Hello hello,

First entry for the month (or probably not because I still have entries I haven’t published), and its going to be one busy one. Hopefully this trial run of me being mum’s assistant does rake some plus points for me!

Its still Sakura season in Japan and in random parts of the world. Wasn’t able to fulfill this year’s plans to go there due to the overseering business. Hopefully next year I will (or so help me I will!) Envy all those who could go but yeah, the time will come for me to see my very first Sakura blossom :)) And soon!

Anyway, for this entry, I will be sharing to you my experience for this year’s Visita Iglesia. To those who do not know, it is a Catholic tradition here in the Philippines to visit seven (sometimes eight) churches every Maundy Thursday (or throughout the Holy Week even) to pray and seek penance. It is also a time for family.

This year, my family (sans my mum and my sister) had opted to take a different turn to our usual route for the Visita Iglesia and did it in Manila. Manila is known for its historic churches and I have visited some of them already when I was still studying in the area. With the list in our minds, we set off!

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Displays of the Holy Sacrament (L-R): Santo Domingo Church, UST Church, National Shrine of St. Jude and San Beda Abbey Church

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Top to Right: San Sebastian Church, San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral

As you see above, the display of the Holy Sacrament is very different from what we were accustomed in the province because in the province, most of the displays have art in it. There is much effort in the displays so you would really spot the difference. I did like seeing San Beda Abbey Church and San Sebastian Church because both were exquisite to see, especially San Sebastian Church due to its gothic-like structure and it reminded me of European Churches (my brother did also remind me it was French-inspired). It was also nice going back to the National Shrine of St Jude, UST Church (or Chapel) and Manila Cathedral because they hold so much memories for me. I visited St. Jude to pray for my thesis and visited the other two on two different occasions. I won’t say what I prayed for this year but I did thank and ask for forgiveness.

The downside of doing the Visita Iglesia in Manila are quite a lot. First, traffic was deplorable! In Manila on our way to Intramuros, we were cut off by a convoy of motorcycle riders who didn’t wear helmets (despite city and national ordinances). There was no rerouting schemes for critical areas like in the Mendiola area (where three churches were located). Tons of trash also littered in most of these Churches I visited because of the crowds. The vendors were also quite a lot. I know one would be bound to get hungry in these Visita Iglesia but the government could have organised it in such a way it would not harm traffic (both for pedestrians and cars). In Intramuros, the entire street of General Luna was lined with various vendors. I do hope the government does look into that.

But it was a good way to be with the family despite how tired we all were when we got home. Maybe next year we will try another province to do our yearly vigil together. Any recommendations you guys?

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