Where to Go
for Real Reflection
this Holy Week
Rather than lazing about at home or heading out of town for a fun adventure this Holy Week, why not use the long weekend for some much needed (trust us, we all need this) introspection. Get away from the city, get away from yourself and all your troubles at these places built to unburden all you tired, weary souls!
8. Marian Orchard
Balete Road, Lipa, Batangas
This five-hectare park features a chapel, a prayer garden, an observation tower and shrines for different saints. Lose your problems in the serenity of the Marian Orchard and its lush gardens, towering pines and a breathtaking view of the Taal Lake and Volcano.
7. Regina Rica
A quick trip to nearby Rizal will bring you to the hills of Regina Rica, where you and your companions can meditate upon the Stations of the Cross. There’s a chapel where you can hear mass, trails to hike, comfortable kubos to share meals, as well as an organic garden to discover.
6. Kamay ni Hesus
If there is something that you wish to be healed from, Kamay ni Hesus is the perfect destination for it. More than 300 steps lead to a 50-foot statue of the Ascending Christ at the Via Dolorosa Grotto—a feat not for the faint of heart or weak of faith. Healing masses are held regularly at the chapel, and there are religious murals, a gallery of Saints, as well as other spaces for those who need spiritual renewal.
5. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan
Built out of a woman’s devotion and miraculous healing from bathing in the waters of the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in France, the site has become well-known among Filipino pilgrims for its own miraculous stories. The site houses two chapels, an amphitheatre that faces the grotto, lifelike Stations of the Cross, as well as a school and an orphanage. The grotto itself is covered in hanging braces and crutches–a testament to the miracles that the site has witnessed.
4. Tierra de Maria Haven of Meditation and Enrichment
Tagaytay City, Cavite
Home to an awe-inspiring 50-foot image of the Virgin Mary, Tierra de Maria is the destination of thousands of Marian devotees who believe in the healing power of God through the intercession of the blessed virgin. Brother Alejandrino regularly demonstrates the power of Mandala healing to visitors, so time your visit around that.
3. Angels’ Hills Retreat and Formation Center
Tagaytay City, Cavite
A great venue for retreats and seminars, Angels’ Hills is a great place to hear mass or to simply visit the Adoration Chapel or Meditation Garden for a few moments of contemplation. Whether you stay for the weekend or simply drop by after a meal in Tagaytay, the church is sure to fill you with a sense of peace.
2. Mt. Samat Shrine
Brgy. Diwa, Pilar, Bataan
Built to honor the bravery of the men who fought in the Battle of Bataan in World War II, the giant white memorial cross on the face of Mt. Samat can be seen from various towns and locales in Bataan. Apart from the cross, the shrine houses a war museum with war memorabilia, as well as paintings of Philippine war heroes. Apart from showcasing astonishing views of Bataan, Corregidor Island and Manila Bay itself, the shrine is the perfect place for those looking to add a bit of culture and history into their Holy Week pilgrimage.
1. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Lipa City, Batangas
The matter may be up for debate between Catholics, but thousands still believe in the miraculous appearance of the Lady, Mediatrix of All Grace and her appearance to Teresita Castillo, who was a nun at the Carmel Monastary in 1948, and the shower of petals in the same blessed spot in 1991. Whether you believe these incidents or not, the small church is still worth a visit. There is indeed something in the air and the ambiance of the home of the Carmelites guaranteed to bring your soul the calm it’s been yearning for.
Where are you planning to go for some rest and reflection this Holy Week? Share your destinations with us below!