Visita Iglesia Batangas - Quezon

Every Holy Week, my family and I goes out of town on a pilgrimage tour to visit churches as part of our Catholic culture. This is also known as Visita Iglesia. For our 2017 Visita Iglesia, we headed south to the provinces of Batangas and Quezon. Unlike the previous years where we only visit Spanish-era or historical churches, we decided to have a mix of shrines and churches in this year's Visita Iglesia itinerary.


Here's where we went on our 2017 Batangas - Quezon Visita Iglesia:

St. Pio National Shrine

Because of the distance of our house from our target provinces, our three-car convoy left home early to avoid traffic and headed to our first destination which is the St. Pio National Shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. It is a quaint shrine tucked in the inner part of town. We spent almost two hours here doing the Stations of the Cross and exploring its different structures.
The bell tower of St. Pio National Shrine

From Sto. Tomas, Batangas we drove to Lucena in the province of Quezon. Our convoy got separated because I followed Google Maps (which I proved highly reliable) and they followed the flock. After waiting for the two other cars in our convoy in Lucena Grand Terminal, we ate our baon as our late lunch in one of the less crowded part of the terminal.
St. Isidore Parish Church
Luminous Cross of Grace Sanctuary

We then continued to our second church destination, the St. Isidore Parish Church in Agdanagan, Quezon. Although it is not a Spanish Era Church and it does not have a facade or architectural design that stands out from among the others in the province, it is still highly visited by pilgrims because of the Luminous Cross of Grace Sanctuary that stands beside it. This 120 ft tower stands as a religious symbol of the town and also considered as a tourist destination by some.

Capitaneus Resort

Since, the travel time and traffic ate up the remaining "light", we decided to call it a day for our Visita Iglesia and visit some relatives living nearby. We then spent our night in Capitaneus Resort in Plaridel, Quezon. 
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish
A photo opportunity for the women of our family

The next day, we continued our pilgrimage and visited our third church, the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish in Plaridel. It is a modern church that was built near the railroad track. We spent an hour here to do several more of our Stations of the Cross. 
Shrine of San Vicente Ferrer

We then proceeded to the Shrine of San Vicente Ferrer in Gumaca.  It is also a modern church where the barangay was named after.  
Gumaca Cathedral

After doing several more Stations of the Cross, we then proceeded to Gumaca town proper to visit the Gumaca Cathedral which was our fifth church. Before going to the next church we decided to have lunch at a nearby roadside local restaurant that is a famous stopover for motorists. We headed back to the resort to freshen up and rest a bit in preparation of our next pilgrimage destination.

Atimonan Church
Religious statues are paraded through town and finishes in the church


Devotees line up to do the traditional halik

That night, we visited Atimonan Church. We managed to arrive just in time when the prosisyon was going back to the church. We managed to participate in what the Atimonanins call the "halik" or the religious act of kissing ta symbolic rope to show an act and devotion. We then went back to the resort to call it a night.
Passed through the Quezon Protected Landscape before reaching our last church

After checking out of Capitaneus Resort on the third day of our pilgrimage, we managed to squeeze in one more church on our way home.  We visited the St. Anne Parish and Diocesan Shrine in Pagbilao, Quezon as our seventh and final church.  
St. Anne Parish and Diocesan Shrine

This article is dedicated to my beloved aunt who passed away last Nov. 3, 2017


Overall, we visited 4 shrines, 2 Spanish-era churches, and one parish church in our 2017 Batangas -Quezon Visita Iglesia. Not only did we complete our pilgrimage this year but we also had a memorable family bonding time together. That only means that our 2018 Visita Iglesia is something that we'd surely look forward to next year.

Comments

  1. Lenten season in the Philippines is what I missed the most. It has been ages since the last time I spent it at home. The faith of the Filipino and our rituals are priceless and this post of yours made me long to visit and spent the season there. Want to go all of the churches you went with this post! The Luminous Cross of Grace Sanctuary is awesome!

    P.S Condolences for the passing of your aunt, she was lovely and had the most beautiful smile in the picture <3

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    Replies
    1. Hello Ann. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and also for the kind message.
      Yes, the Lenten season is one of the times in the year that I always look forward annually. Not only because of the travels but also because it's one of the times where I get to see everyone in the family.

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  2. What a wonderful way to keep your tradition alive as well as to visit beautiful religious places. The shrines all are great. St. Pio National Shrine in particular looks like located in a very peaceful surrounding. And I am sure it's equally peaceful and serene inside each one of these

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    Replies
    1. Hello Neha. Yes it is. St. Pio National Shrine is surrounded by fields and forests. It's also nature inspired. Nature lovers would surely love to go on a pilgrimage here.

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  3. I think I've done visita iglesia, once or twice in my life. I am no longer a practicing catholic, but I still remember the whole ritual of praying on each station, and visiting 7 churches for this. Anyway, I have never visited any of the churches featured on this post. You sure have taken this to another level going to Quezon where I imagine, the churches are far apart. I am most impressed by the Shrine of San Vicente Ferrer just because it looks very old. I have a thing for old churches. You

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    1. Hi Marge. You're right. The churches in Quezon are quite far apart. It takes more time traveling than praying. The good thing about it is that I'm with the family and that in itself is what matters for me.

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  4. You guys really deserved a douse in that beautiful resort of Capitaneus Resor aster your tiring, but amazing day. Knowing that you were able to visit 4 shrines, 2 Spanish-era churches, and one parish church during your Visita Iglesia in Batangas Quezon, it must have been really fulfilling. I love that you have provided as a great detailed experience on every church you've visited.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Reniel. =) Much appreciated. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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