Despite the long weekend and the presence of technology, a number of people were visible on the streets of Metro Manila on Maundy Thursday evening. Alone or with a group, I witnessed a sea of people visiting churches that evening. This clearly shows that many are still practicing the tradition known as Visita Iglesia.
In fact, we encountered a bit of traffic this year especially in the city of Manila. Though it’s not the everyday traffic we see, still there were many private vehicles, public transportations and people walking on the streets. There was a time when there wasn’t that much and it was quite disappointing. But this year, it was different. It must be due to the Pope’s visit early this year.
Maybe people wanted to see the churches/ places Pope Francis visited – Manila Cathedral and University of Santo Tomas to name a few. Though this post is quite late (I have been extremely busy these past months), I am pleased to share the seven churches my family and I visited during Maundy Thursday.
Santo Domingo Church also known as National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of La Naval de Manila
La Naval Office, Sto. Domingo Church,
Quezon Ave., Quezon City, Philippines.
Santissimo Rosario Parish
Universitas Pontificia Sancti Thomae Aquinatis
Espana Blvd, Manila, 1008
The Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene known as Quiapo Church
Quezon Blvd, Manila, Metro Manila
The Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, informally known as Manila Cathedral
Cabildo corner Beaterio,
Intramuros, Manila, Metro Manila 1002
San Agustin Church originally known as “inglesia de San Pablo”
General Luna St, Manila, Metro Manila
National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church
Apo Street, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Saint Paul The Apostle Church
Mother Ignacia Ave, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila
These are the seven churches we visited. We started at around 7pm and ended around 12 midnight. During the visit we prayed the Stations of the Cross – two stations per church. As you can see, my photos aren’t that decent. I don’t have the courage to take time due to the massive number of people. But hey, I will never forget the feelings and experiences I had in this year’s Visita Iglesia.
Travelling from Quezon City to Manila and back again was quite tiring. But when we reached Manila Cathedral, I was happy to see and enter it knowing that Pope Francis once stepped on the floors I walked on. Not to mention, the long walk we had from the cathedral to San Agustin Church.
The street was filled with vendors and devoted Catholics. Though I was at one point annoyed with the vendors making it look like a fiesta, I couldn’t blame them. They saw an opportunity with the number of people. I just hope they visited the churches near them.
One more thing, a child came up to me as I left the doors of Santo Domingo Church. Instead of asking money like the rest, the child asked for food. I hated myself that night. Salary was sent late and since it was a long weekend, I wasn’t able to get hold of it. In short, I wasn’t able to give him anything. As we reached the next church, I prayed for that child until the last church. Even now, I am still thinking of that child and hoping that someone would take good care of him…
As Maundy Thursday came to an end, the streetlights guided us back home.