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Top 10 (Pilgrimage destinations in RP)
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: Jaser Marasigan
Date: 2007-03-31
Pilgrims travel for many reasons. But for most Filipinos, it is usually for a personal need or the belief that being in a sacred place can bring healing and spiritual awakening. Spiritual pilgrimages are becoming more popular these days with people going on trips that are meaningful and "transformative". Here are the top 10 pilgrimage destinations in the Philippines that hopefully can help renew and change you after your visit.

1) The churches of Ilocos. One common denominator that bonds the Ilocos region is its churches - whether it be the opulent centuries-old Catholic churches or the newer and simpler churches founded by the Ilocano renegade Bishop Gregorio Aglipay in the late 1890’s. The churches of Santa Maria and Paoay are two of four Philippine Baroque churches inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

2) San Pedro Apostol Church in Loboc, Bohol. The present church was first erected by the Jesuit missionaries in the 18th century, with its walls made of coral stones. The church complex is located near the Loboc river and is composed of the church structure, a three-storey convent, a bell tower situated about 50 meters away from the front and a mortuary chapel.

3) Basilica of the Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan. Piat is now dubbed as the "Pilgrimage Center of Cagayan Valley" because of the thousands of devotees and tourists who come here to pay homage to the image of Our Lady of Piat. People flock everyday to the shrine queueing to touch the image’s feet seeking her intercessions.

4) Baclaran and Quiapo Churches in Manila. Baclaran Church and Quiapo Church are just two of the city’s most popular churches. Baclaran Church is known as the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help while the Quiapo Church is known for the Black Nazarene, a life-size image of Christ believed to be miraculous.

5) Agoo Basilica in La Union. Built in 1892, Agoo Basilica or the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity is considered the most beautiful church in La Union. This imposing structure of Mexican-Baroque architecture is the venue of religious rites, foremost of which is the Semana Santa. Also, the much publicized divine visitations of the Virgin Mary in the early 1990’s have established Agoo as a destination of Marian devotees.

6) Our Lady of Peñafrancia Church in Naga City, Camarines Sur. The Peñafrancia Shrine Basilica Minore is the newest and biggest Catholic Basilica in the Bicol Region. It is filled with devotees every September during her feast day.

7) Kapitangan Chapel in Paombong, Bulacan. Kapitangan is known as a pilgrimage area during Holy Week. Devout Catholics flock to the barangay chapel to obtain the blessed oil believed to possess healing capabilities. On Good Friday, a reenactment of the Passion of the Christ is held.

8) Miagao Church in Iloilo. In 1993, Miagao church was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List under the title "Baroque churches of the Philippines." The flanking towers, massive, and of unequal height gives Miagao the shape of a fortress. But it is the ornamentation of the church’s facade, designed like a retablo, which makes it unique.

9) Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan. The Church of Manaoag is one of the country’s major pilgrimage centers, owing its popularity to the miraculous image of Our Lady of Manaoag, an image of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario.

10) Mount Banahaw in Quezon. Mount Banahaw is perhaps the country’s premier indigenously Filipino pilgrimage site. Mount Banahaw is a dormant volcano located on the boundary of Majayjay, Laguna and Lucban in Quezon. A pilgrimage to this so-called "holy mountain" is a most unique spiritual experience as it combines the culture of Catholicism with indigenous mysticism.

[ Loboc River Wiki | Aglipay Shrine Wiki | Miag-ao Church Wiki | Loboc Church Wiki ]

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