It’s a Lenten tradition for us Roman Catholics to visit at least 7 churches or religious sites during the Holy Week. Though most Roman Catholics do the Visita Iglesia every Maundy Thursday, our family has been practicing the church visits every Good Friday.
We have seen so many beautiful churches around Cebu and here are 12 of our favorite churches and religious sites we visited during the previous years’ Visita Iglesia.
1. Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.
From where the church is standing, Basilica Del Sto. Nino is believed to be the site of the first church ever built in Cebu and where the image of the Holy Child was found burnt. When we were kids, we would always hear mass here and we believe that the miraculous Holy Child Sto. Nino gives protection, redemption and guidance. The Holy Child brings pilgrimage from around the globe as well. Sto. Nino’s feast, Sinulog, is probably the most celebrated and grandest fiesta in the country solemnized every third Sunday of January. Sinulog is a vernacular word which means ” imitate the current movement of the water,” thus explaining the forward- backward steps in dancing the Sinulog!
2. Church of San Isidro Labrador in San Fernando. It was established by diocesan decree on January 19, 1858 with San Isidro Labrador as patron saint. Feast celebrated every May 15.
3. St. Catherine of Alexandria Church Carcar Cebu. Feast of Saint Catherine is celebrated every 25th of November. The church was built by Augustinians from 1860 – 1875 with the use of stones as its main material.
4. Nuestra Senyora Del Pilar Church Sibonga Cebu. Construction of the church started between 1846-1868 and was completed in 1881 under the term of Father Enrique Magaz.
5. Simala Church Sibonga Cebu. This is the house of the miraculous Mother Mary who is said to grants prayers of her devotees.
6. St. Michael the Archangel Church Argao Cebu was founded on October 16, 1733 and was constructed by Fr. Mateo Perez from 1803 to 1836. Murals on the ceiling done by the country’s best painters. The first part were the murals of biblical scenes done by Canuto Avila and the second part on the altar, murals of St. Michael defeating Lucifer and his followers, done by Ray Francia.
7. San Guillermo Parish Church Dalaguete Cebu. The church was built in 1802-1825.
8. Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church. Built in 1783 and is made of coral and hard wood. The roof is made of clay tiles with 26 pilasters supporting the walls.
9. One of the oldest standing heritage structures in Liloan is the Church of Saint Ferdinand (San Fernando Parish Church), King of Spain, the fiesta of which is celebrated every May 29 and 30.
10. Built in 1755, Santo Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church in Danao City Cebu is one of the country’s oldest churches. The church’s bell, San Alipio bell, was casted in 1845 and Villanueva and Sagrado Corazon bells were added in 1917.
11. San Guillermo de Catmon Parish Church was erected by the Augustinian recollects in November 2, 1835, the third and final place chosen by its founder after separating from the Mother Parish Danao. San Guillermo celebrates its fiesta every February 10.
12. Our lady of Miraculous Medal Shrine Bogo is situated on top of the hill, 150 steps to the holy place.
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