Batangas Holy Week Guide: Visita Iglesia in Lipa City

3 April 2022
Batangas Holy Week Guide Visita Iglesia in Lipa City

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Visita Iglesia, also known as the Seven Churches Visitation, is a Lenten practice that dates back to Ancient Rome. Seven basilicas were visited by pilgrims on the night of Maundy Thursday as a kind of penance in the past.


It was introduced to the Philippines by Augustinian missionaries in the 1560s, although it has evolved through the years. It's no longer necessary to make seven stops since now you may make more than seven and it doesn't need to be strictly done on Maundy Thursday. Many of us could even have those childhood memories of racing from one church to another in an overcrowded, overheated jeepney at all hours of the day and night.


If you're looking for your Visita Iglesia destination this Holy Week, it would be helpful to know that Batangas is a largely Roman Catholic province in the Philippines. There are several beautiful churches and monuments all around the province, erected by the Spaniards over the course of more than three centuries. A number of sacred places may be found in the area that is believed to be miraculous by the faithful devotees.


All in all, people love to go there for church visits that's why it's no surprise that it's also a popular place for Visita Iglesia. Some of the churches in Batangas that you must include in your list are:


Lipa Cathedral or San Sebastian Cathedral (Lipa City)

There are records that date back to April 30, 1605, when the Augustinians were in charge of the Cathedral. At that time, it was known as the "Convent of San Sebastian in Comintang." The original structure was constructed entirely of light materials, according to the Lipa City Tourism Council.


A Romanesque-style cathedral was begun in 1779, but the work we see today was completed in 1801. Large round dome, enormous walls and columns, balconies, and arches make up the building's exterior. The bell tower stands majestically in front of the church, which is ornamented with moldings much like the dome.


The San Sebastian Cathedral is located at C.M. Recto Ave, G Solis St, Lipa, 4217 Batangas.


Immaculate Conception Church (Bauan)

Don't get confused with the Immaculate Conception Basilica in Batangas City or with the Immaculate Conception Church in Balayan.


Many refer to it as the "Mahal na Poon ng Banal na Krus," although it's more often called Bauan Church because of its neoclassical architecture. Devotees believe in the supernatural properties of this cross and venerate it as such. A 1 meter wide cross with a 2.5 meter length. Embossed with a human face, a brilliant sun appears where two arms connect. Moreover, it is shrouded in an intriguing lore.


In 1595, a strong post from a wrecked house in Alitagtag's hamlet was the source of the cross, according to local documents. It became a cross, which was thought to ward off evil spirits and safeguard the region from plagues and tragedies. It was also said to be traveling around the village.


There is now a parish church in adjacent Bauan where the cross had been kept since it was taken down. For this reason, it was housed in a silver case. These little fragments have also been credited with miracles. However, when Alitagtag acquired its own parish, the cross was broken into two. Bauan Church still has one, and Binukalan Chapel still has the other. They are very close to the original location in the narrative. They go by the name "magkapatid na krus" (sibling crosses). Both are revered by the believers, who believe that if they pray to them often enough, they would fulfill their wishes and guard them from harm's way. To honor the cross, some Batangan natives perform the subli, a traditional dance style.


The Immaculate Conception Church is located at Kap Ponso Street, Poblacion, Bauan, 4201 Batangas.


Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Chapel (Lipa City)

The Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, affectionately referred to as "Carmel" by the people of Batangas, is where Mary Mediatrix of All Grace appeared several times. Nun Teresita Castillo claims to have seen the Virgin Mary in a garden at this location. This is also the site in which the magical rain of petals took place on January 24, 1991.


All are welcome to visit the chapel to view the statue that the Lady requested to be created in her likeness and to pray to her. Actually, the convent was created in 1946, two years before the Apparition, shortly after World War II was declared. The City of Lipa also became the new residence of the Carmelites who had moved from Manila.


The Mt. Carmel Chapel is located at Antipolo Rd, Lipa, Batangas.


San Rafael the Archangel Church (Calaca)

The depiction of St. Raphael the Archangel being cradled in the centuries-old cathedral of Calaca is another image that many consider to be miraculous. As the patron saint of healing, people from all over the nation would go to the cathedral to worship and pay homage to Saint Raphael.


The San Rafael the Archangel Church is located at Calaca St., Calaca, Batangas.


Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)

In terms of sheer size, the Taal Basilica is Asia's largest Catholic church at 96 meters in length, 45 meters width, and 96 meters high. Using coral stones and adobe, this enormous Baroque edifice was constructed. From its perch atop Taal Basilica, the historic town of Taal can be seen for miles around. It is a towering edifice that can be seen from almost everything in the town of Lemery, as well as from sections of the town itself.


Actually, it's the second church. The ancient building, which was destroyed in the eruption of Taal volcano, was located in what is now known as San Nicolas.


The Basilica de San Martin de Tours is located at Calle San Martin, Taal, 4208 Batangas.


St. John the Evangelist Parish Church (Tanauan)

Originally constructed in wood in 1690, the chapel is on the shores of what is today known as Taal Lake, a former name for Bombon Lake. In 1732, the wooden church was demolished and rebuilt with a stone one. As a result of the church's sinking after an eruption of Taal Volcano in 1754, it was transferred to where it presently stands. The church was originally constructed in 1881, but was completely demolished in 1944 as a result of WWII. In 1948, it was rebuilt with a facade that was almost identical to the one that had been there before.


St. John the Evangelist Church is located at Mabini Avenue, Tanauan, 4220 Batangas.


St. Joseph the Patriarch Church (San Jose)

This Batangas Augustinian church, built in 1762, is another example of the region's rich Augustinian heritage. St. Joseph Marello was honored with a Baroque and Neo-Classical style in the architecture. There are also stunning domed ceilings above the altar.

St. Joseph the Patriarch Church is located at Poblacion, San Jose, 4227, Batangas.


Caysasay Shrine and Sta. Lucia Well (Taal)

An image of the Virgin Mary from the 17th century that many inhabitants and devotees admire is housed in a chapel created to protect and honor the 17th century figure. Fisherman Juan Maningcad is claimed to have discovered it in the Pansipit River in 1603 while searching for his catch. One witness described the appearance as "glowing" Upon learning about the occurrence, the Parish Priest was also awed by the picture. Madam Maria Espiritu was then entrusted with the responsibility of guarding the image. For whatever reason, Maria's vision of the man would go away at night and reemerge during the day. For a long time, it would repeat again and again until one day, the vision would not return at all.


While sitting by a spring in the hills near her home in 1611, an indigenous girl named Catalina Talayn saw an incredible reflection of the Lady. On the Sampaga tree limb, she and her friend reportedly saw the Lady with two candles at her side, accompanied by birds of prey called casay-casay or kingfisher, according to local legend. After that, more reports of a dazzling light near the spring were seen.


To this day, a massive coral stone arch marks the spot, topped with a bas relief of Our Lady. An 11-foot deep wells are topped by the arch. Banal na Pook or Holy Place is the name given to this place by the locals.


The Caysasay Shrine and Sta. Lucia Well is located at Taal - Tagaytay Rd, Agoncillo, Batangas.


After a whole day of Visita Iglesia, you would want for sure to dig in with some local delicacies from Batangas. We suggest that you try their delicious local dishes such as Bulalo, Batangas Lomi, Gotong Batangas, Taghilaw, Tamales ng Ibaan, and Adobo sa Dilaw.


Aside from being just a couple of hours away from the metro, devotees can also find their time travel to Batangas much shorter, thanks for the various infrastructures being built in the province like The East West Expressway, Tagaytay Bypass Road, The Star Tollway-Pinamucan Bypass Road, Batangas City-San Pascual-Bauan Diversion Road, and the Lobo-Malabrigo-Laiya-San Juan Road.


This is also one of the reasons why real estate investors are eager to start their property investment in this part of the country. For home and property seekers who are eyeing the Province of Batangas for their next investment, Lumina Homes have a series of flagship communities built in the province such as:


So, ensure to be smart and practical in your next home investment and get your home reservations now with Lumina Homes!

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