History and Culture
7 Churches to Visit in Pampanga This Lenten Season
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 10, 2014
The Visita Iglesia is a traditional Catholic practice in which devotees visit seven churches and recite the Stations of the Cross there. This usually takes place on Maundy Thursday to remember how Jesus Christ offered his life to save mankind.
With its deep Catholic roots, the Philippines has hundreds of grand churches, many of which date back to Spanish times. Each one has a story waiting to be told.
The province of Pampanga is home to many of these historic churches, and most are considered as national treasures for their history and beauty.
Here’s a list of 7 churches you might consider visiting for this year’s Visita Iglesia:
1) Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando
Restored by Pampanga architect Fernando H. Ocampo.
2) Immaculate Concepcion Church of Guagua
With its new altar, a recent creation of Kapampangan artist Willy Layug.
3) Betis Church of Guagua
Called the "Sistine Chapel of the Philippines." With its hand-painted ceiling and walls, one can’t help but be amazed by the artistry in this wooden church.
4) San Guillermo Church of Bacolor
A church half-buried by the lahar devastation of the 90s. The church still stands today and is in itself a historical landmark.
5) Carmelite Monastery of Angeles City
The home of Carmelite nuns and a popular church to visit in this bustling city.
6) San Bartolome Church of Magalang
Established in 1605, it's one of the oldest parishes in the country.
7) Holy Rosary Parish Church of Angeles City
With each recited prayer, participants genuflect in front of a Station of the Cross and say a prayer of penitence, forgiveness, and gratefulness.