History and Culture

Experience Italy's Solemn & Marvelous Churches in Philippines' Busiest Business Center

Rafael Reynante
Rafael Reynante | Mar 21, 2016

"You must have boundless faith in the divine goodness, for the victory is absolutely certain." -St. Pio of Pietrelcina

For most of us, our idea of Eastwood, Libis are the following: call centers, Eastwood Mall, horrendous traffic.

Traffic; traffic everywhere. Thanks to au2parts.com

But in the middle of all the smoke and noise exists a quiet, tranquil, sanctuary for all. In the heart of one of the busiest business districts in the country, you can find the chapel of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.

The Philippine Centre for Padre Pio was established in 1983 as a non-stock, non-profit organization that aimed to house and promote the growing numbers of Padre Pio devotees in the Philippines. When Padre Pio was canonized into sainthood, the organization’s name was changed to The Philippine Centre for Padre Pio of Pietrelcina.

What started out as a make-shift chapel in a golf supply building that could barely house 10 people, the St. Pio Chapel has since grown in size to be able to accommodate 500 church-goers.

The design of the chapel and the surrounding areas were inspired from the design of Church of Our Lady of Grace in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. From the façade, down to the fine details, the designers exerted much effort in order to create an ambience and atmosphere that would make the late saint proud, and make church-goers feel as if they were in the same church that previously housed Padre Pio. The fine details of the chapel, from its façade, to the walls that decorate the interiors, to the fixtures that dot the compound, were all specially-crafted to encourage your imagination to believe that you were just transported to Italy. It's the perfect place to live out your Dolce Amore fantasies, provided the two of you don't make too much noise.

Where Padre Pio remains buried to this day. Photo credit goes to www.Sacred-Destinations.com

Staying true to Padre Pio’s wishes to his followers, the chapel houses doves and other birds, and you can see and feed them whenever you visit. Faithful to its Italian roots, the chapel provides you with feeds to feed the doves, in exchange for a small donation to help the upkeep of the facilities. 

If you’re a newcomer to Eastwood, however, the chapel is nearly invisible, with the signage being blocked by towering buildings and lampposts. However, once you step inside the chapel grounds, it’s as if you were instantly transported to Italy. 

On early mornings, some areas of the ground are closed off to the public. However, on Sundays and Mass hours, the entire chapel is open, allowing you to marvel at all the religious devotion of St. Pio’s followers.

Rosaries left by St. Pio’s devotees. Thanks to www.FewSimpleThoughts.com

St. Pio Chapel holds Mass every day, and is open daily for 7AM to 9PM. You can find more information on the schedule of Mass and Rosary on their website: www.SaintPioCenter.com

If you’re looking for a change in scenery without travelling far, or if you're looking to emulate the journey of Serena from Dolce Amore within the vicinities of calm and solemn location, St. Pio Chapel is your sanctuary.

On the plus side, you can also find Gigi Gaerlan’s (very delicious) Custaroons, only available inside the chapel grounds.

St. Pio Chapel is located along C-5, within RER Compound. Look for the Petron station, and go inside. You can use the pay parking if you bring a vehicle. 

Travel the Philippines with Dolce Amore:

1) 5 Philippine Spots Where to Wish Upon a Firefly

2) 5 Philippine Destinations That'll Make an Italian Princess Think of Home

3) Dolce in Your Mouth: 5 Sweetest Spots in the Philippines

4) Dolce Amore's Sweet Escape in the Land of the Chocolate Hills
(Photo from Seasidebohol.com)
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