Heritage Sites

Visita Iglesia: Pampanga


Renzelle Ann Palma
Renzelle Ann Palma | Apr 18, 2013

In observance of Jesus’ sacrifice during this Lenten season, the team organized a Byaheng Victory VISITA IGLESIA, a traditional Catholic practice wherein seven churches are visited and the Stations of the Cross is recited by the devotees. On their second year of organizing such event, Pampanga once again served as the ideal destination for this tradition.

Pampanga is home to a number of historic churches that are considered as national treasures for their history and aesthetic. For the whole day, Byaheng Victory and Travel Factor participants braved the heat of the sun and visited the seven beautiful churches in different towns of Pampanga. The comfortable Victory Bus served as the transportation for this trip.

Here’s a list of the 7 Churches in this trip’s itinerary:

The first stop is the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Fernando which was restored by Pampanga architect Fernando H. Ocampo.

Second stop is the Immaculate Concepcion Church in Guagua with its new altar, a recent creation of Kapampangan artist Willy Layug.

Third on the list is the Sistine Chapel of the Philippines, the beautiful Betis Church in Guagua. With its hand painted ceiling and walls, one couldn’t help but be amazed of the artistry in the wooden church.

Next is the San Guillermo Church in Bacolor, a half buried church caused by the lahar devastation of the 90’s. The church still stands today and is in itself a historical landmark.

The fifth stop in the itinerary was supposed to be the Sta. Catalina Church that was built in honor of St Catherine of Alexandria. This church can be found in the quaint town of Arayat. But because of unseen circumstances, the group decided to visit the Carmelite Monastery in Angeles City instead. It is the home of Carmelite nuns and a popular chusrch to visit in the city.

The San Bartolome Church in Magalang is the sixth church in the itinerary. Established in 1605, it is one of the oldest parishes in the country.

For the seventh Church, the participants head to Angeles City for the Holy Rosary Parish Church right in the heart of the city.

In between the whole day trip, Kapampangan cuisines are also enjoyed by the participants. Pampanga is very well known fo its culinary offerings and such were enjoyed. From breakfast at Everybody’s Café, a buffet at Bale Capampangan and merienda at Angele Fried Chicken, tummies are full just as the hearts were.

This devotion of Catholics is all the more made special because of the discovery of historic churches and experiencing a whole new culture into it. Kapampangans are known to celebrate Lent in such unique ways and all these were experienced on this trip. With each recited prayer, participants genuflect in front of a Station of the Cross and say a prayer of penitence, forgiveness and hopefully of thanks for such an opportunity to have experienced this kind of Visita Iglesia.

TIPS for the Visita Iglesia:

Be patient. Traffic is expected.

Bring lots of water. Keep hydrated.

Make sure to bring your own Religious pamphelts.

Be mindful of what to wear. Remember that you are visiting churches.

Have an open mind set. Changes may occur in any trips so respectfully deal with the changes.

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We would like to thank Byaheng Victory and Travel Factor for this experience.

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