Filipinos are known for many things, including our passion for religion and love for traveling. With the Holy Week vacation coming up this April, going on a break from work for “Visita Iglesia” and other religious activities while having enough time for rest and relaxation sounds like a good idea. If you’re already itching to get all this done by March, this special list could help you do just that during the long weekend.
Visit the Queen City of the South, Cebu, and its many churches
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Aside from lechon and pristine beaches, the Queen City of the South, Cebu, is also known for its many churches. This makes Cebu one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines for those who want to complete their Visita Iglesia and get their fair share of the sand, sun, and sea.
Visiting picturesque churches such as the Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Chapel of the Last Supper, Church of Nuestra Señora Del Pilar, Simala-Lindogon Church, and St. Michael Parish Church are all you need to complete your Visita Iglesia.
Finish it within the day and you’ll have enough time for the many other religious activities happening during Holy Week or you can spend it at the beach or in other tourist spots in Cebu.
Fly to the mystic island of Siquijor
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Located near Dumaguete City, Negros Occidental, Siquijor is known as a mystic island thanks to folklore and its rich history. It’s a great destination for thrill seekers and the devoted. Every Holy Week, Siquijor holds its annual Folk Healing Festival, wherein herbalists from southern Philippines gather.
There are more religious activities on this island such as the “holy trek” up Mt. Bandilaan, healing sessions, the way of the cross, and more.
Aside from that, tourists can visit the famed Balete tree, the butterfly sanctuary, and Kanheron Ranch. In addition, your visit to this island wouldn’t be complete without swimming in its many pristine beaches for some vitamin sea or one of the many waterfalls. It’s a good way to spend the long weekend this Holy Week.
Watch the re-enactment of the Passion of Christ in Pampanga
If you’re one with the stomach to handle the real-life re-enactment of the Passion of Christ, then you need to head to Pampanga. You’ll be able to witness actual crucifixions in Barangay San Pedro Cutud, San Fernando in Pampanga.
But if you don’t, there are other activities around the province such as daily dance performances, mixed media art exhibit, a re-enactment of the Last Supper, and Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words). It’s a hodgepodge of activities meant to cater to all kinds of tourists during Holy Week.
Trek up to Sagada
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The Holy Week is also the perfect time to reflect spiritually and mentally. A good place to get away from the busy city for some alone time would be to go up to Sagada – especially if you’re not the religious type. The spectacular view up the mountain, lush greenery, and serene villages would provide a good backdrop for meditating.
You can also visit the hanging coffins, go to the Lumiang Cave, Blue Soil Hills, or Bomod-ok falls.
Go on a Holy Week vigil in Laguna
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If you’re still wondering where to go this Holy Week without spending too much, Laguna is a great place to visit and it’s relatively near if you live in Manila. It has all you need for your Holy Week Visita Iglesia as there are dozens of churches across Laguna as well as all kinds of activities in honor of the Passion of Christ.
There are also lots of things to do like going on a food trip in San Pablo, buying slippers in Liliw, visiting Kamay ni Jesus in nearby Lucban, Quezon, and more.
Take a budget trip to Puerto Galera
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If you just want to spend the Holy Week at the beach, Puerto Galera is a good spot. What makes it a good place to go to this Holy Week in the Philippines is that it’s only a short bus trip and a boat ride away from Manila. You don’t have to spend thousands just to get there.
While there are many churches in the area for your spiritual needs, Puerto Galera is known as a party place with its beachside bars. Aside from that, you can go island hopping, snorkeling, or simply lie down on the beach and work on that tan.
Enjoy the white sand and clear waters of Boracay
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Undoubtedly, one of the top 10 Holy Week destinations in the Philippines is none other than Boracay. Even with its new environment-friendly rules and cap on tourist numbers in place, it will always be up there on that list. It’s famous for its white sand beaches, crystal clear water, the many water sport activities, and its party life, making it the go-to destination for tourists and celebrities alike.
Sadly, there’s only one church on the island, Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish, so you won’t be able to do your Visit Iglesia during Holy Week in Boracay. Luckily, there are other religious activities in Boracay to see such as a procession of the Passion of Christ, a community Stations of the Cross, the Seven Last Words, Easter vigil mass, and even the procession and Salubong.
If you want to meditate, there are plenty of places to do it on the island despite the tourist crowd during Holy Week. You can check in at Alta Vista De Boracay and have your alone time, marvel the view at the Dinara Deck, or rest in the huts around the infinity pool.
Whether you need to reconnect with your spirituality or get a break from your daily routine, Boracay can be a place to replenish your heart, mind, body, and soul this Holy Week.