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Visita Iglesia (Spanish for “Visit of the Churches”) is a Holy Thursday tradition of Philippine Roman Catholics, introduced by the Spanish colonizers. It is the practice of visiting 7 churches to pray and meditate. The tradition has its roots to the early years of the establishment of the Church, when there were 7 great basilicas in Rome that Christians would visit for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The practice continues not only in the Philippines but in other Roman Catholic countries, especially in cities with numerous churches. Adoration may continue up to midnight.

For this year, we visited these seven churches in the Quezon City and Manila area. These churches gives one a glimpse of some of the best Filipino and Spanish colonial architecture.

SACRED HEART OF JESUS PARISH

#28 Scout Ybardolaza St., Kamuning, Quezon City

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL

#39 Lantana St., Cubao, Quezon City

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL SHRINE

Doña Juana Rodriguez (Broadway Ave.), New Manila, Quezon City

NATIONAL SHRINE OF ST. JUDE THADDEUS

Dr. Jose P. Laurel Sr. Street, San Miguel, Manila, Philippines 1005
Located in Malacañang Complex

NATIONAL SHRINE OF ST. MICHAEL AND THE ARCHANGELS

1000 J.P. Laurel St. cor. Gen Solano St., San Miguel, Manila
Villa de San Miguel near Malacañang

MINOR BASILICA OF SAN LORENZO RUIZ

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish more popularly known as the Binondo Church
Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo, Manila

The Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz is located inside the famous Chinatown. It was built in 1596 and enlarged in 1608 in order to serve the Chinese Christians in the area. This minor basilica is a fine example of Mexican-Spanish colonial architecture, with its carefully detailed facade and six-storey octagonal bell tower.

OUR LADY OF REMEDIES PARISH CHURCH

Malate Catholic Church
2000 M. H. del Pilar St., Malate, Manila

The Malate Church was constructed during the late 16th century by Augustinians, who were charged with taking care of the Malate natives. The church’s facade has distinct Muslim and baroque styles, noticeable on the trefoil arches on the hexagonal side buttresses. There is a beautiful symmetry achieved by the design of the Romanesque columns.