Top 10 Places in Cebu Where You Should Be On Holy Week

It’s time to prepare your Visita Iglesia list, too!
posted on: Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lifestyle Geek

Next week, April 13 to 20 is Holy Week.

I’m sure for the many Cebuanos who are Roman Catholics you are now thinking of where to go during the long holiday.

I have made a list of places where you can spend your Holy Week.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu

Sto. Nino earns the top spot for being the must-visit place on Holy Week.

Why? In case you have forgotten, this is where Christianization began in our country, when Magellan erected the first cross.

Cebu became the bastion of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines.

You also shouldn’t miss the chance to view the image of the Sto. Nino de Cebu, the most revered icon in Cebu.

2. Celestial Gardens in Banawa

This is a great place where you can pray the 14 Stations of the Cross or just meditate. The statues in the 12-hectare property are life-sized.

3. Buhing Kalbaryo in Fort San Pedro or Guadalupe Church

Every year, a drama depicting the last moments of Jesus Christ on Earth is being staged in Cebu City.

This year, the 17th Buhing Kalbaryo will be performed three times.

On April 9 up to 13, head to Fort San Pedro at 7 p.m.

On Palm Sunday, join the presentation from V. Rama Avenue up to the Guadalupe Church at 6 a.m.

The last staging will be held at the San Nicolas Parish going to Guadalupe Church on Good Friday at 10:30 a.m.

4. Donate eggs to the Carmelite Monastery

When I was reviewing for my nursing licensure exam, majority of our batchmates joined the Visita Iglesia.

Part of the itinerary was the Carmelite Monastery in Mabolo.

It is said that whoever gives eggs to the nuns and prays fervently for a certain wish, it will come true.

I passed the exam and became a registered nurse.  Do you think me donating a dozen of eggs was effective?

Carmelite Monastery is also a great place where you can pray, reflect or meditate.

I love the silence in that place. I also love looking at the fleur de lis decor scattered all over the chapel.

5. Pilgrimage to Simala Shrine in Sibonga

You are not a Cebuano if you haven’t heard about the Simala Shrine and the miraculous image of Mother Mary.

The humble nipa hut has been transformed into a large area filled with churches and other buildings that reminds me of Europe.

Thanks to the millions of people who made their donations, the Simala Shrine we can see today couldn’t have been made possible.

6. Images of the Last Supper in Mandaue City

If you want to somehow relive the very last meal that Jesus Christ ate while he was still alive, you might want to take a look at life-size wood carvings of Jesus and his apostles in the National Shrine of St. Joseph in Mandaue City.

Although the images will be covered in purple cloth during Holy Week, it will be unveiled again during Easter Sunday.

7. The Holy Door

If you happen to be in Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, you might want to take a closer look at the Holy Door. It was installed in that church in 2000, the Jubilee Year.

8. Birhen sa Regla in Opon

Aside from Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu, Virgin de la Regla Parish is also a frequently visited religious site.

This is because many people want to visit the black image of the Birhen sa Regla.

9. Sugat-Kabanhawan Festival in Minglanilla

This festival is solely dedicated to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It features lively street dancing, games and contests like carabao race and making of embroidery or burda.

Joining this festival is a great way to break the fasting season.

10. Bantayan Island

They say Bantayan Island, Cebu is exempted from not eating meat on Good Friday.

This is courtesy of the Papal Indult made during the 1840s, allowing the people of Bantayan Island to eat meat even on Holy Week.

But, what’s perfect about the entire island, it is surrounded with pristine white sand beaches!

Just a reminder, northern Cebu was badly hit by typhoon Yolanda. Just like Tacloban, Bantayan Island also needs our help.

One way to help in their recovery is to support local tourism.

Now that you have seen my suggestions, where are you planning to spend your Holy Week?