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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Churches in The Province of Laguna

Saint Mary Magdalene Parish in Magdalena, Laguna

The Seven Churches Visitation is a Roman Catholic Holy Week tradition to visit at least seven churches during Maundy Thursday follwing the Mass of our Lord's Supper where the Blessed Sacrament is placed on an altar (Altar of Repose) in the church. The faithful who visit pray before the Blessed Sacrament in each churches.

Here in the Philippines this tradition is called Visita Iglesia. The practice is to visit seven Churches and recite the Way of the Cross, each church represents two stations if you opt for 14 churches, each represents one stations. It would be better if you could pray all 14 stations in each church. You can also carry a cross while walking, this is possible if the churches are in close proximity.

Note that if you do the Visita Iglesia on Good Friday, reciting the Stations of the Cross should end by 12 noon since at this time Jesus was already nailed on the Cross. The Seven Last Words is happening at this time in all churches.

Visita Iglesia is a time for the faithful to go on a pilgrimage (a long journey) and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is also a time to learn traditions, the history of a church and the patron saint in each town of a province or city you are visiting.

Here are the 26 Old Churches found in the province of Laguna. We only visited eight churches due to time constraints.

I formed two sets of fifteen churches depending on your point of origin.

Set A: Coming from Rizal Province
The first church is approximately 56 kilometers (km) away from Taytay, Rizal.

1. Nuestra Senora de Caldelaria in Mabitac
2. Saint Peter and Paul Parish in Siniloan
3. Our Lady of Nativity Parish in Pangil
4. Saint Peter of Alcantara in Pakil
5. Saint James the Apostle Parish in Paete
6. Saint John the Baptist in Longos, Kalayaan
7. Saint Sebastian Church (a.k.a Lumban Church) in Lumban
8. Transfiguration of our Lord Parish (a.k.a. Cavinti Church) in Cavinti
9. Our Lady of Rosary in Luisiana
10. Saint Gregory the Great in Majayjay
11. Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Magdalena
12. Saint John the Baptist Church in Liliw
13. Saint Bartholomew the Apostle Church in Nagcarlan
14. Diocesan Shrine of Saint Anthony de Padua in Pila
15. Immaculate Conception Church in Sta. Cruz

Set B: Coming from Quezon City or Manila
The first church is approximately 39 kilometers (km) away from Libis

1. San Pedro Apostol Parish in San Pedro
2. Our Lady of the Angels in Sta. Maria
3. Sta. Rosa de Lima Church in Sta. Rosa,
4. Saint Polycarp Parish in Cabuyao,
5. Immaculate Conception Parish in Los Banos
6. Saint Agustine Church in Bay
7. Diocesan Shrine of Saint Anthony de Padua in Pila
8. Immaculate Conception Church in Sta. Cruz
9. Saint Sebastian Church (a.k.a Lumban Church) in Lumban
10. Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Pagsanjan
11. Saint Mary Magdalene Church in Magdalena
12. Saint John the Baptist Church in Liliw
13. Saint Gregory the Great in Majayjay
14. San Pablo Cathedral in San Pablo
15. Our Lady of Pillars in Alaminos


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Visita Iglesia 2017 in Laguna

Our family at Saint Peter of Alcantara in Pakil, Laguna

I planned this Visita Iglesia for over a month and. 15 Churches to represent each station of the Way of the Cross. This time chose the old churches in The Province of Laguna.

Theoretically it is doable. If we arrived at the northern part of Laguna which is Pakil by 6 in the morning, we could finish the 15 churches by 6 in the evening. Unfortunately, we left our house at 4 in the morning and with some wrong turns and missed turns we arrived at the first church by 8 in the morning. 

By the time we arrived at the 8th church which is in Liliw, the Mass of our Lord's Supper was already started. Traffic situation was bad, moving at 2 km/hour. It took us another hour before we arrived at the 9th church, we just made the sign of the cross and headed home via Calauan route which I thought is a better than the San Pablo route. 

Today I found additional 6 churches, if only knew these additional churches we could have visited 14 churches before we got caught in a traffic jam.

I love this year's Visita Iglesia because my nanay is with us and my older daughter lead four of the 14 stations of the Way of the Cross.

We are now planning to visit the other churches that we have missed sometimes this year.

What I have learned:
1. Avoid side trips - we had a couple of this side trips that adds up to our delays.

2. Learned the traffic conditions - I never thought that the traffic condition going to Calamba is worse than I expected due to road works and resorts.

3.  Know the routes ahead of time - as for me I just used a navigation application to take us to our destination. Internet signals in some areas are too weak and sometimes the suggested route is restricted or not possible due to road constructions

4. It is better to do your Visita Iglesia before Holy Thursday  to avoid too much crowd and traffic jams.

I travelled a total of 287 km in 20 hours. It took us 6 hours before we reached Calamba proper, a distance of only 50 kilometers. Everyone was sleeping except me and my mom, off course I was driving.  Even if I was so tired and in pain, I need to finish this trip and bring us home safely.

My pain is nothing compare with Jesus'. He had thousands of wounds. He was dead tired but he finished His journey to the Calvary just to bring us back to His loving arms. 


© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use, edit, copy, reproduction, publication, duplication, download and distribution of any image may result in severe legal and criminal penalties under the law. The above photos were taken by Ricky Pascual and remain the properties of the photographer. Please do not use elsewhere without the owner’s permission.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Never Say Die (Ginebra All the Way)

This conversation happened during Game 1 of the recently concluded PBA Philippine Cup Finals between Barangay Ginebra San Miguel (BGSM) and San Miguel Beer (SMB)

Gabby: Init na init ulo ko sa San Miguel Bear na yan. (My temper was rising at San Miguel Team)

Me: Ha ha ha

Gabby: Bakit ka po tumatawa? (Why are yiu laughing) I am serious.

Game was a blow out, my dad in law said, "Buti kung makaisa."  (Good if the can win a game.) I was hopeful, Tim Cone will find a way, the #BGSM players can find a way but they were not able to find a solution to stop Jun Mar Fajardo and the gang. He is unstoppable inside the paint and the others made their shot beyond the arc.

BGSM's detractors sometimes iritating., when they won Game 2, they said it was scripted, that BGSM is favoured but every time SMB wins. The game is fair. If BGSM win a game or two or maybe win the championship it is not scripted but many still believe in this unwritten scripts.

Many predicted (because the script said so) that the series will end in Game 7 because of money. We all know it ended in Game 5 in favor of SMB 4 to 1. So, what happened? Someone revised the script? If BGSM is highly favored, what happened the past eight years, they never win a championship and most of the time they were eliminated early.

For five games BGSM fought to the end, most of the time they were trailing, struggling I guess.

But look at the crowd, listen to their chant, "Ginebra, Ginebra" #hopeful that the players of the most popular Team in the land will somehow feel the energy and transcends it into points. Win or lose we finished watching the games no matter how excruciating the pain is, no mercy I guess.

Haters will always be haters. I read a lot of comments, sagip kapamilya, Ilabas na ang water spinach, sino ngayon ang nasa kangkungan, etc, etc. All they want is for BGSM to lose.

Don't mind haters, move on, move forward, try and try until you suceed.

This is how we should face the challenges in our life, NEVER SAY DIE.  That spirit is in my blood and in every person's blood.

The #NeverSayDie spirit will live on.

2nd Conference will begin in two weeks, Win or lose I am #GinebraAllTheWay

© photo by sports5

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

“The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a viator, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making his way to the desired destination. Similarly, to reach the Holy Door in Rome, or in any other place in the world, everyone, each according to his or her ability, will have to make a pilgrimage. This will be a sign that mercy is also a goal to reach and requires dedication and sacrifice. May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the Holy Door, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us.”
– Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus #11

5 Basic steps to follow when visiting a Jubilee Church:
  1. Visit a Jubilee Church with Holy Door in your Diocese/ Archdiocese, either individually or in groups.
  2. At the beginning of your pilgrimage (at any of the Jubilee Church) you will be given a Pilgrims's Passport.
  3. Follow the “Activities for Pilgrims” indicated in the Passport (it varies depending on the Jubilee Church).
  4. At the end of each pilgrimage, have your Pilgrim’s Passport stamped.
  5. Once you have completed the pilgrimage, a Certificate of Pilgrimage will be given to you at the last church you will visit.
The five designated Jubilee churches in Archdiocee of Manila includes the Manila Cathedral; National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City; Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City; Santuario de Santo Cristo in San Juan City; and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay City.

The universal Church will observe an extraordinary Year of Mercy as decreed by the Pope from Dec. 8, 2015 until Nov. 20 2016.

The following are the activities to follow at Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy.

Make the Sign of the Cross as you enter through the Jubilee Door of Mercy (main entrance of the chapel).

Pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy (copies are provided) in front of the main Altar where the huge painting of Divine Mercy is located.

Proceed to the Reliquary of Saint Faustina (left side of the chapel) and pray for the salvation of sinners.

Proceed to the image of The Crucified Christ (right side of the chapel) and pray for those who suffer in mind and body.

Go down to the Columbaria (ground floor) and pray for eternal repose of the departed ones.

Give donations for the sick (donation boxes provided).

Proceed to the Shrine Office for proper stamping of your jubilee passport (refer to the office hours schedule).

  • Guidelines in the granting of indulgence during the Jubilee of Mercy:

  • Make a pilgrimage to the Holy Door in designated Jubilee Churches
  • Have a good confession and celebrate the Eucharist with a reflection on mercy
  • Profession of Faith (Creed)
  • Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, for the good of the Church and of the entire world
  • Note:
  • For the homeboud, the sick and the elderly; they may still receive the Jubilee indulgence by receiving communion or attending Holy Mass and community prayer, even through the various means of communication.
  • For those who are incarcerated, they may obtain the Jubilee Indulgence in the chapels of the prisons.
  • Those who perform the spiritual and corporal works of mercy are sure to obtain the Jubilee Indulgence.
  • The Jubilee Indulgence can also be obtained for the deceased by offering masses for them.
  • All priests are give the discretion to absolve the sin of abortion to those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it.
  • From the Letter of His Holiness Pope Francis According to which an Indulgence is Granted to the Faithful on the Occasion of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. (September 1, 2015)

  • Source: Pilgrim’s Passport


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