Travel & Food

Holy Week 2022: Historic Churches Outside Manila To Visit For Visita Iglesias Or Easter Mass

Willing to brave the new normal traffic for an unforgettable Holy Week?



With Holy Week now upon us, chances are you have your long weekend plans already in place (and that’s whether you’re staying in or heading out). But the thing to remember is that the holiday isn’t just about getting a break from work or the daily routine of life. Whether or not you consider yourself religious, it’s always good to remember why we celebrate Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday and Easter Sunday.


That said, this is still a time to unwind. So why not take a little road trip away from the city? Sure, the traffic might be daunting, but there are ways to make even the jam a little bit more fun. (Just make sure you’re all caught up on the new number coding scheme, too.) Ahead, your choice of the stops you can make on your 2022 Holy Week road trip featuring churches you can head to for Visita Iglesias or Easter Mass.



St. Mary Magdalene Church

Kawit, Cavite


Also known as Kawit Church, the St. Mary Magdalene Church officially began construction in 1737 and was last restored in 1990. Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized in this very church, which—fun piece of history!—displays his birth certificate on the left side of the altar. Famous for its healing and resolution to personal problems, a trip to this Cavite church is a not-too-long ride away from Manila, making it perfect for a day trip outside the city.


St. Mary Magdalene Church

Photo: Wikipedia


What most patrons visit the church for, however, is the St. Mary Magdalene Statue. Described as a miraculous life-size image of Mary Magdalene, the statue hosts a mark in the middle of her forehead, of which the root cause is a still mystery to this day. However, it is said that the mark is symbolic of Jesus’ fingertip during his resurrection and appearance to Mary Magdalene.


Our Lady of Manaoag

Manaoag, Pangasinan


Definitely one of the more popular churches to visit is Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan—and for good reason; it’s a Minor Basilica, after all. The ivory image of the Blessed Virgin Mary dates back to the 16th century, which is hailed as a patroness of the sick, helpless and needy.



Documents on the statue attest that a middle-aged farmer was walking home when he looked around and saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary. She was holding a rosary in her right hand and the child Jesus on her left arm. She then told the farmer where she wanted her church to be built.


Barasoain Church

Malolos, Bulacan


Founded by Augustinian Missionaries, the Barasoain Church was originally built in the 1600s and has since been considered the Cradle of Democracy in the East and the most religious building in the Philippines. (You also might remember its façade from the back of the old ten-peso bills from years ago.)



When Emilio Aguinaldo transferred the capital of the Revolutionary Government from Cavite to Malolos, the Barasoain Church became the gathering place for anti-oppressors. Later on, it became the site for the ratification of the Malolos Congress and was the historic location of Aguinaldo’s inauguration as the first president of the Philippine Republic.


Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church

Calasiao, Pangasinan


More commonly known as Calasiao Church, Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church has been declared a National Cultural Treasure by both the National Museum of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.


Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church

Photo: Wikipedia


It took a while to complete the building of Calasiao Church, as it was worked on through several stages from the 17th to 19th centuries—and it went through a lot during that time. In 1763, it was burned by a Filipino rebel and was again destroyed in the years 1841, 1852 and 1892.


Taal Basilica

Taal, Batangas


Spanning 88.6 meters high and 48 meters wide, the Taal Basilica is considered the largest church in the Philippines—and in Asia. The original church began construction in 1575, three years after Taal was first founded. Meanwhile, it was officially made into a Minor Basilica in 1954.


Taal Basilica

Photo: TrekEarth


The present state of the church was constructed in 1856 and underwent succeeding restorations in 1953, 1972 and 2011.



Regardless of where you’re headed, play it smart: familiarize yourself with the available COVID-19 testing options, keep your guards up when eating out, and continue to follow the rules of COVID-19 safety.



Words Adie Pieraz

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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