Iloilo churches ready for ‘Visita Iglesia’

Churches in Iloilo province are ready for the flock of Catholic devotees for this week’s observance of Holy Week, said the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO).

Gilbert Marin, Provincial Tourism Officer, said tourists should consider completing their “Visita Iglesia”, the practice of visiting at least seven different churches on Holy Thursday or Good Friday in Iloilo province.

“We promote our churches, especially those found in the first and third districts. They are iconic churches and we expect most of the devotees to hold Lenten traditions here,” Marin said.

He said the St. Thomas of Villanova Parish in Miagao, Iloilo remains as one of the most famous churches in the province.

Commonly known as the Miagao Church, the St. Thomas of Villanova Parish church was declared in 1993 as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”.

Some of the churches in the first district are the San Joaquin Church in San Joaquin; St. Anthony the Abbot Parish Church in Tubungan town; St. John of Sahagun Parish Church in Tigbauan; and St. Nicolas of Tolintine Parish Church in Guimbal.

“Aside from our churches in the first district, we also boast of our beautiful churches in the third district,” Marin said.

The Neo-Classical Parish Church of St. Nicholas of Tolentine, built by the Augustinian Friars in 1834 in Cabatuan town, is ready to welcome visitors, he said.

The Sta. Barbara Church and Convent is also one of the must-visited churches in the province one should consider. Sta. Barbara Church was restored in 2015 and is considered the “Cradle of Independence” in Panay and in the Visayas, Marin said.

Other churches in the third district are the St. Nicholas De Toletine Parish Church in Lambunao and Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Parish Church in Calinog.

Marin said the “Visita Iglesia” is kept alive in the province as the PTO observes that families and friends practice the faith and tradition every year.

Marin reminded tourists to take time to pray and repent for their sins in their church visits during the “most solemn time of the year for the entire community.”PNA

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