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Where to stay during these Holy Week 2017 observances | MyProperty.ph
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Where to stay during these Holy Week 2017 observances

by Jillian CariolaPublished: March 3, 2017Updated: March 3, 2017

Going out of town for Holy Week? Here are some suggestions on what to see and where to stay.

Holy Week 2017 observances Philippines MyProperty carrying of the cross

Holy Week, or Mahal na Araw, is a traditional observance of Roman Catholics of the last days of Jesus Christ, starting from the Passion leading up to his death, and to his eventual resurrection.  Filipinos have different ways of commemorating these days, such as going on processions, chanting of the Pasyón, also known as pabasa; and visiting various churches. In some provinces, these traditions have become quite the spectacle, drawing crowds from different parts of the country and even the world.

This year, Holy Week will start at April 9 and end on April 15, making it a perfect time for families to get together and observe it by going out of town. If you are planning to do just that, here are some of the celebrations to witness during these days, as well as a few suggestions on where you can stay.

 

Flogging and crucifixion in Cutud, Pampanga

One activity that is both traditional and controversial has been drawing local and international crowds every Holy Week: flogging and crucifixion. Occurring on Good Friday, penitents would imitate Jesus Christ’s suffering and death by carrying wooden crosses, self-flagellating, and being nailed to a cross. Although not sanctioned by the Catholic Church, participants continue to do them, believing that doing so allows them to fulfill their panata (“vow” in English), and to give thanks for their answered prayers.

Plenty of provincial cities practice this custom, but the most popular one is the San Pedro Cutud Lenten Rites in Pampanga. One notable resident is Ruben Enaje, who was crucified for the 30th time in 2016. According to Enaje, he made a promise to be crucified every Holy Week after surviving a fall from a three-story billboard in 1985.

Holy Week 2017 observances Philippines MyProperty flogging crucifixion Cutud Pampanga
Flogging and crucifixion in Cutud, Pampanga. Photo via Shutterstock

Traveling couples want to watch the spectacle as well as other Lent-related activities in Pampanga, you can stay overnight at Hotel Saleh, which offers air-conditioned rooms and apartments and is close to recreational spots like SM City Clark and Bayanihan Park.

Are you planning on seeing the event with a large group? For those who would want a resort-like stay, this private villa in Brgy. Cutcut has a private pool with air-conditioned rooms, has a capacity of 15 people, and can be rented for Php7,500 a night.

 

Centurion Festival in General Luna, Quezon

Said to be the origin of the more popular Moriones Festival in Marinduque, the Centurion Festival features participants dressed as Roman soldiers as they roam the streets of the town center throughout Holy Week in honor of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The celebration’s most striking feature is the flamboyance and colors displayed by individuals who take part in the event. Other municipalities of Quezon also celebrate the Centurion Festival, including Catanauan, Mulanay, and San Narciso.

For those going on a solo pilgrimage, they can rent this one-bedroom junior suite in Legacy One located in the municipality of Catanauan. This 50-square-meter air-conditioned unit is easily accessible as it is right in the city center and is even across the town’s church.

 

Visita Iglesia in Batangas

A long-time tradition of devout Catholics, a Visita Iglesia is traditionally accomplished by visiting a total of seven churches on the evening of Holy Thursday, hence its other name “Seven Churches Visitation”. The tradition has since been altered by many practitioners, most of them starting early in the morning, some visiting more than seven churches, and so on. What has not changed, however, is their purpose: to pray before the Blessed Sacrament and ask for penance at each stop.

Batangas boasts of a large collection of churches and chapels of historical and cultural significance, and all of them are worth including in a Visita Iglesia itinerary. One is the Minor Basiclica of St. Martin of Tours, a Neo-classical Augustinian church in Taal founded in 1572. San Sebastian Cathedral in Lipa City, the history of which started in 1605, possesses a design aesthetic similar to that of the Vatican Church. And Caysasay Chapel, said to have been founded in 1603, draws crowds regularly due to the supposedly healing powers of the water in the Sta. Lucia Well.

Holy Week 2017 observances Philippines MyProperty Visita Iglesia Batangas Lipa Cathedral
Lipa Cathedral. Photo via Shutterstock

If you plan on starting the day early to visit as many churches as possible, it would be best to stay within the province. For a couple or small family, this fully furnished one-bedroom unit at Splendido Taal Tower 1 is good for five people and can be rented for Php5,000 a night. From here, Caleruega Church is only about 20 minutes away.

For large groups of families or friends looking for a quick getaway, Nasugbu offers several short-term lodging options. This two-bedroom resort-type accommodation at Pico De Loro in Hamilo Coast is only a few minutes from the beach and can be rented for a nightly rate of Php12,000. For those who want a bit more privacy, this four-bedroom Tali Beach House priced at Php14,000 a day should provide the exclusivity you need. St. Francis Xavier Parish Church is about 35 minutes away from Hamilo Coast and 20 minutes from Tali Beach House.

 

Via Crucis at Albay

Via Crucis, also known as Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross, is a series of images showing Jesus Christ’s journey on the day of his crucifixion. As each station is visited, devotees are to recite the accompanying prayer before moving to the next.

In some parts of the country, life-size depictions of the Stations of the Cross are built, often on high ground. One example is the Via Crucis in Kawa-Kawa Hill and National Park in Ligao, Albay. The 14 Stations stretch 1.37 kilometers all the way to the top of the hill, which is actually hollow, hence the name (“kawa” in English means cauldron).

Accommodations at Cagsawa Traveler’s Inn in Daraga, Albay start at Php980, and many are big enough to accommodate groups of up to 24 people.

 

Main Photo via Shutterstock

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