For most Filipinos, the Lenten season is the perfect time to not only to reflect on the sacrifices of Jesus Christ, but also a time to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy daily life we have. It’s also a time for us to enjoy the companionship of our family given that we are rarely complete due to school, work or business. Holy Week is one of the longest, and most awaited holidays in our country. Deciding where to go to is a cause for much thrill and excitement. If you’re stressing out because you do not know where to go for the long weekend, here are a couple of places that might spark your interest. Whether you decide to stay in the busy city of Metro Manila, or venture elsewhere, there are a heck amount of activities to enjoy. There can never be a perfect place to head out to, but there is definitely a new adventure for every travel. Here are some places you may want to consider this season!
Bulacan is only 81.2 km more or less from Metro Manila depending where you are coming from, and you can reach it by car in a little over two hours. If you’re looking for old churches for your Visita Iglesia, there is no better place than Bulacan. It has a lot of notable historic churches which includes the Church of Santiago Apostol, St. Monica Church, and Barasoain Church. Don’t forget to make a wish for every new church you visit! You can also attend Good Friday Processions in Baliuag where would be able to watch the procession of nearly 100 creatively crafted floats by the locals.
Another option for a new adventure and if you are truly looking to get away from Metro Manila is Batanes. Batanes is in the northern region of the Philippines, and is 657 km from Metro Manila. If you are too timid to drive and has a little budget to spare, you can reach Batanes via plane. It is often labelled as the New Zealand of the Philippines with its aweing and picturesque sights. Reflect and revitalize this Lenten season with your friends and family with locations such as Chawa Cave, Mount Iraya, and the Itbayat, Sabtang, and Batan Islands. It’s a definitely a must to try and check-out Batanes!
Can’t travel far or a bit skeptical in those 4-5 hours drive? Why not head to Tagaytay for your Holy Week getaway? Known as one of the go-to destinations for local wanderers whether for low-season or peak-season holidays, Tagaytay will put you on a state of pure bliss with its scenic sights, graze upon the beauty of the place with its incredible location overlooking the Taal Lake and Volcano. You’d never run out of food trip options given its wide strip of restaurant options. Oh yeah, make sure not to miss out in grabbing a Bulalo while you’re at it. What’s more, Tagaytay has a perpetual breeze that would definitely remind you of everything that you love about the striking ridge.
Siquijor is a Mystical, mesmerizing and utterly beautiful place to visit this Lenten season. The island province is blessed with a ton of natural wonders, from springs and waterfalls to unexploited beaches. The island is also famed for its alternative healing methods, making it an even more intriguing place to visit during the Lenten Season. Make sure to go around the place and explore a lot of old churches for your Visita Iglesia. The Healing Festival is a four-day event that is celebrated by multiple church services, holy treks, and even healing sessions. It is a 27-hour drive from Metro Manila, however, you can get to Dumaguete via place in just an hour travel time. Once you reach Dumaguete, you must take a ferry to Siquijor. A bit of an adventure you would say? But trust me, it’s worth every Peso.
If you’re looking for a place to truly get away from the hustle and bustle life of Metro Manila this Holy Week, Marinduque is one great option to consider. During Holy Week, they celebrate the Moriones Festival, which is an iconic portrayal of the Legend of Longinus. It is s a story of a blind Roman Centurion who was able to pierce the crucified body of Jesus Christ, and had his vision restored by Christ’s blood. Marinduque is a merely 159 km away from Metro Manila depending where you are coming from, and the best way to get there is by ferry or plane. If you’ve never been to this place, well, you’ve been living under a rock!
I’m pretty confident that you know someone who has been to Pampanga during Holy Week, well, who hasn’t? Most of those friends have a lot of story to tell given that Pampanga is filled with historical churches and religious shrines that people travel from all over the globe to admire. What makes Pampanga a destination of choice for many Filipinos during Holy Week are the numerous reenactments of the crucifixion of Christ. Be ready to shed a couple of tears while watching it! If you have not made your way to Pampanga during Holy Week, make it as the top of your priority list this year. One great factor to consider is that Pampanga is only 81.8 km away from Metro Manila, and you can get there by car in a little over an hour and a half. While you’re at it, don’t forget to grab a bite of their well-known Sisig and Halo-halo, the perfect meals for summer!