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Holy Week in Metro Manila

Manila, Philippines – THE BEST PLACE TO BE – Holy Week is here and Metro Manilans look outside the city, thinking of where they can spend Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Black Saturday, and Easter Sunday.

Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and other nearby foreign cities come to their minds. Nearer are Baguio, Boracay, Pagudpud, Cebu, Puerto Galera, Tagbilaran, and other resorts.

Well, I’ve said it before many times and am saying it again. The best place to be during those holy days is, where else, Metro Manila.

For once, there’s no traffic, noise pollution. Only silence.

Which is perfect for meditation and contemplation – a truly Holy Week.


‘VISITA IGLESIA’ – Because there’s no traffic, “visita iglesia” is no hassle. One can leisurely visit seven or 14 or more churches.

Now is the time to motor to Manila and pray at San Sebastian, Quiapo, Sta. Cruz, Binondo, San Agustin churches, among many others.

After going to the Binondo church (San Lorenzo Ruiz), one can take a walk at nearby Chinatown and Escolta and partake of goodies at open restaurants. But no meat please, if possible.

In Quiapo, one ought to pray to the Black Nazarene — minus the huge, huge, huge crowd.

From San Agustin, the old walls of Intramuros and Fort Santiago beckon.

The Manila Cathedral is undergoing repair and not open to the public.


IN NEED OF REPAIR – The steel façade of San Sebastian is imposing, its spires as if soaring to the heavens. Sadly, inside many of the steel pillars are rusty, peeling off. An immediate repair is in order.

San Sebastian is the only church made of steel in the Philippines.

Not too far away from San Sebastian is the San Beda chapel (Our Lady of Montserrat), its walls and ceilings adorned with holy paintings. The chapel is very well maintained, thanks to the Benedictines who ran the school and the adjacent abbey.

So there. No place like Manila during Holy Week.

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