Thursday, April 13, 2006

Visita Iglesia

Our family did the Visita Iglesia today. This is the third time we did Visita Iglesia. The first time we did it, we went to 14 churches. We didn't know how many we had to go to. We went to churches in Antipolo, Marikina and Manila. It was so hot and after the visit we had no place to eat. It was way after lunch time before we found a restaurant open for business. This year we went to 7 churches (Some say 7, some say 14 churches).

This year our first church was supposed to be St. John Mary Vianney, our former parish. But the church was closed and there were no Stations of the Cross outside the church so we transferred to Our Lady of the Abandoned. We prayed the Stations of the Cross and then afterwards prayed our own personal prayers.

Di kami malapit sa altar kaya ang layo ng kuha. Shy naman akong lumapit pa para lang kunan ng pic. Medyo labo kasi cellphone lang gamit ko. And this is the patroness who was canonized last year, I think. Sorry I don't know..I just took a picture of Our Lady.

Next stop Immaculate Conception Church. The church was actually closed. They have Stations of the Cross outside but we went inside thru a side door.

After Marikina we went to UP Diliman via Tumana bridge. The last time I passed thru there was in college. Now there are a lot of BIG houses at the Loyola Grand Villas. Way back in college there were only a few houses in that village. Anyway, we went next to the Holy Sacrifice Parish(UP Chapel) next. If you haven't been there, the church is circular. So the crucifix is not fixed on a wall. The altar is at the center of the church with the crucifix hanging from the ceiling. the crucifix is also two sided. I remember staying there during college days when I have a lot of free time. There was one semester where I have an early morning class then my next class is in the afternoon. I would go there in the chapel and just feel the serenity of the place. I felt His presence there, I felt at peace. Back then I attend the 12noon mass and go to confession afterwards. This is my favorite church. I feel that I'm enveloped with His love when I enter this church. I don't know if its the location of the church or the structure but I love it there.

Their Stations of the Cross are murals on the walls around the church.

Speaking of hearing masses, I feel my life has direction when I go to mass regularly. Not on the usual Sunday mass but the daily masses. In college I just go hear mass here when I have a free time. When I started working I usually hear Mass on Wednesdays or Fridays. I go to mass even on weekdays when I have problems or I just feel bothered for no apparent reason. I feel at ease after the mass knowing that I have Him who love me no matter what happens.

After UP, we went to Shrine of St. Joseph. I wasn't able to get a picture of the altar because the main church is not open. We went to the adoration chapel instead. And I made a petition in their prayer request booth. Secret muna what I prayed for. :) When we were kids we go there every Sunday to hear mass. But being the kid that I was, I was always excited for the mass to finish because afterwards we'll be going to SM Cubao. Naalala ko may isang beses pa na hindi ko nahulog lahat ng pera na binigay sa kin for the offertory basket because I was playing with the coins. After that I was consciously leaving some coins on my other hand and dropping only a few when the offertory basket passes our way. Bad kid! I think I was less than 5 years old then hehehe.

This is the church outside along Aurora Blvd.

Our 5th church was supposed to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Shrine in Broadway but we passed by Divine Word Shrine first so we went there too. They have stained glass in their altar. It was beautiful. I made a wish since it's my first time to go there.

After going in and out of the streets between Gilmore and Broadway Ave. we finally found Mt. Carmel. It was a big church. I wanted to go there because I watched one millionaire winner in Game Ka na Ba? (yes, the game show of Kris Aquino) who told Kris that she goes to Mt. Carmel to pray. I specifically remembered Kris saying that they also have another winner who goes there to hear mass and the constestant told Kris that it was in Project 6, QC. Since I didn't know where we were going to earlier... now I know we went to a different Mt. Carmel. But that's okay. I still got to make a wish.

The last one we went to was Sta. Clara. It was past 12noon when we got there. They were already closing the church but they set up some pews outside so we had to settle for that. The first time I went to Sta. Clara was in high school. Me and my high school classmates went there to offer egg and petition for our UPCAT exams (or was that NSAT). The monastery was still along Aurora Avenue then beside PSBA. But they still have the Sta. Clara statue where you can leave your letters (petitions) and flowers as offering to her.

We went home afterwards but we didn't eat lunch when we got here. That's because we bought food along the way -- lumpiang togi in UP (so happy it's still P10 and still tastes the same! yummy!) and mani and quail eggs in Mt. Carmel. It was a good Visita Iglesia this year because we were able to go to churches we haven't been to before (Divine Word Shrine and Mt. Carmel) and because the churches brought back good memories (St. Joseph, UP Chapel and Sta. Clara). And also, I was able to think of a lot of things while inside the church -- about me, my family, my loved ones, the Philippines. I prayed for all of these.

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