where to go this holy week

Reflect and Repent: Where to Go This Holy Week 2016

Most of us tend to get so caught up in the whirlwind of things happening around us every day that we rarely get the time to relax. Our days get by so fast, we can’t keep up. We always feel the urge to slow down and breathe, but we don’t have the time because of hectic work schedule. Fortunately, Holy Week gives us enough time to catch a break, slow down, reflect and most of all, repent.

Still wondering where to go this Holy Week for a spiritual time? Here are some of the most serene places you can visit that are perfect for meditation and reflection:

1Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia (Regina RICA) in Tanay, Rizal

holy week regina rica tanay
Image Credit: Joycelyn Aralar via joycelynaralar.wordpress.com

Regina RICA, as the institute is more popularly known, is a 13.5-hectare place for reflection run by the Dominican Sisters of Regina Rosarii in an uphill sanctuary at Sitio Aguho, Sampaloc, Tanay Rizal. Embrace silence and peace as you tread on the El Shaddai Hills, a 308-step S-shaped trail leading to the Sanctuary of Universal Love and Devotion or “Sulod,” a giant statue of Mother Mary carrying baby Jesus in her arms. The statue is a staggering 71-foot image of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, a masterpiece of artist-sculptor Jose Barcena, Jr.

Don’t forget to say a little prayer as you pass through the image on your way up. Walk further and repent of your sins as you get to each Station of the Cross. Ponder on how your life has been as you go meditation walking at the Labyrinth Walk. And finally, end your visit with a moment of silence and prayer at the RICA Chapel.

How to get there? Public transportation like jeepneys is spread across the metro to take you to Sampaloc, Tanay. Whether you are taking the Manila East Road route, the Marcos Highway route or the CALABARZON route, your landmark drop-off point would be the public market of Sampaloc, Tanay. From there, there are tricycles that will bring you to Regina RICA.

2Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban, Quezon

holy week kamay ni hesus-quezon
Image Credit: Iambrigitte.com

Find inner peace in this gentle haven down south. Visit Kamay ni Hesus, a popular Holy Week destination in Lucban, Quezon, and be one with nature as the church and grotto are surrounded by lush trees and blossoming plants. Reflect on each chapter of your life as you take each step on the 300-step stairway towards the towering Messiah statue. Standing 15 feet tall, the figure’s arms are spread out as if welcoming all those who come to seek the Messiah.

Kamay ni Hesus is a product of an epiphany by Fr. Joey A. Faller having a vision of a church and a grotto for sick people. Thus, this place is perfect for your weary soul needing comfort or for any of your family member seeking healing.

How to get there? Take the SLEX route which will take you to Lucena City. There are mini buses from Lucena that will drop you off at Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban.

3Via Dolorosa in Antipolo City, Rizal

holy week via dolorosa antipolo
Image Credit: Ivanlakwatsero.com

You don’t have to go far for this Holy Week’s annual Visita Iglesia (church visit). Via Dolorosa, formerly known as White Cross, is just a stone’s throw away from Manila. Remember and reflect on Jesus’ passion and suffering on this uphill pilgrim spot in Pinagmisahan St., Antipolo City. The life-size images on each station symbolize the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, leading to the looming White Cross on top of the hill. A huge image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage stands at the peak as if guiding the entire sanctuary. Via Dolorosa offers a retreat to those who, like you, seek silence and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

How to get there? You can ride a jeepney taking the Marcos Highway route going to Sumulong Highway, and be dropped off at the Antipolo Church. From there, a tricycle can take you directly to Via Dolorosa.

Do you have other tips on where to go this Holy Week? Share them with me through the comments section below. Have a blessed and peaceful week!

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Glad Alvero is a BA journalism graduate from UP Diliman. She now writes documentaries for TV. She writes 24/7 while going for photo walks in between.
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