19 Mar 8 Retreat Venues In and Nearby Cagayan de Oro to Visit on Holy Week
It was 3 days ago when the holy week of this year, 2017, started. This year’s Holy Week began on Sunday, April 9 until the next Saturday, April 15. Easter Sunday then follows as a day of joyous celebration.
Prior to this week-long sacred event, it’s a tradition among Filipinos to perform practices as their way to enact what Jesus Christ did as a sacrifice for the salvation of His sons and daughters. And in every part of the Philippines, different practices are being observed such as fasting, “Pabasa” or the reading of the texts from a book depicting the Passion of the Christ, penance or “penitensya”, Visita Iglesia or visiting 7 churches on Maundy Thursday leading to the Good Friday commemorating the Passion of the Christ, procession, following the Stations of the Cross, Senakulo or the play showcasing the passion of the Christ, Night Vigil and among others. But the most common thing that Filipinos do during the Holy Week is visiting places for contemplation and serenity.
In Cagayan de Oro, the predominant religion is Christianity. An obvious evident scene is during Sundays. A huge number of faith believers attend church masses during Sundays as compared during the weekdays and Saturdays. Thus, most of the Kagay-anons will commemorate Holy Week.
There are befitting venues in and nearby Cagayan de Oro where one can spend the Holy Week. Here in All About Cagayan de Oro, we give you 8 places to spend Holy Week in Cagayan de Oro and nearby CdeO.
St. Augustine Cathedral
Built in 1624 by Fray Agustin San Pedro, Saint Augustine Cathedral has been toppled down many times until it was rebuilt again in 1946 together with the Convent by Archbishop James Hayes, SJ. And being at the heart of the city, it is a common place for Roman Catholics.
This Holy Week, it is expected to be swarmed by hundreds of Christians.
Divine Mercy Shrine
Just a 45-minute ride away from the city is the Divine Mercy Shrine located in El Salvador which has been popular among Divine mercy devotees with its 50-foot statue of Jesus Christ of the Divine Mercy where at its base is a healing chapel and at the heart is the chamber of adoration. The place features a retreat and seminar facilities suited for reflection and meditation purposes with its Mary’s Rosary Garden and the Stations of the Cross.
Being known as a pilgrimage site for the many Divine Mercy devotees, El Salvador earned the title “The City of Mercy” or “City of The Savior” and became known among locals and foreigners. Mostly visited during Good Friday of the Lenten season among Christians coming from the different parts of the country.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine
Many devotees head to Igbalay Hills in Barangay Balubal, Cagayan de Oro where Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine is located. For the past few years, it has been a popular destination when it’s lent season.
The route starts at Phasco Village Crossing along the national highway and ends at the Shrine Complex after nearly 4.5-kilometer walk. What makes it attractive among devotees is its adventurous route that involves crossing mixed land and nine rivers that connect barangay Tablon, Agusan and Balubal requiring four hours of walking to reach the shrine.
For those who prefer to remain dry with a less challenging route, a three-kilometer climb to Malasag Hills is an option. The route follows a Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross along the highways then ends to the chapel of the Birhen sa Medalya Milagrosa.
Commonly, devotees participate in the procession of the Stations of the Cross on Maundy or Good Friday. And being the oldest known venue to spend Holy Week, it’s only minutes away from the city with its entrance along Cugman CdeO highway.
Pamalandong sa Talisayan, Sipaka Heights
Pamalandong sa Talisayan started last 2001 and has been a popular destination among Christians during the lenten season. Located at Sipaka Heights in Talisayan, Misamis Oriental, over thousands of believers go here to perform the Stations of the Cross.
Within 30-45 minutes, one is able to climb the hill with the overlooking view of the Misamis Oriental bay.
Walkway To The Old Volcano
A neighbor of Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin island is also a preferred place during Holy Week. One of its popular venues is the Camiguin Walkway. It is a series of steps that heads to Mount Vulcan or popularly called as the old volcano with statues along the path depicting Stations of the Cross. Mostly crowded during the island’s Panaad festival.
Located in barangay Bonbon in the town of Catarman, Camiguin, it is only 20-25 minutes away from the capital city of Mambajao. With fourteen stops until reaching the topmost area offering a view of the western view of Camiguin.
Monastery of Transfiguration
There’s also a place in Bukidnon where people can spend the Holy Week. Known by many as Bukidnon Monastery, the Benedectine Monastery Church of the Transfiguration is said to be the most visited religious communities in the country. It is settled in Barangay San Jose, Malaybalay City, Bukidnon run by Benedictine Monks.
The place can be reached in just 15 minutes from the city proper. Notable among travelers is the Church of the Transfiguration because of its impressive architecture, making it distinct from other churches in the country dubbed as a Magnum Opus (latin word for “great work”) made by a national artist called Architect Leandro Locsin.
Casa San Pio at St. Padre Pio’s Apostolic Farm
An orchard that has the overlooking view of the Mindanao Sea and Camiguin Island, that is St. Padre Pio’s Apostolic Farm is about settled in Balingoan, Misamis Oriental. It is where Casa San Pio can also be found which is also a place to spend your Holy Week.
From Cagayan de Oro, you need to travel 1 and a half hour to two hours to get to Casa San Pio in Barangay Upper Lapinig. Inaugurated last May 25, 2013, happened to be the birth anniversary of St Padre Pio, it has became a facility for religious activities such as retreats and the likes.
To reflect while in the place, there are Stations of the Cross and Mysteries of the Holy Rosary in Mary’s Garden.
Wherever we spend the Holy Week, we must remember its essence which is to commemorate and reflect about the salvation made by our savior, Jesus Christ. May we spend it together with the whole family, relatives, and friends for it is meant to bring us all together by faith. May you have a meaningful Holy Week.