The visita iglesia or church visit is a tradition in the Philippines usually done on Maundy Thursday. Together with 2 friends we decided to do the pilgrimage 2 weeks early, away from the maddening crowd of Holy Week. The churches down south of Cebu have retained much of what it was in the past. Coral stone blocks, painted ceilings and antique bells have pretty much survived the ravages of time. Learning interesting tidbits of these churches make your pilgrimage a memorable experience.
1. St. Michael the Archangel Church, Argao (the golden retablo is a must-see, the area surrounding the church is a typical Spanish Plaza, it's like walking back in time)
2. Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church, Talaga, Argao (this blue and towering structure couldn't be missed)
3. Sta. Monica Parish Church, Cawayan, Dalaguete (reminds me of the onion-shaped belfries of Carcar. Four female figures greet you on the stairs, I am not sure though what they represent. Perhaps the 4 virtues.)
4. San Guillermo de Aquitania Parish Church, Dalaguete (I just love the facade of these church, details are commonly found in Augustinian churches dotting the island)
5. Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish Church (hard to see from the highway, the tall trees around the church make the air so cool)
6. Patrocinio de Maria Parish Church, Boljoon (see the Archaeological diggings around the church grounds and chance upon burials with celadon wares, golden jewelry and other traditional implements)
7. Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragosa Church, Sibonga (no one will ever miss this imposing structure, the main door of the church reach as high as 3 floors)
These photos have been taken from 2007-2009.