Renz may not be a travel junkie, but he is eager to share the places he's visited all for the love of traveling!
We Deserve a Break
With all the business of the world around us, we just feel the need to escape and seek solitude. In doing so, some of us choose to stay in our rooms the entire day, while some choose to break the budget and travel somewhere far. However, there are times that we still feel the emptiness, stress, worries, problems and fears in life, despite doing so. Fret not, because this is when a pilgrimage becomes sensible.
I understand that you might see it "uncool", but it won't make much of a sense unless you experience it yourself. Well, everyone may not feel as fulfilled and rejuvenated as I did, but most people do, and I pray that you will too!
Pilgrimage - a Better Choice to Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds
What's good about Pilgrimage is that it simultaneously takes you in a spiritual journey and an enjoyable vacation. Agreeably, you will experience some physical exhaustion transferring from one place to next, but it's definitely hitting two birds with one stone -- spiritual rest and travel adventure.
Bataan - a Top Destination for Church Visits and Pilgrimage
When we speak of pilgrimage and churches here in the Philippines, what often comes into the mind is Bataan. This is usually because of the following:
- Rich history of the province - in every church you'll visit, there are people kind enough to give you a brief historic view of the church including some stories of the province (e.g. origin of the province name). In order to be sure that there would be someone to provide the sharing, organize a pilgrimage as a group, or join one.
- Beautiful and magnificent churches - the churches here in Bataan are very special because of its rich history and how it molded the church itself. Some of the churches weathered natural disasters, while some crumbled apart and rebuilt; however, one thing is for sure, the churches here are a beauty!
- Nature seeing and nature immersion - Bataan has a very serene environment with friendly locals! You'll be able to enjoy the freshness of the air and the grandeur nature.
The 7 Churches to Visit
In order to persuade you more in engaging in a pilgrimage, let me share with you some photos including snippets of information of the 7 churches I've been to in Bataan.
Feel free to browse through the photos below by clicking on the thumbnails.
We'll now be exploring the seven (7) churches that we visited as part of the organized pilgrimage we engaged in.
1. St. Peter of Verona in Hermosa
The first stop for our Bataan Pilgrimage was St. Peter of Verona Church, and I must admit that this is one of the three churches I really adored so much, especially with its magnificent architecture and structure.
2. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church
Just like the first church, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary also has an amazing structure that deserves to be awed upon. Another great thing about this place is the presence of an in-house museum where you'll find numerous "dresses" of the Virgin Mary image statue.
3. St. Joseph Church in Balanga
St. Joseph Church was constructed somewhere in 1700s, and hence it stood as witness to all the historic events that occurred in the province.
Aside from this, the church is coincidentally located in the heart of Balanga where the landscape and building designs were patterned in Europe.
4. Our Lady of Pillar Church
Our Lady of Pillar Church somehow resembles both the structure and interior of Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz or more commonly known as the Binondo Church.
5. St. Michael the Archangel Church
With its pinkish tones, the St. Michael the Archangel Church surely looks adorable! However, there's something more interesting to look for here in this church, and that would be the interior (more particularly the painting on the ceiling).
6. St. Dominic Parish in Abucay
The Church of Abucay was established somewhere near 1600s, and similar to St. Joseph Church, St. Dominic weathered several figurative and literal storms already. You will be amazed how they was able to preserve the beauty of the church.
7. St. Catherine of Sienna Church
This last stop is a humble church that has no physical elegance to show but has beauty deep within, and it goes by the name St. Catherine of Sienna Church. Two things I loved here are "simplicity" and "serenity" - indeed a great place to reflect in!
Alright, now that we've reached the end, you'll probably thinking of having a pilgrimage. However, you might also be wondering how much would it cost you to have one.
Does Pilgrimage mean Breaking the Budget?
Engaging yourself in a pilgrimage doesn't spell out "high cost". In fact, the average expenditure for such activity is somewhere near P1,000.
The main expenses you'll incur include only the transportation and your food. Hence, to spread out the transportation cost, a lot of people organize a group for a pilgrimage (wherein the organizers hire a private bus service for everyone joining the spiritual adventure).
How to engage in a pilgrimage?
Well, you may want to plan out and schedule a pilgrimage with your friends and/or family. However, this is usually viable for those who have private cars. Secondly, you may want to ask your parish if they have a scheduled pilgrimage. Otherwise, you may take the courage to initiate one.
Now, if the things above do not work out, you may ask inquire in other parishes or groups. That may actually save you time, and avoid yourself some hassle.
Have a Pilgrimage!
We've come to the end of this article, and I hope it somehow shed some light about pilgrimage in general and of course pilgrimage here in Bataan.
Just in case you intend to explore the churches in Bataan, I've included a map below showing the places where the 7 churches can be found. Enjoy and have a fruitful life ahead!
Map to Bataan Churches
© 2014 Renz Kristofer Cheng