Philippines Sea

Pilgrimage Tourism Sites in the Philippines

Travelers looking to rev up their spiritual life need not go any
farther than the Philippines,
which is home to some of the world’s oldest and beautiful churches. The
archipelago of 7,107 islands, which was under Spanish rule for more
than 300 years, is the largest Catholic country in Asia. Hundreds of
churches have been constructed across the nation since the Spaniards
arrived in the Philippines in 1521. With its rich religious heritage,
the Philippines is cashing in on pilgrimage tourism to boost its

Wise men in the travel industry believe that tourism is not only
centered on man-made and natural attractions but also on meaningful
rituals that are based on religious faith. Large churches made from
indigenous materials have placed the Philippines on the tourism map.
This makes the country a versatile player in the sector, as it has a lot
of attractions to offer from exquisite natural wonders to colorful
events and festivals. Since a whole day, maybe even a week or a month,
is not enough to visit all the historic and elegant churches in the
country, the following travel
might help in your ultimate spiritual trip to this
pre-dominantly Catholic nation.

San Agustin Church

Have a trip down memory lanes by visiting San Agustin Church in Manila.
Constructed in 1607, this place of worship is considered the oldest
standing church in the Philippines. The church, which is made from adobe
stones, has withstood several world wars and numerous earthquakes. A
point of interest inside San Agustin Church is the magnificent trompe
l’oeil mural on its ceiling and walls.

Paoay Church

One of the notable travel destinations
in northern Philippines is the Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte. Completed
in 1894, the church is an excellent example of Baroque architecture.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has 24 massive curved buttresses
designed to withstand powerful earthquakes. Its bell tower was used by
local militants as an observation post in their revolt against Spanish

Barasoain Church

Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, ranks among the most historic
sites in the Philippines. Dubbed as the “Cradle of Democracy in the
East,” this 17th century structure was the site of the First
Philippine Congress in September 29, 1898. Barasoain Church was
destroyed at the height of the Philippine Revolution but was renovated
several times to preserve its original structure.

Basilica del Santo Niño

Another top pilgrimage destination in the country is Basilica del Santo
Niño. Located in the heart of Cebu City, this 16th century
church was erected on the same spot where Spanish explorers purportedly
found a sculpture of the child Jesus in 1565. A side trip in this
historic site is a visit to a museum showcasing the history of
Christianity in Cebu. The basilica remains under the Order of St.

Dauis Church

Aside from the world’s famous Chocolate Hills, tourists flock to Bohol
to catch a glimpse of the Dauis Church. Located on the island of
Panglao, this place of prayer is also called the Our Lady of Assumption
Church. Catholic faithfuls believe that the well located in front of the
altar contains water that has medicinal powers.

Quiapo Church

Another famous pilgrimage site in the Philippines is the Quiapo Church
in Manila. It is home to the Black Nazarene, a life-sized, dark-colored
sculpture of Jesus Christ bearing a cross. Due to the growing number of
devotees, Catholic leaders launched an expansion project in 1984.
Outside the church, you can find hordes of vendors selling various goods
from religious items to traditional medicines.

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