More churches opening for Visita Iglesia in Intramuros

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Holy Week procession
A holy week procession along the streets of Intramuros, Manila. -- DOT MEDIA

THE Intramuros Administration (IA) has arranged for nine churches, chapels, and prayer grounds to be open to pilgrims and tourists alike during Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday (April 18 to 20) this year. Last year, only seven venues were open during Holy Week. IA has worked to open two more sites this year, some located inside schools or government offices.

The churches that will be open during the Visita Iglesia are the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Parish Church, Fr. Willman Chapel at the Knights of Columbus Bldg., Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Chapel, Mapua University Chapel, Lyceum of the Philippines University Chapel, Colegio de San Juan de Letran Chapel, St Matthew’s Chapel at the BIR Building, and the Guadalupe Shrine at the Fort Santiago.

Included in the IA program is the Penetencia around Plaza Roma and the Manila Cathedral on Holy Thursday (April 18) 7 p.m. by the Cainta Nazareno, Inc.

Stations of the Cross will be displayed at the stretch of General Luna Street, from Beaterio St. to Muralla from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday.

To facilitate traffic within Intramuros, General Luna St. will be closed to all vehicles from the night of Holy Wednesday until Good Friday. There will be designated areas for public parking in the various locations.

The Philippine National Police-MPD, the Philippine Navy-Naval Reserve Command and the Philippine National Red Cross will be on-call on Holy Week, with two standby ambulances in front of the Manila Cathedral at Plaza Roma and at the Red Cross Headquarters in General Luna. Portalets will be installed all over the city and near the churches for public use. IA has partnered with Maynilad Water Services to give pilgrims and tourists free drinking water at Plaza Roma — the public is invited to bring their own reusable tumblers.

The public is expected to follow the following rules:

• follow queues and line-up properly;

• don’t disturb devotees by taking flash photography;

• observe silence especially when in houses of prayer;

• throw and segregate trash in the proper trash bins;

• avoid using disposable plastic water bottles, bring reusable tumblers instead; and,

• wear decent clothing.

Holy Week Intramuros map