Bisita Iglesia 2010: Metro Manila

The Bisita Iglesia (Church Visitation) is a Catholic Filipino tradition observed during Holy Week (mostly Maundy Thursdays and Good Fridays).  Over the years, we usually visit 14 churches around Metro Manila, and say one station of the Way of the Cross at each church. Last year, we visited 7 churches in Batangas (doing 2 stations per church).  

This year, we visited 3 churches and made the entire Way of the Cross on each of them.  Along the way, I managed to take some pictures on 2 other churches.  

1st Stop: Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face

An exterior shot of the church

The church is about a couple of years old and is located at the back of the Total Gas Station (across from the NAIA Terminal 3).   The interior is huge and the design of the structure allows the entry of available lighting.  

The cavernous interior (50 meters long, seats 1,800)

The altar is very beautiful mostly in earth tones and gold.  At the center is the crucified Christ and the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) on top.  

The beautiful altar

Each station of Way of the Cross is included in the beautiful stained-glass windows depicting moments in the life of St. Therese.

St Therese and the 1st Station


The Birth of St Therese and the 2nd Station


Death of St Therese's Mother & the 3rd Station


Miraculous Healing of Our Lady of the Smile and the 4th Station


Receiving Holy Communion and the 5th Station


Requesting the Bishop of Bayeux and the 6th Station


Conversion of Therese and the 7th Station


With the Sacred Heart and The 8th Station


The 9th Station


Asks her father's blessing and The 10th Station


Audience with Pope Leo XIII and the 11th Station


The 12th Station


As a Carmelite nun and the 13th Station


The 14th Station



Left Side (1st 7 Stations)

The Right Side (next 7 Stations)

 The dome above the altar is 60 feet in diameter and adorned with stained-glass windows depicting 9 popes and 7 saints in relation to the life and sainthood of St Therese.  I was able to get all the images (except two): Popes Leo XIII, Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II; Saints Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Joan of Arc, Edith Stein, and Mother Teresa.

The Dome (60 ft across) depicts 9 popes & 7 saints who influenced St Therese

 The main doors (both closed during our visit) depicts the carved image of the Holy Face, and St Therese.  Each image is surrounded by 12 roses depicting the 24 years of St Therese’s life.

Half of the main door - The Holy Face of Jesus

The other half of the main door - St Therese

The Right Transept
In church architecture, the recess on either side of the altar is called a transept. On the west wall (towards the rear) of the right transept is a gigantic illustration of The Lady of All Nations. Across (on the east wall) is the reliquary, where donated relics are kept at a tabernacle-like housing (covered in the picture).

The Reliquary

St Therese, Doctor of the Universal Church


The Lady of All Nations

My mother-in-law, Mia Rodriguez, light some candles in prayer as her husband, Tom, look on

The Left Transept  

Above the North Entranct (door on the left transept) is a stained-glass window showing Our Lady of Victories. When Therese was a child, she was struck by an unknown illness.  Her father made novenas to Our Lady of Victories for the healing of the child Therese.  In response to his prayers, Our Lady of the Smile (on the east wall of the left transept), appeared to Therese and heal her.   

To the left of the entrance is an illustration of Jesus, King of Mercy.  On the west wall is a life-sized Crucified Christ.

Our Lady of Victories


Our Lady of the Smile


A life-sized Crucified Christ

Outside the door (elow the 1st Station) is a statues of Our Lady of Good Voyage (I think)  


The Multi-purpose Hall and Photographers’ balcony

From the altar, I took this shot looking towards the entrance.  Above the main doors is the Multi-Purpose Hall, a statue of the Resurrected Christ (the 15th Station), and the photographers’s balcony above that.  

From the altar looking towards the entrance

Above the entrance of the church is an enclosed hall (Multi-Purpose Hall) where parents may take crying children. The glass partition allows those within to view the inside of the church, and prevents the sound of crying children from disrupting the mass/ceremony.  On on side is a circular stained-glass window with 24 roses signifying the 24 years of St Therese’s life.  

The view from the Multi-Purpose Hall

24 Roses for the 24 years of St Therese's life

2nd Stop: Redemptorist Church (Baclaran)

Otherwise known as The National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, this popular religious site draws thousands of devotees from all walks of life and is almost never empty (even in the wee hours between midnight and dawn).  If you want to know more about the shrine, visit

It was dark inside so I wasn’t able to take pictures of the stations as we said the Way of the Cross.

Throngs of devotees during Maundy Thursday

The altar as seen from the middle

A full shot of the altar

The entrance, as seen from the middle

This last picture I took captures a message of God’s mercy as uttered by Jesus on the Cross: Ama, patawarin mo sila sapagkat hindi nila alam ang kanilang ginagawa (English translation: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do). Truly reflective of Christ’s love, mercy and compassion.

A Lenten Message

1st Segway: Malate Church

 As it was lunch time, we decided to take our lunch at the Max’s Restaurant near the Malate Church.  While waiting for our order, I took the time to take pictures of the Malate Church and the park in front. 

Sculpture of Rajah Sulayman

The Rajah Sulayman Park is between the Malate Church and Roxas Boulevard (formerly Dewey Boulevard).  In the middle of the park is a lark sculpture of Rajah Sulayman, last ruler of Manila. He was defeated by the Spanish forces led by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.

Sculpture of Our Lady of Good Remedies

Before reaching the church, there is a sculture of the patroness (above).

The facade of the Malate Church

Historical Marker

The church was established by the Augustinian friars on September 8, 1588.  The image of the Virgen de los Remedios was brought from Spain to Malate by Friar Juan de Guevara, OSA, in 1624. (For more details, please visit

The church is relatively small, making it a little cozy.   I guess that’s why the parish organization decided to erect stations of the Cross outside the church to accommodate the crowds.  Here’s a shot of the interior.

Devotees crowd the inside of the church

 I also took pictures of the stained glass windows around. 

The Evangelists

St Luke


St Matthew


St John


St Mark

Mary’s Different Titles

Queen of the Rosary


Queen of Peace


Assumed Into Heaven


Queen of Virgins

Here are the rest of the pictures I took:

Lectern, Altar and Apse


Possibly a reliquary on the South (Right) Transept


The Prodigal Son


The North (Left) Transept


The Baptism of Christ (North Transept, Bottom)


The Anunciation

Of course, the patroness of the Malate Church:

Our Lady of Good Remedies

2nd Segway: Binondo Church

After lunch, the 3rd (last stop) was Quiapo Church, we decided to loop by Binondo (to buy some hopia from Eng Bee Tin) enroute .  This year, it was crowded around Binondo Church so I had to loop back until I chanced on a parking space.  

The Binondo Church Tower (view from Ongpin)


The facade (Narthex)

Binondo Church is also known as Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz is located in Binondo, Manila. Founded by the Dominican priests in 1596, Binondo Church is one of the oldest places of Christian worship in the Philippines.  It was named after the First Filipino Saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, who was born in Binondo.

Interior view (nave and altar)

The nave of the church (where the parishioners are seated) is expanded (combined with the aisles on either side). 

The north (left) aisle ceiling panels

 The ceiling panels along the nortn (left) side depict scenes from Christ’s Passion: The Agony in the Garden, Scourging, Pilate presenting Jesus (Ecce Homo), Carrying of the Cross, and Crucifixion.

The south (right) aisle ceiling panels

The ceiling panels along the south (right) side of the building depicts scenes from the Joyful Mysteries.  The central ceiling panels depict scenes from the Glorious Mysteries.

Ceiling panels depict scenes from the Glorious Mysteries


The 10th Station


The 11th Station

3rd Stop: Quiapo Church

The last stop in this year’s Bisita Iglesia is the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene. 

The facade or Narthex

The interior was packed with devotees praying the rosary, saying the stations of the cross, and long lines to the confessional.

The cavernous interior is packed with devotees

The Stations of the Cross are of modern metallic art motif.

1st Station

2nd Station

3rd Station

4th Station


5th Station


6th Station


7th Station


8th Station


9th Station


10th Station


11th Station


12th Station


13th Station


14th Station

After prayers, I tried to get in closer for a better shot but with the crowd gathered, it would be very difficult.

The Black Nazarene

These are the other shots I took of the images inside the church.

Mary Mediatrix


Weng praying to Mary


Our Lady


The Cross

It was hot and a little tiring but it was worth it.  The next day we go to Manaoag!

2 thoughts on “Bisita Iglesia 2010: Metro Manila”

  1. Great blog Sir! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Beautiful! Speaks so much about us Filipinos…very religious and strong in faith. Love the pics and please keep on sharing!


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