Also called the Seven Churches Visitation, Visita Iglesia is a globally practiced Catholic tradition of praying in seven churches during the Holy Week. In the predominantly Catholic Philippines, what’s nice about Visita Iglesia is that you not only have a multitude of options. The richness of history and architectural wonder can also be glimpsed in the oldest churches. And Tagaytay and especially Batangas have no shortage of such majestic places.
Below are seven churches in close neighbors Tagaytay and Batangas that are worth making the trip to for Visita Iglesia if you’re from Manila or the South.
Our Lady of Candelaria Parish Church, Silang
If you’re coming from Manila, you’ll definitely pass by Silang, Cavite right before you reach Tagaytay proper. So why not make a stop at the 17th-century colonial baroque church of Silang, a National Cultural Treasure known to be the oldest of its kind in Cavite. Aside from its impressive facade, its most outstanding feature is its lofty 300-year old altarpiece.
Location: J. Rizal St., Silang, Cavite
Facebook page: Our Lady of Candelaria Parish
Pink Sisters Chapel and Convent, Tagaytay
The Pink Sisters Chapel in Tagaytay is one of the most famous places of worship and pilgrimage in Tagaytay. The church stands serenely amid a lush landscape of trees and colorful plants. After offering your prayers, you can walk around the garden and soak further in deep contemplation.
Location: Holy Spirit Dr., Maitim 2nd East, Tagaytay City
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church, Tagaytay
Our Lady of Lourdes Paris Church is one of the established churches in Tagaytay, although it’s not as old and historic as others on this list. It’s a popular wedding venue and pilgrimage site due to its accessibility and tranquil location close to a view of Taal Volcano.
Location: Emilio Aguinaldo Hwy, Silang Junction North, Tagaytay, Cavite
Facebook page: Lourdes Grotto – Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Tagaytay City
Minor Basilica de San Martin de Tours, Taal
From Tagaytay, you can head further down south and find Asia’s largest Catholic church in Taal, Batangas. The Taal Basilica is so huge and elevated by its hilltop position that it’s an almost ubiquitous sight in the town center. As big as it is, the church also has a rich history that can be traced back to the late 16th century when it was still in San Nicolas. The 19th-century devastation of Taal Volcano led to it being rebuilt on its current site.
It takes about an hour of drive from Tagaytay to Taal, passing by the towns of Laurel and Lemery. To help ease the road trip boredom, the Lemery Castle is the perfect stopover for some sightseeing before proceeding to the next church.
Location: Calle San Martin, Taal Batangas
Facebook page: Taal Basilica
Immaculate Conception Parish Church, Bauan
If you want a good redemption story, Bauan Church would be a nice source of inspiration. Since its founding in 1590, the parish has been transferred and the church destroyed and rebuilt many times before establishing stability in its current site in Bauan. The church’s neo-classical structure evokes a unique feeling with its bright and symmetrical appearance from the outside.
Location: Kap Ponso St., Poblacion, Bauan, Batangas
Facebook page: Immaculate Conception Bauan – Archdiocese of Lipa
Immaculate Conception Parish Church, Balayan
Moving back up north and toward Balayan, you’ll find another National Cultural Treasure worth visiting. Balayan Church’s striking red brick bell tower is a sight to behold, providing a nice contrast to the church’s gray facade. The ornate interiors of this 400-year-old church also beckon with its intricate nave tiles, golden altarpieces, and ceiling murals, most of which have been preserved from the original structure.
Location: Plaza Mabini St., Balayan, Batangas
Facebook page: Immaculate Conception Parish, Balayan, Batangas
Transfiguration Chapel of Caleruega, Nasugbu
More famously known as Caleruega Church, Transfiguration Chapel is the crowning jewel of the Caleruega Retreat Center. The church is enveloped by lush greenery, its red brick edifice sticking out starkly. Aside from praying, you can also walk around the retreat center for more solemn reflection before heading back to Tagaytay or Manila.
Location: Caleruega, Brgy. Kaylaway, Nasugbu, Batangas
Facebook page: Caleruega Philippines
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