Proving your devotion as a Catholic during the Holy Week does not require you to go on a soul searching trip. But going on one can be beneficial in more ways than one, however.
Going somewhere new can give devout Catholics all the undivided time and attention to reflect on the life of Jesus Christ. In Cagayan, there’s a destination where visitors can do this—Calvary Hills, which is located in the Municipality of Iguig.
The grassy compound is home to an 18th-century church, life-sized statues of Stations of the Cross, and a panoramic view of the region’s longest river.
As visitors enter Calvary Hills, free of charge, they will immediately spot the Iguig Church.
Built in 1765 to 1787, the church is made out of red bricks, with its flying buttresses on the side and the back still intact. This type of buttress, typically associated with Gothic architecture, supports a building from one side with the other fastened on the ground away from the structure. It’s a distinct feature that sets the church apart from others in the country built during the Spanish colonial era.
The church’s exterior isn’t the only feature worth seeing. Within the small church is an authenticated relic every devout Catholic would be delighted to see in person even once in their lives, the Jubilee Cross.
“The Jubilee Cross, reminding all the saving death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the renewal of all creation in HIM, contains an authenticated relic of the
True Cross of the Lord Jesus,” a marker reads. “The relic was a gift of Archbishop Bruno Torpigliani, D.D.”
The said relic made its rounds in parishes of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao back in 2000 before it was officially kept inside the Iguig Church.
Life-sized prayer stations
Calvary Hills becomes even more fitting as a Holy Week destination for pilgrims with its Stations of the Cross.
Created during the 1980s and situated behind the church’s 11-hectare rolling terrains, visitors can immediately spot the stations because the images are at least six-feet tall. Each station depicts Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion.
Going from the first to the last station, visitors would have to go on a gradual climb up a hill, which is reminiscent of how Jesus suffered in carrying his cross to the top of Golgotha.
While praying at every station, pilgrims get a panoramic view of the Cagayan River.
Also known as the Rio Grande de Cagayan, it is the longest river and the largest by water volume in the whole country. The 14th and last station is the best spot to enjoy the view.
Outsource the Planning
For a seamless trip, you may leave the planning to DOT’s accredited tour operator in Isabela:
- Pink Diamond International Travel and Tours
All tourist destinations in Cagayan have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regular handwashing, and practicing physical distancing.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit www.philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel or the Google Playstore.