Friday, April 09, 2004

Maundy Thursday highlights
  • 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm - Heard Mass at the Manila Cathedral officiated by Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales. We were there by 3:45 pm. Just in time to get good seats and a parking spot. The cool aircon was a welcome relief from the stifling humidity caused by the slight rain.

  • 7:45 pm - We walked all the way to San Agustin Church, sweating, drinking mineral water. It is a beautiful quaint little church but really stuffy inside.

  • 8:30 pm - We skipped Malate Church because we couldn't find a parking slot.

  • 8:45 pm - We reached Santa Cruz Church somewhere in the Binondo area. This is the first time I visited this church but my mother reminded me we would hear Mass there when I was a kid.

  • 9:15 pm - After getting lost in the streets of Manila, we finally found Quiapo Church. I remember this church fondly because my mother and I would take a Boni - Stop n Shop jeep to Santa Mesa. Then hop on a Punta - Quiapo jeep every Friday way back then. A time when I still rode jeeps and still went to church. A time when my mother and I would fearlessly brave the crowd to have our little adventures.

  • 9:45 pm - After munching on hard boiled eggs, diet coke and tuna sandwiches in the car, we entered the UST chapel . My alma mater and although I rarely stepped into this chapel except during my baccalaureate Mass, UST will always be special.

  • 10:15 pm - By now, my sister takes over as 'transport manager'. My dad has difficulty driving at nights especially on unfamiliar routes. We get to Santo Domingo church. At the right side of the church, they had set up an beautiful area for the adoration. My feet hurt, my contact lens very dry, my body was drenched in sweat but I kept at it. My prayers more fervent.

  • 10:30 pm - On a normal day it won't take 15 minutes to reach San Juan from Manila but we did it last night. Our next stop Santuario Church, the church of my high school days. A place where I always see familiar faces but have no idea who or where I encountered them.

  • 11 pm - Even if we had already visited the required 7 churches, it won't be complete if we didn't pass by the Santa Ana Church. This is my favorite because the adoration of the sacraments is situated outside the church. An area decorated with foliage and solemnly quiet except for the sound of the fountain. It is also the church where my parents tied the knot.

  • 11:45 pm - We weren't sure if we were going to make it before midnight but we did. Since it is located on our way home, we dropped by the Divine Mercy Parish, the chapel located along the roundabout of the Mandaluyong city hall. The adoration was also beautiful. A grotto like effect, with flowing water and lights.

  • After ordering takeout (boneless bangus & fish in tausi sauce) from Chow King, we headed back home around 12:30 am. Exhausted. Hungry.
    But glad, we fulfilled another family tradition - Bisita Iglesia.
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