ONE of the most well-known pilgrimage churches in the Philippines is Antipolo Church, whose full name is the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. A lot of Filipino devotees head for this church for the Visita Iglesia tradition during Holy Thursday, so expect to catch a crowd there and wait patiently for your turn.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is a centuries-old church that traces back to the late 1500s. The first missionaries of Antipolo were Franciscans, but it was the Jesuits who administered the church from 1591 to 1768. It was greatly damaged during the Chinese uprising of 1632, followed by the earthquakes of 1645, 1824 and 1863. For three centuries, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage has been the object of religious pilgrimages all over the Philippines.
After finishing your Christian obligations inside the church, treats await you outside the church, as stalls selling suman, kalamay and kasuy enthrall you with their products, and simply find it difficult to resist taking some back home as pasalubong.
The National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage also commands a huge crowd come May 1, when devotees get on their feet, walk up to Antipolo and attend Mass at the church. This church is also where people who buy new vehicles have their vehicles blessed by the priest.