5 Churches in Tarlac Perfect for Visita Iglesia


During the first months of the pandemic, churches everywhere in the Philippines closed as a way to follow social distancing and quarantine protocols. After more than a year of being at home and attending online masses, several churches are now reopening and accepting devotees and people who need divine intervention in their lives.

The reopening of churches also makes it possible for people to resume their Visita Iglesia, or the tradition of visiting different churches during Holy Week. If you live in a house or an apartment for rent in Tarlac province, here are five churches potentially near you where you might want to reflect and pray:

San Sebastian Cathedral (Tarlac City)

Also known as Tarlac Cathedral, the San Sebastian Cathedral serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tarlac. The church was built in 1868 and dons a postwar Neo-Gothic architectural style. This design creates an alluring contrast between the past and present in Tarlac’s environment.

San Sebastian Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Sebastian, the patron of soldiers, disabled people, and plague-stricken, among others. With the pandemic still at large, devotees may come here to pray for penance and the healing of their sick loved ones.

Santa Faustina of the Divine Mercy Parish (Paniqui)

Fiction often portrays churches to be ridden with bats and spooky tales. But in the town of Paniqui lies a beautiful church all clad in white that starkly contrasts the creepy depictions of churches in fiction—the Santa Faustina of the Divine Mercy Parish.

This magnificent sanctuary is Asia’s first and only basilica dedicated to Saint Faustina Kowalska, and where a first-class relic of hers is housed. During her first years as a nun, Saint Faustina suffered from tuberculosis. After she recovered, she remained faithful to her calling and ministry to the church. Today, pilgrims from Tarlac and other parts of the Philippines come to the Santa Faustina of the Divine Mercy Parish to pray for healing.

San Nicolas De Tolentino Parish (Capas)

With Holy Week being the time for most Catholics to reflect on their actions and repent of their shortcomings, a visit to the San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish in the town of Capas might help devotees pray for penance and be guilt-free of what they have done.

Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, locally known as Apung Kulas, is the patron saint of poor souls in purgatory. Devotees may plan their prayer and worship in his minor basilica in Capas, Tarlac to repent and ask for him to intercede for their souls to be saved from Purgatory, and perhaps from the fiery pits.

La Sagrada Familia Parish (Gerona)

Churches aren’t just quiet spots to pray, worship, and meditate; they’re also stunning works of art by talented crafters and artists. And if you’re after a cultural trip during your Visita Iglesia, head over to Gerona and marvel at the beauty of La Sagrada Familia Parish.

Designed by the late architect-slash-priest Father Alex Bautista, the parish combines intricate elements of classical designs and the functionality of modern architecture. Other than its art, La Sagrada Familia is also a popular tourist destination as it houses a slab of the Papal table used in the 2015 Papal Mass in Luneta, Manila.

Monasterio De Tarlac (San Jose)

Now, if you’re after a walk of penance during your Visita Iglesia, add the Monasterio de Tarlac in San Jose to your church-hopping itinerary. This monastery sits on the top of Mount Resurrection Eco Park and presents the archetype site for penitential walks during Holy Week.

Monasterio de Tarlac comprises several chapels within its eco-sanctuary complex and a three-hundred-foot statue of the Risen Christ. In a way, the monastery mirror the divine natural beauty of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Housed in one of the monastery’s chapels is said to be a relic of the True Cross of Jesus Christ.

This coming Holy Week, take the time to reevaluate your actions, repent of any shortcomings, and take accountability for any mistakes. Plan your Visita Iglesia in these five churches in Tarlac to help you reconnect with your spirituality and ask for divine intervention.