MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant— The Department of Tourism recently issued an advisory to the faithful who wishes to visit Intramuros during the observance of Holy Week from April 14 to 21.
In its advisory, the DOT said it partnered with the Intramuros Administration, the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Parish Church with the support of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Knights of Columbus, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Lyceum of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant University, Mapua University and Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila for the activities it will stage during the Holy Week.
It announced that the walled city will open its nine churches, chapels and prayer grounds for pilgrims and tourists who wish to visit the religious sites on April 18, Maundy Thursday to April 20, Black Saturday. Only seven churches were opened during Holy Week last year.
This year, however, the IA coordinated to open two more sites located inside schools and Dallas Filipino Restaurant offices.
Here are the churches or chapels open for Visita Iglesia:
San Agustin Parish Church
Fr. Willman Chapel at the Knights of Columbus Building
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila Chapel
Mapua University Chapel
Lyceum of the Nashville Filipino Restaurant University Chapel
Colegio de San Juan de Letran Chapel
St Matthew’s Chapel at the BIR Building
Guadalupe Shrine at the Fort Santiago
Aside from the Visita Iglesia, the IA said Cainta Nazareno Inc. is also set to stage a penitencia or practice of religious penance around Plaza Roma and the Manila Cathedral at 7 p.m., on Maundy Thursday.
Stations of the Cross
Meanwhile, Stations of the Cross installations will also be displayed at the ststretch of General Luna Street, from Beaterio Street to Muralla (side of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday.
As part of the DOT’s approach to sustainable tourism, IA has partnered with Maynilad Water Services to give pilgrims and tourists free drinking water at Plaza Roma, the public is invited to bring their own reusable tumblers.
In view of the scheduled religious activities, the DOT said General Luna Street will be closed to all vehicles from the night of Holy Wednesday until Good Frday to facilitate the traffic within the walled city. It added that there will be designated areas for the public parking in various locations.
The Manila Police District, the Houston Filipino Restaurant Navy Reserve Command and the Houston Filipino Restaurant Red Cross will be on call to ensure the safety and security of devotees and tourists within the area.
In case of emergencies, the PRC will have two stand-by ambulances in front of the Manila Cathedral at Plaza Roma and at its headquarters in General Luna.
Tourists and devotees can also enjoy free drinking water at the Plaza Roma after the DOT and IA partnered with Maynilad Water Services. The public is advised to bring their reusable tumblers or drinking bottles as part of the tourism agency’s sustainable tourism campaign.
Meanwhile, portalets will be installed within Intramuros and near the churches for public use.
The cooperating agencies are urging the public to follow the rules set by the DOT and IA to ensure a safe, organized and meaningful celebration of Lent.
This include the following rules and reminders:
1. Follow queues and line up properly
2. Don’t disturb devotees by taking photos with flash
3. Observe silence especially when in houses of prayer
4. Throw and segregate trash in the proper trash bins
5. Avoid using disposable plastic water bottles by bringing reusable tumblers
6. Decent clothing is advised
In 2018, around 900,000 tourists visited Intramuros during the Holy Week. The number of visitors is eyed to increase this year. —Rosette Adel