Where to Spend the Holy Week this 2024

For many Filipinos, Holy Week is a time of deep reflection, penitence, and spiritual renewal. It is a period when people take a step back from their daily routines to commemorate the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While some choose to spend this solemn time at home with family, others embark on journeys to different parts of the country to observe unique traditions and visit sacred places. As Holy Week 2024 approaches, it’s time to start planning your meaningful getaway.

In this blog post, we will explore four remarkable destinations in the Philippines where you can spend the Holy Week, each offering a distinct experience that will enrich your faith and create lasting memories. From the Visita Iglesia in Laguna to the serene beaches of Bantayan Island in Cebu, the Moriones Festival in Marinduque, and a peaceful retreat in the mountains of Baguio, there is something for everyone seeking to observe this sacred time in a special way. So, let’s dive in and discover where you can spend the Holy Week this 2024 in the Philippines.

Where to Spend the Holy Week
holy week – good friday 2011 – 0008” by VanS3n (Christian Lozañes) is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Visita Iglesia in Laguna

Visita Iglesia, which translates to “Church Visit,” is a traditional Catholic practice observed during Holy Week in the Philippines. The faithful visit seven different churches on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, offering prayers and reflections at each stop. One of the best places to participate in this tradition is Laguna, a province south of Manila known for its historical churches and picturesque landscapes.

Some notable churches to include in your Visita Iglesia itinerary are:

  1. San Pedro Apostol Parish Church (Calamba): This centuries-old Baroque church is famous for being the baptismal place of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
  2. Saint John the Baptist Parish Church (Liliw): Located in the charming town of Liliw, known for its handcrafted footwear, this church features a mix of Baroque and Neoclassical architectural styles.
  3. Saint Gregory the Great Parish Church (Majayjay): Situated in the cool highlands of Majayjay, this church boasts a stunning facade and an intricately designed interior.

Apart from the Visita Iglesia, Laguna offers other activities and attractions to make your Holy Week visit even more memorable. You can explore the enchanting Pagsanjan Falls, relax in the hot springs of Calamba, or sample the delicious local cuisine, such as the famous buko pie from the town of Los Baños.

III. Penitence and Reflection in Bantayan Island, Cebu

For those seeking a more solemn and reflective Holy Week experience, Bantayan Island in Cebu is an ideal destination. This peaceful island is known for its religious activities and processions during this time, which attract pilgrims from all over the country.

The Holy Week celebrations in Bantayan Island are deeply rooted in tradition, with locals participating in various religious rites and ceremonies. Witness the “Sugat” or the reenactment of the meeting of the Risen Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary on Easter Sunday, a heartwarming and emotional event for the faithful.

In between the religious activities, take the time to enjoy the island’s serene beaches and crystal-clear waters. The tranquil atmosphere is perfect for self-reflection and meditation, allowing you to reconnect with your faith and find inner peace.

There are several accommodation options on the island, ranging from simple guesthouses to beachfront resorts, ensuring that you’ll find a place to stay that suits your preferences and budget.

Experiencing the Moriones Festival in Marinduque

Moriones in Gloria, Or. Mindoro
Moriones in Gloria, Or. Mindoro” by ibarra_svd is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

For a unique and immersive Holy Week experience, head to the province of Marinduque to witness the Moriones Festival. This centuries-old tradition is a reenactment of the story of Saint Longinus, a Roman soldier who converted to Christianity after witnessing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

During the festival, locals dress up as “Morions,” wearing colorful Roman soldier costumes and masks. They parade through the streets, engaging in mock battles and dramatizations of the life and conversion of Saint Longinus. The highlight of the festival is the reenactment of the Passion of Christ on Good Friday, a solemn and moving portrayal of the crucifixion.

Aside from the Moriones Festival, Marinduque offers other attractions to explore during your Holy Week visit. Take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Bathala Cave, admire the stunning view from the Mataas na Bundok viewpoint, or sample the delicious local delicacies such as the Arrowroot cookies and the Rejano’s Bakery’s famous butterscotch bars.

Retreat in the Mountains of Baguio

brown and green mountains under white clouds during daytime
Photo by Gian Paul Guinto on Unsplash

For those looking for a cooler and more peaceful Holy Week getaway, the mountain city of Baguio is the perfect destination. Known as the “Summer Capital of the Philippines,” Baguio offers a respite from the heat and the hustle and bustle of city life, making it an ideal place for a spiritual retreat.

Visit the Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral, also known as the Baguio Cathedral, a beautiful pink church perched on top of a hill, offering a panoramic view of the city. Another notable church is the Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, known for its unique wooden exterior and serene surroundings.

Baguio also has several retreat centers and accommodations that cater to those seeking a more contemplative Holy Week experience. Spend your days in prayer, reflection, and meditation, and take the time to reconnect with nature through walks in the city’s many parks and gardens.

For a bit of adventure, you can also explore the outdoors by hiking along the trails of Camp John Hay or taking a leisurely stroll in the Baguio Botanical Garden.


As we have seen, the Philippines offers a diverse range of destinations where you can spend a meaningful and enriching Holy Week this 2024. From the traditional Visita Iglesia in Laguna to the penitential reflections in Bantayan Island, the unique Moriones Festival in Marinduque, and the peaceful retreat in the mountains of Baguio, there is something for everyone seeking to observe this sacred time in a special way.

As you plan your Holy Week getaway, remember to book your accommodations and plan your activities in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Wherever you choose to go, may your Holy Week journey be filled with blessings, reflection, and a renewed sense of faith.

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