MANILA, March 12, 2006 (TRIBUNE) This coming Holy Week do your annual church pilgrimage of seven churches or Visita Iglesia along the Eastern Laguna towns, known as “Baybayin.” Let Biyaherong Pinoy and Exotik Garden Restaurant take you to a leisurely drive to the eastern side of Laguna province via Rizal (Antipolo) and enjoy a scenic view of rural Philippines as part of your pilgrimage this Holy Week. Experience the beauty of the towns of Mabitac, Sta. Maria, Panguil, Pakil, Paete, Kalayaan and Lumban: its people and its culture that is deeply interwoven with their faith, the protection of Sierra Madre mountain ranges and the generosity of Laguna de Bay.

Not known to many, the town of Sta. Maria is built around its Catholic faith which was established 400 years ago. A four-century old adobe stone (part of the original edifice) of the Nuestra Sra. De Los Angeles Church still stands today.

Mabitac’s Nuestra Sra. De Candelaria Church sits on the top of a hill serving as the vanguard of its people for centuries. One has to take 96 steps to reach the church.

The church of Nuestra Sra. De Navidad of Panguil prides itself of its patron saint, Birhen de La O which is said to be a gift from King Carlos of Spain; while Pakil’s St. Peter of Alcantara Church is the home of Our Lady of Turumba or Lady of Sorrow and one can appreciate the Franciscan Order’s love for ornate and detailed design.

Pakil is the only town in the Philippines that celebrate fiesta every Black Saturday, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrow (or the “Turumba”).

St. James the Apostle Church of Paete, prides itself of its unique baroque rococo architecture and as a town of fine woodcarvers.

St. John the Baptist Church of Longos, Kalayaan is a hidden treasure for its architectural simplicity and music beauty.

Lumban town is not just famous for its fine embroideries, it is known as well known for its cathedral-like church of San Sebastian, likewise a couple of centuries old. Enjoy side trip finds of wood carving pieces, from religious to object d’art in Paete and fine woven embroidered fabrics of Lumban when you visit the souvenir shops near the churches.

For more information, please contact Biyaherong Pinoy at 751-52-00 or 0920-3660534.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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