I run…therefore I am

Visita Iglesia & Lenten whereabouts

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with Bong, Aleth & Keshia...Boringers all

beginning of a journey...

I’ve never experienced a Visita Iglesia during Holy Week because since time immemorial, I’m off to our silent retreat by Holy Thursday into the hills of Angono, Rizal. Lately, however, we’ve been commencing our lenten exercise after lunch of Thursday so when the opportunity to run while visiting 14 churches came, I knew I had to finally experience this unique Catholic ritual. And it was being spearheaded by Team Boring so imagine our surprise when Keshia and I arrived at Mcdonald’s near MOA filled with running netizens of every color and shape.

At the MOA church...not in our Holy Thursday mood yet.

Taking it to the street of Taft...

Holy Angels church, Malate area

Balancing by the whale slide across the Manila Zoo entrance...

When we started the run we had reached almost 30, some were not even Catholics. But they were in it for the spiritual journey which many times would move quite fast like a real race with many imagining podium aspirations. The 14 churches represented the 14 Stations of the Cross of Christ’s Passion leading into His Resurrection (the new 14th station). We started by 5 am at the MOA church and ended at the Binondo Church before 10 am. Boringer Gab along with some of the ANR-MOA runners planned and led the assault in the various churches which were sometimes closed.

Inside the compound of the Malate church...

Banana cue break at San Agustin Church, Intramuros

In front of the Manila Cathedral, Intramuros

Racing with Maya across the Ayala bridge...

Sago & melon break at San Miguel church...

St. Jude church...

In front of the gothic facade of San Sebastian church...

Along the way, we moved parallel to Roxas Blvd. (Mabini St. & Taft Ave.), passing the Rizal Memorial Stadium and Manila Zoo with a major stopover inside Intramuros. We continued towards Legarda St. and Ayala bridge entering the Malacanang palace area into Mendiola and a minor street parallel to Recto Ave. We emerged into Quezon Ave. and took the Quiapo underpass then advanced into Ongpin St. and finally Chinatown where we had our fill of genuine chinese delicacies at Hwa Ying (along Buenavidez St.) upon the suggestion of Jason King Tan. Many of us savored the Beef Wanton mami and the steamed tofu – a worthy reward for all that morning’s efforts.

By the side of the Binondo church: everyone hungry?

after the abstinence and fasting comes the feasting...go Boo!

The Visita was a chance to somehow go through Christ’s experiences into Calvary that Lenten week. It was also an opportunity to traverse the streets of Manila with minimal vehicles and people. And take in the colorful scenes – pilgrims walking on foot, flagellants bleeding themselves to death and the incomparable character of Manila’s churches and streets. While others visited the churches via car or bicycle, we went through it the best and basic way possible – by foot. Our mileage registered at 21 kms. Not bad to start the Holy Week…

bleed me, baby!

Here’s the list of churches we visited. Try it for one memorable Holy Week. MOA – Holy Angels – Malate – San Isidro – Assumption – Ermita – San Agustin – Manila Cathedral – San Miguel – St. Jude – San Beda – San Sebastian – Quiapo – Binondo

Later that day, I headed out to Angono, Rizal where I joined a silent retreat at the Loyola Retreat House. For us who’ve been doing this for more than 20 years, the silence and isolation can be most refreshing and revitalizing for the spirit. Every afternoon we joined the people of Angono to join in their traditional Lenten celebrations. I espied my running buddy Dave and his family during the Good Friday mass. During the retreat, I was also able to fit in 2 morning runs on Friday & Saturday – a good 7 kms. of uphills, descents and trails per session.

St. Clements church, Angono

the whole town joins in at the start of the Good Friday procession...

a full moon at the Loyola retreat house...

A Happy Easter to everyone and may we learn carry our own crosses and go through life’s everyday agonies!

Author: rundmd8

Dentist by day, Runner by night

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