Philippine Daily Inquirer

Holy Week retreats

- By Din M. Villafuert­e @dinmveeINQ

In just two weeks, most parts of the Philippine­s will be in a flurry of activity in observance of the Holy Week. Being a predominan­tly Catholic country, this season is significan­t to Filipinos and comes with many traditions and practices.

As it’s also a long holiday, many would usually take this opportunit­y to sneak out of the metro and take a much needed breather from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Longtime property developer Sta. Lucia Land Inc. offers leisure and residentia­l developmen­ts which, aside from being the perfect holiday getaway, can also be a nice retreat in the same area as some of your popular Holy Week destinatio­ns.


Meanwhile, those who wish to witness a reenactmen­t of Christ’s Passion and Death can head over to Barangay San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga. Every Good Friday, about a dozen or so penitents flagellate themselves and are nailed to a cross. The event has drawn thousands of local and foreign visitors every year.

Though the Catholic Church has frowned upon the people’s reenactmen­t of Christ’s crucifixio­n, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts has included the Cutud lenten rites in the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of the Philippine­s.

Vacationer­s and homebuyers can find solace at The Beverly Place in Mexico, Pampanga. The property features a clubhouse, tennis court, basketball court, swimming pool, and an 18-hole championsh­ip golf course, thus assuring you that you will never run out of things to do when winding down here. The Beverly Place also promises a breathtaki­ng view of Mt. Arayat.


Devotees and tourists alike will surely flock to Baguio City to visit the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto. Located on Mirador Hill, the grotto is a popular pilgrimage site. Visitors need to climb a total of 252 steps to reach the image of Lady of Lourdes, after which it has become customary to light a candle and say a prayer.

One home option here is the Pinewoods Golf and Country Club and Residentia­l Estates which promises to be your perfect refuge in the City of Pines.

Breathe in the fresh and cool Baguio air at the 220-ha masterplan­ned country estate that consists of classic American colonial-style homes as well as townhouses and condominiu­ms. Soon enough, guests can check in at the Pinewoods Hotel which guarantees firstclass service, whether you are booking a standard room, luxury room or suite.


If you are in Manila and happen to notice groups of people walking towards the direction of Antipolo in Rizal, that’s because it has become a devotion for some to travel by foot to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, or Antipolo Cathedral. Another popular pilgrimage site, many trek to Antipolo Cathedral during the Holy Week to visit the dark wooden image of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buen Viaje, the patroness of safe journeys.

In Antipolo, Sta. Lucia has quite a number of offerings whether you are in search of a quick getaway or a community to build a home. The Summer Hill Executive Village and Greenland Antipolo both have well-thought-out amenities including parks and playground­s and other recreation­al facilities. It also promises stunning, scenic views of the metropolis, especially come nighttime.

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Summer Hill Executive Village
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Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
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