How to 'balance' your Holy Week

By Merylle Daphne Paragas

Posted at Mar 28 2013 02:13 PM | Updated as of Mar 28 2013 10:13 PM

Visit churches on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Watch movies on Saturday

Go egg-hunting on Easter Sunday

MANILA - The Lenten season is more than a time to bond with family and friends, or go on a much-desired getaway, because primarily, it is the time for reflection, penance, prayers and renewal of our relationship with God.

Some of us, however, may want to take advantage of the long weekend to unwind.

Here are some tips on how you can spend the long weekend while balancing the time for relaxation and spiritual life.


It is a Catholic tradition where people used to go on seven different churches to pray. Church hopping might also be a great activity to spend with our loved ones. If you are just in Manila and planning to go with this tradition, you can put these seven beautiful and historical churches in your itineraries.

San Agustin Church, Intramuros

It is hailed as the “Wedding Capital of the Philippines.” This is also where local Visita Iglesia first started.

Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo

It is more popularly known as the Binondo Church. This church gets its name from St. Lorenzo Ruiz, a former altar boy who eventually became the first Filipino saint.

Sta. Cruz Parish, Sta. Cruz

It is built to cater to the Chinese Catholics residing in the Binondo area just like the nearby Binondo Church. The original church built in 1608 was destroyed during World War 2. The present peach-colored, European style structure was erected in 1957.

Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene, Quiapo

It is famous as home of the miraculous Black Nazarene.
The church was reportedly hit by earthquakes and fires since its first commemoration in 1586 but incredibly, it still stands in its cream-white glory amidst the busy and colorful Quiapo District.

Basilica of San Sebastian, Claro M. Recto St.

With its beautiful structure and the Neo-Gothic-inspired architecture common in England, it is the only all-steel church in Asia. It is also said that, Gustav Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower may have been involved in designing San Sebastian Church.

St. Vincent de Paul Church, San Marcelino

Just like the aforementioned churches, it has been rebuilt many times after war. The church is run by the Vincentians.

Our Lady of Remedios Parish, Malate

Malate Church is just a few steps away from the Manila Bay. It is one of the oldest churches in Manila and the home of Virgin Mary statue that dates back in 1624.


Sit back and relax with family or friends. Refresh your mind while enjoying and captivating the teachings of Jesus Christ by watching these meaningful movies.

The Gospel of John. This movie meticulously recreates the era of Jesus during a tumultuous period that changed the course of history.

Luther. It narrates the life of Martin Luther, a German monk, former Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in sixteenth century Christianity. He is known for Protestant Reformation.

The Mission. The Mission is a drama film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America.

The Passion of the Christ. It is an American drama film that depicts the Christianity of Jesus largely according to the New Testament Gospels of Matthew,Mark, Luke and John.

Amazing Grace. It tells a story centers on the campaign against slave trade in the British Empire.

Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It is a high fantasy adventure of four siblings in the magical world of Narnia.

St. Patrick: The Irish Legend. It credits the teachings of St. Patrick who is known as the "Apostle of Ireland" and the primary patron saint of the island along with Saints Brigid and Columba.

Shadowlands. It is a British biographical film that recounts the love-relationship between Oxford academic C. S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman, her tragic death from cancer, and how this challenged Lewis' Christian faith.

The Nativity Story. It is a drama film based on the nativity of Jesus. The film made history as being the first film ever to stage its world premiere in Vatican City.

One Night with the King. It is a historical epic film in the United States that dramatizes the Biblical story of Esther, who risked her life by approaching the king to request that he save the Jewish people.


This is the most enjoyable activity of the season where religious groups hide eggs to be collected by church-goers. The fun-filled activity is often joined by children and may be a great bonding for families too.

The special eggs are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime, and they symbolize the empty tomb of Jesus, which means that he has resurrected.

This Lent season, the best way to do is to put God’s thoughts in our hearts wherever we go and whatever we do. Repent, pray and thank Him for he has sacrificed his life to save us for our sins.