CAPITOL COMPOUND, Misamis Oriental, April 10 (PIA) – Influx of tourists in the province of Misamis Oriental this Holy Week 2019 is seen to flock for the faith tourism destinations catering to devotees and pilgrims.
Misamis Oriental Tourism Department head, lawyer Jeffrey Saclot said they are expecting more than 500,000 devotees and pilgrims to visit various different faith tourism destinations and sites to experience Holy Week in the province.
Saclot said Divine Mercy schrine is the most tourist-drawer site in the province for faith tourism which is already a established and known in the country.
Divine Mercy Shrine
The Divine Mercy Shrine is a Catholic monument in El Salvador City, which features a 50-foot statue of Jesus at the Divine Mercy as the focal point of Divine Mercy Hills, a tract of land overlooking Macajalar Bay on the southern island of Mindanao.
The nine-hectare land for the shrine was purchased for a nominal amount and the complex was paid for by donations. Completed in 2008, it serves as a pilgrimage site for Divine Mercy devotees.
The shrine is both a sacred and pilgrimage site, visitors are warned not to wear shorts or any other revealing clothing. In case a visitor arrives dressed as such, they will be required to cover themselves with a blue cloth that is provided by the administrators of the shrine.
Immaculate Conception Church
The Immaculate Conception Church is a Baroque church located in Poblacion, Upper Jasaan. It was declared by the National Museum as a National Cultural Treasure in northern Mindanao due to its artistic design and cultural values.
Saclot said the property is not only a faith tourism destination but also a cultural site.
Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine
The Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Binuangan town is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites during Lent. There’s also a healing pool. The water of Lourdes has become popular for miracles. Accordingly, the water flowing out from the feet of the Birhen sa Lourdes apparition situated beside the church is miraculous.
Talisayan’s Sipaka Heights features a breathtaking scenery of the province from the 500 meter elevation hill. The 14 stations of the cross at Sipaka is a must for the “It’s Pamalandong sa Sipaka.”
Saclot said more tourists climbed to Sipaka Heights during Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday or Good Friday for penitence.
Christ the King Shrine
Saclot said emerging faith tourism is the first Christ the King Shrine in Asia being built in the Philippines. The 75-foot Christ the King statue is the tallest of its kind in Asia. It is located in Gingoog City.
‘Hinuklog’ street play: The Passion of Christ
Local parishioners and Medinhanons as actors, the street play of “Pasyon ni Kristo” or Passion of Christ highlights the events that brought Christ before the council of elders, tried, persecuted and put to death by way of crucifixion.
It is not just a destination, but the people involved in this production. There is community involvement coupled with faith. This street play was done during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Saclot also cited there are some faith tourism sites in Laguindingan and Lagonglong towns and Cagayan de Oro City, among others.
Misamis Oriental Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), in coordination with the Misamis Oriental Provincial Police Office and army’s 58th Infantry Battalion, readied measures to ensure safety of tourists especially those who will visit mountainous areas.
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