Lenten destination: Our Lady of Manaoag in Pangasinan

Posted at 04/17/2014 4:48 PM | Updated as of 04/18/2014 4:33 PM
An image of Our Lady of Manaoag is placed on top of a fountain where people say their prayers and wishes. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Planning to go on a Lenten pilgrimage? You may want to include the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan, which is at least three hours away from Manila, in your list.

Dubbed the “pilgrim center of the north,” hundreds of people flock to Manaoag to attend mass, say a prayer, light candles and make flower offerings. The place can get easily packed on weekends, during Lent, and every October when the Feast of the Holy Rosary is celebrated.

Inside Manaoag Church. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

The highlight of Manaoag is the ivory image of the Virgin Mary in the high altar of the shrine. Visitors are given a minute to touch a part of the image before proceeding to a holding area with statues of other religious figures.

A woman kneels in front of the ivory image of Our Lady of Manaoag. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com
Visitors touch the glass doors separating them from the religious statues in the shrine. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

At the end of the high altar is a souvenir shop where visitors can buy small images of Our Lady of Manaoag as well as rosaries, bracelets and other items.

Several religious figures are on sale at the Manaoag Shrine. Photo by Karen Flores, ABS-CBNnews.com

Masses at the Manaoag church are held every hour from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. and at 5 p.m. on weekdays; every hour from 5 a.m. to 12 noon and at 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and every hour from 5 a.m. to 12 noon and at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Vehicles and other religious articles may also be blessed after every mass from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.