For Christian Catholics in Cebu, the Holy Week celebration entails a long break from work.

Spanish period church in Argao. Click to enlarge.

In keeping with the solemnity of the week, many Catholics go on a “Visita Iglesia,” a religious practice that involves visiting seven churches on Maundy Thursday.

In Cebu City, there are a lot of churches that can be included in a Visita Iglesia. Among these religious structures are centuries-old churches built during the 18th century.

Cebu City’s heritage of churches include the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, the oldest founded in the Philippines, and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Here’s a listing of Cebu City churches that can be made part of a Visita Iglesia.

Many cities and towns outside of Cebu City also have their own Spanish period churches and a Visita Iglesia can double as a religious practice and a revisiting of Cebuano’s Spanish heritage.

Southern churches of Cebu bear various architectural influences such as Graeco-Roman, Gothic, and Baroque, among others. A Visita Iglesia of churches can be done with a guide or without. Churches in the towns and cities of the province are located at the town or city center, which is easily accessible by buses that ply the southern route on a regular basis.

The younger crowd hits the beach during the long Holy Week break from work. They have a variety of Cebu white sand beaches to choose from. Cebu’s smaller islands like Bantayan and Camotes are popular destinations of young people.

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