December 5, 2023

Would you believe that most of the churches inBaguio City are almost 15 minutes away from each other on foot? Baguio’s cool weatherentices one to walk, enjoy the view and absorb some spiritual energy. A different way to navigate four kilometers inthe city is by being a pilgrim.
Begin your pilgrimage of churches at the St. Joseph the Worker Parish at Pacdal where many celebrity weddings have been documented. Devotees of San Pedro Calungsod, the Black Nazarene, and the Blessed Virgin Mary can start a novena or prayer here after an hour of horseback riding at the Wright Park.
From here, the walk along Leonard Wood Road is pleasant and the sidewalks are shaded by the trees at the Botanical Garden. One can take a few minutes at this park to see the sculptures donated by the different cultures and countries to Baguio before proceeding to the Convent of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Along the way, there is the historical Teacher’s Camp and a string of fusion restaurants to stop by for a snack. A non-stop walk to the Convent of the Most Blessed Sacrament (popularly known as Pink Sisters) from Pacdal Circle is 1.7 kilometers or a 30 – minute walk. Here, prayers of devotion to the Virgin of the Poor and the Blessed Heart of Jesus are written on paper and dropped in the boxes beside the statues.One can also buy a candle to light up the prayers in the garden grotto of the Virgin of the Poor. It is also here where petitions for good weather for the next day are offered with a basket of eggs.
Taking a right along Gen. Luna Rd., one can visit Teresita’s Antiques and get Chinese cuisine at the Rosebowl Restaurant. One can stop at Happy Glenn and peep into the Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine tosee the oldest flag of the Republic of the Philippines before proceeding uphill to the Baguio Cathedral or Our Lady of Atonement Cathedral.
Prayers of intercession are made to the different images of the Blessed Mother in this church. There are images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Our Lady of Atonement, among others, in this church. A straight walk from Pink Sisters to the Cathedral is a 700 – meters stretch or a 10 – minute hike with a 200 meters uphill climb.
From the Baguio Cathedral, one goes down to Session Road where one can take time to browse through ukay-ukay shops enroute to Burnham Park which is on the way to the Lourdes Church along Kisad Road. It is a mere 400 meters or a shy nine-minute walk from the Cathedral to this church that devotes its prayers to the Lady of Lourdes. One can go boating or biking at Burnham Park before proceeding to the church.
The fourth church for the pilgrimage is the Lady of Grace Church at QM Subdivision. This is 1.1-kilometer away from the Lady of Lourdes Parish Church or a 15-minute walk if one went straight to the next church with some 40 meters of uphill climbs. There is not much to see in this area but residences. An interesting ChiQueen eatery is along this route after the pilgrimage if one likes deep fried crispy whole chicken for a meal.
This ends of the four – kilometer pilgrimage and tour of Baguio City on foot. This pilgrimage saves a lot of money and also spares the environment from one’s carbon footprint. Writer Babeth Lolarga says it’s like a strip of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Baguio.