Visita Iglesia, Merienda
Visita Iglesia is among the traditions to watch out for on Holy Week. For many, it requires visiting at least seven churches. For my mom, she prays two from the Stations of the Cross in each church we go to and we visit churches until she finishes all the 14 stations. My daughter used to pray with her until she decided to join me instead.
What can I say, Visita Merienda is more fun. I look for something to eat at every church we stop at. We initially started with the churches in the Las Piñas-Parañaque area when my daughter was still small.
As years passed, it became a major production number. My favorite was when we took the Visita to Laguna and the Rizal area. We drove to Santa Cruz, Lumban, Nagcarlan, Paete, Pakil, Liliw, and down to Morong. In every town in the province, there’s always something different to eat, hence, Visita Merienda. You can get kesong puti in Santa Cruz and Lumban. In Liliw, there’s a guy who sells longganisang Lucban. Well, it’s not merienda material but it’s still good food. In Calauan, there’s the Palaisdaan where you get to eat in huts on a pond where they have tilapia and hito. In Pagsanjan, Calle Arco has the deadly binagoongang pata. We were hoping to go to Balaw-Balaw in Angono but it was closed because it was Holy Week so we didn’t get to eat any of those exotic meats. It was a long, beautiful drive but we knew we wouldn’t have the energy to cook dinner anymore so we had dinner at Max’s at the Alabang Town Center.
We also took our Visita Iglesia/Merienda to Batangas. We went to Lipa, Taal, Cuenca, Mataas na Kahoy and drove around the lake. We were hoping to eat in San Nicolas where they had maliputo but that too was closed on Holy Week. We changed the plan and ended in Tagaytay for lunch. Leslie’s had ample parking and we discovered a new way of cooking tinola. They had theirs with pechay and siling pangsigang which is how we cook our tinola now.
I think if the Visita Iglesia was organized this way when I was younger, I would have looked forward to it more.