MANILA – For the first time in two years, Intramuros is opening its eight churches and chapels to Catholics for the Visita Iglesia during this year's Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
The churches are the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, Guadalupe Shrine in Fort Santiago, Shrine of Jesus, Divine Teacher, Santa Rita Chapel, Letran Chapel, and St. Matthew's Chapel, all located inside the walled city.
In an interview on Tuesday, Intramuros Administration (IA) chief Guiller Asido said stakeholders are also ready for the influx of visitors.
"This is the first time after two years that we're doing this again. We're ready for the influx. Everyone is ready," he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Asido said the IA has coordinated with all stakeholders, including the City of Manila, the Philippine National Police, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines for the safe observance of the Lenten Season inside Intramuros.
In 2019, visitors to Intramuros during Holy Week reached about a million.
Since borders have only recently reopened to foreign tourists, Asido said visitors may not yet reach that number but they are prepared.
"For now, may mga nagpu-punta na for Visita Iglesia. So far everything is being managed. But yes, if it comes to that (one million), we're ready pero hindi naman siguro aabot doon. But everything is manageable naman (There are already visitors for the Visita Iglesia and for now, we are able to manage it. But yes, if it comes to that, we're ready but I don't think we'll get to that point. But everything is manageable)," he said.
Asido also shared that the Via Crucis or the Stations of the Cross installations would be displayed at the stretch of General Luna Street from Beaterio Street to Muralla.
To facilitate traffic within the walled city, General Luna Street will be closed to all vehicles from the night of Holy Wednesday until Good Friday.
There will be designated areas for public parking in the various locations. (PNA)