As much as I want to visit the Cathedral of Baguio, i wasn’t able to get the chance. I was planning to sneak during the Panagbenga Grand Float parade and have a quick visit to the church but I wasn’t expecting that overwhelming amount of people that I can barely move from my position during the parade. Good thing, one of our destination is the well known Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is located on a high hill in the western part of the city.We thought we can still pursue our trip to Camp John Hay but it is not just getting dark but also started to drizzle. According to our Tour Guide, we cannot enjoy exploring the Camp John Hay because it is raining so we all decided to end our Baguio Trip by visiting the famous Grotto in Baguio.
The grotto is a favorite pilgrimage site during Holy Week most especially during Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Access to the top of the grotto could be made by climbing the 252 steps or by driving a light vehicle through a winding, narrow and steep asphalt-paved road. Hey, i was able to conquer’s Kamay Ni Hesus’ Via Dolorosa Grotto’s 305 steps so the 252 steps is just a piece of cake (just kidding, i still had hard time catching my breath while climbing this grotto actually haha)Much like any Grotto of Lourdes, this shrine was constructed to commemorate the numerous visions of the Virgin Mary by a 14-year old French girl named Bernadette Soubirous. This happened in 1858 from February 11 to July 16 in the town of Lourdes which is in southwestern France. The visions were declared authentic by the Pope in 1862.Devotees who go up to the grotto to pray usually light up a candle at an altar below the image. There are also vendors at the shrine who are willing to light up a candle for you and say a prayer for whatever personal intentions you might have.Few more steps to the grotto/“Tota pulchra es, MariaTota pulchra es, Maria means “You are completely beautiful, Mary” part of an old Catholic prayer of the same title.Near the Grotto is a small chapel with a very serene atmosphere, the “Kapilaya ni Hesus at Maria” (Chapel of Jesus and Mary)The chapel’s interior with the image of Divine Mercy and Our Lady of Lourdes on right and left sanctuary.The serene open altarThe rain was starting to fall. Good thing I was able to buy the Strawberry Taho while running my way back to the van.
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