After leaving the Governor’s Island, we all went to the newly developed Pilgrimage Island. The newest attraction in Hundred Islands National Park was recently declared by the Diocese of Alaminos as a Pilgrimage Site. What really makes this island stand out above the rest is the 56ft Statue of Christ the Savior which you can easily spot even from afar.
It was Holy Wednesday of 2018 (March 28 to be exact) when Most Rev. Ricardo Baccay , the Bishop of Diocese of Alaminos, blessed the Statue of Christ the Savior along with all the 14 life-size Way of the Cross Stations and the island itself. The blessing of the island and the declaration as a new pilgrim site was done in celebration of the 17th cityhood of Alaminos City. The island was formerly known as Martha’s Island (I came across a blog article showing how the island looked like 14 years ago.
The Concrete Stairs
The island has the highest peak among all islands and islets of HINP which makes it an ideal place to construct the giant statue. The statue alone was completed in 2016 and was opened for public viewing the year after.
Before the construction of the 14 Stations of the Cross, it will only takes 200+ steps before you can reach the statue. The amount of steps was dramatically multiplied by 5 as it now takes more or less thousand steps to finally reach the statue of Christ. I’m not really sure if the amount given to us by the locals was an exaggeration or not but you will literally take a tour around the island to finish all the 14 Stations.
The First Station : The Last Supper
Regardless of how many steps there were, it was truly an exhausting journey so better pack yourself with a bottle of water and wear sun protection because you will be facing the scouring heat of the sun. It was more tiring than the 305 Steps of Via Dolorosa Grotto in Kamay ni Hesus in Quezon (Check : Via Dolorosa Grotto – Kamay Ni Hesus). The Journey and the intricately-detailed representations of the Stations of the Cross actually reminds me more of the Via Dolorosa in Pinagmisahan Hills in Antipolo but without the giant statue. (Check: Pinagmisahan Hills Antipolo).
Second Station: The Agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The giant statue and all the life-size images depicting the Way of the Cross was built and sculpted by Sariel Armando Ancheta. Take note that there are concrete railings or barriers for climbers to hold as they walk and also resting areas in between stations too in case you need a quick break.
Third Station: Jesus Before the Sanhedrin. It is also interesting to note that the construction on the site is still on-going. The stations of the cross statues are completed but they are still building barricades along the island and also a chapel is still under construction.
The Fourth Station: Jesus was crowned with thorns
The fifth Station : Jesus Receives His Cross
Sixth Station : Jesus Falls under the weight of the cross
Seventh Station: Simon of Cyrene carries the cross of Jesus
Eight Station: Jesus meets the pious Women of Jerusalem
Ninth Station: Jesus is nailed to the cross
Tenth Station: Jesus promises Heaven to the Repentant Thief
Eleventh Station : Mary and John at the foot of the cross
Twelfth Station : Jesus Dies on the cross
Thirteenth Station: Jesus is laid in the tomb.
The Last Station : Jesus rises from the death
After completing all the fourth stations of the cross, you can now proceed to the giant statue of Christ the Savior. Take note, if you want to skip all the fourteen stations, you can always take the alternative and original path. It only takes 200+ steps to reach the statue.
The 56ft statue of Christ the Savior. This is 6ft taller from the Risen Christ statue in Kamay ni Hesus and 20ft taller than the Rise Christ Statue of Monasterio De Tarlac (Check : Monasterio De Tarlac)
The statue of Christ in a distance. The beautiful surrounding and the panoramic view from the top makes all your sacrifices worthy. It makes the entire journey serene and solemn.
There’s a small shop below the statue where you can buy water and soda.
Below the statue is a landscape adorned with colorful ornamental flowers which makes it even more picturesque.
The nearby islands and islets
Every angle is Instagram-worthy too
The jump-off point of Pilgrimage Island
Things To Consider Before visiting the Hundred Islands National Park
►Take note of the updated rates as mentioned here
►The budgetarian like me, the trip is more ideal for a group tour so you can split the cost especially for Motorboat rates and accommodations.
►Make sure to bring sun-protection gears and beach-friendly footwear (you can spot many shops and vendors in Lucas Wharf)
►Ideally, bring your own meal. You can spot stores on some of the islands but the prices are quite expensive.
►There are Comfort rooms in most developed islands (with Fee)
►Bring your own swimming gear to avoid expensive rentals
►Mobile signal in the island is weak
►Whether it’s Lenten season or not, Pilgrimage Island and the Hundred Islands National Park in general can definitely become your Asia vacation goal!
How to Get to Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos
►Ride a bus bound to Alaminos, Pangasinan (Victory Liner Terminal in Cubao offers such route).
►From Alaminos terminal, ride a tricycle and ask the driver to take you to Lucas Wharf
Our actual pilgrimage began after we left the Hundred Islands National Park. We headed first in the Cathedral of Alaminos. I will post more details about this church on my next entry.
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