Friday, April 18, 2014

Visita Iglesia on a Good Friday: Sto. Rosario De Pasig Parish

Wazzup Pilipinas !

The fourth church on our Visita Iglesia on a Good Friday was the "Parokya ng Sto. Rosario" or the Sto. Rosario De Pasig Parish.

Would you believe that we walked from the San Antonio Abad Parish at Stella Maris Avenue just to get here? We were misinformed that the church was very near so it took us a while to realize we've been punk'd! Bah! I guess the people we asked were also unaware of the distance.

But it was a worthwhile exercise amidst the heat of the sun.

Looking back, I think there is truth in the saying that everything is all in the mind. If you believe that your destination is just around the corner, you'll get there with less effort.

We actually made some stops along the way, just to rest a bit, and I got curious with this piece of slightly-burnt-on-the-sides playing card that was laying on the street.

It's the number 9 of clubs. Was it a sign that we would be able to visit 9 churches that day? We will soon find out.

We also ran into some teens pushing/pulling a wagon used to carry saints during parades.  We realize that we were walking too slow as they passed us hurriedly to bring it to the nearest church.

Could they be going to the same church? Was it a sign that we were near?


Well, we never got to know because they went ahead of us in quite a long distance until they were no longer in sight. It's either we were too slow, or they were just too much in a hurry to get there.

The church was located at the other side of Ortigas Avenue extension so we had to take an overhead pedestrian walk to get there.

Tracing back the roots of the church, we learned that it was all the way back from 1963 when the barangay or parish of Sto. Rosario was separated from the main parish, Immaculate Concepcion Church in Pasig. The Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish was establish by decree of the late Rufino Cardinal Santos. The Parish Priest during that time was Rev. Fr. Vicente M. Planta.

But it was farther back in 1955 when the first chapel identified with the current parish was built in the care of Fr. Victor de Clerck of Pasig.

It was in 1965 when the Archbishop of Manila bought a 2,000 sq.m. land and donated 2 hectares of it to the parishes of Cainta and Sto. Rosario, for agricultural purposes. Fr. Planta oversaw the formation of different organizations like Legion of Mary, Catholic Women’s League, Young Christian Workers, etc.

In 1967, the new designated Parish Priest was Rev. Fr. Teodoro D. Perez. He stayed at the Immaculate Concepcion Parish in Pasig for half a year since there was still no rectory. Fr. Perez was able to convince the Cardinal to sell the land. The money left from paying the land was used for building the new church. Since the money left was not enough for the entire construction, additional money was raised from different fund-raising projects.

Finally on February 25, 1967, a new Sto. Rosario Church was blessed by the late Rufino Cardinal Santos. 

The church was almost full - seating capacity. There were several people all praying and even large groups going through the stations of the cross.


What I've noticed from the church front was an image of a large rosary hanging alongside the patron saint. This is the first time I've seen a church which used an image of the rosary. 

The cross with an image of the Christ was also covered in purple cloth. Unlike the other churches we have been, this church covered only the cross and not the entire altar. But we could see the other images of saints also covered up with the same purple cloths.

Groups of people were reciting some brief meditations for each station of the cross referring to the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or simply, The Way) is a series of artistic representations, very often sculptural, depicting Christ Carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus before he died, and the devotions using that series to commemorate the Passion, often moving physically around a set of stations. 

The vast majority of Roman Catholic churches now contain such a series, typically placed at intervals along the side walls of the nave; in most churches these are small plaques with reliefs or paintings.

The only image not covered is the image of the "Itim na Nazareno" or the Black Nazarene.

Referencing from Wikipedia, the Black Nazarene, known to devotees in Spanish as Nuestro Padre Jesús Nazareno,is a life-sized, dark wooden sculpture of Jesus Christ carrying the cross, while representing his passion and suffering and is believed to be miraculous by many Filipino Catholics.

Originally with fair complexion, it is believed to have turned dark after the statue survived a burning galleon ship on its arrival from Mexico. The statue is currently enshrined in the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in the Quiapo district of Manila here in the Philippines, where it is venerated every Friday with Novena and Holy Masses.

The Black Nazarene derives its main title from the citizenship of Jesus of Nazareth, and its external local title regarding the present skin dark complexion of the statue. Adorning the statue's head are the traditional Tres Potencias ("three powers") halo, symbolising the three powers of the Holy Trinity. These three rayos ("rays") are used to exclusively identify Christ in traditional Hispanic iconography, and are an angular evolution of the common cruciform halo.

The statue's original body has lost several fingers over the years, and the original head has since been transferred several times onto a full-scale replica body by renowned Filipino sculptor Gener Manlaqui as commissioned by the Archdiocese of Manila. The statue also bears a large wooden cross with brass gold-plated ornamentation on its tips while the head wears a braided wig made of dyed abaca, along with its golden crown of thorns.

In addition, the image wears an embroidered maroon tunic with gold thread floral patterns embroidered into the fabric, along with lace trimmings on the collar and cuffs. A gold-plated metal belt embossed with the image's name encircles its waist, with a golden chain-ball representing the Flagellation. The barefooted statue is in agenuflecting posture, symbolizing the agony and heavy weight of the cross.

The image's wooden base is referred to as the peana, while its carriage or carroza used in processions is referred to as the Ándas (from the Spanish andar, "to move forward"). The Ándas is pulled by devotees using a pair of 50-metre long ropes.

Instead of covering the entire case of the saint, the church covered only the statue or image inside the case.

There was also a moderately-sized wooden cross in front of the altar.

All the images of saints are covered by the same purple cloth.



Sto. Rosario De Pasig Parish

Address: Ortigas Ave, Ext., Rosario Pasig city
Vicariate: Vicariate of Santo Tomas de Villanueva
Titular: Our Lady of the Rosary
Feast: October 7
Parish Priest : Fr. Joselito "Lito" Jopson, SCSL
Year Founded : 1963
Telephone: (632)6410728; Fax: (632)6402923;
Email address:

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