Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tagum: Palm City of the Philippines

Tagum city is popularly known as Palm City of the Philippines, Music Capital of Mindanao, City of Parks and the Home of Festivals.

But more than that, there is something that Tagum is also very proud of. It is the best destination for reflections and meditations as it offered various religious sites just located at the heart of the bustling city.

And thousands of people – both local and foreign tourists -- are expected to flock to these places as we observe the Lenten Season especially the Holy Week that starts on March 25.

First, the Christ the King Cathedral located at Gonzales Avenue, Sobrecary St., Magugpo South, is considered the biggest Catholic church in Mindanao. It lies in a two-hectare lot situated in the southern part of the city.

The structure was solely built from donations since 1993 that was designed like a castle. It was created to celebrate the silver jubilee of the diocese.

Guinness Book of World Records recognized its giant rosary as the "largest Roman Catholic Rosary in the world" with each bead weighing 35kg, a special project accomplished by the members of Knights of Columbus.

Assembly has a length of 85.5 meters and is made of Magcomo (Iron Wood), native to the mountain of Davao Oriental and Surigao de Sur. Felicisimo Luta, faithful navigator of the K of C – Christ the King Assembly, said "this project was in commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Diocese of City of Tagum in 2005."

As pillars of the Church, the statues of Saints Peter and Paul will greet you upon entering the vicinity of the Basilica, an artistic works designed by Luis A-ac of Paete, Laguna.

Artist Kublai Millan made the bronze artistic designs of the "Calvary Cross" and the "Risen Christ." The faithful of the Diocese of Tagum dedicated this Mother Church to the glory of the King of Kings, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the Diocese.

Another must-place to visit in the city is the Mary's Woods, a public shrine dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary located at Barangay Magdum.

The shrine features the Station of the Cross from its foot to the top. Pilgrims have to climb a 75-degree hill to reach the top where the life-sized statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, measuring 7 feet, is found.

It is a perfect place for pilgrims to spend the Holy Week since climbing its 315 steps to the stop is a perfect way for penitence.

The Our Lady of Assumption Quasi Parish is also one of the favorite Visita Iglesia destinations in Tagum City.Also located at Barangay Magdum, the church serves 9 GKKs in the Diocese of Tagum.

It's sometimes referred to as "People's Church" since it stands inside a subdivision. The church has its own "Station of the Cross" where pilgrims can pray. Its main altar looks like a garden with falls and green plants.

The "Holy Rosary Shrine Oasis" located in Dominican Heights in a 10-hectare land is also a best place to go. It houses the "Regina Rosary Shrine" with 10-foot statue of the Queen of the Rosary conceptualized and built by a young artist from Naga, Jojo Barcena. The statue stands on top of a 59-foot hill in a 59 steps representing the beads of the Rosary.

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