18 Kilometers - Monumento to Blumentritt

1 kilometer, 2 kilometers, 3 kilometers...the distance from the starting point of our pilgrimage is growing but our group didn't seem to mind it. We were not daunted by the 18 kilometers of distance that we had to walk from Monumento to Baclaran Church.

There were few people on the street that morning despite it being Palm Sunday. The weather is still cool. It is the perfect time for walking.

F4L Pilgrimage Route from Monumento to Blumentritt
Our route for the pilgrimage and some of the churches that we visited.

We followed Rizal Avenue and our plan is to visit the churches along the way. It was my first time to walk the whole length of Rizal Avenue. The truth is that I rarely go to any part of Rizal Avenue located north of its intersection with Recto Avenue. The road that we walked is simply out of my way.

Somewhere along Rizal Avenue
Somewhere along Rizal Avenue.

AJ, the group’s leader, said that our next stop would be a church inside La Loma Cemetery. I got excited because I hear about La Loma but I haven't visited it yet. I heard that La Loma Cemetery has a beautiful old church inside.

Street to La Loma Cemetery
The street to La Loma Cemetery.

St. Pancratius Church

The guard freaked out when he saw the SLR camera of my companion. He almost stopped us from entering the cemetery until we promised that we will not take photos of the church interior.

We didn't go to La Loma Church but stopped at St. Pancratius Church instead.

St. Pancratius Church in La Loma Cemetery
St. Pancratius Church in La Loma Cemetery.

I never heard of St. Pancratius and I found it unusual to see a church in the Philippines dedicated to a less known saint.

Statue of St. Pancratius
St. Pancratius

Saint Pancratius, who is also known as St. Pancras, was martyred on AD 304 at the age of 14 years.  He is the patron saint of the jobless, the sick and the youth.

We left La Loma Cemetery after praying a decade of the Holy Rosary. Our next stop would be the San Roque de Manila Church.

Walking to San Roque de Manila Church
Off to San Roque we go.

There are a lot of things to see along Rizal Avenue. Our pilgrimage was a perfect time for me to try street photography. I was hesitant to take photos because of the fear that people will be angry with me when they saw me photographing them. But this is a rare opportunity so I took a shot at street photography.

PM posing with a jeepney
Not angry? I guess PM is happy to have his photo taken.

San Roque de Manila Church

It was Palm Sunday so most of the churches that we visited were crowded. San Roque de Manila Church wasn't an exception so we had no choice but to pray at the candle area.

AJ and PM lighting candles

AJ said that the interior of the San Roque de Manila Church is also beautiful. Unfortunately, it was too crowded for me to enter and gaze its beauty.

Stairs of San Roque de Manila Church
How I wish that I climbed these stairs!

The sidewalks became crowded at San Roque de Manila Church. Vendors are everywhere! I suddenly felt like I was in Divisoria.

Sidewalk at Blumentritt
This is not Recto. This is Blumentritt.

Seems like this area is another market hub where products from Divisoria are being sold. People can buy anything here. Bags, fake shoes, pirated DVD movies, clothes, and even these:

Pigeons for sale at Blumentritt
Who wants to buy pigeons?

Few steps from San Roque de Manila Church is the PNR railway and the PNR – Blumentritt Station. I made another first at this place. Yes, it was my first time to cross a railway on foot.

Railway of Philippine National Railways at Blumentritt

Some of you may be wondering who or what is this Blumentritt. Well, Blumentritt is the German friend of the Philippine national hero and ultimate idol Jose Rizal. The street of Blumentritt and the stations of LRT and PNR in the area were named in his honor.

Almost two hours had passed when we reached Blumentritt. We were already sweaty and starting to get exhausted because of the long walk. But we didn't surrender. We continued our pilgrimage because it is a test of our will.


Read the first part of this blog series. Up next is the third part, which narrates things that we saw from Blumentritt to Quiapo and our walk to the historical church of Binondo Chinatown. You can also jump to the last part (Binondo to Baclaran Church).

Information about St. Pancratius came from Catholic Online.

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  1. I remember my dad telling me that the Bisita Iglesia of before was usually done by walking to the churches. We have it easy na daw ngayon. Hehehe! =)

    1. Yes Tin. A lot of things are "easy" for us these days and that includes the things related to our Faith.

  2. wow parang nakakahilo naman ung daan ng church hoping nu!
    kasi samen ni blue ee sang diretcho lang pauwi ung way haha

    1. Nakakahilo talaga dito kasi sa Metro Manila ito eh.

  3. i could have joined the pilgrimage had i known

  4. Wow!!! That's a long walk! I would not last very long, not anymore, I'm afraid. Old...and fat. Sobssss!!!!

    1. I think you can still walk 18 kilometers or more. :-) All you need is motivation.

  5. Napansin ko lang parekoy, parang may isang missing sa mga pics mo.

    oo, ikaw ang missing ahahaha. sana kahit may cameo ka man lang. nowhere to be seen ka naman dun sa mga pics :D wala din caption kaya di ko alam kung isa ka dun ahahaha :))

    1. Pasensya na Fiel. Hindi ako pwede ma-expose eh kaya yung mga kasama ko na lang ang ilagay ko sa blog.

  6. Wow! You walked 18 km? I think I walked nearly as much in one day during my travels too haha! So did you lose weight? : D

    1. I lose some weight but I already underweight. Hehe. It is time for me to gain weight. ;-)

      It is possible that you walked 18 kilometers in your travels too because you go to many places.

  7. Wow! That's a lot of churches. Bisita Iglesia looks fun and great from your post. I haven't experienced that even before I converted. :)

    1. Its no problem. You can still try Visita Iglesia even after you converted. :-)

  8. madalas kong marinig yung Bluementritt sa tv pero di ko pa ito napupuntahan... hayst... hanggang Cavite na lang ata ako LOL

  9. Mukhang ang saya ng naging Pilgrimage nyo Ish huh...


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