Photo credit: wowbatangas.com
Bisikleta Iglesia Helps Strengthen Faith Tourism in Batangas
Lima Park Hotel in Malvar, Batangas is making significant contributions to promote faith tourism in the province, which is home to prominent pilgrimage sites and declared as an emerging destination for religious tourism.
The 4-star hotel's annual Bisikleta Iglesia strengthens Batangas' faith-based tourism. Now on its fifth year, the two-wheel pilgrimage was attended by over 200 cyclists from different parts of the country this year.
Rose Landicho, Lima Park’s Director for Marketing and Corporate Communications shared that they are working with the Department of Tourism (DOT) as it eyes to develop Batangas as one of its major faith tour destinations.
“We understand that DOT is focusing on faith-based tourism for 2018. Our Bisikleta Iglesia is an excellent vehicle to promote the province, its attractions, its rich culture, and noble heritage. Lipa in particular is a virtual showcase of beautiful churches, both old and new, ” Landicho said.
Lima Park Hotel’s Resident Manager, Edilberto Evangelista Jr., said that since the event has become bigger, the hotel gets to develop partnerships across different sectors.
“We talk with different local government units, the traffic management groups, and the parishes for this event,” he shared.
He emphasized that the Bisikleta Iglesia is becoming a tradition among parishes.
“A few years back when we started this, we just go to the churches and pray. But now, even parishes anticipate our visits. They participate and get to lead prayers,” he said.
Spiritual and physical exercise
Father Robert Reyes, known as the “Running Priest” led the spiritual cycling activity. Bikers plied the 52-kilometer route which started in Malvar to the winding roads of Balete all the way to downtown Lipa, also known as the “Little Rome of the Philippines.”
The churches that were visited included the Sto. Nino Parish Church in Marawoy; Marian Orchard in Balete; Divino Amor Chapel-Redemptorist in Lipa City where devotees of the Our Mother of Perpetual Help gather; Parish of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, a religious site in Lipa known to Marian devotees; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Monastery, famous for its mysterious rose petal shower; Metropolitan Cathedral of San Sebastian, which serves as the seat of the Archdiocese of Lipa; and finally the Parish Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.