The Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague in Davao City – destination for my Palm Sunday Mass, March 24, 2013. For this year’s Holy Week starter, I wanted to attend the Palm Sunday Mass and there was no better place to have my palm blessed but in a shrine on top of a hill in Davao City. It’s called The Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague in Shrine Hills, Matina. [See more photos of the Shrine in my Flickr here.]
I took a cab from downtown Davao and requested the driver to get me there. Paid P185 and before I got down and having noticed that there are no visible public utility vehicles in the street, I asked the driver if cabs are available going back. The answer was NO and he politely asked if I wanted him to wait for 10-minutes. I courteously answered NO because I am attending a mass, have time for myself and take photos. Cabs are seldom in the area but there are tricycles for P7/head to get you down the highway where cabs and jeeps are available to any point in Mindanao.[See more photos of the Shrine in my Flickr here.]
It was Palm Sunday and from the entrance, the first I noticed were devotees sitting in monoblock chairs under the trees and within the premises of the vast lawn to the left. Straight ahead is the main chapel where masses are held. Further left and the rest of the area are about 4-other minor chapels. A candle offering canopy is located the back of the admin building.[See more photos of the Shrine in my Flickr here.]
Almost anywhere around the shrine is a good place to meditate. Being on top of a hill, the wind is cool and with birds chirping, this is your moment (and enjoy it!) choosing your bench under huge mango trees. It’s a perfect place to be alone, meditate and free your thoughts from the world down under. Surrender – that’s what I did but whatever it was, I will keep it to myself. Hoping that the spiritual power of the shrine will be enduring enough until I have completely overcome what I surrendered! (Kayak ko to!)[See more photos of the Shrine in my Flickr here.]
There are signs disallowing videotaping, group meetings and group activities – please go to Sta. Catalina (Gardens and Restaurant) which is on the opposite side of the shrine with a separate entrance. It’s actually good for functions. Not the A-class garden and function venue but you have a good view of the Davao Gulf.
From the highway of Matina, you may want to trek going up passing through several subdivisions until you reach the Shrine. Approaching the Shrine, there are stations of the cross on the side of the road. Long trek but worth it. If you want to own the place, going there on a weekday may be a good option and there is a mass everyday at 4PM and Sundays at 7AM, 12NN and 5PM.[See more photos of the Shrine in my Flickr here.]
Have a blessed Lenten Season everyone!