'The Virgin of Antipolo': Antipolo's famous church.
Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage is the well known “Virgin of Antipolo”: a wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, profoundly worshiped in the Philippines. It is known that the Philippines were invaded by the Spaniards and ruled by them for more than 300 years. That's why the Spanish influence is very evident in the Filipino's looks, culture and most of all, their Christianity...
It's quite noticable that there are a lot of churches in the Philippines, Christianity is really a big part of their culture. One of the most celebrated holy images, the Black Madonna, is being held as sacred in Antipolo's cathedral. During the construction of this church in the 1630s, the image would mysteriously vanish several times from its shrine, only to reappear atop a tipolo (breadfruit) tree. The image's pedestal is supposedly made from the trunk of the tipolo tree, which also gave its name to Antipolo itself.
The image was brought to the Philippines by Governor-General Juan Niño de Tabora from Mexico via the galleon El Almirante during his expedition in 1626. Their safe voyage across the Pacific Ocean was attributed to the image, which was given the title of "Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage".
The church is situated at the center of Antipolo City and it is easy to find. Because of the sacred image, this church attracts millions of devotees from all over the country and the world from May to July each year. Devotees are being allowed to go upstairs near the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You will notice that it is very well-maintained and you will smell the fragrance of the flowers brought for the Virgin Mary. It is better to visit the church on weekdays to experience its solemnity and make sure to wear appropriate clothes as a sign of respect for the church.