The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in the City of Golden Friendship,...

The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in the City of Golden Friendship, The Philippines

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Here in my city Cagayan de Oro, locally dubbed as the City of Golden Friendship, one of the places that people of Cagayan (Cagayanons) may be proud of and may consider as one of the tourist haven is “The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine”.

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The shrine is also known as one of devotee’s destination to spend their Holy Week. Every first week of April, every Filipinos observe the Holy Week tradition to commemorate the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
It surely attract many tourist especially devotees due to its beautiful view that anyone will enjoy to capture by their cameras and due to its adventurous route with nine (9) crossing river.

To get to Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, devotees, visitors needs to walk four (4) kilometers and cross 9 times through the river that connects the different Barangays of Cagayan de Oro City, the river of “Umalag” and while crossing the river there are 14 Station of the Cross where you can pause to pray and offer your petitions. Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine with its maze-filled road will allow you to enjoy the wonders of nature and meditation.

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The river crossing and the shades of the vegetative landscape provides the coolness and shade from the heat of the sun, which makes many people continue to visit and love The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine.

After the four kilometer stretch and crossing the river tributary devotees, visitors and pilgrims will surely be more amazed not just by the majestic view of nature but also by the beautiful sanctuary and the unique altar made of drift wood that signifies the antiquity of times.

Upon climbing the 75- steps and unique stairway up to the Chapel where you can see the original image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that were said to be brought by group of devotee’s way back May 1987, you can also see the Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was donated also by unknown devotee. Upon reaching the Chapel, devotees can stop to hear mass, light a candle and pray.

Despite of the long walks it is said that many devotees keep coming back here in the shrine because aside from the adventure that you will experience, it is believed that The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine grants many prayers.

After the entire day crossing river, climbing the stairs going to the chapel they also have affordable food chains that offers delicious food that many would surely love. You may also bring your own food and enjoy the cool breeze of air while eating and sitting in the benches or in the grass like having a picnic.

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And if you are still looking for adventure, fun and adrenaline boost, you could ride a huge tube just like having white water rafting in going back to the trails instead of crossing the river again. There are still small to medium range rapids that you would enjoy. You would be brought back to the origin of the trail. It’s being close to nature, green scenery, water trail and hear the sounds of birds.

And at the end of the day after visiting The Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, you would also tell to yourself, just like what I had experience during my visit to the shrine, that it is not just about adventure, not just about fun but also about getting closer to God. You will able to feel the presence of God guiding you all the way as you go along your way.

/// Written by Maria Cristina Silaras, The Philippines