The Antipolo Cathedral, also known as National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, is one of the most well-known destinations in Antipolo. It is also a popular pilgrimage site among Catholics in the Philippines and other neighboring countries. The church was first established and was governed by the Jesuits in 1591. The church houses the image of Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buenviaje.
The image of the Virgin was discovered by a Spanish Governor named Don Juan Nino de Tabora in 1626. It was said that when Gov. Tabora died, the image was turned over to the Jesuit Fathers who were then constructing a church in Antipolo. Another church was also being planned to be constructed in honor of Our Lady in Barrio Sta. Cruz. However, the brown image always “got lost” and was always found on the trunk of the Tipolo tree that stood on the original site of the old church. The Fathers and local folks took this as a sign that the image didn’t want to leave that place so they made a pedestal carved out the trunk of the Tipolo tree. Henceforth, the image was referred to as the Virgin of Antipolo. (I got the information from Wikipedia. Hehe!)
In 1954, Antipolo Church was declared as a national shrine of the Philippines. Statues of the twelve apostles were erected on top of the church’s main door and pilasters. The church was greatly damaged in 1639’s Chinese uprising and various earthquakes from 1645 to 1863.
Nuestra Señora Dela Paz Y Buen Viaje is a 17th-century Roman Catholic wooden image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Governor-General Juan Niño de Tabora’s 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 statue is one of the most celebrated images of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Philippines, gaining devotees since the mid-19th century.
People primarily go to Antipolo Cathedral to have their vehicles blessed. While some visit before going on long journeys. In fact, one of the most well-known traditions of religious overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is visiting the Cathedral before leaving for another country. In my opinion, any trip to Antipolo would not be complete without stopping by the Cathedral.