While providing Catholics a chance to participate in religious activities, the Holy Week also ushered economic opportunities for tourism, a sector that continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the Philippines, at least, the Holy Week is one of the longest holidays that follow Christmas during which people travel either to visit religious sites or go on vacation.

In Camarines Norte, the tourism office registered over 1,600 visitors to the Calaguas Group of Islands since Maundy Thursday. This number is expected to rise.

In Baguio City, long lines of tourists queued to visit the Botanical Garden. The Baguio City Police Office expected an estimated 15,000 tourist arrivals on Black Saturday.

Visitors also flocked to the famous Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto in Bamban, Tarlac, which is believed to be miraculous. The grotto was built in the 1950s as a symbol of gratitude by the people of Bamban for having endured trials. 

To reach the grotto, one needs to climb 162 steps. At the summit, visitors can enjoy the overlooking view of the Bamban Bridge and Mount Arayat.

Meanwhile, tourists also enjoyed the serene beauty of Bolinao Falls in Bolinao, Pangasinan. It is known for its picturesque views.

In Bugallon, Pangasinan, Catholic devotees gathered at the Mt. Zion Pilgrim Mountain on Good Friday for prayer and special devotion. The mountain features life-sized statues depicting the life, passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the Visayas, healers and herbalists from Visayas and Mindanao converged at Mount Bandilaan Natural Park in the upland barangay of Cantabon in the island of Siquijor for the annual Healing Festival. 

They gathered to perform healing and participate in the preparation of concoctions made from a variety of tree barks, roots, herbs, insects, and other ingredients deemed to have medicinal properties. 

In Mindanao, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Barangay Balubal, Cagayan de Oro, a popular tourism destination, welcomed over 12,000 devotees on Good Friday.

Visitors cross nine rivers and go through challenging trails to reach the shrine and complete their “Panaad.”
In Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, over 17,000 tourists enjoyed the azure sea, white sand beaches, and various water activities during the Holy Week, according to the Puerto Galera LGU.

The Puerto Galera Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office ensured 24-hour security and surveillance of beachgoers for their safety.

"Nagkaroon po tayo ng preparations para mapalinis po natin, mapaayos, at makita ang safety po dito sa ating bayan," Carmela Datinguinoo, the Municipal Administrator of Puerto Galera LGU, said.


Earlier, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco urged the public to spend the Holy Week in prayerful reflection and with reverence.

She said that there are countless ways to observe Holy Week across the regions, from processions, exploring churches, to acts of charity.

"We encourage everyone to take part in these meaningful activities with reverence and respect for the significance they hold in our culture and faith," Frasco said.

"Whether you choose to spend this Holy Week in prayerful reflection, in quiet retreat, or in exploration of our tourism destinations, may it be a time of spiritual enrichment and renewal for you and your loved ones," Frasco added.