Manaoag, a first class municipality in the province of Pangasinan, is known by many as a pilgrimage site. Derived from the local word “mantaoag” which means “to call,” the place is home to the miraculous Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag.

Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag
Famous in her beautiful face and smile, The Blessed Virgin Mary with The Child Jesus is the patroness of the sick and the needy. Every day, the Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine is crowded by thousands of pilgrims and tourists.

The exquisite altar in which the miraculous Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is enshrined.
A 15–minute travel from our place, south west of Pozorrubio, I’ve been to Manaoag many times. We often visit the place whenever there is a family occasion or otherwise the usual Sunday visit to attend the holy mass, to pray and ask for Her guidance.


The Manaoag Church has survived a couple of destruction including the Japanese bombing during the World War 2. From its old columns and brick walls tinted with a mural depicting the Virgin Mary’s first apparition along with religious images to its beautiful accentuated dome, it’s far different from any other cathedrals I’ve been to.

Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag Church highlighted with hand–painted portraits, religious images and a beautiful dome.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag has an exquisite altar with detailed narra–wood engravings; wherein the ivory image of Apo Baket is enshrined. Distinguished by her lovely appearance, the Blessed Virgin Mary is groomed with fine tailor–made dress accented with a distinctive crown, crescent–moon, scepter and ornaments.

Manaoag Shrine Grand Altar
Behind the grand altar, devotees queue in a long line after or before the holy mass and wait for their chance to see the mantle of the Marian image at the Veneration Room. By tradition, devotees wipe their hankies to the sacred mantle which they believe to be miraculous and able to heal illness.

Devotees queue in line to see the Mantle of The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Veneration Room.

Miraculous Mantle of the Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag
After hours of waiting a turn and praying, just a walk away from the mantle’s enclosure adjoined by a short passage is the shrine’s souvenir shop, where you can buy and see a collection of candles, prayer books, rosaries, key chains and bracelets, as well as replicas of Saints, The Holy Family and of course images of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag. Every after a mass, you can have a blessing of your religious articles and even a blessing of vehicles at the church back grounds.

Souvenir shop situated beside the Veneration Room of the church.
In addition to old structures stood there for centuries, you can as well drop by the Rosary Garden. Shaded by soaring Acacia trees, the garden is filled with ornamental and flowering plants, life–size religious images, as well as man–made waterfalls and a tranquil pond adorned with a school of Japanese koi carps of different color patterns.

The Rosary Garden

Whenever I visit the church of Manaoag, often during my birthday, lighting at least three candles at the Candle Gallery is a tradition. Also, if I still have time to tour around the church surrounding area, the Museum of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is a good place to learn and discover some interesting facts about the Manaoag Shrine.

A section of the Manaoag Shrine's Candle Gallery.
Inside the museum, you will have a glimpse of its rich history, see the Virgin Mary’s old regalia and elegant dresses sewn with gold thread and precious stones. Church antiques, expensive perfumes and jewelries are also showcased in the exhibition room which are presents by the devotees, along with several letters addressed to the Marian image as proofs of Her astounding miracles.

Marian image in the Candle Gallery of Manaoag Church.
Through the shrine's wondrous miracles occurred over centuries, as a recognition, the Manaoag Shrine is the country's first Roman Catholic church granted with a plenary indulgence from Pope Benedict XVI elevating it into a Minor Basilica. So, attending a holy mass in Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is like getting the same blessings received when visiting a papal basilica in Rome, especially the spiritual bond of the shrine with the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Italy.

Manaoag Shrine Mass Schedules
To wrap up a visit in Manaoag, trying out some of the town's best culinary delights is a must like the pretty sweet tupig and bukayo. Not to mention, the freshly picked fruits like sinegwelas, bayabas and chico which are sold as well from the stalls situated outside the church area.

With all of the miracles that changed many lives, no wonder, why it’s devoted by thousands of people. Come, see the miraculous Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag.

2 comments:

  1. I do miss Manaoag, I’ve been there ones with my family. We visited the miraculous shrine, attended the holy mass, eat some of the local delicacies and it was an amazing experience.

    She really is elegantly beautiful, the grand altar in which the Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is enshrined and the whole church area itself indeed has an astounding solemn setting, perfect place for our prayers and to contemplate. It’s unarguably one of the must-see pilgrimage sites in the country.

    I am looking forward to visiting again pretty much soon, hopefully this time with my husband and our baby son. Thank you so much for sharing your Manaoag pilgrimage experience!

    BTW, it’s September 8th, so I guess it’s time for us Roman Catholics to greet The Blessed Virgin Mary with The Child Jesus, a Happy Birthday! I do miss Manaoag, I’ve been there ones with my family. We visited the miraculous shrine, attended the holy mass, eat some of the local delicacies and it was an amazing experience.
    She really is elegantly beautiful, the grand altar in which the Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag is enshrined and the whole church area itself indeed has an astounding solemn setting, perfect place for our prayers and to contemplate. It’s unarguably one of the must-see pilgrimage sites in the country.
    I am looking forward to visiting again pretty much soon, hopefully this time with my husband and our baby son. Thank you so much for sharing your Manaoag pilgrimage experience!
    BTW, it’s September 8th, so I guess it’s time for us Roman Catholics to greet The Blessed Virgin Mary with The Child Jesus, a Happy Birthday! :)

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks and much appreciation Tola! Yea, visit a more beautiful Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag, a lot of church improvements and gorgeous landscapes this time. Muli, maraming salamat sa iyo!

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