Originally the Santa Monica Chapel, the ivory image of the Blessed Virgin Mary was first introduced in Pangasinan in the 1600s.
The shrine, which later turned into a chapel then a minor basilica, became a major pilgrimage site in the country and is frequented by devotees who pray for health, safe trip and a better fortune.
Sections of the Basilica
The minor basilica of the Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag is a Spanish-Romanesque infrastructure with a touch of German and Italian Renaissance architecture.
The church features a huge dome in front of the altar and the image of the Blessed Virgin that looks as if it is floating. The statue is flanked by two well-known saints: Saint Dominique of Guzman at the left and Saint Francis of Assisi at the right. Behind the altar is a mini chapel where devotees can touch the mantle of the image.
The façade of the famous church comes with three tiers with the topmost designed as a small temple that houses the image of Nuestra Señora de Manaoag or Apo Baket. Inside the church is what is called the ‘wall of miracles’ where giant wall paintings of the miracles attributed to the Lady of Manaoag are being depicted.
Behind the minor basilica are the Parish office, Candle Gallery, Museum of Our Lady of Manaoag, Pilgrim’s Center and Rosary Garden. The information center at the Priory is located at the left side of the church.
How to Get There
Getting to Manaoag is fairly straightforward. From Metro Manila, simply take any bus bound for Dagupan – Victory Liner, Five Star or Dagupan Bus Line – and then ask them to drop you at the Manaoag. The trip is a 4-hour ride from Manila and a 2-hour ride from Baguio.
What Else Can You Do Within the Area?
Besides doing a pilgrimage to the church, attending a mass, visiting the museum or meditating at the rosary garden, there are plenty of other things you can do around the area.
Among the best things you can do around Pangasinan is visit Bolinao Church and Patar beach, go to Lingayen Beach, food trip in Dagupan City or even visit Hundred Islands in Alaminos.
Where to Stay near Manaoag
There are some affordable accommodations around the church, but most visitors with private transportation prefer to stay in hotels at nearby towns like Mangaldan, Urdaneta or Dagupan. Here are our recommendations:
Hotel Trish in Mangaldan, Pangasinan – The nearest hotel in Manaoag, Hotel Trish is best known to customers for its good service and restaurant.
Lenox Hotel in Dagupan City – One of the most popular hotels in Dagupan City catering to leisure travelers. In house restaurant Hotel Feliz is highly recommended. There are also spa places and coffee shops within the area.
Hotel Le Duc in Dagupan City – The newest hotel in Dagupan City, perfect for business travelers. Selling point? Swimming pool!
Lizland Rainforest Resort in Urdaneta City – You may also go straight to Urdaneta City and relax in one of Lizland Rainforest Resort’s swimming pools. Dive in!