In Mindanao, the Divine Mercy Watches Over

July 01, 2011 Travel

An article published in a local paper serves as a reminder: the Divine Mercy Shrine is not a tourist spot.

Perched atop a hill in Northern Mindanao is the world's tallest Divine Mercy Shrine. However, the size of the statue is not the focal point of the story, nor the primary reason for a visit. For there is something much more profound here.

The Divine Mercy Shrine, situated in Tambaling, El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental, serves as a sanctuary for the faithful, dedicated to deepening their faith and relationship with God. 

Inaugurated in 2008, the shrine is perched on a hill 500 feet above sea level, covering a total land area of 93,352 square meters. 

Alongside the 50-foot Statue of the Divine Mercy, the site features a Perpetual Adoration Chapel, Stations of the Cross, Mary's Garden, a field altar, seminar facilities, and a monastery. With a commanding position, it provides a panoramic view of Macajalar Bay and the mountains of Lanao.

Every day, hundreds of pilgrims make their way to the Divine Mercy Shrine, a mere 30-minute drive from Cagayan de Oro City. During my visit, the hotel receptionist presented me with various transportation options, but I decided to take a cab, whose driver kindly agreed to wait for me.

The shrine has two entrances. I was dropped off at the main entrance by the cab driver, and I ascended the stairs to reach the shrine. There is also a parking lot at the back for those arriving by private vehicle.

During the mass I attended, I observed the usherettes distributing skirts to those in shorts or pants. They were also very attentive to ensure that everyone was comfortably seated.

After the mass, I proceeded to the adoration chapel, where another reminder greeted visitors at the entrance.

I also went to the place where pilgrims can get healing water.

I also observed that signages were strategically placed everywhere, guiding visitors along the right path.

It was too late to ascend to the statue, so I offered my final prayer of gratitude and returned to the hotel.

In this era of rapid-paced living, it's comforting to have shrines like this that serve as reminders of our reliance on Him.

Update as of July 2015:

During my recent visit to Cagayan de Oro, I passed by the shrine before heading to Laguindingan Airport. We negotiated a reasonable rate with our cab driver, which included a brief stop at the shrine. We paid him P800.00. The driver dropped us off at the back entrance, which also serves as the parking lot.

Skirts are now provided at the entrance.

I also observed various developments, such as new souvenir shops and the construction of a beautiful chapel.

Visitors are now required to attend a brief orientation before ascending to the statue. Here are additional recent photos.

Here is the schedule:

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