Quick guide to having your car blessed in Manaoag church

Buying a car is always exciting. Comparing features, choosing the color, and the multiple test drives. If you have already bought one, it's likely that you've now mapped out your schedules and  travel itineraries for the next two months. That said, you do need to make one more step to make sure you have everything covered -- and that is to have your new car blessed.

Why bless your car? You are most proud of the blessing that God has bestowed upon you, so it's just fair to return the favor by having your car blessed, too. And for one thing, a car is something people use all the time and it can be dangerous.

When I bought a new car a few months ago, I had it blessed at the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan.


Quick guide to having your car blessed in Manaoag church



HOW TO GET THERE

Getting to Manaoag, Pangasinan is now easily accessible via the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and the two new highways, SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) and TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) which interlink with one another.

The fastest way to NLEX is the Mindanao Link located at the end of Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City. Toll fee is P45.

NLEX, SCTEX and TPLEX stretch for more than 200 kilometers from Bulacan to Pangasinan and you, as well as your passengers, could get hungry before even reaching Manaoag. But no worries, there are several food stopovers along the way. You can find a complete list of gas stations and restaurants HERE.

Using the SCTEX highway will cost you a toll fee of P295 while TPLEX will cost you P235 at the Binalonan Exit.


BINALONAN TO MANAOAG CHURCH

The TPLEX exit along the Binalonan-Dagupan Highway in Barangay Linmansangan allows a 15 to 20-minute drive to the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag. You'll know you're near the church when traffic begins to get congested. Be wary of men approaching your windows, they'll stop at nothing to try to dupe you into buying expensive Manaoag souvenirs and to lure you to their faraway parking slots. The Manaoag town is a tourist trap so keep your windows to yourself.

Car blessing

Schedule: Weekdays: Every after the mass from 5:00 am to 11:00 am and at 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
                   Weekends: Every after the mass from 5:00 am to 12:00 nn and at 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
                       (subject to change without prior notice)

The area is located at Gate 6 which is at the back of Manaoag Church. But the road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction so you have to go around the church to enter Gate 6. Turn left towards the church front then turn left again once you reach its left side. The left side of the church will show you a narrow road which will lead you to Gate 6. There will be a line of cars waiting for you once you get there so you have to fall in line as well. You can opt to shut off your engine as the car blessings are done in batches of 10. It will probably take you around an hour for your turn. It took me 45 minutes when I was there.

The blessing of cars only takes about 5 minutes each. When your turn comes, properly park your car but make sure to keep the engine running. Pop the hood and open all doors including trunks and rear doors. This is so the priest can sprinkle holy water inside your car's interiors. The priest carries lots of holy water, thus, you can have some personal articles blessed, too. We did. We placed 5 rosaries on top of my car's dashboard, hence were also sprinkled with holy water. After the blessing of the car, you may want to give a cash donation. The giving of cash donation is voluntary so don't feel obligated to do so.


Actual car blessing at the Our Lady of Manaoag Church


Attending the mass
Right after the car blessing, try to attend mass. The church can get crowded during weekends but I bet you still can squeeze your way inside to hear the gospel and to get a glimpse of the Marian image of the Our Lady of Manaoag.


The Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan

Minor Basilica of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary of Manaoag in Pangasinan - interior


Getting food
There are several pigar-pigar (barbecue) restaurants around the church where you and your companions can dine after the blessing. There used to be a Chow King fast food at the front of the church but, as of this writing, it's still under renovation to make way for a bigger Jollibee. If you want something Chinese, you may drive a few meters along Rizal Street to get to Baloking Restaurant. Rizal Street is a one-way street so you have to follow the road signs to reach the restaurant.

If you still have time, you can shop around for souvenirs and native tupigs for pasalubong. Tupig is a popular Pangasinan delicacy which is made out of ground glutinous rice and coconuts strips wrapped in banana leaves then cooked over charcoal. They are sold for 4 pieces for P20, but my wife was able to negotiate 8 pieces for P20. Be wise to bargain, Manaoag can be costly when you don't know how to haggle. If possible, bring a friend who knows how to speak Pangasinense.


A pile of Tupig delicacy sold outside the Our Lady of Manaoag Church

A pile of Tupig delicacy sold outside the Our Lady of Manaoag Church


Drive safely
Now that you're done having your car blessed, you can drive that beauty around pronto. Just remember to drive safe and responsibly at all times.


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Quick guide to having your car blessed in Manaoag church Quick guide to having your car blessed in Manaoag church Reviewed by Leun Sotragues on 8:12 PM Rating: 5

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