If you want to avoid the traffic and large crowds, go on a regular weekday. The place is usually packed during weekends, Lenten season, Easter, May and October (the month of the Holy Rosary).
Here's inside Our Lady of Manaoag Church. Masses in the morning on weekdays are from 5am to 11am hourly. This was the last mass at 11am on a Friday - unusually few. On weekends, you can barely get a seat. For a complete and updated schedule of the services in Manaoag, please visit Manaoag Schedule of Masses.
Check out the chandeliers of the church nicely decorated with small capiz lanterns this Christmas season.
Here's the statue of Our Lady of Manaoag in the church altar up close. Beautiful and majestic. For the history of Our Lady of Manaog, please visit the Manaoag Shrine Official Site.
If you want to touch the Our Lady of Manaoag statue, you can from the back. There's an entrance behind the church. Here's the queue going up to the altar. The line goes crazy after each mass ends so if you want to avoid thick lines, after the mass, go light candles and say your petitions first in the grotto then just come back after half an hour.
When you reach the landing, a beautiful antique chandelier adorns the center of the room. Check this out.
Here's a family paying homage to Our Lady of Manaoag. The window allows you to touch Our Lady's statue from the back. It's so heartwarming to see this family pray together especially for a nation who advocates "A family that prays together, stays together".
Near the back of the altar, don't forget to look up and see this beautiful wooden carving of our Lady on a tree trunk.
Here's the place where you can light candles and pray your petitions. The last time I visited, this wasn't here yet. It's a great addition so pilgrims have more space to say their prayers.
You can light traditional white candles. And now, there's also a section for floating candles which proves to be popular among kids.
If you've time to spare, don't forget to visit the Manaoag Museum near the Parish Office. It contains relics from Dominican Friars and antique items used by the Church and Our Lady. For more info about the Manaoag Museum, please visit Museo de Nuestra Senora de Manaoag.
Here are some of the things we saw at the Museum:
Antique Capa Pluvial (left) and Dalmaticas (center and right) dating back to 1800s or early 1900s. The Capa Pluvial (left) is worn by the priest for processions and benedictions while the Dalmaticas are garments worn by deacons assisting the priest.
Antique Matracas or Noisemarker usually used on Holy Thursday when the church bells are silent.
A collection of antique Chalice.
The antique tabernacle of the Our Lady of Manaoag Church dating back to 1909.
A garment of Our Lady.
A replica of Our Lady of Manaoag.
Here's another replica. So beautiful.
Some prayers and petitions from devotees of Our Lady of Manaoag.
If you haven't been to the Manaoag Shrine and you would like to go, here's how to get to Manaoag whether you're commuting or taking a car.
For any other info, you may also visit the official Manaoag site at http://www.manaoagshrine.org/.
If you're looking for a place to eat after your visit to the Manaoag Church, you can try Hardin ng Paraiso Grill and Restaurant located just 5-10 minutes away (via car) from the Church.
For pasalubong items to buy while in Pangasinan, here are some suggestions.