DURING the Holy Week, one of the more popular destinations in southern Negros is the Glory Hill in Isabela, Negros Occidental.
Situated in Sitio Mantuhod, Barangay Mansablay, the Glory Hill has a 45-foot cross preceded by the 14 Stations of the Cross.
To reach the “prayer place,” one has to go through a two-hour trek through portions of cemented stairways and steep pathways with bamboos planted in both sides.
At least 3,000 pilgrims are expected to journey up the hill through all hours of the day during Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Vendors have started setting up makeshift stalls, and the camping grounds have been prepared for visitors.
The giant cross was mounted on May 3, 1954 as shown in the inscription at the bottom of its concrete foundation. American engineer John Dumas, who was working at the Binalbagan-Isabela Sugar Company under the Columban Fathers, was inspired to design the cross by his wife who was a devotee, who prays the rosary.
In the early 1990’s, the 14 Stations of the Cross were set up through the initiative of Councilor Rudy Parcon. Families who reside in the area donated portions of lots where each of the cross is located.
Every year, the giant crossed its being spruced up for the Lent. It is lit up at night during the Holy Week using a generator, but earlier this month power lines already reached the area.
The Municipality of Isabela headed by Mayor Enrique Montilla has set aside a P3.2-million fund to further develop Glory Hill as one of the town’s major tourist attractions. (NLG)