Contemplating the Passion of Christ at Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao City, Albay

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    Contemplating the Passion of Christ at Kawa Kawa Hill in Ligao City, Albay
Kawa Kawa Hill Bicol

“Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,” the words of Jesus Christ on the cross.

On a rustic hill in the quiet town of Tuburan, Ligao City, thousands of Christians converge each year to contemplate the most solemn days of the Christian calendar, the Lenten Season. The hill is known as Kawa Kawa Hill and has become a popular religious site in Albay because of the unique, life size statues which depict the 14 Stations of the Cross. These stations also known as “The Way of the Cross” represent significant events that took place before and after Jesus Christ’s arrest, persecution and crucifixion. In Christian churches mainly Catholic churches, the Stations of the Cross are displayed in paintings or engraved portraits on the walls of the church.

Kawa Kawa Hill, has become a distinct site for devotees and tourist alike as these sculptures are the only ones of their kind in the region. Also, the hill offers a breathtaking view of Ligao City, the vast rolling fields of Albay and the iconic Mayon Volcano in the distance. Kawa Kawa Hill takes its name from the local word “Kawa” meaning a cauldron, because its shape resembles a cauldron.

Photo Slideshow of Kawa Kawa Hill


The culmination of the Lenten Season is the Holy Week which starts on Palm Sunday – a celebration of Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem. The most solemn day of Holy Week is Good Friday, when Jesus Christ is believed to have died on the cross. On this day devotees observe the “Way of the Cross,” a form of penitence where Christians recite a series of prayers while they move around the 14 stations of the cross.

The Kawa Kawa Hill sculptures has been dedicated to the people of Ligao City, Albay as a place for prayer and reflection.

Lenten Season generally runs for six weeks beginning on Ash Wednesday, and ending on Easter Sunday.

The Traditional Stations of the Cross

  1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested
  3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns
  7. Jesus takes up his cross
  8. Jesus is helped by Simon to carry his cross
  9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  10. Jesus is crucified
  11. Jesus promises his kingdom to the repentant thief
  12. Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other
  13. Jesus dies on the cross
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb

Source: wikipedia.com

Kawa Kawa Hill

Jesus falls as he carries the cross to Mt. Calvary

Kawa Kawa Hill Bicol

Kawa Kawa Hill

How to Get There from Legazpi City

To get to Kawa Kawa Hill, visitors can take a public jeepney from Legazpi City to Ligao City. The distance is roughly 30 kilometers and travel time will take 30 to 45 minutes. From the main road it is a short walk to the foot of the hill where the first life size sculptures depicting the “Last Supper” can be seen.

Kawa Kawa Hill Bicol

“The Last Supper”

Kawa Kawa Hill, Ligao City

Kawa Kawa Hill, Ligao City

Legazpi City

Kawa Kawa Hill, Ligao City

Kawa Kawa Hill, Ligao City

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“Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin”

Kawa Kawa Hill, Ligao City

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Christ speaks this as his disciples fall asleep at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Kawa Kawa Hill

A view from the top of Kawa Kawa Hill

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Iza Sanchez

Iza Sanchez is a freelance ESL Teacher, adventurer and moderator of Take The Travel. She writes about solo-backpacking, travel saving tips and other awesome travel resources.

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