Lourdes Grotto is one of the less visited tourist attractions in Dapitan, Philippines. It is placed in a small natural hill, southwest of the foot of Ilihan Hill. The vicinity of the Lourdes Grotto used to be an ancient burial ground of the pre-Spanish Dapitanons. The first church of Dapitan, which was built in 1631-1767 is located at the left side of the Lourdes Grotto. Adjacent to it was the Old Mission House. The statue in the Lourdes Grotto, the ancient fence and the benches are all man-made. The other features such as the rock formation, tress and grasses are natural.
The Lourdes Grotto is 5 minutes away from the second church of Dapitan, St. James Church, which is nearby the Relief Map of Mindanao and Dapitan City Plaza. “Halad” or financial donations are greatly appreciated to help maintain the surroundings of the Lourdes Grotto. Donations can be dropped in the donation box found at the foot of the statue.
Devotees of the Lourdes Grotto usually pray for a healthy and safe life. It has been said to make miracles and have guided Dapitanons throughout the years. This is one of the many statues of Mother Mary that can be found in the Philippines. Q Park and Birhen sa Simala in Cebu, and Virgin of the Cotta in Ozamiz are just are examples of these statues.
People usually visit the Lourdes Grotto early morning, late afternoon and evening. It doesn’t have any roof and only a small area is shaded by the hillock. Praying during noontime can make you feel uncomfortable because of the heat of the sun.
Going to Lourdes Grotto is easy. Just take an empty tricycle and ask him to bring you to the place. The fare is only P7.00 if you’re in nearby area. Some drivers would negotiate for a higher fare if you’re far from it, but usually adds P1.00 to P3.00 only.