Family · Travels

Part 2 of the Getaway: Basking in the Churches of Cebu.

After enjoying the city lights in a little French Cafe in the middle of Cebu City, the next morning we’re off to go sight-seeing to some of the famous churches in Cebu.

Since we’re in the city, we first stopped at Magellan’s Cross and the Sto. Niño Church located in Magallanes Street, Santo Niño, Cebu City.

Magellan's Cross

As you can see here, there’s wooden scaffolding that surrounds the cross. This is to ensure it doesn’t topple over due to earthquakes.

So a little bit of your history. The great explorer Ferdinand Magellan ordered his fellow Spanish and Portugese explorers to have the Christian Cross placed here upon their arrival in Cebu in around 1521.

Marbles posing beside the cross.

As you can see on the sign below the cross, this isn’t the actual cross Magellan brought. The original cross is encased and protected in this display cross.

When you get to the place, you’ll be greeted by elderly devotees with a warm smile. And for I think around 60 pesos, they give you a set of candles to offer to the cross and they would personally say a prayer for you as well (I was stunned at this point listening to their prayers since it involved Cebuano dialect which I can’t understand and dances as well).

After visiting the Cross, we went into the church. Along the hallways of the church, there are areas where you can light a candle and do prayers and intentions, we went into the Shrine of the Santo Niño (pictures weren’t allowed though D: ) for prayers as well.

Candles signifying prayers,
Toto Drake Playing while we waited in line to go inside the shrine 🙂
My uncle and two of my cousins lighting some candles.

When I exited the church, I saw this wicked view of the exterior other end of the church.

When it was around 1pm, we headed back to the hotel for lunch. Afterwhich, we packed all of our stuff and we were off to the road yet again.

Next Stop: Simala Church in Sibonga.

Yes, we had to endure looping and rollercoasting roads again. From the city it took about 2-3 hours to get here. But damn, it sure was worth it. Upon entering the gates, me and cousins’ jaws dropped.

I am at lost for adjectives to describe this church…is this even a church? It looks like God’s Castle Resthouse on Earth…and construction isn’t even done yet!

It was amazing just approaching the church. you had to go through a mini pathway surrounded by trees and lakes and then climb some grand staircases to go inside.

Seriously guys, I can’t help referring the church as a castle in my head as I walked along the hallways of it. Even the area where they hold masses was stunning (I need more adjectives for this church!).

After wandering around the hallways, we found another place where you can light up candles and say some prayers. This time, the candles had different colors each having a different representation on what you want to pray to God for. I chose Purple (Achievement), Red (Love), and Blue (Perseverance).

In the depths of the church, there’s also this area where they posted letters and gifts given by people for the Virgin Mary. A sort of thanksgiving to answered prayers. The Virgin Mary of Simala is known to be Miraculous. Trust me, Almost one wing of the church is filled with notes and letters of the miracles that happened.

In another part of the church, a sort of solemn place where it seemed rude to take photos, was an area where you can wear the actual veil that the Virgin Mary statue wore during her transport here to the church and pray to her. It was a very uplifting part for me, because after praying, I felt so light.

When it was 6pm, it was time for us to go onto our next stop. But in my lifetime, I think I’ll be visiting Simala Church again. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed my prayers will be answered in time. 🙂

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