I visited this church yesterday. Wow. Jam-packed with people, with prayers, with pilgrims touching the statues and pictures, lighting candles, saying prayers…an example of the faith of the people of Cebu.
I was the only Western woman and gained a few stares..the taxi driver told me to take off all my jewellery and hold my bag close, as I walked to visit the Cross of Magellan and the Basilica..
The church has always been the Sanctuary of the Sto. Niño, under the custody of the Augustinians.
In 1565 with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors led by Miguel López de Legazpi, the image od Sto. Nino was found relatively unscathed. The image was quickly acknowledged as miraculous, and a church was later constructed on the site of the discovery.
Visited Magellan’s Cross – where women offered to light candles and pray for the family, with a small donation..and children asking for money..Magellan’s Cross is a cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu on April 21, 1521.
This cross is housed in a small chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street (Magallanes being the Spanish name of Magellan), just in front of the city hall of Cebu City. A sign below the cross claims that the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of this chapel. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for souvenir purposes or in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers.
Also went shopping at the SM Shopping Mall, a district peopled by rich Chinese ( SM not S & M!). Security checks at every entrance and at the restrooms..again stares at a Western woman alone ( or it could have been my clothes..I wore one of my short-ish skirts, my longs sock and Converse, my pigtails..it was hot!). And you readers know I am a dag!
Today I’ve been for a jog, going for a swim, catching a plane tonight and flying overnight. The resort is luxurious and service excellent..the people friendly..I have a long list of things I want to change at my Kumon centre, after the conference and talking to other supervisors. Home tomorrow at eleven am and, as a friend said, will have to hit the ground running! As always.