The Notable and Historic Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño and Magellan's Cross in Cebu City, Philippines

avatar of @jeannmazing
4 min read

Hello everyone! Today, I have a much more fascinating topic to share, as I'll be giving you a tour of the oldest Roman Catholic church founded in Cebu City, Philippines. Yes, you read it right, in Cebu City. This is just walking distance from our school, so I am able to visit here and just walk for a few minutes. This is such a notable and miraculous church, and to give you further information about that,  let's get started.

Basílica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú

  This church is the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, also known as the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child. It is a minor basilica located in Cebu City, Philippines. It is well-known to all Cebu residents, or Cebuanos, because it is not only the oldest church but also played a significant role in Philippine history. With that, it is genuinely among Cebu City's best sights. That's why it is nothing new to us to see a lot of foreign visitors exploring around this historical church.

It's rich in history for the reason that the Sto. Niño image was actually given by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who landed on the island of the Philippines, to Rajah Humabon and his wife in 1521. Yes, that long indeed. For additional details,

Rajah Humabon is known as the most courageous and astute person on the island of Cebu. He was also the first Filipino chieftain to convert to Christianity in the Philippines during his reign as King of Cebu in the sixteenth (16th) century.
However, the Holy Child image is not visible in these most recent pictures I took because it was renovated today. So, I'll show you some pictures I took in January of this year from our previously documented visits to give you some idea of what it looks like.

In these photos, I am with some of my college friends, my classmates, and yes, they are who I usually am with when I go to Sto. Niño. We often go here because this is the place where we can seek refuge at all times.

As you can see in the left photo, there are fiesta banners above, which we call "banderitas". That was taken prior to the feast of Senior Sto. Niño.

The largest celebration of the year is actually held on the third Sunday of January, when the entire city of Cebu comes together to celebrate the feast. It's the Sinulog festival, a celebration in honor of the Holy Child. It's truly a very unique and special event because Cebuanos are not the only people who would celebrate the feast, but also other people from different places. Philippine celebrities would actually travel to Cebu for the Sinulog festival to celebrate with the Cebuanos. The said festival consists of a number of activities that are highlighted, including street parades and dance palabas (dance performances) by participants from Cebu's various towns and cities as well as from other islands. This is actually where I attend mass after my classes. Back then, when I was still in the province and still not studying here in the city, we went here occasionally with my family, especially if there were birthdays. This church is indeed full of families, students, working individuals, and foreigners. Because aside from being a popular and historical place, it is also miraculous that people also offer here their prayer intentions. These uniformed individuals with an umbrella, as you can see, are those who are selling candles and who would initiate leading the prayer based on your intention.
But if you want to do it yourself, just like I always do, you can go here, where you can personally light up candles and have your own solemn prayer. This station is undeniably consistently full of people.

Now let's take the other side's exit so that I can show you something more.

Plaza Sugbo

It's Magellan's cross! When Ferdinand Magellan and his co-explorers arrived in Cebu on April 21, 1521, they planted this original wooden cross. It's located in Plaza Sugbo, definitely just outside or beside the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño church. This is absolutely one of the historical landmarks in Cebu that is part of Philippine history.

Unfortunately, I failed to take a full picture with the cross, so here I'll provide you with something I got online.

Magellan's Cross

This photo is not mine. For the source of the above photo, please click here. To provide you with its exact locations, the streets that encircle Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino's city block are Osmena Boulevard, D. Jakosalem Street, P. Burgos Street, and Plaza Sugbo, which is home to Magellan's Cross, which is also along the city hall.

City Hall

Again, this is @jeannmazing sharing with you a glimpse of today's adventure. I hope you enjoyed it, and I thank you big time for reaching this far. See you around, dear Hivers! ♡