Catholic churches, monasteries and shrines in Cebu – part 2

This is the part 2 of the churches, monasteries and shrines in cebu.

      This is the famous Basilica del Santo Nino Church and convent, first established in the Philippines  by the Augustinian Fathers  in 1565 under Rev. Andres Urdaneta.

     On November 1, 166, a fire destroyed both the church and the convert which was made of wood and nipa. The second church also made of wood and nipa was again burned down by fire in March 1628.  On the same year, another church as constructed using stone and bricks  under the administration of  historian Rev. Juan de Medina, OSA.

       The Santo Nino venerated in this church since the time of Legaspi, is the center of intense devotion and religious pilgrimages through out the Visayas. The image of the Santo Niٌo, which is kept in the parish convent, is considered the oldest religious relic in the Philippines . This was the image that Magellan gave to Queen Juana as a gift during the baptism of King Humabon and his wife Queen Juana on April 14, 1521.

Fr. Mateo Diez, rector of the sanctuary in 1889 introduced the 1st Novena to the Sto. Nino.  Up to this time, the number of Sto. Nino devotees who follow the novena and attend mass every Friday keeps on increasing.

      The Chapter held on August 6, 1578 recommended to all the fathers “that prayers to the Sto. Nino be offered every month as was the custom before.” In 1641, the father provincial ordered that the feast of the Sto Nino be celebrated on January 14 “with all the possible solemnity, mass and sermon, since He deserves all the affection from us, being the Dulcisimo and most affectionate patron of our province.”

   The first novena to the Santo Niٌo was introduced by Fr. Mateo Diez, rector of the sanctuary in 1889, under the Cebuano title Novena ug pagdayeg sa Sto. Nino Jesus nga guisimba sa cyudad sa Sugbu , printed in Mandaluyong, Asilo de Huerfanos , 1888. This novena has been reprinted countless times.

Up to this time, the number of Sto. Niٌo devotees who follow the novena and attend mass every Friday keeps on increasing.

Sinulog, the grandest of all Philippine festival takes place in Cebu City every 3rd Sunday of January each year in honor of Sto. Nino, the patron of Cebu.  Each year, thousands of pilgrims and visitors come to Cebu  in supplication and thanksgiving for the blessings received from the Holy child.   The Sinulog festival attracts not only the local tourists but foreigners as well.  During the grand festival, visitors not only witness street dancing by performers from different parts of the country.

(pictures and information from the website: for more information about the Basilica del Santo Nino Church.)

The Magellan’s cross is a symbol of Cebu.

On April 8, 1521,  Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu, Philippines ordered the Portuguese and Spanish explorers to plant the  Christian cross.

A note written below the cross says that  “This cross of Tindalo wood encases the original cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan on this very site, April 21, 1521.

The reason for encasing the original cross is for protection from people who chipped parts of the cross for souvenir or in the belief that the cross is miraculous and can heal them of their illnesses.

The Magellan’s cross on Magallanes street (Magallanes is the Spanish name of Magellan), is located at the back of the Basilica del Santo Nino Church and in front of the Cebu City Hall.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

On August 14, 1595, Cebu was established as a diocese and on April 28, 1934 was elevated as a metropolitan archdiocese.

Much of the cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombings of the city during the world war II. The belfry (built in 1835), the façade, and the walls were left.  The church was quickly rebuilt under the supervision of  architect Jose Ma. Zaragosa.

Another major renovation of the cathedral was done in 1993 in preparation for the the visit of the late His Holiness John Paul II under the incumbency Msgr. Manuel Salvador.

From 2008 to 2009, in time for the the 75th anniversary celebration of the archdiocese on April 28, 2009, the cathedral underwent another major renovation.

In 2010, The cathedral underwent a minor renovation which involved the cleaning of the façade.

The Virgen of the Rule also known as Nuestra Senyora Virgen de Regla or Birhen sa Regla in Cebuano is located in Lapu-lapu City (formerly Opon).

History has it that on 1330, the Virgin appeared to an Augustinian monk and instructed him to go to the city of Cadiz and look for a cave and dig where the image had been hidden away. There, he found a hidden underground altar where the statue of Our Lady of the Rule has been permanently enshrined.

The Augustinian Order was given control over the parish of Opon,(now,Lapu-Lapu City,Cebu].  In 1735, parish priest Fr. Francisco Avalle showed the picture of the Virgen de Regla to it’s parishioners who  instantly developed a liking for the new patroness.

This is the chapel of the Virgen of the Rule loacted at the back of the church devotees can kiss the image, pray and meditate.

During the 1st congress of the Archdiocese of Cebu on November 27, 1954, the Virgen de Regla of Cebu was canonically crowned.

Devotion is held on the third week of November. The occasion was participated by devotees in Cebu and Cebuanos abroad. She is acknowledged for the great role she plays in their lives as the intercessor, a special privilege she hold as a Mother of God.

There are two ways to get to the Virgen of the Rule church, 1st is by jeepney, a local transportation in Cebu. 2nd, if you want to avoid the traffic, one can take the  ferry-boat  at Pier 3 of Cebu City and docks at Muelle Osmena, Lapu-lapu at the back of the church.


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