24 July 2007

Magellan's Cross in Cebu

April 14, 1521 is a very important date in our heritage as this was the day when the cross that symbolized Christianity was planted on Cebu's soil. Rajah Humabon, his family, and some of his subjects were baptized during the expedition of Ferdinand Magellan.

The cross stands protected inside a domed gazebo-like structure. The cross itself, though, is shrouded in mystery. While some say that the original cross is encased in wood (because people would chip-off some of the wood as they believe it was miraculous), others theorize that the original cross has been destroyed long ago and this is a "replacement". Whatever the case, this place is as close to the birth of Christianity in our country as you can get and whether the cross there is the real thing or not, it's the faith of the people manifesting itself how powerful an influence it has since that monumental day.

watson was here :-)

Right beside Magellan's Cross is the impressive Basilica del Sto NiƱo. The place is rich with our religious cultural heritage. The place exudes an atmosphere of celebration, and at the same time inside was serenity and powerful meditation. People listened to the Gospel, or else milled about and prayed.

While walking about, I felt awed by the place and by the people.

Outside the Basilica is an open-air amphitheater-like structure where you can also hear mass. That was quite extraordinary.

Outside, a number of vendors sold religious icons.
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