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 Niño. 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.


  1. It's ironic now that Filipinos almost worship the place where they killed Magellan. Just knowing the climate conditions there and how wood typcially stands up in it, I would be willing to bet that the original cross has been gone for centuries.

  2. Anonymous12:20 pm

    great pictures watson! wala yatang picture ng food dyan bay :)

  3. Ed: I guess he thought that since Rajah Humabon was friendly with them, the rest of the islands will be. Unfortunately Lapu-Lapu was not in speaking terms with the Rajah as well.

    Cess: Nauna na actually hehehe

  4. B. Cebu?

    It's so nice to see your Cebu pictures Tito Nick! Wonderful!!!

  5. Cyrill: Thanks. Malay mo, ipasyal ka ng dad mo sa Cebu B.!

  6. Anonymous7:00 am

    di mo aakalain na sa Cebu pala yung pix ng Basilica.. ang ganda!!

    kamusta na kuya??! i hope oks ka lang pati na rin ang family mo! ingatz lagi en God bless!

  7. when i went to sto niño basilica, di ko nakita yung magellan's cross sa sobrang dami ng tao, para syang quiapo tuwing friday!

  8. rho: that's one thing I love about being a local tourist. Makikita mo na talagang maganda ang Pinas!

    zherwin: waaah so near and yet so far!

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  10. "such a lovely place... such a lovely place..."

    i have never been to cebu and your photos made me more guilty for not visiting that place...

  11. Great shots Watson especially that shot where it says Watson was here. I've never been to Cebu and hope I can visit it in the near future.

  12. Glenn: We walked the usual tourist path but overall Cebu is really a nice place to visit.

    Rach: para yun may proof na galing nga ako dun hehe

  13. Reading Ed's comment, I'd be willing to bet a thousand bucks that the original cross is not in there. But the locals don't care and also don't tend to see the cruelty and arrogance behind the people who brought over the original cross. I don't think our Western tendency to over-analyze is something many do over here, and perhaps that is just as well. Its all about the symbolization and the contemporary meanings attached to it, and I think that's quite laudable. Well depicted Wat...


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