Magellan’s Cross and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu
“Cebu City is the most religious place in the whole Philippines.” I remember those words uttered by our tour guide Kuya Renz when we had our Cebu City tour during college.
He gave examples to prove his statement. One, Cebu City celebrates Sinulog Festival in honor for Sto. Niño, a young Jesus Christ and two, first Catholic baptism happened in Cebu. Portuguese and Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan baptized Rajah Humabon and his men in 1521. This marked the beginning of Philippine Christianity. I don’t know if Kuya Renz’s proof was wrong or correct. One thing for sure, Cebu City has many landmarks that capture early Catholicism. One of the famous landmarks is the Magellan’s Cross.
According to them, Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Cebu. It was planted last April 1521. The current cross is made of Tindalo wood in which the original cross is encased. Magellan’s arrival in Cebu City represents the first attempt of Spain to convert Filipinos into Roman Catholics. The story goes that Magellan met with Chief Humabon of the island of Cebu, who had an ill grandson. Magellan (or one of his men) was able to cure or help this young boy, and in gratitude Chief Humabon allowed 800 of his followers to be ‘baptized’ Christian in a mass baptism. Later, Chief Lapu Lapu of Mactan Island killed Magellan and routed the ill-fated Spanish expedition. (Source: http://www.seasite.niu.edu/crossroads/russell/christianity.htm)
So I recently visited Magellan’s Cross and Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu Pilgrimage Center. It was Sunday so there were many people. Magellan’s cross is always written in Philippine history books. I first knew the place during my grade 2 elementary days while learning the subject called Sibika at Kultura. The subject was interesting back then. I only saw the pictures on books. And now, I literally can’t believe that I was on the actual site and was able to take a picture of the said place.
Thank you guys for visiting!