Cebu City: Crossroad of History and Faith

The Magellan's Cross near the Minor Basilica of Sto. Niño is an iconic landmark in Cebu. It contains a very important historical relic as the cross stood witness to the Spanish colonization of the Philippines and all the historical events which followed it.  

The shrine where the remnant of Magellan's Cross is being kept.

The remnant of Magellan's Cross is enclosed in this outer cross. 

A short walk from Magellan's Cross is the Minor Basilica of Sto. Niño. The Basilica is constructed from coral stones in an elegant architectural design. 

The Minor Basilica of Sto. Niño 

The national historical marker at the Minor Basilica of Sto. Niño.

The facade of the Basilica is adorned with bas reliefs which tastefully depict saints and the Cebuano's history of faith. 

Bas relief of St. Jerome

Bas relief of St. Thomas of Villanova 

The centuries old retablo was ornately carved which gives the altar its regal appearance. Augustinian saints are placed in the niches of the retablo

The retablo of the Basilica's altar. 

The antique door of the Basilica also has carvings of the images of Sts. Peter and Paul. You can also pray in the Basilica to the statues and relics of saints associated with the Augustinian religious order.  

Carving of St. Peter on the Basilica's door.

A beautifully dressed statue of St. Monica.

Relic of St. Augustine

On Sundays and special days (such as First Fridays), masses are conducted in the adjacent courtyard which can cater to a large number of Sto. Niño devotees. 

The outdoor courtyard of the Basilica where masses are held on 
Sundays and special days.

What I like about the Minor Basilica of Sto. Niño is that it is like the "Louv of the Orient." It has beautiful paintings in the nave and ceiling of the Basilica.  

A painting of the "Baptism of Christ" at the Basilica's ceiling.

The hallway where the devotees queue to touch the image of Sto. Niño is adorned with paintings depicting the history of the devotion starting from the time when Magellan brought the image to the shores of Cebu.  
The landing of Miguel  Lopez de Legazpi and Fray Andres de Urdaneta in Cebu. 
Legazpi read an edict from King Philip II of Spain ordering him to colonize 
and Christianize all islands with Fray Urdaneta, as the King and Queen 
of Cebu listen in solemn attention.

The first five Augustinian Missionaries: Andres de Urdaneta, Martin de Rada 
Pedro Gamboa, Pedro Aguirre, and Diego Herrera

After finding the image of the Sto. Niño (Kaplag), Miguel Lopez de Legazpi 
turned it over to the Augustinian friars. 

Gen. Miguel Lopez de Legazpi ordered the construction of a sanctuary dedicated 
to the Most Holy Child Jesus of Cebu upon the petition of Fray Andres 
de Urdaneta, O.S.A. on April 29, 1565.

Painting of the visit of St. Pope John Paul II to Sto. Niño at the Basilica. 
He was accompanied by H.E. Julio Cardinal Rosales, D.D. 
and the Augustinian friars.

Another church of significance in Cebu is the Metropolitan Cathedral. It is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the episcopal seat. It is a stately church and its interior is well-decorated. 

The stately facade of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Exquisite altar of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

These beautiful edifices only speak of one thing, Cebu is loyal to its providential destiny from the "cradle of Christianity" to nurturing of faith until fruition.