Cebu Day 1: Just like in school- it has to start with something historical and religious.
05 March 2011
As soon as we got our bags, we headed out of the terminal. We were fetched by my friend’s relatives who are local to the area. We’re about to drop off our bags to their house before hitting out the city, eat our lunch, and perhaps nap for 30 minutes or more.
The Root of Catholicism
We hit the road just after we ate our lunch. Thanks to my friend’s cousin who basically drove us around the Metro Cebu for our whole stay- which made our tour bearable, considering the intense heat of the sun. from their house in Mactan City, we crossed the bridge off to Cebu City to visit Cebu’s Main and famous landmark- the Magellan’s Cross.
The building is located in an open area, though the area is within reach after few narrow streets and medium rise buildings, a humble structure, manages to be the star of that space. You may somehow think that the most famous building of Cebu would be located in such area-“This is it?”.
Nothing much grand on the exterior – an octagonal building, with adobe walls, wrought iron grilles ,and a red clay roof tiles. An area of about 25 square meters which houses the root of Catholicism here in the Philippines-a wooden cross that stands 3m tall on a marble cladded pedestal. The ceiling boasts of colorful paintings, under the octagonal pitched roof. Around the area are women, wearing matching yellow outfits. They offer “Sinulog” (praying while dancing), for a corresponding price of P100 with 8 candles on the side. I myself paid, and let them pray for me and my family, as they dance and chant beneath the wooden cross. The candles that accompanied the Sinulog is about to be burned in the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Nino.
Viva Sto. Nino!
Basilica Minore Del Sto. Nino
To the right of the Magellan’s Cross is an archway to the leads to the house of the Cebu’s patron saint Sto. Nino. The Basilica brags of busy vicinity-small tradesmen, parishioners, and tourist alike. The gray church has features of molded figures on its façade. The interior meanwhile, seems to be an oasis amidst the chaos outside of those walls- stained windows, wood rafted ceilings, and painted ceiling soffits, all sumps up to a cool, and serene church atmosphere. To the right of the church, is a gated open space, where special masses during the famous “Sinulog” festival are held. Behind those iron gates, is the plaza, and far beyond is a stage where the St. Nino statue is encased in a glass box, as if waiting for the next Sinulog to come.
Fort San Pedro
Next stop is the Fort San Pedro, perhaps the second most famous next to Fort Santiago in Manila. It is smaller in area, with those 2 storey adobe stones fortification, I can say that it is more human in scale and can be toured for only 10- 20 minutes depending on your pace. When we arrived, the middle hodgepodge area is dressed up for a wedding reception venue- very well adapt since you get that vintage romantic feel to the place.
Vintage House: Gorordo Museum
This museum features the house interior during the Spanish Era. Wooden antique furniture, wooden flooring, and adobe walls, are just some of the highlights of the old family house. Picture taking though is not allowed on the interior. The tour of the house cost for about 60 bucks, it wouldn’t take 30 minutes.
Lets go Chinese!
Red round columns, curved roofs, a pagoda like structure, the smell of incense–this place is definitely Chinese. Situated in the Beverly Hills Subdivision, beside those posh houses- is a temple that homes another religion. Since it is on a hilly area, expect numerous flight of stairs and ramps, but somehow rewarding when you reached the temple, as you will be rewarded by city view, gush of wind, and a solemn atmosphere of the temple. The only thing that made me raise my eyebrows is this guard who reprimand people taking pictures inside the temple in a rude way. So thanks to him, I wasn’t able to get inside.
Our listed itinerary for the day ended already. Its past 4 pm, and the sun is still beaming up the horizon. I’m exhausted, thirsty, hungry, and I smell bad already!!! We decided to drop by SM to buy some necessities and grab something to eat. As we get back something to the house, and grab a breather or two, before planning out our tour the next day. But unpredictable as we are, my friend decided to have an overnight stay at a resort so that we can catch the sunrise the next morning, and to be able to drenched ourselves in the ocean water! The good part is- the accommodation is all on her, so no thinking twice about that. We packed our bags and headed out to Marigondon Blue Reef Resort!