Basílica Menor del Santo Niño: The Philippines' first

Friday, August 23, 2013 0 Comments A+ a-

We stayed at Verbena Pension during the last three days of our stay in Cebu. Since we were just literally wasting our time inside the room, we opted to use what was left of it by visiting some famous attractions in the city. First stop: Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.

Unsure whether to take a taxi or a jeep, I asked the front desk's help. "Taxi would do just fine because the church isn't far from us", she said. But because we don't speak the language, I was a bit skeptic whether to really take a taxi since some of them are fond of ripping off their passengers with bunch of excuses just to get add-ons or whatnot, like what's happening in Metro Manila.

Anyway, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño or Basilica of the Holy Child is the Philippines' oldest Roman Catholic church built during the 16th century. You may wonder as to why it was named after the Holy Child. Well, it is believed that the place where the church stands was the same exact place the statue of Santo Niño de Cebu was found, an image of the Holy Child that Spanish explorer Jesus Miguel Lopez de Legazpi discovered in 1565.

When we arrived, we were greeted by women selling colorful candles and flowers. It was kinda awkward because I felt they were forcing us to buy their products as they literally blocked our way in. But we just ignored them and continue on our path.

There were some devotees, tourists, and who knows what else. The number was staggering knowing no mass was being served. And despite the occasional cries from babies and the loud voices of vendors,  I must admit I like the feeling of being inside the Philippines' first. I felt being transported back to the time when "computer" was not a word yet, and a cell phone ring would cause one to rage war with others. Lol. Seriously though, it was a really nice feeling being inside.

We didn't stay long because it was in the middle of the day and our baby was having tantrums. So before we leave the place, we both recite a silent prayer and went on with our lives. And of course, we took pictures too.

John Benliro hails from Palawan, Philippines. He's a travel enthusiast who loves to read geography books as well as those authored by Sheldon and Grisham. He's a full time lecturer at a university in Thailand and has been blogging since 2009. Come and join him in exploring the vastness of our imagination, drifting from land to land one step at a time.