During the first days of September, in the midst of the loads of work, I took a leave from work and have my travel-bonding with my big sister. We don’t usually do that. In fact, it is our first.
For our first out of town together (yes, we go out of town together before but usually to our relatives’ place) we want to be quite experimental and go to a place where we don’t have someone, a relative perhaps that will guide as through. It is a sort of trying to be independent in our part while enjoying each other’s company.
This post will be the first of my 3-part instalment travel adventure at the Queen City of the South. As I stayed 3 days and two nights there, let’s see what were the places we visited and what were the insights I gained each day.
We arrived afternoon of September 1, Sunday in Cebu. From the airport, we checked in at Sampaguita Suites, one of the most affordable hotels in that town and was suggested to me by one of my readers from Cebu. The hotel looks very decent and has a Wi-Fi connection, with that I have no problems anymore.
One of the things I like about the hotel where we checked in is that it is just a walk away from different cathedrals and churches there. It is also near the Magellan’s Cross which is not more than 5 minutes walk from the hotel itself. With that, we decide to have a church hopping for our first afternoon in Cebu. We went to a total of 3 churches just by merely walking around and crossing each street. Let the pictures tell you how we did it.
Second, Sto. Nino Basilica where we line up just to see the first Sto. Nino image given to us by the Spaniards.
The Basilica was so adorable with its architectural designs. While the Cebuanos and the tourists like us were hearing the mass from the other side of the Cathedral, the priest presiding the mass is outside the cathedral on an elevated stage with the microphones and speakers and a video coverage. When we went inside the cathedral the people are seated facing the altar without the priest and when the priest asked them to stand, they will stand and face outside turning back to the altar. That was their way of adjusting with the number of people attending their Sunday masses, for me, a tourist and a fellow Catholic, I can see that as their faith.
Lastly, we went to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the newest church in the town.
That was a good adventure for us in our first day in Cebu. I am really astonished by the volume of people going to mass there which I rarely see here in Manila. I do regularly attend masses but I just see those number of people in Baclaran during Wednesday and in Quiapo during Fridays. I must say that Catholic faith is really evident in Cebu.
I feel so lucky to visit the place before the tragic magnitude 7.0 earthquake came last month. But a part of me can’t help but to feel sad because as we went there I see how each places we been in Cebu reflected the culture and tradition, not to mention the faith that our Cebuano kababayans have. Basilica de Sto. Nino is one of the churches destroyed by the earthquake.
Aside from that, the landmarks and churches (cathedrals) are true reflection of the Filipino Catholic faith. With the sculptures and the architectural designs of churches there, I must say that those are real cultural heritage of us. Too bad some of it were destroyed by the recent earthquake but I am positive enough that with the faith of our fellow kababayans, nothing is impossible and God will truly make a way to establish His church again- more sturdy than before.
I also read that the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) as well as the government is taking some steps to restore the churches (as much as possible) that were destroyed in the place with minimal changes with its architectural designs.
Bangon Cebu! (Rise again Cebu!)
Have you been to Cebu? How was your experience sweeties?