Cebu · Philippines · Sights

Cebu: Magellan’s Cross

One of the places you must visit in Cebu City is the 400 something year-old Magellan’s cross housed in a chapel located near the Cebu City Hall.

A short history lesson:
When Ferdinand Magellan landed on the shores of Cebu back in April 15, 1521, he planted a wooden cross to mark his arrival and the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines. However, he died after a few days after engaging Lapu-lapu in a skirmish during the Battle of Mactan.

The original cross is said to be housed inside the large wooden cross displayed in the chapel. The reason for this being people thinking that the original cross was miraculous, thus, they would attempt to chip off small pieces of the cross. (However, some people believe that the original cross has been destroyed, and that the cross in the chapel is a cross from other Spanish Conquistadors.)

Real or not, this Cebu landmark is a mandatory stop for tourists.

How to get there:
Easy way: Taxi to Magellan’s Cross
Just grab a taxi and tell the driver to drop you off there. Flag down rate as of July 2012 is 40 Pesos. Getting there from Ayala or any of the uptown areas will cost you at most 100 pesos.

Adventurous way: Jeep to Magellan’s Cross
Search for jeeps with the “City Hall” or “Basilica Del Sto Nino.” signboards. Tell the jeepney conductor (the guy who collects payments at the back) to drop you off there. Upon alighting, ask any of the friendly locals for directions or follow the stream of tourists.

As with all touristy areas, be alert and guard your belongings. Even if there are policemen patrolling the area, being careful won’t hurt.

While you’re in the area, why not visit the adjacent Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.


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