Sinulog Festival is just around the corner and still no tickets to Cebu for this year (just like last year and the year before that… even all the way up to the year when I was just a puny helpless zygote).
I’ve always desired to experience the festivities of Cebu. But alas, this year is not yet the time. Maybe next year. With better a camera (gear) by then hopefully.
To distract and comfort myself from this misfortune, I went downstairs, grabbed a bag of chocolate chip cookies from the fridge (I need a good dose of endorphins you know), took it with me upstairs, sat down in front of the PC and, as I was eating, I decided to start editing some photos of my quick tour on Basilica del Santo Niño.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have been to Cebu twice in 2012 so all the photos that you see here may not taken on the same date.
Basilica del Santo Niño is one the most crowded churches in Cebu.
It is constantly filled with devotees, pilgrims and tourists (both foreign and local).
This church has been standing for over 400 years now and still it looks pretty majestic up to this day. If you can tell what kind of architecture this is, I would appreciate if you would leave that in the comment section below.
Bet you tilted your head a bit, didn’t you? Hehe.
Standing very close to the entrance are women who sell candles and offer prayers for a living. Should you request that they pray for you, they will light the candles you bought from them, wave them in the air and do a little dance while reciting a prayer. You might want to keep away from them though, they do fight over on who gets to buy their candles sometimes (and they are absolutely not shy when it comes to expressing their indignation).
Inside the basilica.
A beautiful fresco painting on the ceiling.
Some tourists taking photos.
People offering flowers and praying before the crucified Jesus.
A closer view of the altar and the wall of statues.
Behind all the people praying is a door that leads to…
This. Since there are too many churchgoers and not everyone can be accommodated inside the basilica, they have this “extension” (forgive me if I don’t know that it’s technically called) that is just right in front of the basilica’s main entrance. Masses are no longer held inside the basilica but here. At the center is an altar and at the sides are rows of chairs.
Picture this: During masses, the people who are seated inside the basilica actually face the opposite direction of the altar outside. So they have to occasionally turn around when needed. If it’s time to stand up, they turn around to face the altar outside. And if it’s time to sit down again, they turn around once again to face the altar inside. Very unusual, isn’t it?
My boyfriend is not saying “hi” (nor attempting to portray Kim Jung Il) here but rather he tried to blend in and pretended to be a local by waving his hand as a sign of reverence to the basilica and Santo Niño.
Although both of us were born and raised to be Roman Catholics (we are now Pentecostal Christians), honestly, we found the hand-waving practice rather strange at first because from where we live, we’ve never seen anyone do this (not even the Catholics in other places). So this must be a Cebuano thing.
Also, in the premises of the basilica…
is a small garden with a quaint water fountain at the center. There are also sculptures standing at some corners of the garden. I heard there’s a museum somewhere.
This hallway leads to the adoration chapel where a statue of Santo Niño is placed. As you wait in line for you turn, you can look at the paintings hung on the wall which were donated by various artists.
When I was about to take a photo of the oldest religious relic of the Philippines inside the adoration chapel, an old lady raised an eyebrow at me and looked at me with much disdain… So to not spite that old lady, urm, anyone, I didn’t take a photo. Oh well, better try my luck again next time.
Magellan’s Cross :)