January 17, 2006
A pilgrimage to the Basilica of Sto. Nino is a must if you are a devoted Catholic and specially if this was your first time to the Sinulog. They say that you should make three prayer wishes (3) every time you make your first visit to a new church and they will come true. I truly believe in this and with the miraculous power of the Sto. Nino de Cebu, it will be granted. Remember, that Sto. Nino de Cebu is the link between Philippines Pagan Past and our country's Christian present. You can see the original Sto. Nino de Cebu which was given as a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu's Rajah Humabon coverted the first Christians in the Philippines archipelago. Most people go to the Sinulog not only for the grand parade but also to do this pilgrimage to the Sto. Nino de Cebu.
I was impressed with how the Church was able to plan the crowd flow by putting Entrance and Exit signs. The mass are held not inside the basilica but outside patio. Although you can still hear mass inside the church because there is a flat screen TV that broadcasts what is happening in the altar (first time I've seen in the church setting.)
Don't forget to visit the Magellan's cross located at the back of the Basilica de Sto. Nino and in front of the Cebu City Hall. You can either throw some straws or coins and then make a wish in the original cross planted by Magellan in 1521.
The Magnificent Basilica de Sto. Nino altar --- so stunningly beautiful!
Be prepared for the long lines of people just to touch and feel the original Sto. Nino image. The image still has its decorations including the chain of old spanish coins, the toisonne of emeralds, garnets, rubies and diamonds, said to be have been given by Charles III of spain and the golden ram pendant. Here is where you make your solemn prayer wishes.
Attend the English Sunday Mass (there was an 8.30am and an 11am) so start planning your walking at least one hour in advance. There is no mode of transportation that can go inside the church area because of the sheer number of people going on a pilgrimage. Attend this as early as possible then attend the grand parade afterwards.