Basilica del Santo Nino in Cebu City
Pictures of Churches in Cebu
I’ve set a plan to visit at least one church in Cebu Province each month and photograph as much as I can without disturbing the worshipers. In February 2009, the choice was one of the historical treasures of the Philippines.
Basilica del Santo Nino
The outside of the church may cause someone to miss the significance of this building. A deeper look inside and some research on the web will give you a completely different understanding.
This location played a central role in the conversion of the Philippines to Christianity. When Magellan arrived, he planted a cross near this site and then somehow converted the chief of the native people to Christianity.
The people must have been far more impressed with his message than the messenger as before the month was over, Magellan lay dead and his expedition defeated.
About 30 years later, Spain returned and burned the village to the ground. However, a statue of the baby Jesus was found, largely unharmed within a smoldering hut. The people of Cebu held this to be a miracle which helped spread Christianity in the region and eventually throughout most of the Philippines.
Before this time, Cebuanos worshiped animal gods. I don’t know the story of this diagram I found behind the altar within the church but it appears to be a stick like lion that I’ve seen in other pagan religions. I don’t know if this is a bit of a hold over and mixture of both but it is interesting.
If anyone knows more about this figure, I’d love to hear more about it. Most of what I’ve been able to find out about the church was on the web. I didn’t find a lot of history within the Basilica itself.
This painting is high above the floor, I’m guessing fifty feet or more but I don’t claim to be good at judging distances. I think Adam and Eve depicted in this painting look to be Filipino. Jessie had her doubts but I still think so.
Something else I’ve noted in recent weeks is that Jesus is often depicted as black or the Black Nazarene I’ve seen it called. Santo Nino itself is black or a much darker brown than is Jesus is usually depicted. It doesn’t matter at all what is the accurate color of Jesus, I’m not making that point at all, I just observed it.
Finally, I’m posting a gallery of pictures from this trip to Basilica del Santo Nino. There are a couple of pictures I took just outside of the church as well. The picture of the guitar vendor is one that I’m very fond of.
This area is an extremely busy area. There are Filipino and tourist, mostly Korean tourist. Also other Asian people. Not a lot of Westerners here. The area around Magellan’s Cross is said to be dangerous for Westerners. So much so, the first trip I made to the area I choose not to take a camera.
Near here is Carbon Street which is the oldest street in the Philippines. I don’t recall the date it first appeared though. It is said to be very dangerous. I’ve been there once with a couple of Filipina. I had no issues but that doesn’t mean there should be no caution. Extreme caution is wise. Do not wear gold jewelry or display your cell phone while on the street. Just be careful in this area. Its too awesome a place not to visit.
I highly recommend you use the PicLens Option to view these pictures but if you don’t, please notice there are two pages of pictures in this gallery. The PicLens option does not require a plugin (other than perhaps flash) and will display all of the pictures on one screen.
To read about my most recent trip to the Basilica del Santo Nino follow this link.
I hope you enjoy this series of pictures of churches of Cebu and Basilica Del Santo Nino.