Cebu is filled with many interesting and historical places aside from stunning white beaches, lovely nature and the migratory big fish in Oslob. As we all know, Cebu is the birthplace of the Christianity in the Philippines, the capital of the Catholic faith by being the first Christian city in the Philippines since Magellan’s arrival in 1521. In fact, you can see the symbolic image of Santo Niño in every street, market and other places in Cebu because I think 80-90% of them are Catholics. So if you are in Cebu, do not skip to visit the amazing architecture of their beautiful churches. Two of these churches are the Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Conception and the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, popularly known as Simala Church.
So let’s start with the Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Conception, one of the oldest churches in Cebu. It is located just a few meters from the municipal hall of Oslob. It was constructed in 1830 and was finished 18 years later.
Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Conception
As written on the plaque, the church was designed by Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon. The same prelate who had built the kiosk of Magellan’s Cross in Cebu City. This massive church is one of the beautiful churches that you can be found in the province of Cebu. I was amazed by its design and the architecture was pretty awesome, the quality of the materials used to build this church is truly durable despite all adversity that happened in the past decades.
We haven’t explored inside the church since it was closed during the time of our visit. So I can only show you the outer part of it.
Many visitors may not know this tourists attraction because some of them prefer whale shark watching in Tan-awan in Oslob.
The Spanish Cuartel
Aside from the church, another historical structure you can be seen in the area is the ruins of Spanish Cuartel. Located on the right of the church of Oslob. The Cuartel was built in the Spanish era around the 1800s, the cuartel serve as a barracks for the Spanish troops or Guardia Civil assigned in Oslob. Unfortunately, when the Americans arrived in the Philippines, the Spanish left the cuartel and the construction was terminated.
Fronting the coast of Oslob, I think it was also served as a defense for the naval infantry because of its strategic location.
It’s just amazing to think that even a long time has been passed, even after facing a war, a large number of earthquakes and typhoons happened, the church and remains of the cuartel were still intact.
The coral stone used for its construction came from remnants of the collapsed tower, the walls of the tower centimeter-thick still stand. The facade built of coral stones features a double row of arches. These two Spanish structures are still in Oslob and it’s very interesting to Visit.
Monastery of the Holy Eucharist
Another church you must visit is this castle-like church is located in Upper Lindongan barangay Simala in the town of Sibonga, about two hours travel from the center of Cebu. The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, or popularly known as the Simala Church. This shrine was built in 1998 after the episodes miraculous events, including Mama Mary’s shedding of tears. Because of the said miracles, Simala Shrine became so popular, devotees hoping that their prayer requests would be granted. This shrine also became popular by its amazingly unique design.
Honestly, I can’t find the exact word to describe how amazing Simala Church is. It was totally mind-blowing, the first time I saw it seems like I’m dreaming and I thought I was already in heaven. Finally, I am one of the lucky persons who already visited the miraculous church of Mama Mary in Cebu. The architectural design, details and every corner of this church are simply superb. This is such another examples of a masterpiece.
Simala church is the type of attractions that you will definitely say “Wow!”, from the main entrance up to the Altar.
Inside the church, you can see in main altar the statue of Blessed Virgin Mary. The ceiling was painted with Jesus Christ as a child and early life of Mama Mary.
Just a reminder for a ladies who wants to visit the Simala Church, they are strict when it comes to dressing especially wearing revealing clothes(mini skirts, short shorts, see through blouses and pants, tube and crop tops).
In addition, here are some things you should avoid inside the shrine.
- Taking photos with flash
- Shouting and making loud noises
- Cigarette smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks
- Wearing of footwear inside the prayer room
Colored candles are available for sale if you would like to pray for a specific purpose it is available near the main monastery and only cost ₱ 35.00.
- Gold: Healing (Good health, Recovery, Spiritual, Family Tree)
- Green: Prosperity/Success (Exams, Study, Financial, Business)
- Blue: Perseverance (Employment, Career, Assignment, Promotions)
- Violet: Achievement (Plans in life, Struggles, Endeavors, Journeys, Voyage)
- Red: Love (Utility, Friendship, Engagement, Family)
- Yellow: Peace (Courage, Strength, Hope)
- White: Purity (Enlightenment, Guidance, Right Path)
- Orange: Reconciliation (Sweetheart, Wife, Husband, Enemy, Family)
- Pink: Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy (Spiritual, Physical)
- Black: Souls (Forgiveness, Pardon)
- Brown: Vocation (Marriage Bond, God’s Servant, Single life)
- Gray: Deliverance (Bad ways, Things, Spirits)
- Cream: Conversion/Faith (Children, Household, Couples)
Another interesting part of the Church is there’s a place that the number wheelchairs, badges, prayers, thank you notes, pictures of successful board passers, testimonies are displayed. It’s actually from the people who have experienced the divine grace of Blessed Virgin Mary.
There were also a lot of vendors selling rosary outside the gate of the Simala Church, the price ranges from ₱ 50.00 to ₱150 .00.
I found the schedule on the http://www.mass-schedules.com/
|12:00 PM – 01:00 PM||12:00 PM – 01:00 PM||12:00 PM – 01:00 PM||12:00 PM – 01:00 PM||12:00 PM – 01:00 PM||12:00 PM – 01:00 PM||10:30 AM – 11:30 AM|
|03:30 PM – 04:30 PM|
Disclaimer: Schedule may not be accurate or updated. Please contact the church if possible.
Apart from visiting the church, we also tried some of their local snacks and delicacies like the Torta of Argao and the famous chicharron of Carcar City 20-30 minutes away from Simala Church.
Thanks for reading! Hope this blog help you.
You might also want to read our Cebu Adventure series
- Whale shark watching in Oslob and Sumilon Sandbar (Beach)
- Alegria canyoneering and Kawasan Falls in Badian (Adventure)
- Why Pescador Island is a perfect diving spot in Cebu (Diving)
- 2 churches you should not skip when you are in Cebu (Wandering)
- 5 Reasons why you should visit Tumalog Falls in Cebu (Nature)
- Cebu City Travel Guide
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