Cebu, or "Sugbo" in Visayan, has become one of the most developed provinces in Philippines. At present, local and foreign tourists come to visit the island to experience what it has to offer, be it for pleasure or business alike. But way back then, on March 16, 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan landed on this island, and as a part of the song entitled "Magellan" by famous Visayan singer Yoyoy Villame, it goes, "All people were baptized and built the church of Christ... And that's the beginning of our Catholic life".
Magellan then planted a cross to signify the conversion from paganism to Roman Catholic faith. This cross is now inside a small chapel, or "kiosk" along Magallanes Street, next to the Basilica del Sto. Nino and fronting Cebu City Hall. However, the cross is reputedly encased in another wooden cross for preservation and protection as some people chipped away parts of the cross for its "miraculous powers" or for mere souvenir purposes.
On the outside, the Kiosk looks just like a humble chapel with several locals surrounding it selling candles and other religious accessories. A plaque situated at the entrance reads "From time immemorial this spot has been set aside to commemorate the erection of a cross in Cebu by the Expedition of Magellan. When King Humabon of Cebu and his Queen, son and daughters, together with some 800 of their subjects were batized by Father Pedro Valderrama. This hallowed site was improved in 1735 by Rev. Juan Albarran, Prior of San Agustin and in 1834 by Rt. Rev. Santos Gomez Maranon Bishop of Cebu. The image of the Santo Nino found by the expedition of Legaspi in a house near the present site of the Cathedral of Cebu is venerated by the faithful in the nearby Church of San Agustin."
The Magellan's Cross may not be a sight to behold. But it's significance is more than meets the eye. For the Cebuanos, it is the beginning of something big -- Christianity. The Magellan's Cross is very popular it became an icon. A logo.
And it proudly represents Cebu.
by: Aireen Quisido
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