A few interesting things you should know about one of Cebu’s most prominent historical landmark and tourist destination:
- The towering cross housed in a small chapel stands next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, in front of Cebu City’s city hall. It is located on Magallanes Street, the street named after Ferdinand Magellan, the Portugese explorer who brought the original cross to the island of Cebu in 1521.
- The original cross was erected at this site on April 14, 1521, where Rajah Humabon, along with his wife Juana and 800 followers were baptised. It also marks the celebration of the first Catholic mass in Philippines.
- The octagon-shaped kiosk that houses Magellan’s Cross was built in 1834. The walls are plastered with lime, and the roof is tiled with ondiola.
- The belief that the original cross had miraculous powers made devotees chip off parts of it. The cross that currently stands has an outer casing of tindalo wood built around the original bonglas material to prevent that old habit.
- The murals on the ceiling depict the two major events that happened on April 14, 1521. One half of the mural shows the baptism of Rajah Humabon and his household, while the other half illustrates the erection of the original cross on Cebu shores. These murals were done by Serry M. Josol (1932-2006) and Jess Roa
- Visiting Magellan’s Cross today, you will find women clad in yellow by the small chapel. These women offer prayers for a traveller’s safety and other petitions. Buying a candle from these women will have them offer a prayer for you in Sinulog dance.
- Cebu City’s official seal depicts Magellan’s Cross.