Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Touring the oldest churches in the Philippines


Santo Niño Basilica
The Santo Niño Basilica in Cebu owes its existence to a miracle: a second wave of Spanish conquistadors found a statue of the child Jesus amidst the ashes of a burned native settlement. Recognizing it as a present given by the conquistador Magellan to a local queen, the discoverer ordered a church to be built at the location where the statue was found.

The Basilica building dates back from 1740, a coral and wood structure built where a wooden and earth church once stood. A museum within the church preserves remnants from Cebu's deeply Christian history—from priestly garments to statues of saints to rosaries used by the local faithful.

The statue of the Child Jesus (the "Santo Niño") is preserved behind bulletproof glass in the Basilica. Every year, the Santo Niño is brought out to serve as the focal point of a series of parades held during the festive Sinulog every January. (Photo by Harvey Tapan) 

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