Tag Archives: Cebu City

#342 Magellan’s Cross

Wikipedia Photo


Magellan’s Cross, located in Magellanes Street in Cebu City, is considered as one of the city’s major historical landmarks.

In 1521 the Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Magellan, ordered his men to erect the original large wooden cross at the location where Cebu’s Rajah Humaton, his wife Juana, and 800 followers were baptised on April 14, 1521. The first Catholic mass in Cebu (in fact, the first Catholic mass in the Philippines) was also celebrated in the same site.

The original cross deteriorated over the years when the Catholic faithful took little pieces of the cross as mementos. In 1845 another cross was placed at the spot. The new cross was made of tindalo wood and inside a hollow splinters of the original Magellan’s Cross were preserved.

Today a tiled pavilion shelters the cross and a mural on the ceiling depicts the scene of the first mass and commemorates the conversion of the first Filipinos to Christianity.

Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Cebu, and the chapel’s image can be found in its city seal. It is also considered as the symbol of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines. (Wikipedia and other sources).

Mabuhay ang Cebu!

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#254 Parian (Cebu)

Cebu's Parian District

Parian was the original and affluent Chinese heartland of Cebu, founded as a de facto settlement in the middle of the 16th century. 

Today, nothing much remains of this district of fine houses and shops, except for a handful of old houses, like Casa Gorordo and the Jesuit Residence of 1730. Though it ceased to be wholly Chinese by the 19th century due to the rabid Chinese pogroms in the 18th century, Cebu’s Parian remained the enclave of affluent Chinese mestizos like the Borromeos, Cuis, Osmeñas, Velezes, Velosos and over 20 other families.

The center of the Parian was the church of San Juan Bautista. The fire station at the crossroads of Sikatuna and Zulueta streets is built on the foundations of the church’s convento. A small chapel nearby, dedicated to San Juan, is a mute reminder of this once impressive church.
The church was built by a mestizo Chinese secular priest in the 1700s. Jurisdictional conflicts with the convento of Santo Niño forced the bishop to demote the church from parish to the level of visita dependent on Santo Niño. 

In time, the church was abandoned and deteriorated. Its appurtenances went to other churches and to the Colegio de San Ildefonso, which inherited some of its furniture and statuary. The site of the church’s sanctuary was marked by a cross before World War II. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Other web sources)

Long live Cebu’s Parian district!

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