Tag Archives: Philippine Catholic traditions

#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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#237 University of Santo Tomas

Facade of the UST's main building

The Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas or simply known as UST (or affectionately called “Ustê” by its students) among Filipinos is a private Roman Catholic university run by the Order of Preachers in Manila.

The UST was founded on April 28, 1611 by archbishop Miguel de Benavides and has the oldest extant university charter in the Philippines and in Asia. The university is also considered as one of the world’s largest Catholic universities in terms of enrolment found on one campus. The UST is also the largest university in the city of Manila and the oldest in the Philippines if not in Asia.

Mabuhay ang UST!


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#236 Sinulog Festival

The Sinulog procession (Wikipedia photo)

The Sinulog is an annual festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, Philippines. The festival honors the vision of the child Jesus, known as the Santo Niño (Holy Child),who used to be the patron Saint of the City of Cebu (since in the Catholic faith Jesus is not a saint, but God). It is a dance ritual that commemorates the Cebuano people’s Islamic and pagan origin, and their acceptance of Roman Catholicism.

The festival features a street parade with participants in bright colored costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs. Smaller versions of the festival are held in various parts of Cebu, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño. There is also a “Sinulog sa Kabataan” performed by the youths of Cebu a week before the parade. Recently, the festival has been promoted as a tourist attraction, with a contest featuring contingents from various parts of the country. (From: Wikipedia)

Mabuhay ang Sinulog Festival!

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#96 Moriones Festival

The annual Moriones Festival is one of the most widely known and colorful street festivals in the Philippines, attracting hordes of foreign and local tourists to the island of Marinduque in central Philippines.

Held every Easter holidays, the Marinduque spectacle includes the townspeople wearing Roman costumes, complete with colourful handmade masks. The festival probably originated in the early 19th century during the Spanish colonial period and re-enacts the story of Saint Longinus, a Roman centurion who was blind in one eye. The festival is characterized by colorful Roman costumes, painted masks and helmets, and brightly-colored tunics

Moriones is derived from the Spanish morion which means “mask” or “visor,” a part of the medieval Roman armor which covers the face. Moriones also refers to the masked and costumed penitents who march around the town for seven days searching for Longinus. Morions roam the streets in Marinduque from Holy Monday to Easter Sunday scaring kids or posing for the photographers and tourists hordes that annually descend on Marinduque.

Mabuhay ang Moriones!

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