Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14): My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church

In the midst of cacophony of sounds of the Carbon Market stands the modern-looking church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in her title that is less popular to Cebuanos as the Birhen sa Regla. That church is the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish Church, which is under the care of the Augustinian Recollects.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Cebu City

I accidentally discovered this church while I was looking for a market where I can buy danggit. I know that dried seafood may be found in Tabo-an but I still tried my luck in Carbon Market.

Carbon Market is very much like the Divisoria of Cebu City. This place have stores of meat, fish, vegetables, and other non-food products. The place is crowded and confusing that I was not able to find the danggit. Well, I guess I really have to go to Tabo-an for My Beloved Wife's much requested dried fish.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Cebu City

Carbon Market and The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church are both located in Barangay Ermita. The barrio got its name not because it copied the name of Manila's Ermita district but because of the Augustinian Recollects that inhabited the area.

Old hermitage of the Augustinian Recollects in Cebu City
The old Colegio de San Jose and part of hermitage of the Recollects.

The Augustinian Recollect is a contemplative religious order. This means that their focus is more on prayers and being away from the outside world. Their way of life is very much the same as the Pink Sisters in Tagaytay City.



The Augustinian Recollects first set foot in Cebu in 1606 but they only built their hermitage on the same spot as the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in 1621. Thus, Barangay Ermita got its name from the hermitage of the Augustinian Recollects.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Cebu City

The silence inside the church is a great break from the noise of the busy Carbon Market.

Inside Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Cebu City

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church is eerily silent during my visit. There is no tourist snapping photos here and there. No onlookers and noisy visitors. Just a good place to sit down and pray. I guess that the should-have-been-contemplative Recollects are successful in making this church a place for contemplation.


Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church Altar in Cebu City

The Recollects should have little contact with the outside world but Filipinos attended masses at the door of their hermitage thus they have no choice but to open their place to the public. The result of this is that they became missionaries and built various learning institutions, the famous of which is the Colegio de San Sebastian - Recoletos de Manila.

Just like their old hermitage in Manila, the Recollects' hermitage in Cebu became a educational institution, which is now called the University of San Jose – Recoletos. This university was established by the Recollects in 1947.

University of San Jose - Recoletos in Cebu City

I left Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church after a short prayer and few photos. I went out again to the busy world of Carbon Market and the search for the dried danggit.

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Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 19): Temple of Leah - The House of Vanity
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 18): A Better Stay in Bayfront Hotel in Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 13): Another Visit to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 12): Why Cebuanos Call Mama Mary as Birhen sa Regla?
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 11): Sto. Niño Basilica - Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 10): A Visit to the Fake(?) Magellan’s Cross
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 9): The Story of Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 8): Calle Colon, the Oldest Street in the Philippines
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 7): The Worst Cebu Hotel
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 6): The Colorful Lighthouse of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 5): The Mysterious Church of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 4): Bagacay Point Lighthouse
A Foretaste of Cebu in Mactan Cebu International Airport

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The image of the old hermitage of Augustinian Recollects in Cebu was obtained from the website of University of San Jose - Recoletos.

Some historical information about the Recollects in the Philippines was obtained from Simbahan.Net.
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Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 13): Another Visit to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

A visit to the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño naturally means a visit to the nearby Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Thus, I visited again this seat of the Archbishop of Cebu during my 2014 and 2016 visits to Ciudad de Cebu.

Just like the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral was damaged during the 2013 Bohol Earthquake.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Damaged by Bohol Earthquake

The bell tower has cracks…

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Belfry Damaged by Bohol Earthquake

…as well as the façade.

Facade of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral damaged by Bohol earthquake

The Bohol earthquake is not the first catastrophe that befell this cathedral. In fact, it experienced worse destruction during the Second World War after it was bombed by the American war planes during the liberation from the Japanese invaders. Only the façade, the walls, and the bell tower survived the aerial bombing.



Thankfully, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral sustained minor damages, which is unlike the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño where the bell tower collapsed and the Holy Mass has to be held outside of the church.

Interior of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The interior of the Cebu Cathedral and was not affected by the Bohol Earthquake. Thus, I was able to get a good photo of the altar.

Altar of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

…and other images in the cathedral.

Images of the saints in Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The organ at the area above the cathedral's door was also spared by the earthquake.

Pipe Organ of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

A little research revealed that Cebu Cathedral’s official name is Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish of Saint Vitalis and of the Guardian Angels. The cathedral got Saint Vitalis as its patron because the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed on Cebu on 28th of April 1565, which is the feast day of that saint.

I also discovered that Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the very first church in Cebu (thus also the very first church in the whole Philippines). It was said that the image of the Santo Niño was transferred to this church from the house where it was discovered. It means that Cebu Cathedral is much older than the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño.

I was not able to enter the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral during my 2016 visit to Cebu but I had a good look of its restored façade.

Restored facade of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The bell tower was restored too.

Restored bell tower of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

I am glad that Cebu City recovered from the earthquake and the restoration of the damages Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the symbol of that.

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Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 19): Temple of Leah - The House of Vanity
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 18): A Better Stay in Bayfront Hotel in Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14) – My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 12): Why Cebuanos Call Mama Mary as Birhen sa Regla?
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 11): Sto. Niño Basilica - Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 10): A Visit to the Fake(?) Magellan’s Cross
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 9): The Story of Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 8): Calle Colon, the Oldest Street in the Philippines
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 7): The Worst Cebu Hotel
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 6): The Colorful Lighthouse of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 5): The Mysterious Church of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 4): Bagacay Point Lighthouse

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 12): Why Cebuanos Call Mama Mary as Birhen sa Regla?

Birhen sa Regla image that I brought from Cebu


There is one church on Mactan Island that piqued my curiosity during my first visit to the Province of Cebu. That church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary under the title of “Birhen sa Regla”.

“Why regla?”, I asked. Is Mama Mary a patron saint for ladies suffering dysmenorrhea and pains related to menstruation? Is regla the Cebuano word for blood?

These questions popped to my mind because we Tagalogs define regla as menstruation. I didn’t find having a patron saint for ladies suffering menstrual pains implausible because the Catholic Church has many saints for “random” and “weird” things. An example would be St. Eligius who is the patron saint of gas station and garage workers. In fact, there is a saint who is called upon during menstrual cramps. He is a guy and the general of the Theban Legion named Maurice.



A little Google search revealed that my assumption that regla means menstruation is wrong. Regla is actually an abbreviation of the Spanish word reglamento, which means rule. In short Birhen sa Regla is Our Lady of the Rule in English.

The veneration of Our Lady of the Rule was said to be begun by St. Augustine. According to tradition, St. Augustine has an image of a black Virgin Mary and through that image the saint received the rule that he used to guide his monastic community.

The altar of Opon Church featuring the image of Birhen sa Regla

The islands of Cebu and Mactan were placed under the care of the Augustinians. Thus, it is not surprising that they brought the veneration of the Birhen sa Regla to the islands. The veneration became so popular that the people of Opon (the old name of Lapu-Lapu City) has a big fiesta honoring the black virgin.

The image of Birhen sa Regla was so dear to the people that they offer their precious jewelries for every answered prayer. The image was adorned by precious things until the parish priest decided to remove it after a robbery incident.

I was so oblivious of the fame of the Birhen sa Regla that I didn’t even know that the church where I attended a Sunday mass during my first visit to Cebu housed her famous image!

As newbie collector of Marian images, I found the image of Birhen sa Regla in Cebu unique to the many Marian images that I saw in this archipelago. I considered her as a defining image of Cebu.

My image of Birhen sa Regla


I brought home an image of the Birhen sa Regla and she is now placed in our living room.

What I like with this image is that she holds another image that is so popular in Cebu. And that is the image of the Santo Niño.

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Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 19): Temple of Leah - The House of Vanity
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 18): A Better Stay in Bayfront Hotel in Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14) – My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 13): Another Visit to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 11): Sto. Niño Basilica - Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 10): A Visit to the Fake(?) Magellan’s Cross
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 9): The Story of Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 8): Calle Colon, the Oldest Street in the Philippines
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 7): The Worst Cebu Hotel
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 6): The Colorful Lighthouse of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 5): The Mysterious Church of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 4): Bagacay Point Lighthouse
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Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 11): Sto. Niño Basilica - Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands

The finding of the Santo Niño by Juan Camus


In a partially burned hut, Juan found a pine box gilded with gold. The Spanish soldier opened the box, hoping to find some treasures hidden by indios. Alas! What he found is not gold or silver. What he found is something much more valuable: the image of the Santo Niño.

The accidental discovery of the holy image in Sugbu (now Cebu) is the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines.

According to historical accounts, the image of the Santo Niño discovered by Juan Camus was the same image given by Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon about 44 years earlier. The discovery of the image was seen as a divine sign by Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of their victory in the Philippines.

Restored Santo Niño Cathedral in Cebu City

A church, made of wood and nipa, were immediately built on the very spot where the Santo Niño was discovered. The first church for the Santo Niño destroyed by fire and so was the second church that replaced it.

The stone church for the Santo Niño standing today is the third church structure and was finished around 1739.

Devotees attend the holy mass outside of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

This stone structure of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is not impregnable because it was almost destroyed by an earthquake. I have seen the ruins firsthand when I visited Cebu City in 2014, about 4 months after the devastating earthquake in Bohol.

Bell tower of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño ruined by the Bohol Earthquake

The basilica’s bell tower collapsed and only half of it remained standing.

Good thing that the basilica is not off limits to visitors that’s I was able to enter it. However, masses have to be held outside of the basilica for the safety of Santo Niño devotees. I actually attended a mass at the open space fronting the Basilica.

Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City ruined by Bohol Earthquake

The ruins of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño made the somber atmosphere in the area. Even the vendors around the basilica felt sad seeing their church in ruins.

Balloon vendor outside of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

The lively atmosphere around the Basilica is back during my visit to Cebu City in 2016. The Basilica was restored thanks to the help of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The Basilica now has a new belfry.

Renovated bell tower of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

Even the whole façade of the Basilica was restored and look new.

Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

Devotees can now attend masses inside the Basilica and visit the Santo Niño without the fear of being buried under the rubble. Tourists like me can safely marvel at the beauty of the seemingly golden altar of the Basilica.

Altar of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

There is one painting inside the Basilica that I enjoyed looking at. It depicts the Santo Niño with his staff pointing towards Cebu.

Painting of the Santo Niño in the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

The message of the painting is clear. It shows that Cebu is the center of Christianity in the Philippines. Cebu is the fertile land where the seeds of Faith took root and bear a hundredfold.

This is the reason why the Holy See declared the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño as Mater et Caput Omnium Ecclesiarum Insularum Philippinarum or the Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands.

Image of the Santo Niño outside of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño, Cebu City

This declaration by the Church only shows the great importance of the Basilica and the Santo Niño to the Filipinos. They are the anchor of our faith and culture.

Candles outside of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño in Cebu City

Aside from being the center of Catholic Faith and anchor of Filipino culture, the Basilica also serves as a landmark of World History. In front of the Basilica stands the bronze marker commemorating the journeys of Fray Andres de Urdaneta.

Historical marker showing the travels of Fray Andres de Urdaneta outside of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño, Cebu City

Urdaneta is the navigator of the Legazpi Expedition. He is also the first prelate of Cebu. He made a mark in world history for discovering the tornaviaje or the return route from Philippines to Mexico, which became the vital route of Spanish galleons during the great Galleon Trade.

Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño as shown in the Urdaneta Brass Marker

Some historians said that children had special place in the heart of the indios that the Spanish met during the colonization of the Philippines. This is the reason why the Cebuanos readily accepted the Santo Niño in to their hearts. I believe that God, in some way, Christianized the whole country through His humility as a child.

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Read about my previous visits to the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño:

Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño (2010)
Inside the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño (2012)

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Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 19): Temple of Leah - The House of Vanity
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 18): A Better Stay in Bayfront Hotel in Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14) – My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 13): Another Visit to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 12): Why Cebuanos Call Mama Mary as Birhen sa Regla?
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 10): A Visit to the Fake(?) Magellan’s Cross
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 9): The Story of Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 8): Calle Colon, the Oldest Street in the Philippines
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 7): The Worst Cebu Hotel
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 6): The Colorful Lighthouse of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 5): The Mysterious Church of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 4): Bagacay Point Lighthouse
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Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 10): A Visit to the Fake(?) Magellan’s Cross

A visit to Ciudad de Cebu will never be complete without seeing the city’s iconic symbols: the image of Santo Niño and Magellan’s Cross. Both of these icons were gifts of the Purtoguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the Cebuanos.

My third visit to Magellan’s Cross was about one year after the destructive earthquake in Bohol. The earthquake is so strong that it destroyed the bell tower of the Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño.

Fortunately, the earthquake didn’t destroy Magellan’s Cross Shrine. However, it still has to undergo some repairs so the whole shrine was supported by wooden braces during my visit.

Magellan's Cross Shrine in Cebu City

The Magellan’s Cross Shrine is just a walking distance from the Basilica of the Santo Niño. It is located just in front of the Cebu City Hall.

Magellan’s Shrine is very accessible to public transport. Any tourist can hail taxi cab to go here. Another alternative, particularly for those who want to save money, is by riding a multicab with a Cebu Cathedral placard.

Magellan's Cross Shrine in Cebu City

I am glad that the shrine was not closed to the public despite the fact that it is under renovation. What’s missing are the old manangs who offer prayers (for a fee) and dances in front of Magellan’s Cross. I think the cross is already off limits to them while the Shrine is under repair.

Just like in my first visit, Megallan’s Cross Shrine still has no entrance fee.

Magellan's Cross in Cebu City

Magellan’s Cross survived the earthquake but it still had to be supported by wooden braces.

The cross was erected by Ferdinand Magellan after Rajah Humabon, king of Sugbu, and his subjects converted to Christianity.

The marker at the foot of the cross says that the cross on display is made of Tindalo wood that encases the original cross that was planted by Magellan on the current spot of the Shrine in 1521.

Marker of Magellan's Cross in Cebu City

The original Magellan’s Cross was encased in another wooden cross to protect it from the elements and from people who chip parts of the cross for its alleged miraculous powers.

It is difficult to believe that Magellan’s Cross existed for more than 500 hundred years. There are many people who argue that the current Magellan’s Cross is a fake and that the original cross was destroyed a long time ago. Some even say that Rajah Humabon destroyed the original cross as a proof to Lapu-Lapu that he is no longer allied with the Spaniards.




Rajah Humabon, after the defeat of Magellan in the Battle of Mactan, feared retaliation from the victorious Lapu-Lapu. So, he massacred the remaining Spaniards to show that he is no longer allied with them. I guess that the destruction of the original Magellan’s Cross by Humabon’s men is not too farfetched.

Another proof that the original Magellan’s Cross is gone is that Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, who finally colonized the Philippines for Spain, made no mention of the cross. The discovery of the image of Santo Niño was mentioned but there is no account on Magellan’s Cross. The lack of mention to an important relic such as the Cross may mean that it no longer exists.

Mural on the ceiling of Magellan's Cross Shrine in Cebu City

The mural on the ceiling of Magellan’s Cross Shrine depicts two scenes that happened during Ferdinand Magellan’s sojourn in Cebu. The scenes are the planting of the Cross and the other is the baptism of Rajah Humabon and his subjects.

Painters of the mural in Magellan's Cross Shrine, Cebu City

The mural was painted by Serry M. Josol and Jose Ma. Roa in 1965.

Unfortunately, little is known about these two painters. Even Google couldn’t provide reliable information. Jose Ma. Roa's surname is similar to the middle name of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. I wonder if the two are relatives.

There is a great possibility that the original Magellan’s Cross is already gone and that what is displayed in the shrine is just a replica. However, this does not reduce the importance of Magellan’s Shrine because it commemorates an important piece of Filipino history and the birth of our Christian Faith.

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Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14) – My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 13): Another Visit to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 12): Why Cebuanos Call Mama Mary as Birhen sa Regla?
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 11): Sto. Niño Basilica - Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 9): The Story of Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 8): Calle Colon, the Oldest Street in the Philippines
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 7): The Worst Cebu Hotel
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 6): The Colorful Lighthouse of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 5): The Mysterious Church of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 4): Bagacay Point Lighthouse
A Foretaste of Cebu in Mactan Cebu International Airport

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Information for this post was obtained from the following sources:

Magellan's Cross in Cebu Living
Retrato
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Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 9): The Story of Rajah Humabon - King of Cebu

There is a small spot in Cebu City that I didn’t give much attention during my past visits. That spot, fronting the Cebu Cathedral Museum, finally caught my eyes when I saw a statue of Pintado.

Rajah Humabon Monument in Cebu City


I wondered why a precious space would be given up for this statue.

I realized, upon closer inspection, that that statue is Rajah Humabon, the king of Cebu when the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, “discovered” the Philippines for Spain.

Statue of Rajah Humabon in Cebu City


Rajah Humabon, also known as Hamabar, is the king (rajah) of the kingdom of Singhapala (now part of Cebu City). He is the son of Sri Bantug and the grandson of Sri Lumay, who came from Sumatra (now part of Indonesia). Thus, we can say that the Cebuanos today are directly related with the Sumatrans.

Marker for Rajah Humabon in Cebu City

A marker, located a short distance from Rajah Humabon’s statue, contains inscription of a brief historical accounts about Rajah Humabon.



The inscription says:

Rajah Humabon was the first Filipino chieftain to embrace Christianity, regarded as the as the wisest and bravest man in the island. When Ferdinand Magellan landed on Cebu on Sunday, April 7, 1521, Rajah Humabon made a blood compact with Magellan as a symbol of their newfound friendship. Captivated by its noble teachings, Rajah Humabon was converted to Christianity. 
On Sunday morning, April 14, 1521, Humabon and his wife Humamal, and about 800 Cebuanos were baptized. Humabon was given the name Carlos in honor of King Charles V of Spain and his wife Queen Juana after King Charles' mother. 
In remembrance of the occasion, Magellan gave Queen Juana an image of the Child Jesus as a gift, while a large cross was erected to mark the baptismal site.
Inscription in the markerw for Rajah Humabon in Cebu City


The image of the Child Jesus that Queen Juana received is the same image of Santo Niño that is enshrined in the Minor Basilica of Santo Niño and is deeply revered by all Cebuanos. Meanwhile, the large cross is the Magellan’s Cross that is on display near the Minor Basilica.

The inscription didn’t mention the third gift that Magellan gave to Rajah Humabon. That gift is the Ecce Homo is the Latin for “Behold the Man”, which Pontius Pilate said when he presented the scourged Jesus Christ to the crowd.

Santo Niño Pointing at Cebu
Painting of the Santo Niño. Notice his staff pointing at Cebu.

The inscription said Rajah Humabon was captivated by the noble teachings of Christianity. I do not believe this. What I believe is that Humabon had practical reasons he made a blood compact with Magellan and why he converted to Christianity.

One reason is the miraculous healing of Rajah Humabon’s uncle. Antonio Pigafetta did elaborate on the procedures done by the Spaniards but folklore says that the Santo Niño is the one who healed Humabon’s uncle.

A more practical reason is the chieftain of Mactan, who is now popularly known as Lapu-Lapu.

I read in Eye in the Sky’s blog that Lapulapu Dimantag came to Cebu from Borneo and asked Rajah Humabon for lands. Humabon gave the region Mandawili (now called as Mandaue) and the Island of Opong (now Opon) in the hope that Lapulapu’s tribe will cultivate it. Unfortunately, Lapu-Lapu turned to piracy and attacked merchant vessels calling at Cebu which affected trade in Cebu.

I guess that Rajah Humabon was impressed with the European’s guns, cannons, and big ships. That's why he asked Magellan to kill Lapu-Lapu for him.

Battle of Mactan in 1521
The Battle of Mactan (Source: Wikipedia)

The Battle of Mactan against Lapu-Lapu resulted in the loss for the Spaniards and the death of Magellan. The newfound friendship turned sour as Rajah Humabon tried to massacre the remaining Spaniards during a feast. Some say that Humabon did this to avenge the Cebuanas who were raped by the Spaniards. I believe, however, that this is a way for Humabon to show to Lapu-Lapu that he is no longer allied with the Spaniards and thus avoiding further conflict. The Europeans who survived left Cebu and continued their journey back to Spain, thus circumnavigating the world for the first time.

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Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14) – My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 13): Another Visit to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 12): Why Cebuanos Call Mama Mary as Birhen sa Regla?
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 11): Sto. Niño Basilica - Mother and Head of All Churches of the Philippine Islands
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 10): A Visit to the Fake(?) Magellan’s Cross
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 8): Calle Colon, the Oldest Street in the Philippines
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 7): The Worst Cebu Hotel
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 6): The Colorful Lighthouse of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 5): The Mysterious Church of Lilo-an
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 4): Bagacay Point Lighthouse
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Various historical tidbits for this post about Rajah Humabon came from the following sources:

Humabon’s Jesus icon returning to Cebu by Ador Vincent S. Mayol and Candeze R. Mongaya
Magellan’s gift by Jobers Bersales
Rajah Humabon in Wikipedia
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A Test of Patience: My Son Killed the External Hard Drive

My Hard Drive is Dead


My external hard drive just died today and the culprit is my 2-year old Son.

What happened was an accident. My little son pulled the antenna wire which in turn pulled out the external hard drive from its place on the TV rack. The virtual storage of our memories hit the tiled floor from a height of about 5 feet. It no longer worked ever since.

Our external hard drive (EHD) contains my important files such as copies of my papers written during my college years, Word files of my blog posts, and our precious videos and photos dating back to my teenage years.

I am somehow thankful that I backed up some of our precious photos to another EHD. The other files, however, are no longer recoverable.

The EHD is just one of the many gadgets that my son destroyed. The truth is that he already destroyed two cellphones, broke the screen of my smart phone (I am still using it), threw My Beloved Wife’s phone to a bowl that is full of water (it was not damaged thankfully), and destroyed my Lumix camera.



The recent incident with the EHD is a test of patience and letting go.

I didn’t felt extreme anger when I discovered that the EHD no longer works. I reasoned out that there’s no point getting angry about it and punishing my 2-year old for this accident will result into more problems (i.e. psychological and emotional).

I had to let go of the irrecoverable files stored in that EHD. It is sad that I will not be able to access those files but I can only move on.

I learned many lessons after this incident with the EHD. One important lesson is the importance of backing up my files. Another lesson is to keep our expensive gadgets in secure places that are out of reach of our makukulit na babies.

The last lesson is that my children are more important than mere things. That I should be more understanding, especially now they are still learning what is right or wrong. That I should be more patient with them and and should not place their emotional development in jeopardy.

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This a Daddy's Corner post!

Daddy's Corner is where I post my thoughts on my life as a Daddy to two wonderful kids and Husband to a very loving wife, and my journey in raising a family.
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Send Hugs to the Children of Marawi

1000 Bear Hugs for Marawi Children


The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported that evacuees, or bakwit, from the war torn Marawi experiences depression, trauma, and a host of mental disorder. DOH says that this is the effect of the bakwits’ the ongoing war between government forces and the Maute terrorists.

The DOH and DSWD are doing various interventions to help the bakwits cope with the depression. They do drawing, Zumba, sharing of experiences. Volunteer doctors and psychiatrists were also on board to help the refugees.


Unfortunately, these efforts are not enough. Thus, 1000BearHugs with the Dominican Province of the Philippines launched a toy drive campaign to help the most affected by the war in Marawi: the little children.

1000 Bear Hugs for Marawi Children

1000 Bearhugs is a special reach out to kids by kids put the spotlight to children displaced by disaster and conflict.



To children, teddy bears and stuffed toys are imaginary friends who are effective comfort givers in times of extreme stress and fear. These cute and cuddly toys will help them heal from trauma or tragedy.

1000 Bear Hugs for Marawi Children

1000 Bear Hugs only accepts toys that are:

1. Adorably cute and in good condition.
2. Huggable size (minimum of 6 inches height and maximum of 24 inches height)
3. Clean and ready for distribution

1000 Bear Hugs for Marawi Children

They do not accept the following toys:

1. Non-stuffed
2. Scary-looking
3. Pigs or wild animal replicas
4. Weapon-like (i.e. teddy bears holding a gun)
5. Battery-operated
6. Damaged or soiled

Those who are interested to send hugs to the children of Marawi may drop their cute and cuddly toys at the Sto. Domingo Parish Information Center, which located along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City.

1000 Bear Hugs for Marawi Children

The collection period is from June 15 to July 15.

For more information, you may send a message to @1000Bearhugs at Twitter.
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