Magellan's Cross

One of the more popular landmarks in Cebu City is the Magellan's Cross. A simple monument situated beside the Basilica del Sto Niño. Many of us have seen the photographs of the cross in various angles, whether its online, on postcards or other travel books-it is still different when you're staring at it in person.

The shrine was built in a simple manner, with the cross housed in a small chapel where one can take photographs, light a candle and say a short prayer. The ceiling of the chapel is covered with murals that depicts Magellan and his exploration party making a landing on the shore of Cebu and meeting with some of the natives, the cross planting and the first mass held in the Philippines.

The original cross, according to the sign located beneath it says "This cross of Tindalo wood encases the original cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan on this very site April 21, 1521." Just a few days before the fateful crossing of the path with Lapu-Lapu on Mactan Island.

History tells us that the cross was planted when Ferdinand Magellan made the first successful conversion to Roman Catholicism, of the first batch of Filipinos who will embrace the faith up to this day. They were Rajah Humabon and his wife Queen Hara Amihan and along with a few hundred of their followers.

The shrine wasn't that grandiose but the importance of it cannot be neglected, as I remember in grade school when my teacher taught us about our early history, Magellan, Lapu-Lapu, Magellan's cross and so on, I only hear and read about it at that time. However this time, I was right there, at the site of where the actual event took place and as a big follower of history, It was just right being there and seeing with my own eyes, the very cross (even though it only encloses the original) that my history teacher have taught me early in my elementary days.