Michelle de Guzman | August 2008
With its rich history of Spanish colonization and deep Catholic roots, the Province of Cebu abounds with churches, both old and new, all with character and ability to make even the most distant devotees flock and share their lives’ milestones, from baptisms to weddings, to these churches.
If you’ll ask anyone what church to recommend in Cebu City, the province’s capital, that person would immediately say Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. It houses the oldest religious relic in the Philippines—the Sto. Niño. This was given by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana when husband King Humabon was the first to be baptized as a Catholic on April 14, 1521.
The Sto. Niño is the inspiration for Cebu City’s famous Sinulog Festival every January, and Cebuanos’ devotion every First Friday.
With approximately 60 services given throughout the week, this church, founded by Fr. Andres de Urdaneta on the very day the Legazpi-Urdaneta expedition landed on the island, is indeed very busy.
As for the interiors, you will marvel at the stones quarried from Capiz and Panay by an army of bancas, the molave wood from Talisay, and the magnificent architecture that has withstood all earthquakes.
The simple and elegant architecture of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño has Muslim, Romanesque and neo-classical features.
To see it for yourself or book for your wedding:
Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño
Address: Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, 6000
Telephone No: (6332) 255-6697; 255-6699; 255-0934 (Rector’s Office)
Churches Around Cebu City
Alliance of Two Hearts Parish
Address: Horseshoe Drive, Banawa, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, 6000
Telephone No: (6332) 255-3241
Address: D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City
Telephone No: (632) 254-1861 (look for Sr. Amay at Chancery Office)
Address: Basak, Mandaue City, Cebu
Telephone No: (6332) 346-7542
Holy Guardian Angels Parish (Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral)
Address: P. Burgos St., Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, 6000
Telephone No: (6332) 253-6422; 255-8823
Fax No: (6332) 412-1333
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (Capitol)
Address: N. Escario Street, Cebu City
Telephone No: (6332) 255-8516
Sacred Heart Parish
Address: 242 D. Jakosalem St., Cebu City
Telephone No: (6332) 253-6479; 254-3950
Fax No: (6332) 255-6366
Around Cebu Province
1. The Church of Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon If your wedding plans have been revolving around the debutantes of the Filipino Spanish past, what better place to have it than in the oldest remaining original stone church in Cebu? What’s more, the church in Boljoon (pronounced Bol-ho-on) has a pseudo baroque-rococo feel, with an elongated shape, shallow pillars and Rococo decorations on the panels.
Being a constant victim of Muslim raids then, the original church founded in 1599 was rebuilt sometime after 1783 to become a genuine showcase of old, intricate carvings and designs.
2. Church of San Miguel Arcangel of Argao Considered the most rococo of all Church facades in Cebu, this second oldest church in the island has a beautiful semi-circular arched entrance with columns on rectangular pedestals, complete with relief designs, eagles, and Corinthian capitals.
The church standing today was actually the third one constructed by Augustinian priest Fr. Mateo Perez. The first one, founded in May 17, 1734, had a magnificent painted roof inside.
3. Parish of Bantayan Bantayan is the most glamorous island in the North of Cebu because of its white beaches and breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The island’s famous church was built in 1893.
So why not combine the magnificent beach and church the island has to offer and get married in Bantayan?
Have a beach wedding in a church with walls made of coral stones, with centuries-old life-size statues of saints and with an altar filled with ancient Spanish time carvings. As an added plus, the church belfry has resounding bells that can be heard miles away, perfect for ringing in the new couple after your wedding.
For the complete list of Churches in Cebu, visit Kasal.com’s Wedding Resources section.
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Kasal.com thanks the following sources for this article:
“Basilica.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 from http://www.basilicadelsantoninodecebu.org.ph/basilica.html
“Cebu’s historical Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 fromhttp://living.cebunetwork.com/cebus-historical-basilica-minore-del-sto-nino/2006/07/08/
“Church of San Miguel Arcangel of Argao.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 fromhttp://www.waypoints.ph/detail_gen.php?wpt=argaoc
“Interiors.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 from http://cebuheritage.wordpress.com/heritage-of-cebu/old-churches/basilica-minore-del-santo-nino/
“The Centuries-Old Bantayan Church.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 fromhttp://www.bantayan.gov.ph/tourism006.htm
“White beaches.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 from http://www.bantayan.gov.ph/tourism004.htm
Perez, Paul. “The Church of Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon.” Retrieved June 3, 2008 from http://www.waypoints.ph/detail_gen.html?wpt=bljonc