Cebu is not just about beaches, waterfalls, trekking, clubbing or shopping. It is also a destination for religious devotees particularly Roman Catholics. Philippines is mainly a Christian nation and it’s not a surprise if local and foreign tourists would want a trip to some of the most popular churches in the province.
One of popular churches in Cebu include the Basilica del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist which houses the famous miraculous image of the Virgin Mary in Sibonga, Cebu.
Miraculous Image of Virgin Mary in Simala Church
Marian devotees and other religious devotees would come and visit the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist or also called the “Simala Church” to visit a shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Most devotees would come here to ask for miracles and give praise and thanks when their prayers are heard. A number of people have testified that the image of the Virgin Mary in Simala is indeed miraculous.
This day trip to Simala is a trip for people who wants to experience a spiritual kind of peace and solemnity. The Simala church has the look and grandeur of a castle. You could see from its architecture and the design that is it regal and fits well for a queen – Mary, The Queen of Apostles, the Queen of Peace.
Candles are sold in the Simala Church if you would like to pray for specific purposes. Like a gold candle is for family tree and spiritual healing and good health. A blue candle is for employment or career-related prayers. Red is for relationship-related prayers. Green candles are for success and prosperity in business or exams and licensures.
The church also displays various images of the Blessed Virgin Mary including the Korean Virgin Mary, Mother of Perpetual Help and the Lady of Fatima.
While inside Simala Church
In Simala Church, respect and solemnity is important. Everywhere you go, you are constantly reminded to pray and be silent. When in the church grounds, you are not allowed wear sleeveless blouse or tube. Shorts or mini skirts, transparent clothes are not allowed too.
Guests are not allowed to eat and drink inside the church grounds, smoking is also prohibited. Flash of cameras is also discouraged. When entering the Prayer Room, remember to leave your footwear.
If you feel thirsty or hungry, you can go to the small cottages near the compound. These are the areas within the compound that guests are allowed to eat and drink.
How to get to Simala Church and Trip Rates
For those who do not have their own transportation, you have three options to get to Simala Church. The first option is to rent a van/car. The rate of van/car rental depends on the number of pax joining the trip. For 1 – 4 pax, you can rent a sedan for approximately Php2,300 to 2,600 for up to 8 hours of usage. Or you may rent a mini-van (innova) for just Php2,800 for up to 10 hours of use which is good for 1 – 6 pax. If you have more than 6 or 6- 15 people, you may have to rent a van, either a hi-ace commuter which will cost you approximately Php3,500 for up to 10 hours of use.
The second option is to rent a taxi. Well, its the same as renting a sedan though.
The third option is to take the public utility buses from South Bus terminal which will cost you approximately Php300 round trip including the motorbike (habal-habal) ride from the highway going to the church.