Magellan’s Cross | An Important Christian Monument in Cebu

Magellan’s Cross is a reminder of how Christianity was brought to the Philippines.

Christianity in the Philippines started in the 1500s when Spanish forces led by Ferdinand Magellan converted Rajah Humabon and his men. Magellan planted a large wooden cross on the first baptism site, which has become a notable symbol in Philippine history.

The cross is a must-see monument, as it is one of the most iconic historical landmarks in Cebu City.

The cross is one of the most recognizable monuments in Cebu. Hundreds of locals and tourists visit this heritage site to pray or to witness the religious icon for themselves. Visitors can also learn about how Christianity started in what is considered the largest Christian community in Asia.

The kiosk housing the cross is located between two other notable structures in Cebu City – namely City Hall and the Basilica del Sto. Niño.

It remains an important historical landmark, with several marketing and promotional materials using its iconic stone kiosk as a symbol that represents Cebu.

Even foreigners and locals from neighboring cities take the time to marvel at the monument, not to mention the murals painted in the ceiling within the kiosk.

HISTORY OF MAGELLAN’S CROSS

Magellan and his men arrived on the island of Cebu on March 15, 1521, looking to expand Christianity to other parts of the world. He persuaded Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana to convert into the first Christian Filipinos.

Fr. Pedro Valderama – the only priest to join Magellan in his expedition to the Philippines – led the first Christian baptism in Cebu on April 21, 1521, converting Humabon, Juana, and around 400 of their followers to Christianity.

Magellan planted a wooden cross in the venue where the baptism took place, and it still stands tall as of this day.

From 1525 to 1740, the Augustinian priests built a shrine for locals to come and witness the prominent structure. Unfortunately, many locals tried to chip away at pieces of the cross, believing it had miraculous power.

The church proceeded to build the chapel – occasionally referred to as a kiosk – to protect the shrine from massive damage. Even after countless typhoons and storms, the stone structure remains unharmed.

The signage shows that the original Magellan’s Cross is now encased in a hollow cross made of tindalo wood.

The local government stored the cross in a hollow timer casing, which is more difficult to chip away at.

A mural painted on the chapel ceiling depicts the first baptism in Cebu. The painting shows Fr. Valderama, Magellan, and the Spaniards, offering religious items to the early Cebuanos.

Unfortunately, Magellan met his untimely demise when he entered the island of Mactan, where he was defeated by Datu LapuLapu. The heavily armed Spanish forces fell to the local tribesmen of the island in what is famously referred to as the Battle of Mactan.

MAGELLAN’S CROSS TODAY

Cebuanos continue to visit Magellan’s Cross to pray and pay their respects.

The structure remains a popular tourist attraction, as it is an important aspect of religion in the Philippines, which is largely Catholic.

Many Cebuanos often visit the cross to offer prayers and ask for blessings. You can light some candles or pray outside the kiosk. There are also a few women outside the chapel selling candles and will offer to pray for you.

Foreigners – especially those who are Catholic and Christian – also take interest in how Christianity spread throughout the different countries worldwide. As one of the most popular and recognizable religious landmarks, this is one location they would probably want to visit during their stay in Cebu.

It may also be the perfect place to visit before making your way to the Basilica del Sto. Niño, the church where the original Santo Niño statue is housed and protected. It is also where the Fiesta Señor, the celebration in honor of Santo Niño during the Sinulog Festival, is held.

The stone kiosk is accessible and can easily be located near downtown Cebu. Many public utility jeepneys pass by the area, and taxi drivers are familiar with it.

Introducing Christianity to the Filipinos is one of the most celebrated accomplishments of Ferdinand Magellan. The structure he planted at the heart of Cebu City has created a lasting impact on local believers and devout travelers around the world.

If there is one historical monument that people closely associate with Cebu, it will most likely be Magellan’s Cross. This historical site serves as a reminder of the first Filipinos who converted to Christianity.

The venue is easy to locate, very recognizable, and it provides a reliable source of information in regards to how the largest Christian community in Asia started out.

HOW TO GET THERE

Exact Location:
P. Burgos Street, Cebu City, Cebu

Entrance Fee:
None

  • JEEPNEY

Many jeepney routes going to downtown Cebu can take you close to Magellan’s Cross. Look for a jeepney that will pass by Sto. Niño, and get off when you reach the church. You can find the historical structure between City Hall and the Basilica.

Share this:

Other posts

Charlie's Cup, the Newest Balamban Tourist Spot

Charlie’s Cup, the Newest Balamban Tourist Spot to Visit!

Charlie’s Cup is a cafe in Cebu that offers a cool and refreshing vibe thanks to its cliffside location. The Cebu Transcentral Highway (TCH) has become one of the island’s best spots to check out the newest and most interesting cafes and restaurants with breathtaking views. The long, winding road makes it an ideal expedition

Read More
SM Seaside shopping mall’s famous cube

Where to Go for the Ultimate Shopping Experience in Cebu

Enjoy shopping in Cebu on your next visit. Shopping in Cebu is at another level. Anywhere you are in the metropolis, make no mistake that a shopping mall is just around the corner. Whether you are looking to buy souvenirs, shirts, accessories, or food, shopping malls in Cebu have it all. Cebu is a prime

Read More
The Cebu City Hall, the venue for the celebration of the Cebu City Charter Day

Cebu City Charter Day

Cebu City Charter Day commemorates another year of Cebu being considered a city. While the world recognizes February for Valentine’s Day and different concepts of love, Cebu City, the Visayan region’s Queen City of the South, embraces its cityhood, heritage, people, and economic growth within the same month. The 24th of February calls for a

Read More
Sinigang, a popular Filipino comfort food

Discovering Filipino Comfort Food

Try any of these Filipino comfort food when you’re feeling under the weather. When you’re feeling down in the dumps or a little under the weather, there is always that one dish that your mother makes that would always perk you up. There are also those types of meals and delicacies in Philippine food culture.

Read More
Bisaya phrases

Bisaya Phrases You Should Learn and Know

There are many Bisaya phrases you can use when traveling to Cebu. You may have plans to go to Cebu for a trip. A local comes up to you and asks for help. You barely know any Cebuano, what do you do? You may speak to them in English since most Cebuanos understand the English

Read More
Places to visit in Cebu for jogging enthusiasts

Places to Visit in Cebu for Health Junkies on a Budget

These are the best places in Cebu to jog in a budget! Gym memberships can be expensive. The equipment, the trainer, and maybe the diet plan you invested in can all leave a big dent in your wallet. However, you don’t really need a treadmill or thousands of pounds in weights to get ripped. Just

Read More

Best of Cebu Videos

Seeking to learn more about Cebuano culture, or wanting to know what to do once you arrive, Cebu Insights is the travel guide for you in Cebu!

Contact Us

See other Articles

Mactan Cheers for the Garbo sa Lapu-Lapu Festival 2022

Contingents from Lapu-Lapu City celebrated their pride and culture at the Mactan Newtown. For two years, the Garbo sa Lapu-Lapu festival was canceled. The 2020 event was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the 2021 celebration broadcasted a pre-recorded show online. However, in 2022, the Historic Resort City finally

Sophisticated ESL Schools in Cebu | CIA Mactan

Most ESL schools in Cebu are not as high-end as the Cebu International Academy. Want to learn English as a second language (ESL)? There are many ESL schools in Cebu because of the proficiency in English among Cebuanos. While most ESL teachers hold lessons online, a few allow face-to-face classes

Enjoy the Soothing Garden and Outdoor Setup at Nimo Brew

This coffee shop in Cebu has an impressive outdoor setup. Welcome to Nimo Brew, a coffee shop that entices customers with its relaxing outdoor atmosphere. This cabin-style cafe radiates a peaceful aura through its cleverly hidden location and spacious outdoor garden. Nimo Brew is more than just a place for

How to Get a Philippine Passport in Cebu

Take note of the requirements for a passport application and book a schedule ahead of time. A passport is a document issued by a government to its citizens for the purpose of international travel and identification. It’s the most reliable document accepted by airlines, immigration officials, and airport authorities. If

Museums in Cebu Light up the Night | Gabii sa Kabilin

Cebuanos flocked to the museums of Cebu for the yearly heritage walk known as Gabii sa Kabilin. Gabii sa Kabilin is the perfect way to learn more about the history of Cebu. Every year, this heritage walk promotes some of the top landmarks and museums in Cebu by giving participants

Ride-Hailing Apps in Cebu You Should Have On Your Phone

Travel around Cebu with ease by using these helpful ride-hailing apps. If you don’t know it already, ride-hailing apps are a must-have on your smartphone. When regular transportation disappoints, these software programs will come to the rescue, allowing you to book a ride to your desired destination. For years these

Scroll to Top