6 Amazing Historical Sites to Visit When In Cebu
written on May 18th, 2017 by Kristiana Rule
Cebu’s rich history makes it one of the best destinations in the country. Want to get immersed in the local culture and heritage?
Here are the places to visit in Cebu when you want to take a trip back in time:
The Mactan Shrine is popular destination. It is said that the chieftain of Mactan Lapu-Lapu defeated the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his forces in what we now know as the Battle of Mactan. Today, a statue of Lapu-Lapu has been erected in honor of what the Philippines calls its first hero. The area around it is used for annual reenactments of the battle held every April called Kadaugan sa Mactan.
Basilica Minore del Sto Nino
The Basilica Minore del Sto Nino is arguably Cebu’s most popular church. It was founded in 1565 by Augustinian friars and houses the city’s most beloved relic: the image of the Child Jesus or Sto. Nino. The church is frequented by local and international tourists. Every January, the religious festival Sinulog is celebrated here with masses and processions. Pilgrims from every part of the world come to venerate the said image.
Right beside the Basilica is Magellan’s Cross. A wooden cross stands on the site where Ferdinand Magellan originally landed and erected a cross in the name of the Spain. Today, the historical marker is a place where tourists and locals offer prayers and candles.
Casa Gorordo in Lopez Jaena Street is one of the most popular and well-reserved museums in the city. This house was built back in the 1850s and is made from a mix of Mactan stone and hardwood. It is often part of Gabii sa Kabilin, or Heritage Night, where participants can go on a horse-drawn carriage trip all over the city to revisit history.
Boljoon’s Heritage Sites
The Boljoon town in southern Cebu is rich in history. Many artifacts, structures and markers can be found around the church compound alone. Their parish, the Nuestra Senora del Patrocinio church was built in 1782 using coral stone and was used as a refuge against the many pirate sieges on the town. El Gran Baluarte, the biggest watchtower in Cebu, can also be found in Boljoon. In 2008, archaeologists found 26 human remains and 16th century artefacts around the church.
The Ancestral Houses of Carcar
As a Heritage City, Carcar is known for its many ancestral houses that have stood the test of time. Take a walk down Sta. Catalina Street and you’ll see many colonial-style houses, like Balay na Tisa and the Noel House. Among other attractions is the well-preserved Carcar Museum, which was a former dispensary and the town’s famous rotunda.
The Jesuit House
A three hundred year old relic house sits inside a family warehouse in the middle of the city. Rediscovered by Jimmy Sy after reading a random book in his school library, he discovered that inside their warehouse was The Jesuit House completed in the year 1730. It has since become a regular stop over for history aficionados.