If there is one place that every Cebuano should have already gone to, that is the Basilica Del Sto. Nino De Cebu.
Regardless of one’s religion, the only minor basilica in the Philippines and Southeast Asia is worth visiting.
Here you can see the relics of different saints plus the church murals on the ceiling which one may remind of a basilica in Rome and Vatican City.
Though the church is high-ceiling, its aisle is not that long but it is still impressive nonetheless.
Outside the church is the minor basilica in which the faithful can attend masses on open air, similar to what the faithfuls can see and experience in Vatican City.
A Brief History
The convent of the Sto. Nino de Cebu was founded by Fr. Andres de Urdaneta on April 28, 1565 , the very day the Legazpi-Urdaneta expedition arrived in the island. On May 8 of the same year, when Legaspi and his men planned the urbanization of the city, they allotted a “place for the church and the convent of San Agustin, “where the Santo Nino image had been found.”
In 1599, the convent was made a house of studies of grammar, headed by the Visayan linguist, Fr. Alonso de Mentrida. It also served as a rest house for missionaries working in the province and as a retirement home for the aged and the sick, usually attended to by a lay brother.
The church has always been the Sanctuary of the Sto. Nino, under the custody of the Augustinians. The number of priests assigned to the church varied from three to five aside from one or two lay brothers.
How to get there
Of course, you have to visit Cebu to get to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino. Getting there depends on where you stay.
If you’re staying in a hotel in Lapu-lapu City near the airport, I suggest for a taxi to guide you to where the church is.
If in a Mandaue City hotel or pension house you want to stay , a taxi can be hired. But if opting for a jeepney, ride a 21A or 21D jeepneys and ask the jeepney drivers for direction to the church.
If you’re staying in uptown Cebu near the Fuente Circle, search for jeepneys with routes going to the church. Although one can save for riding jeepneys, it can be a hassle since most jeepneys don’t have a route plying beside the church except for 06C jeepneys.
And of course, you can always use a Google map to help you in searching for the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino’s direction.
The Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu is the first thing or place to visit in the list of 365 things to do in Cebu.