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Magellan's Cross

Updated on October 25, 2011

Magellan's Cross is a cross planted by an explorer name Ferdinand Magellan on April 8, 1521 upon arriving in Cebu Island. In the same site a mass was held where Magellan had baptized the local chieftain Rajah Humabon and his wife Hara Humamai and some 800 natives on April 14, 1521.

Today, the 490 years old cross is located in the heart of Cebu between the Cebu City Hall and Basilica Minore del Santo Niño along Magallanes Street. The street is named after Magellan, Magallanes being the Spanish translation of the explorer’s name.

The cross is now house in a small chapel and a sign placed at the foot of the cross says that the original Magellan’s Cross is encased in the Tindalo wood cross displayed in the center of the chapel. This is to protect the cross from people who chipped it, believing that the chipped part possess miraculous powers. There is however a rumor that the original cross that Magellan had planted was destroyed or lost but it was replaced by the Spaniards to honor Magellan when they finally colonized the Philippines.

Magellan's Cross is widely used as a symbol which can be found in logos, banner and seals by both government and non-government organization alike. In fact it is also found on Cebu City Seal.

Magellan's Cross today continues to be one of the most visited Cebu tourist spot by both local and international tourists alike. Local residents make a living here by selling candles, Santo Niño images or paintings and other religious items. Some candle seller will offer their service to dance and pray to Santo Niño Cebu's patron saint to bring you good luck.

Tip: Avoid wearing a lot of jewelry and always keep an eye on your belongings as this is one of the most crowded place in Cebu especially on Friday afternoon as the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño celebrate its mass.


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