Saturday, August 26, 2017

Simala Shrine Church in Sibonga, Cebu

Simala Shrine Church in Sibonga, Cebu was an epic sight to behold. Trust me, it looks 100x better in person. No photo can do it justice. The vastness, brightness, and uplifting energy of the place can bring calmness and unexpected satisfaction. Or perhaps that was just me.   
I started my journey before 9AM when I took a bus from South Bus Terminal. Any bus that will pass by Sibonga will do. My fare from Terminal to Sibonga was Php79. The driver will drop you off the Sibonga intersection where tricycles and single motorcycles (habal-habals) await visitors. Since I'm solo, I had to pay the habal-habal double (its max capacity). Rate was Php20/pax. My driver asked me to text him when I'm ready to go back. This was a good idea since there were literally hundreds of people offering you to to buy, ride, or give them your business.
The elaborate bridge going up the monastery. Hat or umbrella would be good choices.
Landscaped lower gardens.
Bell tower
The skies were starting to gloom, mist turn to drizzle, but everyone was so joyous and obviously enjoying the foreign-looking facade with never-ending selfies.
We Love Mama Mary!
No idea what the stone formation was for. It's probably a grotto of sort, which leads to the pond.
Lovely arches, and castle-like peaks.
I'm not sure what in the 3 lower floors, perhaps monastery rooms or halls.
Still under construction, the church complex proved effective for pilgrims, travelers, and the religious.
The line leads to Mama Mary.
Church interiors.
The ocean can be seen from here.
Rosary, and Holy Water in tiny bottles for sale. But you have to get the water blessed after the mass.
Eateries just outside the gates get very good business. It's filled to the brim. Grab a tray, get in line quick to see what's inside the pots. Order, pay, and look for any space in large tables. Squeeze in.
I paid Php102 for everything! Home-cooked, cheap, and seemed properly prepared.
Long table for sharing. There were probably 5 groups here. We all share the space. If you mind strangers, there were smaller tables for 2 or 4 you can snatch if you're fast.
Parking area
Comfort rooms. Pay Php3 to pee, Php5 to do more. Going to the city, I was dropped off the Van Terminal just a few KM from the church. There was one which goes directly to SM Cebu, and will pass by SM Seaside, which was my next destination. All in all, took me 6 hours for my Simala trip, and still half a day to explore the city.

Monastery of the Holy Eucharist
Marian Hills, Lindogon
Simala, Sibonga, Cebu City

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