A few days ago, I accidentally ended up visiting the Magellan's Cross which is located right in front of the City Hall of Cebu City.
Cebu is known as the Queen City of the South. More than the maginificent tourists destinations, the beach resort with their pristine crsytal waters, Cebu City is the cradle of much of Phlippine history.
While on doing official work, I found myself right at the center of Cebu's showcase of its rich history: The Magellan Cross.
It is just ironic that, the Magellan's Cross is in a place I have visited perhaps more than a hundred times in my life.
But it was the very first time that I stepped into the Magellan's Cross. Worse, it was a purely accidental sojourn. It just so happened that I had some business in the area. For a moment, I felt shame for myself.
The Megallan's Cross tells a load of who we are as a people. Visiting the Magellan's Cross will give a glimpse of the Filipino identity.
In school we were taught that the Ferdinand Magellan expedition was instrumental in Christianizing a nation, which perhaps in the early times were either pagans or people who worshippped trees.
Were it not for Magellan, we would possibly be a Muslim country, as many of our neighbors-nations are dominated by Islam.
The name Magellan also denotes Filipino gallantry as history tells us that the browned skinned local warrior called Lapu-Lapu stood up to fight against foregin invaders.
What is in the Magellans Cross?
From the outside, the Magellan cross looks like a commercial kiosk that is seemingly out of place because it is located in the center of what is like a public park near the city hall.
But getting inside tells a great deal of our history.
What greeted me, as a visitor was a huge plaque which stated:
"FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL THIS SPOT HAS BEEN SET ASIDE TO COMMEMORATE THE ERRECTION OF A CROSS IN CEBU BY THE EXPEDITION OF MAGELLAN. WHEN KING HUMABON OF CEBU AND HIS QUEEN, SON AND DAUGHTERS, TOGETHER WITH SOME 800 OF THEIR SUBJECTS WERE BAPTIZED BY FATHER PEDRO VALDERRAMA. THIS HALLOWED SITE WAS IMPROVED IN 1735 BY REV. JUAN ALBARRAN, PRIOR OF SAN AGUSTIN AND IN 1834 BY RT. REV. SANTOS GOMEZ MARANON, BISHOP OF CEBU. THE IMAGE OF THE STO. NINO FOUND BY THE EXPEDITION OF LEGASPI IN A HOUSE NEAR THE PRESENT SITE OF THE CATHDERAL OF CEBU IS VENERATED BY THE FAITHFUL IN THE NEARBY CHURCH OF SAN AGUSTIN."
Inside the kiosk is a wooden cross and the ceiling is painted with images of religious figures, friars, who seem to be introducing the Roman Cahtolic religion to the natives.
The Magellan's cross is probably a place you will definitely miss to see when you are in Cebu.
But in your next visit, it would be helpful to stop and ponder. The Magellan's Cross tell much of why you became who you are today.
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