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1521 History

Magellan’s Cross offers indulgence to Catholic faithful

Augustinian friar Santos Gomez Marañon, who served as bishop of Cebu from 1829 to 1840, granted the Magellan’s Cross plenary indulgence to those who pray before it every Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on September 14.

The indulgence is gained by praying the Creed.

For those unfamiliar with Catholic teachings, an indulgence is a way to reduce the punishment for sins. It can be attained by performing a good deed or reciting a prayer or visiting a place.

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1521 Feature History

Is the original really encased inside Magellan’s Cross?

No, according to several historians. The panel placed at the foot of the cross makes two astonishing claims: that it contains the original Magellan’s Cross and that it was planted by the Portuguese explorer on that very spot.

Neither claim holds up to close scrutiny.

It is also interesting to note that the commemorative marker put up by the then Philippines Historical Committee in 1941 never made that claim.

MAGELLAN’S CROSS. This undated photo shows a view of the cross from Cebu City Hall. Behind it is the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño convent. (Photo from the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

MAGELLAN’S CROSS. This undated photo shows a view of the cross from Cebu City Hall. Behind it is the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño convent. (Photo from the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

Putting up of Magellan’s Cross

Antonio Pigafetta, chronicler of the Spanish armada led by Magellan, wrote that they put up the cross to mark the conversion of Cebuanos, led by ruler Rajah Humabon, to Christianity.

“A large cross was set up in the middle of the square. The Captain General told them that if they wished to become Christians as they had declared on the previous days, they must burn all their idols and set up a cross in their place. They were to adore that cross daily with clasped hands, and every morning after their custom, they were to make the sign of the cross (which the Captain General showed them how to make); and they ought to come hourly, at least in the morning, to that cross, and adore it kneeling,” Pigafetta wrote.

Magellan planting the cross. (Image from the New York Public Library)

National Artist and Cebuano historian Dr. Resil Mojares wrote in his book “The Feast of the Santo Niño: An Introduction to the History of a Cebuano Devotion” that it was the practice of Spaniards to plant crosses on land they “discover” to mark possession for the crown and signify divine presence.

But after Magellan’s death in the Battle of Mactan, which author Hugh Thomas described as “a gratuitous adventure that deserved to end badly,” the Cebuanos turned against the Spaniards, allegedly at the incitement of the explorer’s slave Enrique.

Humabon invited the surviving Spaniards to a feast on May 1. He promised them gifts and jewels to take with them to the King of Spain.

FERDINAND MAGELLAN. This portrait of the Portuguese explorer and captain of the Armada de Molucca is “believed to be one of the few accurate likenesses of Magellan,” wrote historian Laurence Bergreen in his book Over the Edge of the World.

FERDINAND MAGELLAN. This portrait of the Portuguese explorer and captain of the Armada de Molucca is “believed to be one of the few accurate likenesses of Magellan,” wrote historian Laurence Bergreen in his book Over the Edge of the World.

Pigafetta, who did not join because he was still nursing injuries from the battle in Mactan, said a quarter of the crew attended, including the two new co-commanders, Juan Serrano and Duarte Barbosa.

During the meal, the Spaniards were killed by Humabon’s men. The massacre culminated in a standoff at the shore where the Cebuanos held for ransom Juan Serrano, who pleaded with his compatriots to save him. After an initial negotiation on ransom when the Cebuanos kept asking for more, the armada decided to leave Cebu.

NO SUCH CLAIM. The official marker put up in 1941 by the then Philippines Historical Committee, which is now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, never made the claim about the original cross being encased in the one now at the site.

NO SUCH CLAIM. The official marker put up in 1941 by the then Philippines Historical Committee, which is now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, never made the claim about the original cross being encased in the one now at the site.

IS THIS ACCURATE? Thousands of tourists visiting Magellan’s Cross daily think, because of this panel, that part of the cross is still there and that it was planted at this very spot. Those claims don’t have historical support.

IS THIS ACCURATE? Thousands of tourists visiting Magellan’s Cross daily think, because of this panel, that part of the cross is still there and that it was planted at this very spot. Those claims don’t have historical support.

Tearing it down

“Only 115 men remained of the 260 who had left Spain, and as they fled to safety, their last sight of Cebu was of enraged islanders tearing down the cross on the mountaintop and smashing it to bits,” wrote American historian Laurence Bergreen in his book Over The Edge of The World Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe. (Emphasis mine. Note the reference on a mountaintop. I haven’t found a similar one but the Spaniards were reported to prefer to plant the cross on the highest point of a place.)

“Simultaneously, before the ships had cleared the harbour, amid cries of jubilation from the indigenes, another party of them was tearing down the great Cross which Magellan had erected. What the leader had achieved during weeks of careful and patient work came to naught in an hour,” wrote Stefan Zweig in his seminal book Magellan.

In her dissertation on the Santo Niño de Cebu for her doctorate in anthropology, Astrid Sala-Boza said “there is no archaeological or historical evidence that this cross is actually the original (or at least the site of the original) Magellan’s cross.”

“Instead, because of its proximity to the Basilica, the site of the finding of the Holy Image during Legazpi’s expedition, there is the possibility that the cross could be “Legazpi’s cross” (now encased in wood),” Sala-Boza wrote. She also pointed out that the Legazpi expedition did not mention finding a cross.

NO TEXT OF CLAIM. This photo after a restoration of the kiosk by the Knights of Columbus several decades ago (we’re still looking into date) does not show at the base of the cross the panel that contains the claims about the original cross and its site.

NO TEXT OF CLAIM. This photo after a restoration of the kiosk by the Knights of Columbus several decades ago (we’re still looking into date) does not show at the base of the cross the panel that contains the claims about the original cross and its site.

Rada cross

In 1565, the Spaniards returned to the Philippines under the leadership of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. They planted another cross, made of bamboo and measuring five fathoms.

“It is credited to the Augustinian Martin de Rada and has been called the cross of Rada,” wrote Mojares. He said Rada was known as the Apostle of Cebu because of his evangelization work here.

The cross of Rada was reputed to be miraculous because it “did not suffer the least lesion” in a fire that destroyed houses around the cross on November 2, 1565.

MAJOR TOURIST SPOT. Magellan’s Cross is a top tourist attraction in Cebu. It’s part of the tour circuit that includes the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Fort San Pedro, and Plaza Independencia. (Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu)

MAJOR TOURIST SPOT. Magellan’s Cross is a top tourist attraction in Cebu. It’s part of the tour circuit that includes the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Fort San Pedro, and Plaza Independencia. (Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu)

“Augustinian prior Juan de Albarran, during the construction of the current church complex in 1735-40, built an enclosure around the cross. In 1834, Santos Gomez Marañon, the Augustinian bishop of Cebu (1829-40), had an octagonal temple built to protect the cross from the weather and devotees who, regarding it as miraculous, were accustomed to chip away splinters from it as relics,” Mojares wrote. “The “original” cross is now contained in another hollow hardwood cross set in the middle of a stone altar inside the kiosk.

Sala-Boza said the cross was once referred to as “the cross on Magallanes street” and became eventually known as Magellan’s Cross.

Magellan's Cross in 1965. ({Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto.  Niño.

Magellan’s Cross in 1965. ({Photo provided by the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

“The lack of definitive documentary evidence on the identification of this cross obliges us to admit that it is a relic from the expedition of Legazpi, and not from that of Magellan,” Sala-Boza wrote in her study, quoting Villanueva’s 1969 work.

Did you know?

Until our research for the interactive marker that will be installed at the site, I did not know that it was granted an indulgence. To Catholics, an indulgence is “a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven.”

Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon granted the Magellan’s Cross plenary indulgence who those who pray before it every Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on September 14. The indulgence is gained by praying one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory to the Father for the intention of the pope in Rome.

PLENARY INDULGENCE. This framed document found in the basilica library is the actual plenary indulgence granted by Cebu Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon for the Magellan’s Cross.

PLENARY INDULGENCE. This framed document found in the basilica library is the actual plenary indulgence granted by Cebu Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon for the Magellan’s Cross.

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News

Cebu News Digest for Jan. 8, 2016: Labella to limit bleachers along Carousel route; Duterte visits Cebu, tells Cebuanos to look at his deeds, not words

Acting Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella says they will implement changes for this year’s Sinulog celebration to make it safer. The City will also form a Task Force Carousel to make sure the changes are implemented.

Among the changes this year are:

  • No more tents and bleachers along carousel route.
  • No more performances in “sexy outfits” on board the floats.
  • No more throwing of any merchandise or goodies from the floats.
  • Monitoring by DOH of food sold in stalls.

“Along the carousel route, only bleachers for the judges will be allowed. However, these can be set up on the other side of the road, or the portion that is not used by the dancers.”
Acting Mayor Edgar Labella

Read:

Sinulog 2016
CHANGES. The Cebu City Government will implement changes on the parade route in a bid to make the celebration safer. (Photo by Rolando Pascua, published with the permission of the Sinulog Foundation, Inc.)

Mandaue warns: Brace for traffic

Mandaue City Officials say traffic will be heavier than usual for the Traslacion–the traditional meeting of the images of the Holy Family–because of the new route. The traslacion usually took the Mabolo-Subangdaku route to Mandaue City but will now pass through the heavily congested AS Fortuna St. on Jan. 15.

“We were caught off guard (by the change.) But we can’t do anything but adjust.”
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes

Read:

Other Sinulog stories:

Mayor Duterte visits Cebu

Presidential candidate and tough-talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte dropped by Cebu City yesterday, to meet with local supporters.

Duterte, whose visit coincided with the Sinulog, admitted he isn’t a religious person and doesn’t go to mass. He visited the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino later in the afternoon.

Duterte in Cebu
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano in Cebu. (Photo by Jonji Gonzales)

“Listen to my cuss words. I even invite you to look at me and relate those words to my character. Behind those words is the real agony and tragedy of the Filipino people.”
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

Read:

Other Cebu news headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: Cebu City Hall tells UP to comply with requirements first before relocating families affected by fire

» Sun.Star Cebu: Although CCTV helped solve baby-theft in VSMCC, Provincial Health Office says cameras are not a priority

» Sun.Star Cebu: Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes asks public to help police secure IEC, other big events

» The Freeman: Acting Mayor Edgar Labella asks guidance from DBM to help solve conflict in 2016 budget

» The Freeman: Cops unconvinced of notorious pusher’s retirement; says ‘Jaguar’ still supplying drugs

» Cebu Daily News: Judge dismisses Castro’s P50-million libel complaint against sister-in-law PB Member Sanchez

» Cebu Daily News: ‘Stolen baby,’ parents go home, attend investigation of kidnapping suspects

January 8, 2016 Cebu news headlines
CEBU NEWS HEADLINES. The front pages of Cebu’s newspapers today, January 8, 2016.

Cebu Business News

» Sun.Star Cebu: Opascor urges DPWH to complement new ports with new road networks

“Barring any problems….we will have a new port by July 2019. However…without the opening of new road networks, the port will be useless.”
Opascor president Tomas Riveral

» Sun.Star Cebu: Balik Cebu to construct 30 bahay kubo in Camotes to boost grassroots tourism

“Equipping the community with the right tourism skill and culture will surely boost tourism in Pilar, Camotes, especially among individual travelers or backpackers. Like Boracay Island, which was a backpackers’ paradise in the past.”
Balik Cebu Committee chairperson Tetta Baad

» Sun.Star Cebu: OLX says more Cebuanos now into online selling, cites 100 percent growth from 43,874 sellers in 2014 to 106,766 sellers in 2015

» The Freeman: BIR threatens four businesses with closure for failing to comply with tax requirements

» Cebu Daily News: Cebu Bankers Club says banks on track to migrate to chip-based cards from magnetic-strip based cards

» Cebu Daily News: CBM kicks off new year with updated version of Cebu Business Month app

Cebu Sports Headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: Three teams battle for overall title in Paramount Property Ventures 2015 tri team championships

» Sun.Star Cebu: WBO Champion Nonito Donaire hopes to wrap up training in Cebu for April 23 title defense

» Sun.Star Cebu: UV high school star Raul Jancork Cabahug spurns juicy offer from Manila, to stay with Baby Lancers

» The Freeman: 250 slots for All Women’s Ultra-Marathon filled up in just 30 minutes

» Cebu Daily News: Rain or Shine fight back in Game 2, 105-97, evens semifinal series with San Miguel at 1-1

» Cebu Daily News: Alaska’s Cebuano star Hontiveros not sure if PBA commissioner is singling him out, but acknowledges Narvasa just wanted to restore order in testy Game 2 vs. Globalport

Categories
News

Cebu News Digest for Jan. 7, 2016: Thousands join Walk With Jesus to mark start of Fiesta Señor; ‘desperate love’ led to baby’s kidnapping; budget war continues in Cebu City Council

Love, faith, and politics: these are the themes of today’s Cebu news digest. Here’s what you need to know this morning of Thursday, January 7, 2016:

Thousands join dawn Walk With Jesus to mark start of 451st Fiesta Señor celebration of Sinulog 2016

The religious celebration of the Fiesta Señor started early this morning with a penitential walk by Sto. Niño devotees from the Fuente Osmeña rotunda to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.

Reports indicate a huge turnout of devotees. Police said at the start of the walk that 11,000 turned out for the opening activity. Cebu City Traffic Office operations head Joy Tumulak, however, told a The Freeman journalist after the walk that 300,000 people joined it. He credited the huge turnout to good weather and the early arrival of some International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) participants.

The walk ended with a mass at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño presided over by rector Fr. Jonas Mejares. For the first time in the last few years, devotees were able to see the basilica’s restored belfry, which was damaged by the 2013 earthquake.

Businessman Mario King and wife Haydee King were installed as the Hermano and Hermane Mayores to lead Fiesta Señor church activities.

Walk With Jesus 2016
WALK WITH JESUS. The penitential walk from the Fuente Osmeña rotunda to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño marks the start of the religious celebration of Sinulog 2016. (Photo by Anthony Leuterio)

‘Desperate love’ led woman to kidnap newborn; parents to file charges

Desperate love drove 26-year-old Melissa Londres to steal a newborn baby so she could present it to her boyfriend as theirs, and thus prolong their strained relationship. Now facing kidnapping charges, Londres begged for forgiveness from the parents of Baby Prince Nino Celadenia, whom she kidnapped at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

She denied she stole the baby at first but broke down when her own mother, Mary Jane, arrived at the detention camp.

“I beg forgiveness. Sorry, I had no bad intentions against the baby. I took him because I was afraid my boyfriend would leave me. He was my first love. He really took care of me,” she said.

Read:

Budget war marks start of the year at the Cebu City Council

The Cebu City Council spent the first session of 2016 the way they did the final sessions of 2015, fighting over the budget. The majority bloc insisted the 2016 budget–at P6.4 billion–was legally passed after acting Mayor Edgardo Labella, of Team Rama, returned the budget ordinance to the council citing it lacked the required number of votes to be valid.

“His (Labella’s) inaction within 10 days means that the approved annual budget is deemed approved. The budget office should be required to enforce the 2016 annual budget.”
Councilor Sisinio Andales

Read:

 

Cebu headlines
CEBU HEADLINES. Today’s frontpages of Cebu Daily News and Sun.Star Cebu.

Mistake found in Capitol bidding for heavy equipment

The Provincial Board ad hoc committee on the bids and awards committee found discrepancies on the bidding for the multi-million heavy equipment deal the Capitol intends to buy, an error which could prevent the governor from getting the authorization to sign the P250.6 million contract with ConEquip Phils Inc.

“The committee found that there were some technical issues. Number one is the computition of the TWG, which is erroneous. This leads us to conclude nga possible nga ang technical working group is not competent.”
PB member Grecilda Sanchez

Issues were raised against the bidding after the BAC awarded the contract to ConEquip, which submitted the highest bid, at P250.6 million.

Read:

Sun.Star Cebu: Capitol BAC TWG admits mistake during bidding for heavy equipment

Other Cebu headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: Balik Cebu lures Filipinos from all over globe

 

» Sun.Star Cebu: Cassava meals kills 6-year-old boy in Dumanjug; brother, sister still under medical observation in hospital

 

» The Freeman: Public reminded on how to prepare for Sinulog 2016: bring umbrellas, water, and snacks

 

» The Freeman: Task force formed for Sinulog route

 

» The Freeman: Cebu City Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Castro tells highway patrol unit: Return vehicle or I’ll sue you

 

» Cebu Daily News: UP lot survey halted; no one filing lawsuit

 

» Cebu Daily News: Case seeking freeze of SRP lots sale elevated to Court of Appeals

 

» Cebu Daily News: All set for ‘Walk with Jesus’

 

Business headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: BIR-13 exceeds revenue target by P400 million, collects P25.8 billion in 2015

 

» Sun.Star Cebu: Slugging demand, security stymieing consumer tech growth

 

» The Freeman: OFWs, tourism to benefit from daily Cebu flights to Dubai

“Some of our establishments here are Middle Eastern tourists’ friendly. Restaurants and hotels’ food outlets too are servingHalal food preparations already.”
Tourism Congress vice president Alice Queblatin

» The Freeman: Taxpayers reminded to file income tax returns ahead of April deadline

 

» Cebu Daily News: DTI to strengthen small businesses, aid exporters

 

» Cebu Daily News: Tourism sector ready for Middle East tourists

 

Sports Headlines

» Sun.Star Cebu: 5th All-Women Ultra-Marathon registration opens today

 

» Sun.Star Cebu: Cebu backs national pro football league

 

» The Freeman: Yayoy hosts darts tournament

 

» The Freeman: Pilots showcase basketball skills in first invitational basketball tournament

 

» Cebu Daily News: Alaska Aces evens series with GlobalPort

 

» Cebu Daily News: Guiao, Belga fined P20K

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News

Strong earthquake destroys, damages Bohol, Cebu heritage structures

A strong 7.2 earthquake hit Cebu and Bohol at 8:00 this morning and reports have been coming in of lives lost as well as damage and destruction to commercial buildings and residential houses.

It’s heartbreaking.

I saw pictures of collapsed or damaged public markets in Pasil and Carbon in Cebu City, Mandaue City; commercial buildings like Ayala Center Cebu, SM City at the North Reclamation Area, Gaisano Country Mall, Budget Builders; important institutions like hospitals and schools such as Cebu Doctors’ University, Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, University of Cebu to name a few.

Categories
Feature

Cebu heritage walk showcases island’s history

Cebu to do list is a tour of heritage structures such as Fort San Pedro, oldest and smallest triangular bastion fort in the Philippines.
Fort San Pedro in Cebu is the oldest and smallest triangular bastion fort in the Philippines.

What tourists should include in their Cebu to do list is go on a heritage walk. Cebu City’s downtown area is a heritage belt of old churches, houses, and other structures that date back to its colonial Spanish past spanning no less than 300 years.

These places are of walking distance from each other and have given rise to guided visits that include stopovers in some or all of these sites. Whether you hire a licensed guide or do the tour on your own, this is one walk you can’t afford to miss.

Cebu to do activities

Longer tour

1. Start at Fort San Pedro, oldest in the country. It was constructed on May 8, 1565 or 11 days after Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in Cebu. According to a report from Restoration USA (Source: http://www.restorationusa.com/fort-lauderdale/), its restoration in 1972 called for the replacement of 20,000 pieces of coral stones in the main building. /A. Pigafetta St./ 256-2284, 416-7080/Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Entry fees: regular, P30; senior citizens, P24; students/children, P20
Parking fees: car, P15; coaster/bus, P30

Categories
Events

More people join RAFI’s 2011 Gabii sa Kabilin

More than 2,500 participants attended the fifth annual Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. This is a significant increase from the 1,800 participants last year, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. said in a press statement.

At the same time, the Gabii sa Kabilin featured 11 museums and seven heritage sites, which are more than the nine museums and heritage sites opened in 2010.

ORCHESTRA. The Marigondon Public School Children’s Orchestra perform on the grounds of the Casa Gorordo Museum during the Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. Click on image to view larger photograph. (PHOTO BY RAFI)
ORCHESTRA. The Marigondon Public School Children’s Orchestra perform on the grounds of the Casa Gorordo Museum during the Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. Click on image to view larger photograph. (PHOTO BY RAFI)

This year’s participating museums included the Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Fort San Pedro, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Museo Sugbo, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF)-Rizal Museum, Museuo Parian sa Sugbo (1730 Jesuit House), Sacred Heart Alternative Gallery, Cebu Normal University (CNU) Museum, Cebu City Museum, and Mandaue City Central Plaza. The heritage sites include Plaza Independencia, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Sacred Heart Church, Heritage of Cebu Monument (Plaza Parian), Plaza Hamabar, and Plaza Sugbo.