We were on a vacation to the South of Cebu City, enjoyed the beach and the scenery. We rented a van to actually fit 13 people. We stayed one night in El Paradiso, a diving point in Alcoy. We enjoyed eating “lechon” (if you are not familiar with the word, then wait for my next article about it ) and marveled the place with a nice beach. We actually stayed in a house overlooking the sea, fronting the horizon (such a beautiful place). After Alcoy Cebu, we went to the Church of Boljoon, a little bit farther than Alcoy. The Church is very old and quiet but do take note that it is a free Wi-Fi zone there.
But the most interesting location was the place we dropped by, the Shrine of Our Lady of Simala, located in Sibonga Cebu. It is actually a home of Marian Monks and a place where miracle happens.
The place is such a beauty, at the gate we saw the statues of the Seven Birth Angels. I took a picture of Angel Michael unfortunately I haven’t taken pictures for the six remaining angels, tsk tsk.
There is actually a warning if you will try to visit the Shrine, pilgrims should not wear sleeveless and short pants, however, pedal pushers are acceptable as long as it is below the knee (so strict there).
When we got inside the gate, the place is surrounded with flowers and mostly roses. We can’t help notice a big bell at the back of a more or less 3 feet wishing well. We were informed to throw a penny hitting the bell first, if it will bounce back directly to the wishing well then that wish will be granted and if not then we have to try again. No harm in trying and wishing.
After taking pictures, we entered the castle-like church. In the entrance, there are big colorful candles for sale. I believe the proceeds for the earnings will go to the people who need it most. We can choose different colors of candles like blue, black, pink, yellow, gold, green. And it has meanings for you to pick. There’s pink for guidance in whatever you do like exams and job interviews; green for success in financial and many more.
A shocking experience I have from there is seeing cabinets with wheelchairs, crutches and letters from people who went there. Those were letters of thanks to Our Lady of Simala because they were healed from the moment or after they went there. They wanted to donate those wheelchairs and crutches to those people who need it since they no longer do. One letter is about a girl who was shot to her head but still lived out of miracle and with her picture attached to it. And also there is a child’s letter thanking Mother Mary for keeping him alive from a cancer. Amazing isn’t it.
When you get to a place like this, you will feel a different beat in your heart, like a feeling of happiness you cannot explain. Sometimes people are visiting this place to just give thanks and not ask for anything. This is what we mean by faith. Hoping and believing that anything will happen.
These are the pictures I took from our vacation..
The sea front in tingku beach located in Alcoy Cebu..
What a great sunrise, this is not edited, it was just my mobile phone’s reaction to the light..
The the old Boljoon church..
Inside the church, its not like we have not been to any church, its just new for us since the place is so far from our place..
The altar, notice that the church does not have any paints in the background, it quite old already and it is so eerie.
Castle like, structure..
This is the gate to get to the Our Lady of Simala monastery..
St. Michael and six more angels guarding the gates of the monastery..
Another picture of the place..
The altar of the monastery..
NOTE: All pictures were taken from my Sony Ericsson K770i mobile phone.