Just a stones throw away from Magellan’s Cross is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu. It is named after a statue of the infant Jesus which was reportedly found at that exact spot — one of the items that was left behind decades earlier by the original expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan.
Inside the church complex is a museum (I like museums!) which showcases the Christian heritage of Cebu. However, since I was there on a Sunday, I was unfortunate enough to have gone at a time when a public mass service was ongoing.
It didn’t feel sacred anymore, which is a shame, since this is a holy site that’s been standing for over 400 years. It brings to mind passages from John 2:14-16.
There in the Temple he (Jesus) found people selling cattle, sheep, and pigeons, and also the moneychangers sitting at their tables. So he made a whip from cords and drove all the animals out of the Temple, both the sheep and the cattle; he overturned the tables of the moneychangers and scattered their coins; and he ordered those who sold the pigeons, “Take them out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
I couldn’t go to the museum, people kept touching my bike, many others were nagging me to buy this and that, and a security guard eventually asked me to stop taking photos. “The priests don’t like it. It disturbs the service”, he said. I understand that, but couldn’t you do something about the vendors as well?
Oh well. I figured it must be time to leave. I unfolded the Brompton and cycled away from the church, looking for some peace and quiet. Ironic, isn’t it?