Pilgrims from all over the Philippines visit the Miraculous Monastery of the Marian Monks of the Eucharistic Adoration located in Simala, Sibonga, Cebu Philippines. It is where you can find the crying and skin color-changing Mama Mary statue. *Chills.

We were supposed to go to Bohol on this day but my 93 year old Nanay and Canadian Titas want to visit the miraculous mama Mary in Simala.

I have deep respect for religious people and their beliefs. I was also interested to see the place after hearing about it for the first time. Road trip!

Warning: During religious peak season, prepare for a very long line. You are warned.

Destination: Sibonga Cebu
When: January 11, 2010
Photo Album: http://sharpangel.multiply.com/photos/album/138
All photos from Iphone 3Gs.

Reaching monastery is a 1 and a half hour private drive from Cebu city to the municipality of Sibonga. Sorry but I need to say this, George is one hell of a driver. Wohoo! Look at Loida below praying with speeds of 120kph overtaking trucks in a 2 lane rural highway… Peace Loida! πŸ™‚

Asking around found out that a public bus trip would take you 2 and a half hour that costs 90Php.

From Cebu City, go to South Bus Terminal (Near E-mall) and ride a Ceres Bus going to Sibonga. Ask the conductor to drop you in the Sibonga bus stop. The Safe Haven of Mother Mary is 5 km away from the Highway bus stop. You need a motorcycle ride going to the Sanctuary. Take a “Habal-habal” to get there for 100 Php.

Entrace of the compound and The monastery

Bounce in the bell and Wish in the well
Inside the monastery compound you will see a bell with small well below. The trick here is to:
1. Get a coin.
2. Make a wish.
3. Throw it and make it bounce through the bell’s side.
4. If it falls to the small well your wish will come true.

After 3 tries…Ding! Shoot! Salary Increase! Wait until March. HAHA!

The BIG Mama Mary statue
Got to be the biggest Mama Mary statue I have seen. It is 4 times the size of a man. You cannot miss this.

Man made falls and Picnic site.
You will pass a mini waterfall going to the monastery. In its side you will also see some picnic huts that pilgrims can use for shelter. This is free.

Colored candles
Regular brown candles are 5Php inside the monastery.

As option for believers, they can buy colored candles for 30Php each that symbolizes something. I indulged myself, wrote my wish on the paper, drop it to the box and lighted the candles.

The monastery.
The center of the monastery is set-up like a church with lane chairs and a priest pod. It has an aerial view of Simala in the balcony because it is built on a hill.

Testimony hall

Going to the Pa-pandong and crying mama Mary statue you will see a collection of letters, souvenirs, gifts from previous pilgrims. Their testimony proves that visiting the monastery has helped them recover from illness, passed the board exams, get married, have a baby or just get their wishes come true.

Wheel chair donated after pilgrim can walk again.

Devotees line up get a shade of a cape from a miraculous Mama Mary replica.
I lined up just to get a close up of the action.

The crying mama Mary.
In the second floor you will see a replica of the crying mama Mary. You will have to remove your shoes as respect to the ritual.

You cannot miss this as silver stand lines are setup to take you there and to the museum and to the exit.

The museum

They have a small collection of statues, clothes and memorabilia from the miraculous occurrences. The photos did creep me out a little.

The guardian angels
You can find angel status upon entering the monastery compound gates. These angels are believed to be guardians of Christianity and their believers.

Pier One Park Mall.
After visiting Simala we had dinner in Pier One Cebu after. I find the barbecue, Native Lechon Manok and Nilaga very tasty. Yummy.

Sto. Nino Cathedral.
Attended a mass in the cathedral. So many people as this is the week before the Sinulog celebration.

Magellan’s Cross and Cebu City Hall
Usual stuff. Located at the side of the Sto Nino Church and City Hall

I enjoyed this day with my relatives.

Till next time.