Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

sights / Religious

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño information

Cebu City , Philippines
Pres Osmeña Blvd
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This holiest of churches is a real survivor. Established in 1565 (the oldest church in the Philippines) and burnt down three times, it was rebuilt in its present form in 1737. Perhaps it owes its incendiary past to the perennial bonfire of candles in its courtyard, stoked by an endless procession of pilgrims and other worshippers. The object of their veneration is a Flemish image of the infant Jesus, sequestered in a chapel to the left of the altar. It dates back to Magellan’s time and is said to be miraculous (which it probably had to be to survive all those fires). Every year, the image is the centrepiece of Cebu’s largest annual event, the Sinulog festival.

On Sundays the basilica turns into a spectacle of pilgrims, water sellers and replica Santo Niño salespeople.