“Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño” the oldest church in the Philippines
Cebu is rich in religious history and if you happen to visit the province, try dropping by Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño or also known as San Agustin Church. It was built in Cebu on 1565 and was founded by Augustinians priest, Andres De Urdaneta and dubbed as the oldest church and convent in the Philippines. You can also find a museum inside the church that unfolds the history of Christianity, showcasing antique items like old furniture, old cloaks of Santo Nino, statues or idols, priest clothing and other relics.
The church was burnt twice, first on1566 and again on1628 but the altar was maintained the same. The altar was decorated in gold and has the display of different saints is the focus of attraction in the church.
Usually there’s a long line of followers inside waiting to get close and be able to wipe their handkerchief on the glass cover where the Santo Niño is displayed. Devotees and churchgoers and pilgrims alike believes that the image is miraculous in nature so they light candles and offer prayers.
The basilica resembles to Quiapo church in Manila where a lot of people visits and pray for their wish or recite novenas.
Just outside the premises of the church, you will find a lot of mini tiangge (small-scale market) and vendors that sells different food, flowers, souvenirs and colorful balloons that kids love to have.
So if you’re from Cebu or a tourist in the province, get the chance to visit the Basilica and experience the historical and spiritual awareness it offers.