Simala Parish Church, also known as 'The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist', is a special one - not just because of its unique and majestic form but more importantly because it is believed to do miracles. It became highly popular several years ago when a replica of the Virgin Mary was seen shedding a tear on her birthday. Now, hundreds of people travel here everyday to pray for their petitions and to give thanks.
How to get to Simala:
- From anywhere in Cebu, book a Grab ride or Angkas going to 'South GT express terminal'. If you're familiar with colon, you can ride a jeepney 14D, 17C or 04C. The terminal is just along the road near USC main campus. (For those who are not familiar with Angkas, it's a phone app that you can download for you to book a motorbike ride. It's cheaper and it will bring you to the exact location but it could be uncomfortable when it's raining or if the weather is too hot.)
- In the terminal, look for a van going to Simala. The fare is 100 pesos and unlike the other route, this will drop you off directly outside Simala Church.
We left the city at 7:42AM and arrived in Simala at 9:19AM so that's 1 hour and 37 minutes travel time. It wasn't so traffic that day so we arrived earlier than expected.
To go back to Cebu City:
1. Take a habal-habal ride going to the terminal. Fare is 20 pesos.
2. Ride a van going back to the city. Fare is 100 pesos.
Inside the shrine, you can write a letter to the Virgin Mary and drop it in a designated box. It is believed that with this, your petitions will be granted through her help. You can also buy colored candles for 35 pesos. Each color signifies a special meaning such as the following:
Gold – Healing (good health, recovery, spiritual, family tree)
Green – Prosperity/Success (exam, study, financial, business)
Blue – Perseverance (employment, career, assignment, promotions)
Violet – Achievement (plans in life, struggles, endeavors, journey, and voyage)
Red – Love (unity, friendship, engagement, family)
Yellow – Peace (courage, strength, hope)
White – Purity (enlightenment, guidance, right path)
Orange – Reconciliation (sweetheart, wife, husband, enemy, family)
Pink – Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy (spiritual, physical)
Black – Souls (forgiveness, pardon)
Brown – Vocation (marriage bond, God’s servant, single life)
Gray – Deliverance (bad ways, things, spirits)
Cream – Conversion/Faith (children, household, couples)
This is my second time to visit this church and I can see how it significantly improved over time. Here are some of the photos I took during my visit.
1. Wear an appropriate attire (check the photo below). The guards will not let you in if you're not in proper dress code.
2. Bring an umbrella to protect you from the rain or heat of the sun.
3. The mass is every 12 noon everyday and additional mass at 3:30pm for Saturdays and Sundays.
4. If you want to buy rosaries, crucifix, replicas and lana, the small stores outside the church have cheaper prices. At the end of the mass, you can have these blessed by the priests.
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