|Cebu Pilgrimage Tour|
The queen city of the south attracts throngs of pilgrims and devotees to visit its century-old churches. Having visited this beautiful city numerous times before, I was tasked in the office to organize a pilgrimage tour in Cebu. At first, I thought why not just engage the services of a travel agency and let them do all the works from arranging airfare to land transportation, accommodations and meals. But when I learned how much the budget was, well I have my work cut out for me.
To maximize your time, it is advisable to book an early flight not later than 7 am. That way, you can spend your first day productively. You can also book for the last flight to leave Cebu so that you can also maximize your second or last day there. In our case, we decided to spend another night in Cebu so our exit flight was booked early morning of our third day.
Booking Land Transportation:
In order for you to conveniently move around Cebu and follow your itinerary, contracting a van is a wise decision. The van will fetch you, to and from the airport and will even adjust to your schedule. Please note that this is ideal if you are coming to Cebu in a group because bigger number means lesser share in expenses. We are group of 8 so hiring a van is a good choice for us.
One thing good about Cebu is that they are never short on accommodations. From high-end to backpack inns, they have all sorts of accommodations that will suit your need. What's even more nice is that some of them have on-line reservations where you need to deposit only a portion of the total bill and pay the balance when you arrive. Booking an accommodation ahead of your arrival is a must if you don't want to spend precious time looking for one.
Research on places to go:
This one is the fun part because itineraries change by the minute once you acquire information about a particular place. This is where blogs and the internet come in but there is nothing more valuable than the tips and inputs given by your fellow travel bloggers.
Our itinerary follows after the photos:
|Church 1 - Our Lady of the Rule|
|Church 2 - St. Joseph the Worker|
|Church 3 - Metropolitan Cathedral|
|Church 4 - Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino|
|Sidetrip - A Dancing Prayer Warrior at the Magellan's Cross|
|Lunch by the seaside at Lantaw|
|Saint Pedro Calungsod|
|Church 5 - San Pedro Calungsod Chapel|
|Church 6 - Our Lady of Guadalupe|
|Side Trip - Temple of Leah|
|Sidetrip - Taoist Temple|
|Dinner at STK|
|Church 7 - St. Catherine's Church in Carcar|
|Church 8 - Simala Shrine|
|Color-coded Candles in Simala Shrine|
|Church 9 - San Miguel Arcanghel Church at Argao|
|Argao Church Interior|
|Sidetrip - Chitang's Torta|
7:45 AM – Arrive at Cebu
8:30 AM – Breakfast at Zubuchon
9:00 AM - Pilgrimage Tour around Lapu-lapu, Cebu City and Mandaue1. Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule – Mactan (Offer prayer and light a candle)
2. St. Joseph the Worker – Mandaue City (Life-size marble statues of Jesus and His Disciples)
3. Metropolitan Cathedral – Cebu City (Elegant and beautiful cathedral with a museum where sacred treasures are well-preserved)
4. Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino – Cebu City (a coral stone church and home of the original statue of the Child Jesus the baptismal gift of Magellan to Queen Juana).
12:00 NN Lunch at Lantaw
2:00 PM – Check in at Crown Regency Hotel
3:00 PM – Continue Pilgrimage Tour
5. Pedro Calungsod Chapel – Cebu City (a chapel with seaside view)
6. Our Lady of Guadalupe – Mandaue City (Visit a small cave where the original statue was found)
5:00 PM – Side trip to Taoist Temple and Temple of Leah
7:00 PM – Dinner then back to Hotel
7:00 AM – Breakfast at Crown Regency
8:00 AM – Pilgrimage Outside Cebu
7. St. Catherine Church – Carcar (A beautiful heritage church.)
Sidetrip at Carcar Public Market to buy Lechon and Chicharon
8. Simala Shrine – Sibonga (a castle-like church)
12:00 PM – Lunch at the Park with the Chicharon and Lechon bought at Carcar
9. San Miguel Arcanghel Parish Church – Argao
Sidetrip at Chitang's and try its native delicacy Torta
4:00 PM – Back to Hotel and Free Time
5:30 AM - Breakfast at Crown Regency
6:30 AM – Head to the Airport and go back to Manila
Van Rental Inclusion - Php 9,300.00
Day 1 – 7 am to 7 pm or 12 hours
- Pick up from airport
- Pilgrimage Tour around Mactan, Cebu City and Mandaue
- Travel to and from Crown Regency
Day 2 – 8 am to 6 pm or 10 hours
- Pick up from Crown Regency
- Pilgrimage Tour in Carcar, Simala and Argao
- Back to Crown Regency
Day 3 – 6:30 am to 7:30 am or 1 hour
- Pick up from Crown Regency to the Airport
Hotel Accommodation for 2 nights at Crown Regency (Twin Sharing) with breakfast included – Php 4,800 per room.
1 1) It's a pilgrimage tour so be ready with your prayers and intentions. Of the nine churches we visited, only the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod has a prayer book for station of the cross available to be borrowed by church goers.
2 2) It's quite hot in Cebu so wear comfortable clothes. However, shorts, sandals and short sleeved shirts are not allowed on some churches like Simala.
*** all photos above were taken using Samsung Galaxy S5 phones.
All-in-all, if you go by travel agency, you will be billed at least Php 8,000 (exclusive of airfare) per person, but if you go for a d-i-y adventure, you could cut the damage by more than a half.