When one thinks about Cebu, one of the things that normally come to mind is Magellan’s Cross. The original cross is encased in tindalo wood since the natives believed it had miraculous powers and started to chip away parts of it. It is housed inside a small chapel along Magallanes Street, which was named after the renowned Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
On March 15, 1521, Magellan, who was also known as Fernando Magallanes, arrived in Cebu under the auspices of the Spanish crown in search of the famed Spice Islands. Upon his arrival on the island, Magellan was met by Rajah Humabon, a native chieftain who agreed to be baptized as a Christian together with wife and warriors.
A cross was planted by Magellan on April 21, 1521 to commemorate this important event that marked the start of the spread of Christianity in the archipelago. While Magellan met his end at the hands of the warriors of Datu Lapu-Lapu in the historic Battle of Mactan, one of his ships was able to successfully circumnavigate the world.
Some stories revealed that the original cross was supposedly destroyed after the natives turned against the Spaniards following the death of Magellan. A narrative indicated that the natives burned the ships of the Spaniards along with the cross, and the survivors of the Battle of Mactan were lucky to escape with their lives.
The cross is currently being used as a symbol by the City of Cebu, and an image of the chapel housing the cross can be seen on the seal of the Cebu City government. It is also used on the seals and logos of a number of Cebu-based organizations. Magellan’s Cross is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cebu, and is within walking distance to the other historical landmarks of the city.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.