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Information about Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño

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Religious Sites
Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino, Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
Distance From City Center
161 m
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Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño

Basilica Minore Del Santo Niño

Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño is the oldest Catholic Church in Cebu. The church houses the image of the Sto. Niño, the city’s patron, who represents Jesus as a Holy Child. It is also a place for prayer and pilgrimage to a large number of people each year, making it one of the most popular attractions in Cebu.

In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi called Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño as San Agustin Church. The exact location of the church is the same spot where Legazpi’s Spaniard troupe discovered the image of Sto. Niño. It was thought to be the gift of Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana, the wife of Rajah Humabon, as a sign of their allegiance and over forty years of their baptism to Christianity.

The statue was found in a burnt wooden box left behind during the time of Magellan. Having been able to survive the fire, the Spaniards thought it to be a miracle that the image did not turn into ashes. On April 28, 1565, the same day Legazpi and his crew landed in Cebu, Augustinian priest Fr. Andres de Urdaneta founded the Sto. Niño monastery. The first church was then built in 1566 by Fr. Diego de Herrera with only wood and nipa. Unfortunately, the church was consumed by fire. That time, the image of Sto. Niño survived again.

The new wooden church was built in 1605 by Fr. Pedro Torres, but another fire destroyed the church again in 1628. The third church was built that same year by Fr. Juan Medina, this time using stones and bricks. However, the construction did not continue due to the lack of materials used.

On February 29, 1735, the new construction of the church was led by a number of people: Father Provincial Bergano, Governor-General Fernando Valdes, Bishop Manuel Antonio Decio y Ocampo of Ceby, and Juan de Albarran. Utilizing hewn stones, the present church was finished in 1739. By 1965, Pope Paul VI converted the church into Basilica Minore.

How to get there

It is located in a block beside the D. Jakosalem Street, Osmeña Boulevard, P. Burgos Street, and the Plaza Sugbo where the chapel of Magellan’s Cross is at. Take a ride on a Mybus from Mactan, Cebu to SM Cebu City. From there, ride a jeep with the route code 12I or 10M. Ask the driver to drop you off at the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño. 


Best time to visit

This religious landmark is an all-year-round destination. It is open daily from 8:30 AM to 6 PM.

Frequently asked questions

What are the features of Basilica del Minore Sto. Niño?

The architectural style of the Basilica is a mixture of Muslim, Romanesque, and neo-classicism. The exterior of the church still shows its original stone texture. Its dome-like ceiling is of Muslim influence. The church has an arched main entrance and rectangular corners on the side. A bell tower is situated adjacent to the convent. A little museum can be also seen inside the Basilica. This is where the history of Christianity in Cebu is well kept, including antique objects, pastoral garments, old furniture, and the donated old cloaks of the Sto. Niño.

Are there any festivals in honor of the Sto. Niño?

In honor of the Sto. Niño, a feast is annually celebrated in Cebu, the Sinulog Festival. Conducted every third Sunday of January each year, this festival is one of the grandest celebrations in the country. It is being performed to remember the Filipino’s past and their acceptance of Christianity.

What does the word Sinulog mean?

Sinulog comes from the Cebuano word “sulog” meaning the water current movement (forward-backward movement) which is part of the traditional dance steps in the festival.

How long is the festival commemorating the Sto. Niño?

The festival traditionally lasts for nine days. On the last day, the most awaited part of the feast is held, the street parade. Participants from different towns and cities of Cebu and other islands in the Philippines dress in colorful and attractive costumes as they dance to the rhythm of the drums and native gongs.

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