It has been a promise for me and my bestfriends to visit this sacred place whenever we can, so last Saturday ,we finally set the time.
The Simala Shrine – A sacred place, a picnic place, most parts were completed compared to my last visit .This place always draws visitors because the place is said to be miraculous, the views are already picturesque. The tall, huge castle-like church at the top of a hill overlooking the mountains and sea on the other side is a sight to behold. The place inside might look like a European place ,but the surroundings are very local and almost rural.
It is best to visit early on working days because there’s always a huge crowd on weekends and the queue for being able to kiss Mama Mary (a must for some) goes all the way down the stairs (very long). That is how devoted people are in my country are. People queue not minding the scorching heat just to kiss the Miraculous statue of Mama Mary.
You can also stay as much or less as you want. Last year,I was with my workmates and we brought food with us.There’s a picnic ground outside the shrine for those who bring food and drinks.You can rent the cottages. There are many small local eateries “carinderia” outside the gate.
People write their petitions or prayers, thanksgiving letter and dropped it in the box. We also do that everytime. The colors of the candles has its own meaning. I had the pink candle last year. I got the purple one this time. 🙏👍
**From Cebu City**
~~ the most convenient way is to take a van in the V-hire terminal.(in Jonquera extension ) The fare costs 100php one way.
~~travel time is approximately 2.5- 3 hours.
~~take some snacks and water,juice etc
~~ 20php for the trike going back to the van terminal few metres away from Simala church
~~ take an umbrella and a fan with you, it is often hot there
~~Observe dress proper code
~~ prepare 20 php if you want to use the toilet near the gate of the Shrine. It is an air conditioned comfort room!!! 🤗
~~ you can also take a bus bound to Sibonga. And take a trike to Simala. (I don’t know how much it costs)