Travel Guide : Simala Church Cebu

Cebu is one of the first seat of Christianity in the Philippines, it is full of churches that represents the countries long  history of Catholicism – accompanied with various festivals in honor of Jesus, Mary and all the different saints. A municipality in southern Cebu named Sibonga has become a tourist/devotee destination because of the #EuropeFeels / #ItalyFeels  – SIMALA Church has. It is a façade in honor of Mama Mary.  

This January, I went on a vacation and took a trip down south to visit the church and paid homage to the Blessed Virgin for all of her blessings she and her son have showered to me and to my family! Here I’m sharing you a travel guide.How to get there:
1 – Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal.
Various of bus going South is available, known to pass by Sibonga is Ceres. Take it and ask the driver or his assistant (known as konduktor) to drop you in Simala. Travel takes about 2 hours. Fare varies as per bus company but it should be between 80 to 100 Php. Your best land mark will be that 7-11 shop on the right side built as the ground floor of an old house.

For bus schedule visit this link of Cebu Gov’t Bus Schedule.
2 – Upon Arrival in Brgy. Simala– Look for motorcycles (habal-habal) going up to the sanctuary. 
Habal-habal (or motorcycle) is the most common transportation going up to the church. Fare is around 20-30 Php per person, each motorcycle can accommodate at least 2 passengers.

3 – Going Home. 
Motorcycle drivers are just around the corner, you can choose and they will drop you right in the highway! In the highway, all you have to do is wait for the bus going back to the city  and you’ll be home. Fare will be almost the same as to going  back and forth.

What can you do:

  • Pray! – Among the many reasons why we visit Simala is to simply pray. Thanking God/Mama Mary for their blessings and this should be the primary reason.
  • Visit the Miraculous Statue of Mary – At the back of the church altar , there is a way where you could offer your flowers and prayers.
  • Write An Intention – Along the way to the statue are writing stations where you could write a letter to Mary. And if your generous enough – feel free to share your blessings!
  • Light a candle – Color-coded candles are available for a specific intention, pick what fits your prayers.
  • Buy – Memorabilias, small statue, prayer guides, rosaries and more are visible on the right side of the church. 
  • Finally, Take a Picture!  – Of course every Filipino won’t miss that chance to take a photo of this beautiful, stunning and amazing structure.
And at all times, be mindful of your noise, stay calm and avoid disrupting the other people who are praying. Please be respectful as well on the way you dress up. Avoid shorts and sleeveless blouse. 
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I prefer not to get into more details of how was our visit. I’d like you to experience it yourself. All I can say is that it’s my 4th visit and every time I set forth my feet into this amazing place, I’d say it is an encounter with Mama Mary and of our Creator.  

Take a look at some of the photos I took. 

 

“This crown structure is memorial of the victorious and powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother thru the Penitential Rosary Walk in 1998, against the killer epidemic hat struck the place, where several lives of poor children and infants had died. Built to honor Mary on the 8th year anniversary of the Monks arrival in Lindogon. Blessed on the 27th day of February, 2004.”

On Facebook I posted: In awe of His creations! Mama Mary, thank you for giving us your son. Amen. 
Lord, I am confident of your love, mercy & grace! Excited na ko sa imong gift nako!
#ThankYouLord #Sibonga #Cebu #cebu2017 #Simala 
DOME. This is the dome of the church. I took this photo on our way going to the back of the altar where you will have a closer encounter of the miraculous statue of Mary. 
See more photos of this amazing & stunning place on
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Also known as  as the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist (for locals, it is known as “Birhen sa Simala”) is located at the Marian Hills of Lindogon Simala, Sibonga Cebu.  It started with a miracle that Mother Mary cried  with a blood and was witnessed by some of the devotees and believers.  Furthermore, the Monks of Mary (Mga Monghe ni Maria) lives and started the cause of building this palace-like church. Devotees, faithful and just merely the curious people started to flock in this location, thus the support and donation of the faithful has made this #EuropeFeels – instagram worthy photos facade is built (and still on the process of making it better).

Believed to have fulfilled many prayers, a row of “aparador” / cabinet of testimonials of various stories on passing of the board exams, miraculously cured cancer, baby prayers and more will inspire you. An array colorful of candles can also be seen in some areas; color-coded depending on the prayers & intentions you would like to lift up. Red, blue, green, pink, violet etc. –  stands for a specific purpose – wanna know what are they? Go ahead and visit this place! 🙂

Most importantly, attend a mass! 

Here is a guide to the regular mass schedule of the church. 


I would also suggest to avoid Fridays, Saturday & Sundays if you wouldn’t want a crowded place. Pick a weekday and enjoy the peaceful ambiance that Simala Church has! May your prayers be granted!

God bless!


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Blog post by : JM Kayne

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