Simala Shrine is one of the famous religious destinations and pilgrimage in the South of Cebu. If you are a catholic, this is one of the places you shouldn’t miss, not because of its castle-like architecture, but because of the inspiring true to life stories of the devotees and serene location. Furthermore, you will always enjoy the places because it is overlooking and being there makes you feel relaxed and refreshed.
The shrine is visited by thousand, even millions of people from different parts of the country and the world. Not a single day you will go there without witnessing the crowd paying homage to the holy and miraculous Simala Shrine. Should you wish to visit the Shrine on its feast day, it would be on the 8th of September, but expect hundreds and thousands of people going there as well.
Where is the Simala Shrine?
It is location in Lindongan, Sibonga Cebu, in the southeast of Cebu province. It’s not located along the highway, so you’ll not see it right away. Hence, you’ll need to check the map below to know where exactly is the Shrine located.
How to get there?
If you are in Cebu City, you have a lot of options. Bus: Go to the south Bus terminal and find buses that will be travelling towards the southeast part of Cebu.
If you will ride on mini buses, some of them have their terminal at the entrance to the Simala Shrine. So, you’ll not have a problem where to stop. But, most mini buses are non-aircon, hence, if you want to be more comfortable and save your skin from all the dust you can ride on big buses ceres and sunrays. If it’s your first time going there, you can should tell the driver and or the conductor that you are heading towards Simala and they already know where it is. It’s been a while since I didn’t visit to place riding on a public transportation, but for your reference, I’ve researched the most recent fare rates. It’s around 2 hours ride from the south Bus terminal depending on the traffic, so it’s a long way to go, you can bring some food, listen to music, make sure your battery is full to keep yourself busy while riding on a bus. You can also just—–yourself with whatever you see as you go. Or you can just sleep for a long trip a head.
TAXI: This is not advisable since it’s out of the City are the rate can be pretty high, but if you are with your friends and family, this could be a better choice, never been there riding on a taxi.
For bus, after you get to the dropping off, it’s still 30 minutes ride on motorcycle and tricycle. According to my research, the rate should be around——–. But some drivers asked for more, so, it’s better to know the fare a head, or atleast have a rough estimate so that you cannot pay as much more.
For taxi and private vehicles
After reaching the crossing to simala, if you are coming from the City, simple turn right, and another right turn and just follow the narrow road, keep check your speed please as to the place has so may motorcycle and tricycle coming and going, and the road is narrow, so be careful.
Parking Area and Fee
Before, the church has its own parking area free of charge, but during my last two visits, they already closed it. Instead, there are a lot of parking spaces near the church for Php.40. for a more convenient parking, you can drive towards the entrance of the Shrine, and make a left turn after a few—– to check that wide parking space( its free during the feast).
What to do?
Basically, it’s a shrine, a pilgrimage where most people are devotes. So, here are the guidelines, and what to do and what not to do in the shrine and in the church ground.
- Take pictures
- Be silent, it’s a holy place
- Solemn prayer
- Candle lighting
- Petitions and prayers of thanksgiving
- Attend mass
- Bring flowers
- Buy souvenirs
- Dress should be below the knee
- Dress should have shoulder sleeves.
- No talking so noisy and loudly
- Display of affection
Who can come?
Everyone is welcome, catholic’s, and non catholic’s, foreigners and locals alike. It’s a shrine which is open to all and welcomes anyone who come. It’s free and you can spend the whole day there if you like.
However, just keep one thing in mind: it’s not a tourist destination, nor a park or a temple where you can freely do whatever you wear dresses fit the place.