I was in high spirits when our plane arrived in Mactan International Airport. I have been pretty stressed with my workload and our 3-day South Cebu escape is just perfect to wash that strain off.
Our plan was to ride a series of jeepneys that will take out to South Cebu Terminal where we could catch a bus that will pass by Carcar. But the rain started to pour heavily the moment we stepped out of the airport that it would be inconvenient for us (and our huge backpacks) to commute from one multicab to another. Instead, we hailed a taxi to take us to SBT while silently praying for the rain to stop the whole time. Heaven may have heard my prayers that the sky already cleared by the time we reached SBT.
Sidetrip to Carcar Public Market
It was an uneventful bus trip ’til we alighted the bus in front of Carcar Public Market. Tricycle drivers welcomed everyone alighting the bus and offered a tour of Carcar town. We heard Carcar is famous for its Lechon Baboy and Chicaron so we went straight to the market to have a taste of it. At the back of the market, a special place for vendors of Lechon Baboy, Chicaron and Puso (local version of rice).
After our breakfast, we bought several kilo of Chicharon as pasalubong (take home gifts) for our friends and families in Manila. We didn’t know how to get to Simala Church from Carcar so we asked the guard of Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop in front of the church. While doing so, someone approached us and offered a tricycle ride to take us to Simala Church for Php250.00.
Mother Mary Shrine in Simala
Simala Church is in Marian Hills, Lindogon, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu. A two-hour bus ride from Cebu City and a habal-habal will take you to the monastery. Everyday, thousands flock to the monastery to offer prayers, flowers, candles and hope for a miracle.
Miracles are believed to happen in this church. There is in fact a place in the church where wheelchairs, medical supplies, pencils and pictures of successful board passers, together with testimonies of answered prayers are displayed. The church also has a wide collection of kinds of Mother Mary from places here in abroad.
I remember when I was about to take the board exam after I graduated in college, I’ve been to miraculous churches in Manila – from the Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, to Saint Jude Archdiocesan Shrine (St. Jude is the Patron Saint of Desperate Cases), to the Monasteryo de Sta. Clara in Katipunan, Quezon City (where i offered eggs, write my intentions and asked the nuns to pray for me). This may sound absurd to some but I believe great things will happen if you have faith.
Fast forward to present, I think this is what the devotees also feel and believe. It may not guarantee an answered prayer but there is nothing to lose when you believe. They offer color-coded candles to pray for their petitions. The candles may be bought near the main monastery for Php35.00, depending on one’s intention.
- Gold: Healing (Good health, Recovery, Spiritual, Family Tree)
- Green: Prosperity/Success (Exams, Study, Financial, Business)
- Blue: Perseverance (Employment, Career, Assignment, Promotions)
- Violet: Achievement (Plans in life, Struggles, Endeavors, Journeys, Voyage)
- Red: Love (Utility, Friendship, Engagement, Family)
- Yellow: Peace (Courage, Strength, Hope)
- White: Purity (Enlightenment, Guidance, Right Path)
- Orange: Reconciliation (Sweetheart, Wife, Husband, Enemy, Family)
- Pink: Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy (Spiritual, Physical)
- Black: Souls (Forgiveness, Pardon)
- Brown: Vocation (Marriage Bond, God’s Servant, Single life)
- Gray: Deliverance (Bad ways, Things, Spirits)
- Cream: Conversion/Faith (Children, Household, Couples)
Too bad, I didn’t get manong tricycle driver’s name and contact information. The tricycle ride from Carcar to Simala Church was less expensive and less hassle. Manong was also trustworthy. We left our baggage in his tricycle while we visited the church and he waited for us and took us back to the main road where we jumped on a bus that brought us to our next destination, Oslob, Cebu.
OUR TRANSPORTATION DETAILS:
- Mactan International Airport to South Cebu Terminal: Taxi hailed from the airport’s departure area – Php250.00
- Terminal Fee at South Cebu Terminal: Php10.00
- Ceres Ordinary Bus to Carcar: Php48.00/pax
- Carcar – Simala Church – back to main road: Php250.00/group of 3