Magellan’s Cross is probably the most important historical marker in Cebu City. There is nothing grand or extravagant about this tourist attraction, except that it symbolizes a very important event in history. On a day tour around Cebu, tourists are recommended to visit this site, where Christianity in the Philippines began. The giant cross housed inside a dome represents the cross that the renowned Portuguese explorer brought to the island of Cebu in 1521.
The cross is located at the site where Ferdinand Magellan was said to have planted the cross. A sign at the foot of the giant cross states that the real cross is encased underneath it. This was done to protect the real cross from vandalism. There are talks, however, that the real cross had long been destroyed, and that the existing cross is merely a replica of the true cross.
When we visited Magellan’s Cross, women dressed in yellow were standing around the small chapel. These women, just like those at Basilica del Santo Nino, offer prayers for the traveler’s safe journey and welfare. It’s always a good experience to buy a candle from one of these women and have them offer a prayer in a Sinulog dance.
How to go to Magellan’s Cross
Magellan’s Cross on a separate island from Mactan Island, where Cebu International Airport is located. Tourists coming from or staying at hotels on Mactan Island will have to drive or hire a cab going to Cebu City.
It takes around 20 to 30 minutes to travel from Mactan to Cebu City. The easiest way for tourists to get to Magellan’s Cross is via taxi as they would definitely know where it is located. You can also get on a jeepney with a signboard going to the city hall or the basilica.
Magellan’s Cross is located in front of the city hall and across another important historical attraction in Cebu, the Basilica del Santo Niño, where the oldest religious replica is said to be located. Read more about Santo Niño Basilica.
View Magellan’s Cross and Pavilion in a larger map