Visiting Simala Shrine, Cebu

Before Xavy’s birthday, we decided to visit the miraculous Simala Shrine in Cebu. Xavy has never been to this place so it was about time we checked it out and say our prayers. We’re Christians but we’ve never been the church-going type of bunch, we say our prayers and we always try our best to be kind to everyone, to live by Papa Jesus’ teachings everyday. Once in a while we’d light candles and say our prayers at the Cathedral.

Enjoying his first trip to Cebu.

How to get to Simala:

So from Dumaguete, we took the Sibulan to Lilo-an trip thru Maayo Shipping. With our small car, we paid 1300 round trip inclusive of 2 passengers. It was a quick 30 minutes ride, we didn’t even get out of the car anymore. We left late so we were in a rush to get to Simala considering it was a Sunday and there’d be a mass so we knew that it was going to be packed. From Lilo-an, it was about 2 hours ride to get to Simala. We didn’t bother stopping for lunch on the road.

If you’re not driving, you can take the ferry at Sibulan to Lilo-an. From Lilo-an, you can take the Ceres bus heading to Cebu BUT get off at Sibonga proper. At Sibonga proper, there’s a lot of motorcyles that can take you to Simala.

What to do and expect at Simala:

When we got to Simala, the place was really packed. There’s parking spaces all over the place so we were able to park right away. You’d have to be in proper attire to get inside, if you’re not, there are locals that will let you rent sarongs. We were properly dressed so we fell in line right away, it was a long line but a quick one. If you’d like to avoid the crowd, go on weekdays and preferably early mornings. It’s advisable to bring water and an umbrella.

However, inside was a different story. It was a very long line to get inside Mama Mary’s chapel. But we persevered. 😛 To get inside the chapel, you have to take off your footwear. You can quietly say your prayer inside and write them down, drop them in the prayer boxes so monks can help you pray for them. Afterwards, you can light candles, the color will depend on what you’d like to pray for. Then you can stroll around their gardens and visit Mama Mary’s museum. You can also see and read letters from grateful devotees all over the world.

Mass schedule:

  • Daily – 12:00 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday – 03:00 PM
  • 13th of the month – 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM

Simala candles:

  • Black – Souls (forgiveness, pardon)
  • Blue – Perseverance (employment, career, assignment, promotions)
  • Brown – Vocation (marriage bond, God’s servant, single life)
  • Cream – Conversion/Faith (children, household, couples)
  • Gold – Healing (good health, recovery, spiritual, family tree)
  • Gray – Deliverance (bad ways, things, spirits)
  • Green – Prosperity/Success (exam, study, financial, business)
  • Orange – Reconciliation (sweetheart, wife, husband, enemy, family)
  • Pink – Thanksgiving/Happiness/Joy (spiritual, physical)
  • Red – Love (unity, friendship, engagement, family)
  • White – Purity (enlightenment, guidance, right path)
  • Violet – Achievement (plans in life, struggles, endeavors, journey, voyage)
  • Yellow – Peace (courage, strength, hope)

Candles are sold at P50+.

This was a first for us. It was also my first time driving on my own to another island. One of my worries was getting on the ferry on my own. I’ve been driving for a few years now but it’s always been a struggle driving in reverse. But thank God, everything went smoothly.

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