Filipinos are known to be very religious so a number of pilgrimage sites can be found almost everywhere in the Philippines. In Cebu, one of the most popular ones is the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist which is located in Lindogon, Simala , Sibonga, Cebu. I visited the place last year with my family to thank and to pray. I couldn't help but to take some photographs of its magnificent view. Of course,I did that after praying and when the mass has ended. lol
The place looks like some sort of a castle/palace to me. A great place to offer to Mama Mary and to talk to God. Once you get inside, you will witness so many things that will prove God's love. A series of cabinets containing thank you notes can be seen along with other offerings. A museum of the different images of the Virgin Mary is also free for everyone to visit.
If you want to kiss the miraculous Mother Mary, you have to get in line. No need to worry though because it moves pretty fast. Some people said that if you smell sweet smelling flowers as you kiss her statue, that means Mother Mary is around. That is really interesting. My family and I went to kiss her but we weren't able to smell a different kind of sweetness. But I still believe she is with us every single time.
Although it couldn't be denied that the place is good for picture taking, please bear in mind that it doesn't mainly serve as a tourist attraction. The whole place is built for worship, that means you have to be respectful at all times. Avoid unnecessary talks and wear something decent.
Here's a short guide I wrote based ONLY from my experience going to the place. We went there mainly via bus. If you will visit the place using other means, then our story would be different. hehe
How To Get To Simala
1. Ride a bus going south at the South Bus Terminal. Don't worry because you can easily find a bus going there once you get at the terminal. Going to Simala, we paid 75php each as of December 2014. *The price is the same both for kids and adults. It took us more than 2-3 hours to get there. (Travel time will of course vary under different circumstances.) Don't forget to inform the bus driver or the bus konduktor if you have zero idea where the monastery is.
2. I've been to the place thrice and I found out that there are times that the buses will stop a walking distance away from the monastery. Some other buses doesn't go all the way to the monastery and will only drop you in the main highway. In that case, you have to get a motorcycle ride for 20php per person. *The monastery is too far to walk from the highway so you really have to take a motorcycle ride going there. The motorcycle drivers will take you to the gate of the monastery (as seen on the photo above.)
More tips and information*
1. Short shorts and skirts are not allowed in the monastery. Same thing goes to strapless and daring tops. You have to wear something decent to get into the place.
2. If you are wearing something not-so-decent, you can rent a cloth big enough to cover you. Rental services are available in the front gate of the monastery. Souvenirs are also available outside.
3. An eating area is available for free inside the monastery. You can always eat somewhere outside, but it is better to bring your own foods because the ones sold outside are usually expensive. Of course, bring lots of water with you. The monastery is often crowded with visitors so prepare some heat protection stuffs like water, fan and medicine just in case your body needs it.
4. You have to take off your footwear if you want to kiss Mama Mary's statue. I would suggest wearing something comfortable and easy for you to take off.
5. Solicitation inside the monastery is not allowed. If you want to donate something, give it directly to the people in charge in the donation area. Devils are everywhere so be careful not to be fooled. lelz..
I hope this post can help you if you are planning to visit the place. If it is your first time going to Cebu, I hope you'll have time to visit the place. I promise, it is worth it! have fun and be safe :)