Heritage Sites

Cebu's Castle Church: Simala Shrine in Sibonga

Cebu

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Apr 16, 2014

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The Simala Church in Sibonga; photo from Birhen sa Simala Devotees FB page

Holy Mass Schedule at Birhen sa Simala:

  • Sunday – 12:00nn & 3:30pm
  • Monday to Friday – 12:00nn
  • Saturday – 10:30am
  • 13th of the month – 10:30am & 3:30pm

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Mass in Simala; photo from Birhen sa Simala Devotees FB page

Aside from the ordinary candles, Colored candles are available for sale (Php35++ each) if you would like to pray for a specific purpose:

  • Gold – Healing (good health, recovery, spiritual, family tree)
  • Green – Prosperity/Success (exam, study, financial, business)
  • Blue – Perseverance (employment, career, assignment, promotions)
  • Violet – Achievement (plans in life, struggles, endeavors, journey, voyage)
  • Red – Love (unity, 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)

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Colored candles lit up for prayers; photo from Birhen sa Simala Devotees FB page

Take note of the following which are NOT allowed when visiting the Church grounds:

  • Sleeveless/Tube/Short Blouses
  • Shorts/Mini Skirts
  • Fitting and Transparent Pants
  • Smoking and Alcoholic Drinks
  • Loud Noise or Shouting
  • Flash of Cameras
  • Footwear Before Entering the Prayer Room
  • Standby of habalhabal drivers

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The church altar; photo from Birhen sa Simala Devotees FB page

Some Tips
  • Hiring a taxi (around Php1000 to Php2000, roundtrip) going to Simala from Cebu is a bit expensive.
  • No eating inside the shrine but you can bring your own water and food where you can eat at the cottages near the compound.
  • If you would like to relax and keep away from the crowd/devotees on your visit, avoid Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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The statues of the Virgin Mary in different forms inside the shrine; photo from Birhen sa Simala Devotees FB page

How to Get There

From Manila, you can fly to Cebu (estimated cost of Php3,000++, round trip, 45 minutes).

From the Mactan International Airport, hire a cab and ask to be dropped at the South Bus Terminal where you can ride a bus going to Sibonga; you can also hire a van from City Link terminal where it will take you all the way to the shrine. The bus ride from Cebu City to Sibonga takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. By the time you reach the stop point, take a motorcycle ride to bring you to the Simala Shrine.

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