F.I. NYA, Day 3

Day 3, January 30, 2019 (Wednesday) City Tour.

third day

Today marks another memorable learning experience to the participants of the youth assembly. They get to see the rich religious, historical, and cultural heritage of the city, witness the ritual among Taoist devotees done every Wednesday and Sunday, and enjoy themselves at SM Seaside City Cebu and the Ayala Center Cebu.

The day starts with an encounter with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist at 8 o'clock in the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu. The basilica is the home of the original and oldest relic in the country in honor to the Holy Child Jesus. The image of the Sto. Niño was given by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana of Cebu on her baptism in 1521. The devotion to the Holy Child strengthens one's personal relationship with God through a child who always carries the virtues of humility and obedience like that of an ordinary child. The feast of the Sto. Niño de Cebu is celebrated on the third Sunday of January with a fluvial and foot processions held on a Saturday. The Sinulog mardi gras is an annual cultural and religious festival attracting milllions of visitors each year.

Day3b

A historical walk in the Sto. Niño Museum located at the basement of the Sto. Niño Pilgrim Center brings the NYA participants back to 1600s. The museum houses religious treasures of the Holy Child that varies from vestments, pieces of jewelry, novena prayers, and etcetera.

The Magellan's Cross is a testament to the country's history that started the 400+ years of Spanish rule. On April 14, 1521, Magellan planted a wooden cross on the shores of Cebu to commemorate the baptism of Rajah Jumabon, his wife and their subjects, and to signify the establishment of Christianity in the Philippines.

Day3a

Across the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is the Cebu Cathedral Museum or the Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu. It has six galleries displaying different religious items and artifacts, illustrations and pictures of the growth of Catholicism in Cebu, the memorabilia of Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, several statues of saints, the items used in Roman Catholic Mass, and a sample of the bedroom of a priest.

A few meters away from the cathedral are the Plaza Independencia and the Fort San Pedro. The Plaza Independencia is one of the most significant sites in the history of Cebu. It is a symbol of independence and freedom from all the conquerors that tried to take over the island of Cebu. Its century - old trees are witnesses to what the plaza/ park had been through during the colonial days. Pre-Hispanic human bones and some pieces of earthenware were uncovered during the excavation when a tunnel connecting Cebu City to South Road Properties (SRP) was under construction. The Fort San Pedro is a military defense structure built by the Spaniards under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first governor of Captaincy General of the Philippines. The original fort built right after the arrival of Legazpi and his expedition was made of wood. It was then replaced in the 17th century with a stone fort to repel Muslim raiders. It is a triangular shape with two sides facing the sea and the third side is facing the land. The sides facing the sea were safeguarded with fourteen cannons and most of them are still there today.

The NYA participants deserve a break and taste Cebuano cuisine for lunch at the third biggest mall inthe country after having acquainted with the religious artifacts and historical landmarks. The SM Seaside City Cebu has 400 stores that include food establishments, ice skating rink, bowling, archery, four cinemas or IMAX theaters with a Director's Club for a small audience. The mall offers a view of the city's mountain side as well as the seaside where Mactan and Bohol islands are a must-to-visit in a tourist's itinerary.

The delegates also visit Ayala Center Cebu, the premier shopping, dining, and entertainment destination in the south, which is the tenth largest shopping mall in the country. The NYA participants have a different perspective of the business landscape at the Cebu Business Park (CBP). The mall added over 200 stores in its four - level retail expansion, a condominium called the Park Point Residences, a tower that houses several business processing outsource (BPO) offices, and another condominium, the Alcoves, to be another part of the mall.

The day is surely a wonderful and memorable experience in Cebu City often called as the "Queen City of the South".