When people talk about Simala, they almost refer to the Simala Shrine, the castle-like church located in barangay Simala, town of Sibonga in mid south part of Cebu. Simala is a actually a small mountainside place. Around 8km from the national highway and around 20minutes ride. The shrine gained attention as the big structure can be seen from highway. Many devotees coming in every now and then.
Going to Simala Shrine
Going there is pretty easy, the place is well known. If you are from Cebu City, take a Ceres bus in South Bus Terminal. You can take Bato-Oslob route or simply ask the guards around, they are helpful and friendly. During peak seasons though, you have to fall a long line. Ask the bus conductor that you’re going to Simala Church and you’ll be exactly dropped at the corner street going to Simala Shrine. You can take habal-habal ride from the highway or you can also take tricycles.
Update as of June 2019, there is new Ceres Terminal, only for Simala bound and Cebu City vis-a-vis. Read our new article.
Check out nice road views going to Simala Shrine in Sibonga, Basilica Del Sto Nino Church in Cebu City and Birhen sa Regla in Opon provided by Wander Thirty.
An old view sometime in 2014
Here’s the view once you get inside the entrance gate. This was how it looked like then. It changed a lot since the last time we’ve visited years ago.
Candle colors and meaning
There are several places within the church where you can light up a candle. Upon entrance, on the side, there is one spot you can immediately recognized like below. If you want to go near the altar, on the right side, it is where the bigger area for candle lighting is located.
GOLD – for healing (good health, recovery, spiritual, family tree)
GREEN – for prosperity/success (exam, study, financial, business)
BLUE – perseverance (employment, career, assignment, promotions)
VIOLET – achievement (plans in life, struggles, endeavors, journey)
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)
View of the altar
Below are just two angles you can view the altar. You can get closer actually during weekdays as there are fewer people going to Simala church this times.
Devotees come back and give thanks for the prayers granted. They leave here simple letters, books, icons and anything that symbolizes success and how the miraculous mother aided them through.
Post Update: Views inside the Simala Shrine late 2016
The landscape where more developed and looks pretty amazing.. but then, always remember.. if we go there.. not for the miracles we heard nor for the beautiful shrine.. but to pray!
It is a tradition acquired way back to Spanish era wherein during Holy week, people visit churches to churches for sacrifices, offerings and blessings.
Where to go after
Your spirit now is enlightened and uplifted, better and good. You might be tired, hungry and thirsty as well. There are lots of small stores outside the church to get foods and water from. If you can hold your hunger and thirst a bit, you can move down back to highway and drop by Sibonga Plaza, cool down yourselves with foods and coolers in Mama’s Choice Refreshment Parlor, just on the left side part of the plaza.
Stop over in Our Divine Grace Parish
A little church near the shrine capture the hearts of the residents. You may want also to stop by here.
Bring home the best cassava in the locality
Try to order the best seller cassava cake from Mai’s Cravings. Highly recommended when you visit Simala Sibonga. Make sure to reserve and order ahead.
Check the following when in Sibonga
Milk Tea House Sebu Cha Sibonga
Mai’s Cravings Cassava Cakes Sweets and Pastries in the South
Our Lady of Divine Grace Simala
Simala Shrine – The Castle-like Church in Cebu South
Yummy Mango in Sibonga
Lomi ni Bong in Sibonga
The Champs – Pizza Burger and Tacos
Rose Pharmacy in Sibonga
Onin’s Silog in Sibonga
LaFang sa Sibonga