Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vondraye's Trip to Simala - Miraculous Castle of Mama Mary

Since we just celebrated Mama Mary’s birthday, I think it’s just fitting to post about the Miraculous Mama Mary’s Castle in Simala.

I was first introduced to this place as a story from my colleagues and friends. I then was able to visit it finally with my closest friends and good thing that my friend, let’s call him Friend B already went there before so we were given head’s up on what to expect, etc. 

How to go to Simala: One way to reach Simala is by riding the van that would directly drop you off at Simala Church. This is at the Van Terminal in Junquera St. near San Carlos main, the fare is 100php as of Januay 2018. It has been changed for a few times (before it was at the back of Sto. Nino Basilica) so keep watch and be updated on where the vans are. Another is by bus at South Bus Terminal, but the downside is they don’t go directly to Simala church. You still have to ride a habal habal (motorcycle) going up the hill where the Simala church is. Third, is of course, by private vehicles or renting a car. 

Vondraye’s Tips:

  •  If you don’t like crowded places like me, and not fond of long lines, the best time to visit - during weekdays.
  •  Before you visit, write your letter to Mama Mary ahead of time. They have pen and paper provided but it would save you time and effort plus, on my own personal opinion, it would be much better if you write in your own quiet time with all your heart, mind and soul comfortably seated right? Plus, it won’t take much of your time if you have lots of things to pray and thank for.
  • Wear slippers! Because you will be removing them anyway; Shoes aren’t allowed inside. You’re literally barefoot inside the church! If you have trust issues (that someone might steal your shoes/slippers), you can bring a bag where you can put your flipflops in.
  • Wear cotton or breathable clothes since there are times that it’s hot and you’ll sweat a lot! What I do is that I wear sando and just bring a cover (eg polo or longsleeve)
  • Bring water if you easily get thirsty (like me)
  •  If you wish to avail the special symbolic candles, it costs 35php and certain color each has their symbolic meaning (see reference below).
  •  No matter where you go, even at holy places like this, there are still bad people so be careful with your belongings.

The Castle's view from afar.

A few reminders before going in; about the dresscode.

They're not kidding when they say to remove your shoes.
There's a guard at the entrance.

Prayers do work and for some reason, it seems this place has a speed dial.

Interesting shots; A dog sleeping at the stairs

Where the mass is being held.

The ceiling, the very beautiful ceiling.

Stairway going up to the Mama Mary statue and prayer area.

During weekends, lines usually start at the entrance outside the chapel. 

There are a few spots where you can drop your letters, but personally, 
I prefer this one.

THE Mama Mary statue/shrine.

After praying to Mama Mary, going down, 
you can pray and have these candles for your prayers.

View from above.

My 2nd visit and I have no idea why I wore shorts.

On my 2nd visit with Friend K, We saw a dog near the pamisa window

The staff was nice enough to open the window and let us play with the doggie!

He keeps on wagging his tail!

Here's the video for you guys!

The Museum Area 

The story how the Castle came about

My friend August checking on the different Mama Mary. 
His first visit and two of his wishes already came true!

Different kind f the Mama Marys I got fond of.

If there are few people, you can go explore the castle.

Mass Schedule

Taken January 1, 2016

This is definitely one of the few Cebu spots I would encourage you to visit! Other than Cebu's beaches, and their delicious food, this Holy Place will surely touch you and make your visit memorable. Many Cebuanos and people from nearby islands visit on a regular basis because they too did experience the miracle and power of prayer! Friends alike have their own stories to tell of the granted wishes/prayers and I can testify to that! 

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