Simala Shrine Guide

Simala Shrine Guide 2024: Your Guide to Cebu’s Miraculous Church

Heading to Simala Shrine in Sibonga, Cebu? Our Simala Shrine Guide 2023 breaks down everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful church, including the fees and how to get there.
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Tourists flying to Cebu province mostly look for these experiences—encountering whale sharks in Oslob, swimming with the sardines in Moalboal, and canyoneering to Kawasan Falls in Badian. But Cebu is also home to several other attractions that may not be as popular, but definitely deserve your visit. One of them is the glorious Simala Shrine.

Located in Barangay Lindogon in Sibonga town, Simala Shrine is known for its castle-like architecture, as well as the alleged miraculous events associated with it and taking place inside the church.

For one, the church was credited for the healing of many dengue fever patients during its outbreak in the province in the late 1990s. Also, the Virgin Mary inside the church is known to cry tears of blood every September 8th, her birthday. This made it earn the moniker, the Miraculous Mama Mary Church. It is also known as The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist.

Also, here’s another fun fact. Simala Shrine is built and owned by the Marian Monks of Eucharistic Adoration, whose members serve as the guardians of this church.

Simala Shrine will remind you of other beautiful places of worship like the mosques in Kuala Lumpur, or perhaps even the cathedrals in Europe. Its intricate architecture and interior design are testaments to the influence of Catholicism on Cebu province, not to mention this church being important for devout believers because of the many miracles associated with it. It is recommended that you include Simala Church on your itinerary. 

Heading to Simala Shrine in Sibonga, Cebu? Our Simala Shrine Tourist Guide 2023 breaks down everything you need to know about visiting this beautiful church, including the fees and how to get there.

👉Book your day tour to Simala Shrine here!👈

How to Go to Simala Shrine

➡️From Cebu City

If you opt to commute from Cebu City to Simala Shrine, you can head to the Cebu South Bus Terminal, and then take a Ceres Liner bus bound for Bato via Oslob. Tell the driver or bus conductor you will get off at the bus terminal in Sibonga. The fare is about 150 PHP (~3 USD). From here, take a habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) or tricycle to Simala Shrine. The fare is around 50 PHP (~1 USD) per person.

👉Book a private transfer to Simala Shrine here!👈

➡️From Moalboal

To reach Simala Shrine from Moalboal, you must take the city-bound bus, specifically the Cebu via Barili bus. Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off at the Carcar intersection.

Then, ride another bus with a route to Argao or Oslob. If you are taking Ceres Liner, you shall get off the bus terminal in Sibonga. If you are taking other buses, tell the driver or bus conductor to drop you off at the 7-Eleven at the intersection going to Simala Shrine. From there, take a motorcycle to Simala Shrine. This trip would take 2 hours and cost you 150 PHP (~3 USD).

👉Book a private transfer to Simala Shrine here!👈

➡️From Oslob

On the highway, flag down a bus going to Cebu City. Tell the driver or conductor you are heading to Simala Shrine so they can drop you on the access road going there. From the intersection, take a habal-habal or tricycle to Simala Shrine. This trip would take 1 hour and cost 100 PHP (~2 USD).

👉Book a private transfer to Simala Shrine here!👈

Simala Shrine Fees

Since it is a church, you don’t have to pay anything to enter Simala Shrine. Everyone is welcome to visit this place. However, donations are also welcome, which will be used for its maintenance.

Simala Shrine Opening Hours

Simala Shrine is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. It also has scheduled masses daily.

Day Trip to Simala Shrine

Passing through security checks at the first gate, you will instantly be greeted with some bits and pieces of Simala Shrine’s grandness. After a minute of walking, Simala Shrine’s castle-like architecture will blow your mind.

Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide

As you walk inside the church premises, you will be greeted by an overwhelmingly magnificent view of its interior. It is a vast structure filled with columns and terraces around the building. You may also want to take a look at the letters posted on a board at one part of the church. These letters are from people who say their illnesses were healed by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

As you approach the altar, you will see how it has images of various saints surrounding the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary which is placed in the altar’s topmost middle area. Gaze up the ceilings and you will see paintings that will remind you of those at the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide

👉Book your day tour to Simala Shrine here!👈

Further exploring Simala Shrine, you will also chance upon an area where you can write letters to the Blessed Virgin Mary if you like. Just beside it is a prayer room that preserves a replica of the Virgin Mary. Now this image is important for the devotees, as it is the one believed to be miraculous, shedding tears. 

Also, you may also want to visit the museum that showcases the many forms of the Virgin Mary, as well as her clothes, including those she wears each time she cries.

As you walk around, you will also see a dedicated area where visitors can light candles, and utter their prayers and wishes. The candles sold here are color-coded depending on what type of prayer you want answered. For instance, white candles are for purity and guidance, and gold candles are for healing, plus many other colors.

Simala Shrine Guide
Simala Shrine Guide

Travelers can also shop in the souvenir store inside the church. The items sold in the shop are images of the Virgin Mary, saints and angels, crucifixes, bibles, rosaries, and prayer guides. There is also a dedicated part where visitors can light candles and say their prayers/wishes. The candles sold here vary in colors that correspond to a specific need.

👉Book your day tour to Simala Shrine here!👈

Friendly Reminders

  • Wearing shorts, crop tops, tight-fitting clothes, caps, and sleeveless and revealing outfits is strictly prohibited. To give you an idea on what to wear, you can wear what you usually have when attending worship services, or your Sunday dress.
  • While sandals and slippers are allowed, it is best to wear a comfortable pair of shoes that will allow you to walk around the area easily. However, take note that you will have to remove your footwear when you enter the church’s adoration area.
  • While in the vicinity, observe silence as people visiting this church come here to pray. Be mindful of your actions. Avoid disturbing others.
  • Photography is allowed, provided that this won’t disturb anyone.
  • Simala Shrine souvenirs are available in a store inside that also sells sacramentals and other religious items. 
  • Eating is not allowed in the vicinity. Be sure you have eaten before your visit if you don’t want to feel hungry during your tour. Otherwise, you may eat after your visit to this church.

👉Book your day tour to Simala Shrine here!👈

Best Time to Visit Simala Shrine

Since Simala Shrine is an indoor tourist spot, every day of the year is perfect for visiting this church. But, if you wish to avoid the crowds coming to visit the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray, you may opt to schedule your visit on a weekday and as early as possible.

👉Book your day tour to Simala Shrine here!👈

Your Ultimate South Cebu Travel Guide

Cebu is a patchwork of various attractions suited for every kind of traveler. There are pristine beaches and wondrous waterfalls for the nature lover. Then, there are structures, sites, and monuments for those who want to understand the province’s culture, like Simala Shrine. 

If you are looking for more travel guides nearby, check out our range of South Cebu travel guides:

Got more questions about your trip to Simala Shrine? Leave them in the comments! We will get back to you ASAP!

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Cebu Insider Team
Cebu Insider Team

Cebu Insider aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date Philippine travel guides to digital nomads, expats, full-time travelers, and remote workers.

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