Saturday, October 18, 2008

Club Fort Med in Boljoon, Cebu and a Trip to Southeastern part of Cebu

For some years already the DST Sisters (Daughters of St. Therese) who are working in our parish have been inviting us for the feast day of their congregation which they celebrate in their Motherhouse in Valladolid, Carcar City, Cebu every October 15. It has gone unheeded in the past. But this year their invitation was irresistible. Not only will we join them in their celebration but we will also be going to visit other places of interest in the nearby towns of Carcar. This included the visit to the now famous pilgrim site of Simala of the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist which belongs to the Marian Monks of the Eucharistic Adoration. Their statue of the Blessed Virgin had shed tears in the past (1998, 1999) and many miracles and cures have been attributed to her since then. Now there are hundreds if not thousands who make a pilgrimage to the place every day. An overnight stay was also booked for us at the beach in Club Fort Med in Boljoon, Cebu. It was also a great opportunity for me to visit old churches along the south eastern part of Cebu. (Another hobby that I also enjoy is taking pictures of churches around the country. Many pictures of churches that I took can be seen in google earth as I have downloaded them in Panoramio at this ad: So this trip was hitting three birds with one stone: joining the sisters in their feast day, taking pictures of churches along the way and getting to the beach in Boljoon.

With four of my parish vicars (one of my vicars who was the one very eager that we go was not able to make it) and two religious sisters we took the Supercat fast ferry in the evening to Cebu just after our presbyterium meeting. We stayed overnight at the Formation House of the Missionaries of Africa in Sto. Nino Village, Banilad and started our trip the following day. Since the mass in Valladolid was still at ten in the morning, we were able to stop by and visit the churches that we passed by along the way: Minglanilla; Naga; Pitalo, San Fernando and San Fernando. We passed by the shoe stores in Valladolid where they sell very cheap shoes and where they also have a display of a very big shoe. Then we went to Motherhouse of the DST Sisters in Valladolid where we joined in the feast day celebration. It was also the silver anniversary of one sister and renewal of vows of several others. From Valladolid we proceeded to visit the churches of Carcar, Sibonga, and the monastery in Simala. We were entertained by Bro. Martin who related to us how the monks started in the place just more than ten years ago. Then he showed us the mementoes of pilgrims who left there testimonies and signs like crutches, wheelchairs, pictures, etc as proof of the healing that they have received through the intercession of our Lady whose statue had shed tears in the past. Bro. Martin kept inviting us if we could celebrate mass in their church. However since we just finished celebrating the eucharist we promised that we will do it the following day on our way back from Boljoon. From Simala we proceeded to visit the churches of Argao, Dalaguete and Boljoon. Then we checked in at the Club Fort Med.

We learned that the name Club Fort Med is actually a shortened name of the owner who is Fortunato Medida. Coming from Dalaguete, the resort is just about a kilometer or two before the town proper of Boljoon. It sits just on the bend as one winds down to the town of Boljoon. The cottages are scattered all over the place. There is one building for the lobby, another for the function/conference room and another for their dining area which is the one nearest the sea. The rooms were simple but airconditioned. They also had a swimming pool. (It was newly painted while we were there and they were just trying to fill it up with water). There were also some kiosks on the sand-filled beach. One had to go some steps down to the sea as they placed some embankments all over to prevent the sea from eating up the whole resort. The sea although had clear waters was not sandy but of rocks and stones. But they had a good coral garden nearby with a good number of fishes also. The place has been made a fish sanctuary hence the presence of fish both big and small. I had a good time snorkeling.

The parish church of Minglanilla.

The Altar of the Minglanilla church.

The church of Naga, Cebu and its altar (below). The parish has St. Francis of Assisi as its titular.

The Church of Pitalo, San Fernando. St. Vincent is the patron saint. There are many who visit the church to make a pilgrimage. The statue of St. Vincent on the high altar has its back facing the people. There is a passage at the back of the altar where pilgrims can go up and touch the statue and where they can offer candles.

The parish church of San Fernando and its altar (below).

The shoe stores in Valladolid, Carcar. The shoes and sandals are sold very cheaply here.

The grotto (above) and the main entrance (below) to the motherhouse of the Daughters of St. Therese Sisters in Valladolid, Carcar.

The new chapel of the DST Sisters.

The parish church of Carcar and its altar (below).

The parish church of Sibonga and its altar and painted ceilings. Depicted on the ceilings are the seven sacraments.
The sacrament of matrimony depicted on the ceiling of Sibonga church

The pilgrim church of Simala of the Marian Monks of the Eucharistic Adoration. The monks here are all brothers. Hence, they invite priests to celebrate the mass for them and for the many pilgrims who come everyday.

The altar of the Simala monastery. On the high altar is a replica of the statue of the Blessed Virgin which had shed tears before. The original statue is just at the back of this replica. Pilgrims can go up there and touch the statue.
Candles being lighted come in different colors depending on the petition that is being offered, for example gold is for healing, green for prosperity, blue for perseverance, yellow for peace, red for love, black for souls etc.

Pilgrims writing their petitions and prayers so that the monks could include them in their prayers. Bro. Martin explaining to us the origins of the monastery.

Crutches left behind by pilgrims who were healed through the intercession of Our Lady.

Bro. Martin showing to us pictures of the Blessed Virgin shedding tears.

The parish church of Argao

The altar retablo of Argao Church. The statues were also covered with gold leaf.

An antique visita and arch which is just across the church already near the sea which is at the back of this arch.

The church of Dalaguete and its altar (below)

DST (in brown) and FHL (white) sisters who are working in the Sts. Peter & Paul Parish in Ormoc with Frs. Yeng and Edward. Background is the town of Boljoon.

Boljoon Church

One of the figures that can be seen on the walls of the church of Boljoon.

Boljoon church has also an antique retablo.

Entrance to the Club Fort Med in Boljoon, Cebu.

Fr. Yeng with the sisters now playing badminton at the resort.
Enjoying breakfast at the resort.

Our group posing for picture as we were about to depart from Club Fort Med.


Anonymous said...

can u please tell me the exact location of the club fort med? where exactly in boljoon? thank you!:)

beachanatic said...

If you are coming from Cebu going south, Club Fort Med is just about two kilometers before the town proper of Boljoon. In one of the winding roads going down to the town, the resort is on one of the bend to your left.