Because pilgrims often need to wait in a queue - for many hours on the busiest feast days - to enter this chapel, its external approach is via a restful garden.
On 19th February 1981, when Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass in Cebu in front of one million people at the old Lahug Airport, the statue of the Santo Niño was brought to the papal altar.
Religious activity associated with the Minor Basilica takes over much of Cebu City on the third Sunday each January, when all of Cebu is abuzz with the fiesta for the Señor Santo Niño, called the Sinulog Festival.
On that particular Sunday the largest of all festivals in the Philippines takes place in the streets of Cebu. The Sinulog takes its roots from the candle vendors in front of the Augustinian Minor Basilica of Cebu. It is rendition of the sinug, which is a prayer-dance offered either in supplication or in thanksgiving to the Santo Niño. It is by candle-waving women who follow a simple forward and backward routine while offering prayers for any devotee.
The dance routine of the sinug is said to be in imitation of the sulog (current) of Pahina river of Cebu City. While dancing and waving candles, the women chant: Pit Señor! Pit Señor! which is short for Sangpit sa Senyor or loosely translated as "Hail the Lord!" Devotees have also adopted the chant as an ejaculatory prayer and one would normally hear petitions like: Pit Senyor kang Tatay kini ("Hail the Lord, this one's for my father!")
On the third Sunday of each year, countless visitors from outside Cebu the Philippines come to Cebu City to witness the Sinulog Festival where performers from various parts of the archepelago congregate in supplication or in thanksgiving for the blessings received from the Holy Child.
The present rector of the Minor Basilica is Andrew Batayola O.S.A. Late in 2005 he undertook some necessary repairs and renovations to the exterior walls and tower of the Minor Basilica.
Pedro G. Galende O.S.A.: ANGELS IN STONE AUGUSTINIAN CHURCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES. San Agustin Museum, 1996. New, Hardcover, with dust jacket, with 402 pages. Measures 10 by 13 inches. This huge and beautiful coffee table book is filled with full-color pictures and essays about the various Augustinian churches throughout the Philipppines. There is a foreword by National Artist Nick Joaquin, and the chapters include churches from: Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Ilocos Norte, Iloilo, Capiz, Antique, Cagayan Islands, and Cebu. This is the most comprehensive book on colonial churches in the Philippines.
To view the photo gallery of the Augustinians in the Philippines in this web site, select Philippines: Province of Cebu and Philippines: Intramuros after you click here.