Reconstructed Bell Tower of Basilica Del Santo Nino Cebu

Original church bell made in 1750

I was so happy when I recently visited the Basilica Del Santo Nino in Cebu City because the bell tower that was destroyed by the 2013 Earthquake has now been completely rebuilt.

The Basilica Minore del Santo Nino was established by the Augustinians in 1565 when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed in Cebu. Making it the oldest church in the oldest city in the Philippines. Over the course of the centuries, the church has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt again. The major church construction started in 1735 under the guidance of Fray Juan de Albarran. By 1740, the Santo Nino image was installed in the new church.

In 1750, the Prior of the church, Fray Andres Puertas ordered and installed the main church bell. The bell was cast in a foundry in Manila. Additional bells cast by the foundry of Hilario Sunico were added in 1886. 

The Basilica is considered a National Heritage and Landmark. It especially houses the centuries-old and miraculous image of the Little Child Jesus. The little statue's origin dates back to the late 1400s when Spanish soldiers coming back from the Netherlands, brought this Flemish-made image and popularized its veneration in Spain. 

The reconstruction was not limited to the Belfry. The rest of the outer appearance of the church has been cleaned up as well. The original church bells are on display, right in front of the Basilica.

Reconstruction was completed by March 2016 under the guidance of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

Taken during the restoration in 2014

After the major reconstruction in 2016

Please forgive the shaky video, I got excited when I saw that the reconstruction has been completed and that the belfry is now standing again.