19 Jan 2009. This is Simala, a church dedicated in honor of the Miraculous Virgin. Here, the image of Mama Mary is seen to have shed tears. Located in between Argao and Sibonga, this monk-run shrine used to be a small shanty but because of Her miracles, devotees have donated so much that in its place is this huge edifice but holy, nonetheless. We went - Mom, Tita Aida, Tita Lucy, Tita Flor, Bric and yaya Mila on the Monday after Sinulog. There were quite a number of pilgrims but not as crowded.
To kiss the Virgin, we had to fall in line. While waiting, I lit colored candles representing different petitions, took snapshots, prayed, played with Bric and took in the magnitude of the church. This was built on donations alone! If God wills it, it will really come. This has never been more evident here.
After a few more minutes, we finally reached the image of Mama Mary where Bric and I whispered our hearts' prayers. We left the church soon afterwards, knowing our prayers wouldn't fall on deaf ears. But more than the prayers of petition which we lifted to our Mother, we also asked her to bring our gratitude to God for showering us with His love and friendship in this lifetime.