Artist’s perspective of the Cebu–Cordova Bridge. (illustration from CCLEX)

Artist’s perspective of the eight 40-meter high cross on the two towers of the Cebu–Cordova Bridge. (illustration from CCLEX)

Eight gigantic crosses will be permanently added to the Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) design as part of the celebrations of the 500 Years of Christianity (YOC) in the Philippines.

Fr. Mhar Balili, Secretary-General of the Archdiocese of Cebu’s 500 Year of Christianity Celebrations(500YOC) , told that the CCLEX management reached out two months ago to the archdiocese to be part of the year-long activities.

Balili said the eight crosses would be part of the final design of the two towers or pylons of the state-of-the-art Cebu–Cordova Bridge that would link the mainland to Mactan Island.

Each tower will have four 40-meter high crosses on each of its sides. The crosses will be lit on all sides at night, visible to the public on land, air, and at sea. 

“We welcome them [CCLX]. The cross is a symbol of the celebration,” Balili said. “The cross is ecumenical since it does not have a ‘corpus’ (body). It’s a plain lighted cross on the top of the towers.”  

Balili said bridge management officials suggested holding the blessing of the project on April 14, 2021, the beginning of the 500YOC, but they decided to do it a day after, April 15.

“Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma will lead the blessing on a speedboat, with Local Chief Executives of Cebu [City] and Cordova,” Balili said.

In a meeting with Catholic Church officials on Monday, Jan. 25, one CCLEX representative described the cross as “significant” for the builders since their team is composed of Portuguese and Spanish contractors and consultants, Balili shared.

It was on Mactan island where the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan fought and died in a skirmish with locals headed by local chieftain Lapulapu. Before Magellan’s death, his chaplain Father Pedro Valderrama baptized Rajah Humabon, his wife and his subjects to Christendom on April 14, 1521.Ryan Sorote