After spending the whole day exploring the highland communities of Toledo City and checking out for the first time the Toledo Tunnel and the Biga Pit, were were finally on our way back to Cebu City. The Cebu Moto Adventure Ride was one whole day of motorcycling but I didn’t feel tired at all. I guess it was because the activity involved two of my most favorite things – motorbiking and traveling.
From the center of Toledo City, we took numerous turns and cuts through different barangay and private roads. And what made the adventure tour even more exciting was the fact that we traveled along different types of roads. At times even crossed rivers. It was so exciting!
So when our group finally reached the TransCentral Highway, I felt kind sad knowing that an hour later, we would all be home. Luckily, Zandro, the leader of the trip, announced that we were making a quick detour to visit an important spot. He said we were visiting the biggest hotel in the highlands of Cebu City. I thought he was kidding. A big hotel in the highlands of Cebu City? He should be kidding. But he wasn’t.
Several minutes later, we were standing in front of the Jayme Moncado Colony in Sudlon 2, Cebu City.
The Moncadian compound, which is situated smack dab in the heart of Barangay Sudlon, is the General Headquarters of the Filipino Crusaders, Inc., a patriotic and religious organization founded by Hilario Moncado. The compound sits quietly among the humble homes in Sudlon II. In fact, without prior knowledge of its existence, it is pretty difficult (probably even impossible) to locate the compound. It’s like a beautiful secret that everyone knows but do not talk about.
Hilario Moncado, who was, according to Wikipedia, “a Filipino mystic and political activist,” is considered the organization’s Supreme Commander in Chief. You can read more about the leader’s achievements and degrees in the profile board below:
At the height of its popularity, it is said that the organization had hundreds of thousands of members from all over the world. And a lot of them made it a point to visit the headquarters located in the highlands of Cebu City.
Three statues stand in front of General Hilario Moncado’s residence. In the middle is, of course, the 5-star general’s statue.
To his right is the statue of General Federico Jayme – The Supreme Commander in Chief of the Forces in the World – Philippine American Guerillas from 1941 to 1945.
To his left is the statue of Lorenzo de los Reyes who served as the Director of Spiritual Division of the organization.
Today, the Moncado residence, which is located in the middle of the 75-hectare property, is off-limits due to its state. A quick look through one of the holes on the front door shows the simple yet artistic interiors of the house.
Standing right across the house is a 50 year old structure you would never expect to see in the quiet and sleepy mountains of Cebu. I swear the first time I saw it I got goosebumps all over my body. It’s definitely a structure you wouldn’t expect to find in a small mountain barangay such as Sudlon II.
The Moncado Hotel, built in 1966, used to house thousands of followers of the religious sect Filipino Crusaders World Army (FCWA.) This two-storey hotel sits atop an elevated section of the barangay and offers an amazing view of the nearby communities.
The quarters, which were posh and beautiful during its prime, housed both local and international members who visited the colony.
At the foot of the hotel is a stunning swimming pool, which probably was the biggest and longest in Cebu City when it was first opened. At one end, a shallow rectangular pool serves as a section for the young ones.
I would like to thank the men and women in the compound for accommodating the group despite such short notice. They were so kind and friendly.
I do hope to return to the area again in the future and spend more time in this truly beautiful piece of work.