Cebu is a city in
the midst of overwhelming growth that blends its ancestral heritage
and modern business savvy with flair. Standing as the country's
top business and tourist destination, Cebu was crowned as the Queen
City of the South. Finding its own place under Cebu's friendly
skies, business and leisure breathe together with office buildings and
Relics of the past are
found aplenty as Cebu is the country's oldest city. The street
with the distinction of being the oldest in the Philippines is Colon
Street. Colon Street was paved lat in the 16th century by Miguel
Lopez de Legaspi and now houses malls, office buildings, theaters as
well as museums and monuments. Other historical
places are the oldest fortress in the country, Fort San Pedro, Liloan
Lighthouse and the Bantayan sa Hari.
Cebu was named the
country's capital by the Spaniards in 1565 and has been a bustling
trade port since pre-Hispanic times. Since that time, Cebu has
been able to maintain its stature as the center of trade and commerce
in Southern Philippines.
More than just a city
of increasing sophistication, Cebu still retains much of its
provincial warmth and charm, with its colorful past. Apart from
Cebu's numerous man-made landmarks and institutions, it also features
many miles of forest greens - a haven to wildlife and the place for a
perfect picnic. There's the 15,393-hectacre Central Cebu
National Park, the 696-hectare Sudian National Park, the Kawasan Falls
and the Bolok-Bolok Mineral Springs. nearby Mactan Island boasts
of world-class beach resorts.
Basilica Minore De
The Santo Nino de Cebu, the oldest religious relic in the country,
is housed at the Basilica, one of the country's oldest churches.
It was a token of friendship by Magellan to Queen Juana in 1521 and
has survived fires and other catastrophes throughout the years.
The Chapel of the Last Supper in Mandaue, the Taoist Temple and the
Phu-Sian Temple in Beverly Hills, Naga Church and Argao Church are
other religious institutions worth seeing.
Casa Gorordo Museum
Once the residence of the first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, a tour of
the Casa Gorordo gives a glimpse of the Filipino lifestyle from 1860
to 1920. Paintings, religious relics, a courtyard, antique
household items and furniture are featured in the museum.
Without a view of its numerous tropical islets, a vacation in Cebu
would be incomplete. A few of the attractions found in Cebu are
sun-kissed and white sand beaches, colorful corals and abundant marine
life. Explore the caves and lagoons of Calanggaman and Gato.
Swim the beaches of Argao, Oslob and Carmen. Experience the
divespots of Moalboal, Badian, Mactan and Olango. The
choices are infinite.
Proudly standing at Marangay Mactan in Mantan Island is
Lapu-Lapu's bronze form. He is the first Filipino leader to
resist Spanish attempts at colonization and is revered to this day.
His statue ironically stands across the street from that of rival,
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross on
the very spot where the first Filipinos were baptized People
started chipping off parts of the cross because of supposed
supernatural powers until the city government encased it in tindalo
wood and housed it in a monument. It now stands at the corner of
Magallanes and Burgos streets.
University of San
The country's oldest university, San Carlos was founded by the
Jesuits in 1595. Various archeological artifacts are housed in
the museum as well as religious relics from all over the Philippines.
For antiques, Cebu is a good hunting ground. Cebu is
filled with religious relics and architectural details that date back
a couple of centuries since it was an early Spanish settlement.
Some of the gastronomic bite delights to be had in Cebu are dried
mango preserves, otap (crunchy sugar-coated biscuits), turrons (rolled
wafers with peanut/cashew filling), danggit (dried fish), and fresh
fruits. For some of the best food buys, Carbon Market,
Gullas Market and Tabuan Market are good choices.
and Home Accessories
One of Cebu's top export earners is rattan furniture with over 2/3
of the country's rattan furnishings made in Cebu. Cebu has also
attracted international recognition with the Cebuano's craftsmanship
in making furniture of bamboo, stone and other indigenous
materials. Many good buys can be found in Mandaue City furniture
Cebuanos have managed to produce all sorts of handicrafts as they
are blessed with an inherent entrepreneurial spirit and
creativity. Cebu has practically everything from silver jewelry
and hand-woven cloth to Capiz lampshades and ashtrays, abaca bags, and
coral jewelry boxes. At Carbon Market, which is Cebu's biggest
public market, there are many great bargains. Another choice is
to take a stroll down Colon Street, with its many stores and malls it
offers the best of Cebu.
You can watch the craftsmen at work at Maribago, the center of Cebu's
guitar-making industry. The quality of Cebu's hand-crafted,
shell-inlaid guitars can be compared to the best in the world.
All kinds of musical instruments are produced from ukeleles and
guitars to banjos and mandolins. Mactan also produces
An international destination with flights from Tokyo,
Singapore and Hong Kong arriving almost daily, Cebu is home to the
Mactan International Airport. Cebu is just a short flight - an
hour - away from Manila by plane or 22 hours by boat. It is an
ideal jump-off point for other tourist attractions in the Visayas and
The American dollar, next to to the Philippine peso, enjoys wide
acceptance. For a pleasant trip, it's recommended to have a
substantial amount of cash on hand as foreign credit cards may be accepted only
at major hotels and establishments. Getting around Cebu is not a
problem as there are an abundance of taxis, other modes of
transportation are the jeepney, bus or tricycle.
Numerous accommodations have sprouted all over the province from
world-class hotels and resorts to modest hostels and apartelles, being
as Cebus is the country's top tourist destination. During the
peak summer season it's best to make reservations early.
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