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Cebu Tourist Information

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 beach resorts.

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.


Tourist Attractions

Basilica Minore De Santo Nino
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.

Island Hopping
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.

Lapu-Lapu Monument
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, Magellan.

Magellan's Cross
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 Carlos Museum
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.


Shopping

Antiques
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.

Food
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.

Furniture 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 shops.

Handicrafts
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.

Guitars  
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 guitars.  


Travel

Getting There
 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 Mindanao.

Getting Around
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.

Staying In
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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