» Cebu City

CEBU CITYis the provincial capital in Cebu, Philippines and is also considered the most important metropolitan center in the country which is called Metro Cebu. The place is the Philippines’ main shipping hub and home to various shipping companies. With the presence of Mactan-Cebu International Airport it is also now a hub of international flights, commerce, trade and industry. Thus, Cebu City is dubbed as the “Queen City of the South”. In December 2006, ASEAN SUMMIT was held in the newly-built Cebu Convention Center.

HISTORY
Cebu was earlier known as “Sugbu” and long before the arrival of Spaniards the place is already a prosperous native settlement having trade relations with other Southeast Asian countries.

Years later, Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu on April 7, 1521 and was welcomed by Rajah Humabon and his wife including 800 natives. These people were considered to be the very first Filipino Catholics for they were baptized by the Spaniards on April 14, 1521. Magellan failed to claim the Philippines for the crown of Spain, and on April 27, 1521  he was slain by the local chieftain Lapu-Lapu in Mactan Island.Then on April 27, 1565, Miguel López de Legazpi with an Augustinian missionary came to Cebu and Legazpi renamed the city from San Miguel to Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus on January 1, 1571. Cebu City became the capital city under the Spanish regime. It was on March 10, 1917 when Cebu province was created under Act No. 2711.

PROFILE

THE LAND
Cebu City has a land area of 29,124.78 hectares or 291.2 km². Of this, 5,598.53 hectares are classified as urban area and 23,526.25 hectares are classified as rural area. The land has rugged and mountainous topography with elevation reaching up to 900 meters above the mean sea level. Flat lands also occupy almost 8% of the total land area along the shorelines.

The primary use of land is in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and agricultural in the hilly land areas of Cebu.

THE PEOPLE
Currently, the City has a total population of 718,821 people in 147,600 households. Metro Cebu has a total population of approximately 3,356,137 and is now the second largest metropolitan area in the Philippines. Generally, most of the people speak Cebuano language. However, Filipino and English languages are also widely used.

COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Booming economy in Cebu City is accounted for its small and large scale businesses, mational and international corporations, interisland vessels, business process outsourcing (BPO), call center firms, mining, parts assembly, food processing, handicrafts, metalcrafts, other trade and services, and tourism as well. In the year 1997, Cebu alone generated an income amounting to P 7,695 million.

There is also the existing business district, Cebu Business Park and Asiatown Information Technology (IT) Park which caters to firms related to the information technology (IT) industry such as software development, telecommunication, and call centers, among others. Cebu City have all the necessary infrastructures sufficient enough for its pace of urbanization. South of the city is the South Road Properties (SRP) Special Economic Zone, a 330-hectare prime real estate zoned that would house a central business district, a tourism zone, and an industrial area patterned after the nearby Mactan Export Processing Zone. Today, Cebu City remains the country's top investment site.

CLIMATE
The City has two climate seasons which is dry season that starts in the months of February to May, and wet season during May to July. Typhoon usually sets in the months of October to December. In terms of temperature, the annual temperature ranges from 26.50 °C to 34 °C. Coldest month is in January and warmest month is in May. The average relative humidity is 75%.

ARTS & CULTURE
Cebu City’s ever famous landmark is the Magellan’s Cross which was planted by Ferdinand Magellan when he arrived in the Philippine Islands in 1521. The Cross of Magellan is a symbol of the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines. A few meters away from the Magellan's Cross is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, an Augustinian church which was elevated to the rank of minor basilica in 1965 during the 400th year celebrations of the Christianization of the Philippines held in Cebu. The church is built of hewn stone and features the country's oldest relic, the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu.

Every 3rd Sunday of January annually, the city celebrates the Sinulog Festival in honor of Santo Niño, the "Holy Child". This festivity highlights a sinulog dance ritual in honor to “anitos”. “Sinulog” was derived from the tide or current of the river. A mardi-gras atmosphere was also added making the celebration more colorful each year.

The City is also known in the entertainment industry for giving birth to some of Asia's greatest singers like Pilita Corrales, Vina Morales, and among many other popular singers. The city also has its own orchestra, the Peace Philharmonic Orchestra.

LOCAL PRODUCTS
Cebu City is famous for its guitar-making in Lapu-Lapu City, as well as exports of  Seafood, Mangoes, Rice and Coconut products, Rattan, Buri, Bamboo and wrought Iron furniture products.

The City is also into industrial parts assembly, food processing, footwear, handicraft, rattan craft, woodcraft, metal craft, garments, shell craft, ceramics, basketware, rattan and wicker furniture, cement, costume jewelry, giftware, fertilizer, stonecraft, food products and preserves, electronic devices, transistors and diodes, vehicle assembly, agricultural products.

FAMOUS FOODS
The food in Cebu City is reasonably priced with a multinational choice of dishes, delicacies and restaurants.

RELIGION
Cebu City is predominately Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim in population.

LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The city is politically subdivided into 80 barangays. These are grouped into two congressional districts, with 46 barangays in the northern district and 34 barangays in the southern district:

MAJOR TOURIST SPOTS

Tourism continues to contribute much to the local economy not just of the city itself but of the entire. In the onset of 2006, one of the island's famous landmarks was again reopened under a new name, Marco Polo Plaza. There are also a number of commercial establishments in the city such as the SM City and Ayala Center malls. However, downtown area still remains the nerve of commercial activity in the city. The Basilica Minore del Santo Niño and the Metropolitan Cathedral are both located in the downtown area

ALEGRE BEACH RESORT
The resort is situated 66 kilometers away from the City proper in the town of Sogod. This place is ideal for family and friends summer getaway.

BADIAN ISLAND RESORT AND SPA
This Island Resort is located in the Tañon Strait along the southwestern coast of Cebu. Local and foreign tourists can truly enjoy their stay in this island.

BASILICA MINORE DEL STO. NIÑO
This is the only basilica in the Far East. It serves as a museum, a repository of beautiful religious images, and oil paintings of Augustinian saints, martyrs, and bishops that hang in the corridors of the convent. The Basilica also houses the Miraculous Image of the Holy Child Jesus or Sto. Niño, the Philippines oldest religious image.

CAPITOL BUILDING
The Building is situated in Osmena Boulevard and is the seat of the Provincial government. This is said to be a replica of the United States' White House that was constructed in 1973.

COLON STREET
This Street is the oldest street in the Philippines that was built by the Spaniards during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. Named after Christopher Columbus, it is the heart of downtown Cebu. The area has moviehouses, restaurants, department stores, and other business establishments.

FORT SAN PEDRO
The Fort was built in 1738 that served as the place of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, the smallest and oldest fort in the country. It has a total area of 2,025 sq. meters; the walls are 20 ft. high, 8 ft. thick and each of the towers stands 30 ft. from the ground.

HERITAGE OF CEBU MONUMENT
This monument was inaugurated on December 8, 2000 and is situated in Colon Street and it showcases the significant and symbolic events in the history of Cebu. It has a monumental sculptural tableau.

IMAGE OF SANTO NIÑO
The image of the Santo Niño, or Holy Child Considered is the oldest religious relic in the Philippines that was given by Ferdinand Magellan as a baptismal gift in 1521. The image survived a great fire in 1565 unscratched. It has since been deemed miraculous and honored by the Cebuanos as their patron saint.

LAPU-LAPU MONUMENT
The monument is situated in Punta Engano and this is the site where the battle between Mactan Island Chieftain Lapulapu and Ferdinand Magellan occurred on April 27, 1521..

MAGELLAN MARKER
The marker is located in Punta Engaño and was erected in 1866 to mark the spot where the great explorer, Magellan died.

MAGELLAN’S CROSS
This landmark is the most visited place in Cebu City. The cross was planted by Ferdinand Magellan in April 14, 1521. This is the spot where the first Catholic Christians were baptized.

MARIBAGO BLUEWATERS RESORT
The resort is ideal for picnickers, family and friends summer getaway. Enjoy swimming in the clear beach water.

PLANTATION BAY
This is a magnificent place wherein tourists are welcomed into a huge pavilion, and offers wide verandahs and shuttered windows with the view of the plantation.

PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA
This Plaza used to be called "Plaza Libertad" and is now a favorite spot for picnics and trysts.

SHANGRI-LA MACTAN ISLAND RESORT
This is the most famous resort in Cebu which is also the favorite place to stay for foreign delegates, conferences and various event organizations.

TAOIST TEMPLE
The temple is situated in Beverly Hills and preserves the teachings of Lao-tse the 600 B.C. Chinese Philosopher. It has 99 steps reaching the peak.

UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS
This University is located in P. Del Rosario St. and was built in 1565.

Other places to be visited and look forward to in Cebu City are the following:

  • Santo Niño procession
  • Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
  • A scale model of the Fuente Towers Complex
  • PIPC IT Building at the Asiatown Information Technology Park
  • Parklane International Hotel

HOW TO GET TO CEBU CITY

BY AIR
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.