Facts - Some
Do's and Dont's in Cebu - Cebu Getting
Around - Cebu Past
and Present - Cebu Heritage
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Often called the "Queen City of the South" and the Seat of Christianity in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's oldest city. Exploring Cebu City, one encounters a rich historic past. Cebuanos are extremely proud of their cultural and historical heritage, a legacy which has endured thru the centuries from the time the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan first planted the cross on Cebu's shore.
Time has been kind to Cebu. From Zubu, the fishing village and busy trading port in 1521 has evolved a highly urbanized metropolitan center which now serves as focal point of growth and development in Southern Philippines. With its five cities; Cebu, Danao, Lapulapu Mandaue and Toledo; and its 48 smaller towns, Cebu. has more than kept pace with the nation's progress. Today ' the island province leads in traditional and non-traditional exports and has the highest economic growth rate anywhere in the country. Likewise, recent indications pointed out that Cebu has become the country's most favorite tourist destination.
In contrast to the bustling metropolis, the rest of Cebu's 167 islets and islands are lined with idyllic white sandy beaches and pristine clear waters. Cebu. has gained wide popularity for its fantastic diving grounds evidenced by the proliferation of resorts which offer luxurious accommodations, excellent dive facilities and the services of competent dive masters and dive guides.
Cebu's strategic location makes it ideal for those who wish to travel to the other islands and provinces. By plane, boat or bus, nowhere could be too far from CEBU.
Among the culture of islands and islets that comprise the Visayas, one province stands out: Cebu, a unique blend of tropical paradise and business haven. Dubbed variously as "the next great economic miracle", " Asia's newest boomtown" and "the Queen City of the South", Cebu basks in its enviable status as the most popular tourist and business destination in the Philippines.
Sheltered by the other Visayan islands of Negros, Panay, Leyte, Samar and Bohol, this thin sliver of land is blessed year-round with clement, tropical weather--all the better to enjoy its pristine, sun drenched beaches, washed by the balmy blue waters of the Cebu and Tanon Straits. A plethora of neighboring islets fringed with coral and white sand shores add appeal to an island-hopping vacation.
Yet, Cebu's attractions do not only cater to the itinerant sun-worshipper or beach-lover. The business traveler to this bustling port of call may not have time for more than a day's trip around town. Still, Cebu's cityscapes have their own brand of cosmopolitan charm touched with a unique island warmth. Luxurious accommodations, complete sports facilities, cuisines from the native to the exotic, vibrant nightlife : Cebu will not be found wanting in all the amenities of a growing, booming metropolis.
Bohol, just across the Tanon Strait from Cebu, is a mysterious land of wondrous geological formations, lush forests alive with rare species of flora and fauna, and idyllic seaside towns with Antillan houses that cluster around centuries-old churches. Outlying islands are marine sanctuaries with a wealth of coral reefs harboring a colorful world of tropical marine life.
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Cebu metamorphosed in more ways than one, but always for the better. From a sleepy fishing village to a fledging trading port in 1521, from the first Spanish settlement named Villa del Santisimo Nombre de Jesus in 1575 to a municipality in 1901, Cebu finally became a chartered city on February 24, 1937. Being the first and oldest city in the country, ante-dating Manila by 7 years, having the oldest school and oldest street and being the cradle of Christianity in the Far East (i.e. Magellan's cross planted in Cebu as a symbol of natives embracing the Christian faith), Cebu is replete with historical first's.
The streeets of Tres de Abril and V. Rama were the sites of a fierce battle on April 3, 1898 when General Leon Kilat of Bacong, Negros Oriental spearheaded the revolution against Spanish colonialism. The Spaniards sought refuge at the Fort San Pedro and three days of relentless attacks would have spelledd victory for the rebels were it not for the propitious arrival of the Spanish armada.
Miguel Lopez de Legazpi then urged his men to construct the oldest and smallest fort in the country: Fort San Pedro. As Spain intensified its colonization efforts, indifnant islanders showed opposition by way of intermittent attacks against the colonizers. Thus the rebellion paved the way to the construction of Fort San Pedro, a Spanish military stronghold.
However, the fort fell to the hands of the native Cebuanos when Americans commanded by Commodore George Dewey vanquished the Spanish fleet in December 1898 in the battle of Manila Bay. With the American reign in full force in 1901, then Senate Pro Tempore and late President Sergio Osmeña, Sr. and then Congressman and majority floor leader in the House of Representatives, the late Senator Manuel Briones vigorously lobbied for Philippine Independence.
February 24, 1937 was a milestone in Cebuano history as Cebu City was granted its charter by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 58 enacted by Congress on October 20, 1936. The late Senator Vicente Rama, formerly representative of Cebu's 3rd district was instrumental as author and sponsor of the bill. It was at that time that Secretary of Interior Elpidio Quirino appointed the mayor and board members of Cebu City in his capacity as representative of Manuel Quezon.
Shortly after the landing of the Japanese Army in Cebu City on April 10, 1942, the entire province became the principal Japanese base due to its strategic location and substantial population. Cebu finally saw the light of freedom in March 1945 when American liberation forces landed in Talisay town. Liberation came in full circle in March 1946 and to restore law and order, a civil government dubbed as Philippine Civil Affairs Unit (PCAU) was established in the city.
In April 1965, the entire Christian world focused its attention on Cebu City, considered as the cradle of Christianity in the Far East as it played host to teh 40th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines. The celebration highlighted the contributions of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fray Andres de Urdaneta in proselytizing Christianity by way of establishing a Spanish settlement in the province. In a coutnry where Catholics predominate, the conferment of the San Agustin Church to the title Basilica Minore del Santo Niño proved to be a momentous occasion as Rome sent its representative Papal Legate, His Eminence Ildefonso Cardinal Antonuitte.
Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius
Desserts Food, Philippine Cuisine
As a tropical oriental country it should come as no surprise there are many treats made from rice and coconuts. One often seen dessert is bibingka, a hot rice cake optionally topped with a pat of butter, slices of kesong puti (white cheese), itlog na maalat (salted duck eggs), and sometimes grated coconut. There are also glutinous rice sweets called biko made with sugar, butter, and coconut milk.
More details at Desserts Food, Philippine Cuisine