CEBU CITY: Revealing Paradise in the Queen City of the South
Cebu City, Cebu
The Philippines’ most populous island is Cebu in the Central Visayas. Cebu City, the nation’s thriving port metropolis, is home to historical attractions, including the Basilica Minore del Santo Nio and Fort San Pedro, which date back to the city’s Spanish colonial era in the 16th century. The town may be seen from Tops, an observation deck atop Mt. Busay.
HISTORY OF CEBU
As a province in the Philippines, Cebu includes the island with the same name and several other nearby islands. The term “SEBU,” meaning “animal fat,” is where the name came from. After the Spanish colonists arrived, manufacturing replaced fishing as the town’s main industry.
Cebu has everything a tourist might want in a tropical island getaway: perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and five-star hotels with all the amenities of contemporary life. The province of Cebu on the island of the Philippines is famous for producing some of the best mangoes in the world. For the same purpose of spreading Christianity to the Philippines on behalf of the Spanish crown, Portuguese adventurer Ferdinand Magellan set sail from here in 1521.
Many artifacts from the island’s history were left behind by the Spanish colonists. Historic sites in the Philippines include Fort San Pedro, the oldest motte and bailey in the Americas, the Magellan’s Cross in downtown Cebu (a Christian cross planted by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon his arrival in Cebu in April 1521), and the Lapu-Lapu Shrine, a 20-meter statue in Mactan erected in honor of Datu Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who instituted the death of Magellan.
Cebu’s industrialization increased over time. Cebu’s reputation as a forward-thinking metropolis rests on the success of its major businesses, the development of cutting-edge technologies, and the ingenuity of its residents. Many small and large corporations call Cebu home now, with the latter helping to propel the island
TOURIST SPOTS IN CEBU
BASILICA MINORE DEL SANTO NIÑO
The Basilica Minore del Santo Nio de Ceb (Minor Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebu) was founded in 1565 by Fray Andrés de Urdaneta and Fray Diego de Herrera, O.S.A. The country’s oldest Roman Catholic church was built on the spot where Miguel López de Legazpi’s expedition found the Santo Niño de Cebu.
Ferdinand Magellan gave Rajah Humabon’s main consort the Infant Jesus figurine at their christening on April 14, 1521. Forty years after Legazpi burnt, soldier Juan de Camuz recovered it in its wooden casket. The “symbol of the genesis and progress of Christianity in the Philippines” was elevated to basilica rank by Pope Paul VI in 1965.
CEBU TAOIST TEMPLE
The intricate dragon statues and ornate architecture of the Cebu Taoist Temple draw many visitors. In 1972, Cebu’s Chinese community built this hilltop temple. Three twisting paths lead to the 110-meter-tall, multi-tiered, multi-colored temple.
Among the locals, Tops Lookout is a well-kept secret. The Tops Lookout, or simply “Tops,” is the best vantage point in the area. At sunrise and sunset, the views from Tops, a modernist fortress-style viewing deck, are nothing short of breathtaking. The views of Mandaue, Cebu City, Mactan Island, and the Bohol coast are stunning.
After Portuguese and Spanish explorers arrived in March 1521, Ferdinand Magellan ordered a Christian cross on Cebu. Magellan’s Cross is this cross (Spanish: Cruz de Magallanes). A small chapel on Magallanes Street near Cebu City’s downtown houses a cross venerated by locals and tourists.
The chapel’s original cross is tingalo wood and wood-framed, according to historian Geo Zayas, whose name appears on a plaque below it. In the mistaken notion that the cross holds supernatural powers, some have chipped away pieces of the cross as souvenirs. After Magellan’s death, the Spaniards planted a copy of the cross, which burned or disappeared.
In exchange for your money, the merchant will light a candle and pray.
Whether or not you want to view the Magellan’s Cross, conserving it for future generations is crucial.
Entrance fee: None
TIP: You can travel to Iloilo via bantayan for around 590 pesos via ferry (big ship). The ferry leaves around 6 pm and you get there the next morning around 7 am.
Where do you recommend going if you’re visiting Cebu City? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!
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