Brief description and history:
PROFILE: Land Area: 4,943.72 km2 Population (2015): 2,938,982
Languages spoken: Cebuano, Tagalog, English
Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for shipping, furniture-making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry.
The name “Cebu” came from the old Cebuano word sibu or sibo (“trade”), a shortened form of sinibuayng hingpit (“the place for trading”). It was originally applied to the harbors of the town of Sugbo, the ancient name for Cebu City. Alternate renditions of the name by traders between the 13th to 16th centuries include Sebu, Sibuy, Zubu, or Zebu, among others. The arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 established a period of Spanish exploration and colonization. Losing favor for his plan of reaching the Spice Islands from king Manuel I of Portugal, by sailing west from Europe, Magellan offered his services to king Charles I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor). On 20 September 1519, Magellan led five ships with a crew of 250 people from the Spanish fort of Sanlucar de Barrameda en route to southeast Asia via the Americas and Pacific Ocean. They reached the Philippines on 16 March 1521. Rajah Kolambu the king of Mazaua told them to sail for Cebu, where they could trade and have provisions. Arriving in Cebu City, Magellan, with Enrique of Malacca as translator, befriended Rajah Humabon the Rajah or King of Cebu and persuaded the natives of allegiance to Charles I of Spain. Humabon and his wife were given Christian names and baptized as Carlos and Juana. The Santo Niño was presented to the native queen of Cebu, as a symbol of peace and friendship between the Spaniards and the Cebuanos. On 14 April Magellan erected a large wooden cross on the shores of Cebu. Afterwards, about 700 islanders were baptized.
Magellan soon heard of datu Lapu-Lapu, a native king in nearbyMactan Island, a rival of the Rajahs of Cebu. It was thought that Humabon and Lapu–Lapu had been fighting for control of the flourishing trade in the area. On 27 April the Battle of Mactan occurred where the Spaniards were defeated and Magellan killed by the natives of Mactan in Mactan Island. According to Italian historian and chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan’s body was never recovered despite efforts to trade for it with spice and jewels. Magellan’s second-in-command, Juan Sebastian Elcano took his place as captain of the expedition and sailed their fleet back to Spain, circumnavigating the world.
SOME PLACES TO VISIT IN CEBU
Magellan’s Cross –
One of the most iconic attractions to see in Cebu is the cross of Magellan. Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to come to the Philippines in 1521. The explorer Magellan planted a cross to signify this important event about the propagation of the Roman Catholic faith in what is now Cebu, in central Philippines. The original cross is reputedly encased in another wooden cross for protection, as people started chipping it away in the belief that it had miraculous healing powers.
Tumalog Falls –
Southern Cebu is a paradise loaded with beautiful waterfalls. One of the most popular is the Tumalog Falls in Oslob. Words can’t describe the beauty so it is best of you find a way to see it for yourself.
Basilica del Santo Nino –
Cebu’s holiest church houses a revered statuette of the Christ child (Santo Niño) that dates all the way back to Magellan’s time. This church is one of the top sites to see on every travelers list.
Taoist Temple –
The Taoist Temple in Cebu is a famous tourist attraction. The temple was built in 1972 by the Chinese community and has been a must-see attraction ever since.
Lapu Lapu Statue –
One of the most popular photo opportunities in all the Philippines is the statue of Lapu Lapu. erected in honor of Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who defeated Spanish soldiers led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 1521 Battle of Mactan.
Fort San Pedro –
Visit Fort San Pedro or Fuerza de San Pedro to have a glimpse of Cebu’s rich history. The work on the fort was first started on May 8, 1565 by Spanish and indigenous Cebuanos under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi. Fort San Pedro is located in Plaza Indepedencia in the pier area of Cebu City. With an entrance fee of only P30, you can already tour inside the fort and travel back in time to the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral –
Still near Fort San Pedro and Sto. Niño Church is another Catholic church that you should not miss to visit while in Cebu City. The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, also called as The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and St. Vitalis, is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu. The cathedral was first constructed in 1689, completed in 1909, and rebuilt in 1950 after it was almost destroyed during World War 2.
FESTIVALS IN CEBU
SINULOG – The major and most popular Cebu festival, the Sinulog festival takes place every third Sunday of January to celebrate Señor Santo Niño de Cebu (Sir Baby Jesus of Cebu). Also commonly known as Fiesta Señor, the fiesta features highlights that include a colorful and lively mardi gras parade after an opening solemn procession.
PASKUHAN – A celebration during the December Yuletide season, the Paskuhan Festival is a Christmas event that boasts of festive song showcases and lantern-making.
KADAUGAN SA MACTAN – Literally translated into “Victory in Mactan,” this one-day celebration on April 27 features a one-day re-enactment of the historic Battle of Mactan, when chieftain Lapulapu defeated the technologically advanced troops of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
VIRGIN QUEEN OF THE RULE FIESTA – The Virgin of the Rule fiesta celebrates the Cebuanos’ deep religious faith. Held from November 20-21 in Opon town and Lapu-Lapu City, this social and religious event is a showcase of the best that Cebuanos have to offer, including food fair, a procession with all the pomp and circumstance expected of the Filipino, and a coronation of a Fiesta Queen.
SEMANA SANTA SA BANTAYAN – Bantayan Island celebrates Holy Week with a series of solemn religious rites and local celebrations. On the second week of April, this normally quiet island near Cebu comes alive with tourists and inhabitants’ relatives and friends, who all arrive to enjoy the presentations they put on, the beautiful white sandy beaches and clear tropical waters.
FIESTA SA CARCAR – The Cebuano town of Carcar is renowned for how brilliantly the Spanish architecture of its houses stand out against the quaint Cebuano countryside. On November 24 and 25, Carcar comes alive with a celebration in honor of its patron, St. Catherine of Alexandria. Popular local delicacies are cooked up in great amounts to supplement lively entertainment.
SANAYON – The Sanayon is a festival held in several towns in the second district of Cebu about 100 km south from Cebu City. A month-long agro-tourist activity, the Sanayon is another attraction that brings tourists out to the beautiful Cebuano countryside.
TRES DE ABRIL CELEBRATION – Cebu looks forward to this celebration every April 3 to remember the Cebu natives’ victory under the leadership of Leon Kilat over Spanish forces. This historic battle resulted in the illustrious distinction of Cebu towards being the first major island outside Luzon to oppose the Spaniards.
TAGBO FESTIVAL – To honor the patron of Patron Santo Niño de Poro, this festival is observed in the month of January.
CHINESE MOON FESTIVAL – This festival starts from 2nd October and closes on 7th October and is observed with great pomp and vigor. It features dragon dances, parades and a display of fireworks.
DINAGAT FESTIVAL – The main traits of this festival is dance competition based on the rituals associated with fishing and street dancing.
NUESTRA SEÑORA DE REGLA Fiesta – This event takes place for two days, that is 24th and 25th November. It is observed to honor the Saint Catherine of Alexandria.(the patron of Carcar)
DELICACIES IN CEBU
Lansiao is just an ordinary sumptuous soup dish braised from a slow-cooker. Rumored as an aphrodisiac, this exotic Filipino dish is made up of out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, such as the testicles as well as the reproductive organ of a male cow, bull, ram or horse. It is best paired with a plate full of mais, a roughly ground corn that serves as a healthier alternative to rice.
Ginabot is salty, crispy and tasty, ginabot, or also referred as chicharon bulaklak, is basically an exotic dish consisted of deep fried swine intestines, and served with a spicy and flavorful dipping sauce of red chili, onions and vinegar.
Tuslob Buwa is one of the hottest food crazes to ever hit this buzzing metropolis as it is so popular that even Cebu’s wealthy socialites and professionals have gone crazy over this culinary treat. While this local delicacy has been in Cebu’s culinary scene since the early 2000s, it has been experiencing an impressive resurgence in the community.
In Visayan dialect, tuslob buwa literally means “dipping in bubbles”. But, the name is a misnomer since it does not mean dipping your food in a basin full of soap bubbles. In this exotic dish, you will be dipping a piece of puso (hanging rice) in a bubbly dip made up of shrimp paste, pig brain, onions, fish sauce, oil and an assortment
Sizzling pochero (“poh-cheh-roh”) is a humongous chunk of beef joint/shank with marrow taken from pochero, a common Philippine stew of meat and vegetables. Take away the veggies and the broth, douse the meat in gravy, place it on a hot sizzling plate, and you’ve got sizzling pochero. The flavor of the beef comes from stewing it for hours as pochero, with salt, peppercorns, and onion, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender; corn on the cob, shredded cabbage, and bamboo shoots are added just before it’s served. Some call it cholesterol on a platter but, the Cebuanos call it delicious.
Sinugba or sugba (“soog-bah”) refers to nearly any food that’s cooked on a grill over charcoal (its Tagalog name is inihaw). It also represents the “su” in the term sutukil a handy summary for how Cebuanos traditionally cook: sugba (grilling), tuwa (simmering in broth), and kilaw (eating raw). The most popular items are liempo (pork belly), paa (a quarter of a chicken, the thigh and leg), slices of pork on barbecue sticks, chicken or pig entrails, and fresh seafood such as whole fish or squid, usually stuffed with chopped green tomatoes and white onions. Pre-grill flavors are simple, relying on salt and not much else, although chicken and pork tend to be smothered in a sweet barbecue sauce after they’re grilled (you can request it on the side if you want). As is often the case around here, ingredients for your own soy sauce-and-vinegar sawsawan (“sahw-sah-wan,” dipping sauce) are usually made available.
Danggit / Daing na Danggit
Danggit or Daing na Danggit refers to crispy, fried sun-dried Danggit, the Filipino word for Rabbitfish, Pinspotted spinefoot, Mottled spinefoot or Spinefoot. After frying it can served with Sawsawan (dip) made from slices of fresh tomatoes sometimes with chopped onions and other Sawasawan like Suka (Vinegar) with crushed garlic and Siling Labuyo (Bird’s eye chillis).
Lechon is literally roasted pig. In the Philippines, it’s with a whole pig cooked on a large stick over a pit filled with charcoal.
The pig is prepared in advance with seasoning placed inside the pig where the insides have been removed. Then the whole pig is cooked rotisserie style for 1.5 to 2 hours depending of the size of the pig. The best lechon is said to be made with young pigs, between two to six weeks old as they are less fatty.
Cebu lechon is a traditional dish prepared for special events or fiestas such as holidays, parties and festivals. It is best enjoyed with the whole family as there is a lot of meat to be shared!
Cebu City Marriott Hotel
(301 rooms) Standard Class
Address: Cardinal Rosales Ave., Cebu Business Park, Cebu City
Tel. no;(63-32) 232-6100 415-6100 Ext. 8023; Fax no:(63-32) 232-7064
Marco Polo Plaza-Cebu
(formerly Cebu Plaza Hotel )
(334 rooms) First Class
Address: Veteran’s Drive, Nivel Hills, Lahug, Cebu City
Tel. nos:(63-32) 417-2978; 253-1111;Fax nos:(63-32) 417-2980; 253-8910; 234-8188
Website : http://www.marcopolohotels.com
Waterfront Cebu City Casino Hotel
(561 rooms) First Class
Address: No. 1 Waterfront Drive, Off Salinas Drive, Lahug,
Tel. no.63-32) 232-6888 Fax no.(63-32) 232-6880
Cebu Midtown Hotel
(210 rooms) Standard Class
Address: Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City
Tel.no.(63-32) 253-9711 loc. 8304, 8205, 8215; Fax no:(63-32) 253-9763
Cebu Grand Hotel
(99 rooms) Standard Class
Address: Capitol Commercial Complex, N. Escario St., Cebu City
Tel. nos.(63-32) 254-6361 to 62/; 251-6331 Fax no.(63-32) 254-6363
Cebu Park Lane International Hotel
(230 rooms ) Standard Class
Address: Corner Archbishop Reyes Ave. & Escario St., Cebu City
Tel. no.: (63-32)411-7000; Fax no.: (63-32) 412-2510
(50 rooms) Standard Class
Address: F. Manalo St., Cor. Queen’s Road, Cebu City
Tel. nos.(63-32) 254-8570 to 77; Fax no.(63-32) 254-8578
Montebello Villa Hotel
(150 rooms) Standard Class
Address: Banilad, Cebu City
Tel. nos:(63-32) 231-3681 to 89; Reservations:(63-32) 231-2701
Manila office:(63-02)8903194 Fax nos.(63-32) 231-4455
Manila office: (63-02) 8903194 / (telefax) 8903192
Holiday Plaza Hotel
(129 rooms ) Standard Class
Address: F. Ramos Street, Cebu City
Tel. nos.(63-32) 254-9880 (trunkline); 254-7643(reservations); Fax no.(63-32) 254-7646
Richmond Plaza Hotel
(43 rooms) Standard Class
Address: F. Sotto Drive, Gorordo Ave., Cebu City
Tel. nos.(63-32) 232-0361 / 232-2201; Fax nos.(63-32) 412-6808
Sarrosa International Hotel
(65 rooms) Standard Class
Address: F. Cabahug cor. Pres. Quirino Sts., Villa Aurora, Mabolo,Cebu city
Tel. nos.63-32) 232-5811 – 18; Fax no.(63-32) 232-5819
Castle Peak Hotel
(106 rooms) Economy Class
Address: F. Cabahug cor. Pres. Quezon St., Villa Aurora
Mabolo, Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 233-1811 to 15; Telefax no.: (63-32) 232-6838
West Gorordo Hotel
(37 rooms) Standard Class
Address: 110 Gorordo Ave., Cebu City
Tel. nos.(63-32) 231-4347 to 49; Fax no.(63-32) 231-1158
Cebu Business Hotel
(114 rooms) Economy Class
Address: 3rd & 4th level, F&C Square,
Colon corner Junquera St., Cebu City
Tel. nos. : (63-32) 255-6010 to 13; Telefax nos.: (63-32) 416-8339 / 253-2893
Cebu North winds Hotel
(56 rooms) Economy Class
Address: Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City
Tel. nos.63-32) 233-0311 to 13 /; 231-5984/232-0597; Fax no.63-32) 232-5507
Crown Regency Residences
(formerly Metropolis Court Hotel
(146 rooms) Economy Class
Address: V. Rama Ave., Guadalupe, Cebu City
Tel no.: (63-32) 255-7541; Fax no.: (63-32) 255-5060
(100 rooms) Economy Class
Address: 90 F. Ramos St., Cebu City
Tel. no. (63-32) 253-0099; Fax no. 63-32) 254-6346
Dynasty Tourist Inn
(33 rooms) Economy Class
Address: Jasmin St., Capitol Site, Cebu City
Tel. nos. 63-32)253-7598; Direct Line:63-32) 253-6024; Reservations/Fax no. 63-32) 254-6372
The Golden Peak Hotel&Suites
(117 rooms) Economy Class
Address: Gorordo Avenue, cor. Escario St., Cebu City
Tel. no.: (63-32) 233-8111; Fax no.: (63-32) 231-5611
Golden Valley Hotel
(50 rooms) Economy Class
Address: 155 – A Pelaez St., Cebu City
Tel. no. (63-32) 253-8660; Telefax no. (63-32) 253-8482
Golden Prince Hotel&Suites
(58 rooms) Economy Class
Address: Acacia St., Cor. Archbishop Reyes Ave., Cebu City
Tel. nos.; (63-32) 233-8660 / 233-8770; Sales/telefax: (63-32) 232-8482
Hotel de Mercedes
(80 rooms) Economy Class
Address: # 7 Pelaez St., Kalubihan, Cebu City
Tel. nos.63-32) 253-1105 to 10 ; 256-0472; Fax no.63-32) 253-3880
Mango Park Hotel
(48 rooms) Economy Class
Address: General Maxilom Ave., Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 233-1511 to 14 (trunkline); Sales: (63-32) 233-5679; Fax no.: (63-32) 233-5695
(29 rooms) Economy Class
Address: F. Ramos St., Cebu City
Tel. nos. (63-32) 253-1151 to 55 ;253-1881 to 83; Fax no. 63-32) 253-6935
Nikkei Garden Hotel
(59 rooms) Economy Class
Address: Hernan Cortes Street, Mandaue City
Tel. nos.63-32) 345-8087/ 422-5517; Fax no:(63-32) 345-3722
Vacation Hotel Cebu
(32 rooms) Economy Class
Address: Juana Osmeña Cor. Don Jose Avila Sts., Cebu City
Tel. nos. (63-32) 253-7554; 253-7506 / 253-7185; Fax nos:63-32) 253-7554/
Cebu Hall Mark Hotel
(68 rooms) Tourist Inn
Address: 179 Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City
Tel no. (63-32)253-5314; Fax no. (63-32) 254-1840
Regal Business Park Hotel
(Formerly Regal Park Inn)
(34 rooms) Tourist Inn
Address: Archbishop Reyes Ave., Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 412-2588 / 232-6680; Fax no.(63-32) 412-2589
West Point Inn
(30 rooms) Tourist Inn
Address: 297 Don Gil Garcia St., Cebu City
Tel. no.(63-32) 254-3433; Fax no.(63-32) 254-4524
Cebu Mayflower Pension House
(40 rooms) Pension House
Address: Villalon Drive, East Capitol Site, Cebu City
Tel. nos. (63-32) 253-7233/ 255-2800 ; Fax no.(63-32) 255-2700
Cebu View Tourist Inn
(34 Rooms) Pension House
Address: 200 Sanciangko Street, Cebu City
Tel. no.: (63-32) 254-8333; Fax no.: (63-32) 254-9777
Cebu Pensione Plaza
(33 rooms) Pension House
Address: N. Escario St., Cebu City
Tel. no. : (63-32) 253-7378; Fax no. : (63-32) 254-6360
(36 rooms) Pension House
Address: 73 Juana Osmeña, Cebu City
Tel. no. (63-32) 253-5266
Elegant Circle Inn
(70 rooms) Pension House
Address: Cinco Centrum Bldg., Fuente Osmeña, Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 254-1601 /412-4928; Fax no.: (63-32) 254-1606
Elicon Pension House
(50 rooms) Pension House
Address: 53 P. del Rosario St., Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 255-0300 / 255-0400; Fax no.: (63-32) 253-0367
Hope Pension House
(37 rooms) Pension House
Address: 79 V. Gullas Street cor. Legaspi St., Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 254-3659 / 254-3649 ; Fax no.: (63-32) 253-8909
Fuente Pension House
(42 rooms) Pension House
Address: 13 Don Julio Llorente St., Cebu City
Tel. nos.; (63-35) 412-4988 / 412-4988; Fax no.: (63-35) 253-4133
(66 rooms) Pension House
Address: 0197 Sanciangko St., Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 416-8050/ 4167955 / 4167988; Fax no.: (63-32) 416-8050
NS Royal Pensionne
(37 rooms) Pension House
Address: Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
Tel. nos.:(63-32) 254-5358 / 254-5364/254-5362/255-1556 ;Fax no.: (63-32) 253-1384
(45 rooms) Pension House
Address: 584-A Don Gil Garcia Street, Capitol Site Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 253-0203 / 253-4440
(37 hostel rooms+ 34 pax ladies dormitory) Dormitory
Address: 51 Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 253-4057 / 253-0691;Fax no.: (63-32) 253-5217
Crowne Garden Hotel
(95 rooms) Unclassified
Address: Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 412-7517 / 412-7759 / 231-3036 / 231-3773 / 231-0772
Crown Regency Hotel&Towers
(253 rooms) Unclassified
Address: Fuente Tower 1, Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City
Tel. no.; (63-32) 418-7777
(48 rooms) Unclassified
26 Borromeo St., Cebu City
Tel. no.: (63-32) 412-1717
Metro Park Hotel
(59 rooms) Unclassified
St. Lawrence St. , La Guardia, Lahug, Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 233-3887 / 233-2352 / 233-3883; Fax no.: (63-32) 233-0130
(36 rooms) Unclassified
91 Juana Osmeña, Cebu City
Tel. nos.: (63-32) 254-8752 / 255-8344 / 255-9714; Telefax no.: (63-32) 412-6844