When you speak of Cebu, the Queen City of the South, what people automatically think of are Lechon and Sinulog. And in a way, they are right. Cebu is famous for the unique way it cooks roasted pig, and for the annual festival that honors the Child Jesus.
But ask any Cebuano, and they will most probably beam with pride saying Cebu is more than that. Located in the Central Visayas region, Cebu spurs much of the economic growth in that part of the Philippines due to its advanced industries and commerce. As one of the most accessible cities outside of Metro Manila, it also attracts a good number of tourists every year and is a popular vacation destination for a lot of Filipinos.
Unbeknownst to some (probably because of the monicker), Cebu is actually a province made up of several cities and municipalities. It has seven cities (Mandaue, Naga, Talisay, Lapu-Lapu, Danao, CarCar, Cebu City), seven municipalities (San Fernando, Cordova, Consolacion, Minglanilla, Liloan and Compostela), and home to about three million people. It also boasts of proximity to pristine beaches, wonderful cuisine and some of the sunniest people in the world.
So what makes Cebu such a special and distinct place?
It is deeply steeped in Philippine history.
Did you know that Cebu is the country’s oldest city? It is also the first Spanish colony in the country after a treaty signed in 1565. It is where the country’s first street is also located, Colon Street, which became the center of commercial activity when Cebu officially became a Spanish colony. Simply put, it’s not possible to study this country’s history without a significant time devoted to the province of Cebu. It is also where a Philippine President hailed from — Sergio Osmena, who hails from one of the province’s most prominent families. To this day, several members of the Osmena family still holds key positions in the local government and continues to help Cebu grow even more.
Cebu was way ahead in providing good education.
The oldest school in the Philippines (and Asia) is located in Cebu — the University of San Carlos. Originally founded by the Jesuits in 1595, it was originally named the University of San Ildefonso and is now managed by the Society of the Divine Word. While this has been disputed by the University of Santo Tomas, it gives Cebuanos a lot of pride that an educational institution like USC has been in Cebu for a very long time.
As Cebuanos know, living in Cebu can be quite amazing.
Besides being surrounded by some of the yummiest food this country has to offer, living in Cebu means you can go for a beach trip at a moment’s notice, and even be in close proximity to a lot of employment choices and commercial districts. Cebu also boasts of great residential options, such as Corona Del Mar. Located in Talisay, Corona Del Mar by Filinvest Land combines comfort and affordability while within striking distance of schools, malls and other major commercial areas. A lot of expatriates can also attest how great living in Cebu can be, brought about by BPOs and a lot of other multinational companies setting up shop within its boundaries.
The annual Sinulog festival is one of the biggest festivals in Asia.
Sinulog has become grander and bigger over the years, due in part to the government’s efforts to promote the celebrations and also through word-of-mouth coming from those who’ve seen how meaningful and fun it could be. Sinulog is held every third Sunday of January in honor of the Sto Nino, and is the center of Sto Nino celebrations in the country. It attracts almost a million tourists from all over the world every year, and is eagerly awaited by locals and visitors alike.
You will never run out of things to do in Cebu.
Whether you want to go on a trip down history lane, go on a food trip, visit beaches or go mountain trekking, Cebu has plenty to offer. History nuts can go wild over old churches and museums, while those looking for a sandy adventure can choose to go to nearby beaches or ride a boat and go to famous islands such as Bantayan. Whatever you have in mind, Cebu has something that you’ll enjoy.
Disclaimer: This particular blogpost is contributed by Lamudi Phils.