Cebu is the oldest city of the Philippines. Exploring Cebu City , one encounters a rich historic past. Cebuanos are extremely proud of their cultural and historical heritage, a legacy which has endured through the centuries from the time the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan first planted the cross on Cebu ‘s shore.
Standing as the country’s top business and tourist destination, Cebu was crowned as the Queen City of the South. Finding its own place under Cebu’s friendly skies, business and leisure breathe together with office buildings and beach resorts.
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. It is an ideal jump-off point for other tourist attractions in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Basilica Minore del Santo Nino
The Basilica Minore del Santo Nino is the oldest Church in the Philippines. It is the sanctuary of the Miraculous image of Sto. Nino in which this image was given to Queen Juana by Magellan.
The church was built in the Year 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and considered as the only Roman Catholic Basilica in the Far East.
The shrine houses the monument of Lapu-Lapu who killed Spanish conquistador Ferdinand Magellan. It is 20 metre bronze memorial statue erected on Mactan Island symbolizing the Mactan Warrior-Chieftain’s victory.
This is an imposing monument which stands as a tribute to the first filipino hero and a testament to Filipino bravery.
Magellan’s Cross is a symbol of Cebu City and the chapel’s image can be found in its city seal. It is also seen as the symbol of Roman Catholicism and a tourist attraction in the Philippines.
The cross houses what is reputed to be the remains of a cross Magellan planted in Cebu. Cebu historians doubt if this indeed is the cross planted by Magellan because it is recorded that the Cebuano rose up against the Spaniards 17 days after the cross was planted. Some believe that the cross is as old as 1565, when Legazpi returned with a group of colonists. Miraculous stories are attributed to the cross, including the claim that it grows taller and taller year by year.
In Cebu, there are a couple of different Island Hopping trips to choose from. A few of the attractions found in Cebu are sun-kissed and white sand beaches, colorful corals and abundant marine life.
Mactan Island, Moalboal, Malapascua Island, Gato Island, Hilutungan Island, Olango Island and Pescador Island is arguably where the regions best diving is located.
Cebu City is also known for being a commercial center, second only to Manila. Even before the Spanish arrived it had traded with the East Indies, Siam and China. Today, tourists still flock to buy the locally handcrafted instruments, particularly the guitars, string basses and mandolins.
The Sinulog is an annual festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, Philippines. The festival honors the child Jesus, known as the Santo Niño (Holy Child), patron of the city of Cebu. It is a dance ritual that commemorates the Cebuano people’s pagan origin, and their acceptance of Christianity.
The festival features a street parade with participants in bright-colored costumes dancing to the rhythm of drums, trumpets, and native gongs. Smaller versions of the festival are held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate, and honor the Santo Niño.
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