Cebu is the traveler’s fantasy of a tropical island come true – balmy weather, pristine beaches, crystalline waters, and luxurious resorts with all the frills of modern living. The island-province of Cebu was where the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan planted the Cross of Christianity in the name of Spain in 1521.
But even before Cebu became the Occidental gateway to the Orient, it was already a popular entry point among Asian merchants. Cebu has since blossomed into a choice tourist destination, with many leisure establishments taking full advantage of its sea-valley-and-mountain location.
It was in the province of Cebu that Ferdinand Magellan first set foot in Philippine soil back in 1521. Even before the Spaniards came, trade with the Chinese already flourished in the province. Prosperity has continued, and today, Cebu City, known as the Queen City of the South, has become a thriving, highly urbanized center that comes second to Manila’s bustling metropolis.
Only a few minutes away from the city are numerous white sand beaches, crystal blue waters, and swaying palms, making Cebu a perfect destination for both business and leisure. Mactan Island is a coral island and famous scuba diving and beach site. It is also the site of the Export Processing Zone. Malapascua Island is endowed with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, and the west coast is ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
The sleepy little market town of Moalboal was one of the first places where scuba diving caught on in the Philippines. From here, you can dive straight off Panagsama Beach, which is home to an extraordinary array of coral, anemones, sponges, and a swarming host of brightly colored reef fish.
Olango Island in Cebu supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found in the country. These birds migrating from Russia stop here en route to Australia.
Located between 9°25′ N & 11°30′ N and between 123° 25′ E & 124° 30’E in the center of the archipelago. Cebu is 365 miles south of Manila and can be reached in an hour through air travel.
The topography of Cebu is characterized by narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus, and coastal plains but with predominant rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island. Although Cebu’s steep mountains reach over 1,000 meters, the island lacks substantial forest cover.
In the towns of Bogo, San Remigio, Medellin and Daan Bantayan at the northern tip of the province, considerable flat tracts of land are found. Of the three biggest islands, Mactan and Bantayan are relatively flat while Camotes is hilly.
Cebu’s weather is relatively moderate, having no distinct wet and dry season, the perfect vacation spot for seasons. One can bask under the sunshine the whole year through since Cebu is blessed with a tropical climate with a generally fair temperature range of between 23 –33°C (73-91°F). Coolest temperature can be felt in January and warmest in May.
Per data gathered by the Statistics Office as of May 1, 2000, Cebu has a population of about 3,356,137 with the city proper accounting for 718,821. Being the second largest metropolitan area in the country after Manila, migrant workers from neighboring islands in Visayas contribute immensely to the working population.
Cebuano is the dialect in the province, which is also widely spoken in the Visayas and Mindanao. Tagalog and English are also spoken and understood.
Copper and dolomite mining, industrial parts assembly, food processing, footwear, handicraft, rattancraft, woodcraft, metalcraft, garments, shellcraft, ceramics, basketware, rattan and wicker furniture, cement, costume jewelry, giftware, fertilizer, stonecraft, food products and preserves, electronic devices, transistors and diodes, vehicle assembly, agricultural products.
In 1997, Central Visayas recorded a total of P8,261 million worth of investments, with Cebu seizing the bulk of income generated from investment amounting to P7,695 million.
Where to stay
- Montebello Villa Hotel
- Waterfront Cebu
- Marco Polo Plaza
- Mactan Island
- Alegre Beach Resort
- Casa Del Mar Golf & Dive
- Cebu Beach Club
- Cebu City Marriot Hotel
- Cebu International
- Cebu Midtown Hotel
- Days Hotel Cebu
- Garwood Park Hotel
- Holiday Plaza Hotel
- Maribago Bluewater Beach
- Plantation Bay Mactan
- Pulchra Resort
- Shangri-La’s Mactan
- Tambuli Beach Club East
- Tambuli Beach Club West
- Waterfront Mactan
- Cebu Hilton
- Cebu Marine