People Here Are Called: Cebuanos

Known as: Queen City of the South

Known for: Sinulog Festival, Magellan's Cross and other historic sites and churches, pristine islands, beaches and waters, danggit

Top Landmarks and Tourist Spots:

Mactan Island is a coral island and famous for 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. 

Olango Island supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found in the country. These birds migrating from Russia stop here en route to Australia. 

Bantayan Island

Camotes Island

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. 

Famous Dishes: Cebu lechon

Major Industries: Copper and dolomite mining, industrial parts assembly, food processing, handicraft, rattancraft, woodcraft, metalcraft, shellcraft,  stonecraft, basketware, rattan and wicker furniture making, ceramics making, manufacturing of footwear, garments, costume jewelry, food products and preserves, electronic devices, transistors and diodes, vehicle assembly, agricultural products

Tourism Assets: Sinulog Festival, historic sites and churches, pristine islands, beaches and waters

Brief History:

30,000 years ago, the Negrito race crossed the Asian continent through land bridges. With the disappearance of the bridges, islands were formed including  Cebu. Being part of the Malay peninsula, Cebu was part of the Malay empire around 500 A.D. 

In 1521, Fernando de Magallanes, or Magellan, landed in Cebu. The Portuguese explorer who sailed under the Spanish expedition of 5 ships and more than 200 men was well received by Datu Humabon. Datu Humabon and his followers were even baptized to Christianity. 

In Mactan, however, Magellan, , died in the hands of Datu Lapu-lapu, the island's chieftain. The famous battle marked the Filipinos's aversion to foreign dominance and rule.

It was not until 1566 when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in Cebu that the island came under Spanish rule. Churches were built, priests ruled communities alongside civil leaders, and watchtowers were scattered along the island to guard against Moro raids.

During the Philippine revolution led by Andres Bonifacio in Luzon, Cebu was also the site of bloody battle. On April 3, 1898, Cebuano rebels under Gen. Leon Kilat engaged in a three-day fight and had the Spaniards cover behind Fort San Pedro. 

At the end of Spanish rule, the Americans came next and set the country to a semi-autonomous rule. The Philippine Commonwealth was established in 1935, with Manuel Quezon as president and Sergio Osmena, a Cebuano, as vice-president. 

During the Japanese occupation, Cebu served as a vital Japanese base for the Imperial Army. The rest of Cebu’s history was tied to events in the country  — postwar reconstruction, Philippine independence, then the declaration of Martial Law, and so forth.

General Information

Cebu City
Language & Dialects
4,166,000 (2015, PSA)

  • Icn busBus
  • Icn jeepneyJeepney
  • Icn tricycleTricycle
  • Icn ferryFerry

Facts & Trivias

Sinulog is a dance ritual in honor of Sto. Nino. It pertains to the strong current movement of the Cebu River which is re-enacted through dancing. It is celebrated every third Sunday of January in Cebu.The prayer in the form of dancing is done with beat of drums and people shout "Pit Senor! Viva Sto. Nino!". It is the biggest and most attended festival in the Philippines.
Butanding/Whale Shark
The whale shark or commonly known in the Philippines as Butanding, is abundant in the Philippine waters.
Flourescent Lamp
Thomas Edison discovered the electric light and the fluorescent lighting was thought up by Nikola Tesla. But the fluorescent lamp we use today was invented by Agapito Flores (a Cebuano named Benigno Flores of Bantayan Island, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer), a Filipino scientist.
Sidapa and Bulan
In Visayan beliefs, Sidapa, god of death, admired and fell in love with the seven moons. He offered songs and gifts through different creatures from the land and sea, until the young moon boy, Bulan, came down from the heavens. When the Bakunawa, a moon eating dragon, was about to eat the moon boy, Sidapa snatched Bulan from the heavens and lived together as lovers on top of Mt. Madjaas.
Patron Deity of Homosexuality
Bulan, the moon deity, fell in love with the god of death, Sibulan. After the god of death rescued Bulan from the mon eating dragon, they lived together as lovers, up to this very day.
Wakwak and Ekek
The Ekek and Wakwak are from the Visayan belief. These are monstrous bird-like humans that could shap-shift into large birds or bats

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