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Cebu City, officially the City of Cebu , is the capital city of the province of Cebu and is the "second city" of the Philippines, being the center of Metro Cebu, the second most populous metropolitan area in the Philippines after Metro Manila. Cebu is a first income class highly urbanized city where political governance is independent and separate from the province of Cebu, and according to the 2015 census, it has a population of 922,611 – making it the fifth most populated city in the country. In the 2016 election, it had 630,003 registered voters. Cebu City is a significant center of commerce, trade and education in the Visayas region.
The city is located on the mid-eastern side of Cebu island. It is the first Spanish settlement, the country's oldest city, and the first capital of the Philippines. It is considered as the Fount of Christianity in the Far-East.
Cebu is the Philippines' main domestic shipping port and is home to about 80% of the country's domestic shipping companies. Cebu City is bordered to the northeast by Mandaue and the town of Consolacion, to the west are Toledo City, and the towns of Balamban and Asturias, to the south are Talisay City and the town of Minglanilla. Across Mactan Strait to the east is Mactan Island.
It is the center of a metropolitan area called Metro Cebu, which includes the cities of Carcar, Danao, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Naga and Talisay; and the municipalities (towns) of Compostela, Consolacion,Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla and San Fernando. Metro Cebu has a total population of about 2.55 million people (2010 census)
|POPULATION :||• City 922,611|
• Metro 2,551,100
|TIME ZONE :||PST (UTC+8)|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 90%,Others 10%|
|AREA :||• City 315.00 km2 (121.62 sq mi)|
• Metro 1,163.36 km2 (449.18 sq mi)
|ELEVATION :||17 m (56 ft)|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 51%|
• Female: 49%
|ETHNIC :||Cebuano 691,204|
Not Reported 2,935
|AREA CODE :||32|
|POSTAL CODE :||6000|
|DIALING CODE :||+63 (0)32|
Tourism is a thriving industry in Cebu. It hosted the 1998 ASEAN Tourism Forum. The city also hosted the East Asian Tourism Forum on August 2002, in which the province of Cebu is a member and signatory.
There are significant number of Filipino-Spanish heritage buildings in Cebu City which includes the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro, Casa Gorordo Museum and Magellan's Cross, among others.
The Cebu Reggae Festival is a popular Filipino Reggae and Rootsmusic festival, it now has become one of the Philippines' largest annual Reggae Festivals. On Cebuano musical heritage, the Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum in V. Gullas St. (former Manalili) corner D. Jakosalem St. in Cebu City, holds musical memorabilia of Cebuano composers in the early 20th century, the likes of Ben Zubiri (composer of Matud Nila), Inting Rubi (Kasadya Ning Taknaa) and Minggoy Lopez (Rosas Pandan). The Cebu City Sports Complex exhibits sporting and festival events.
Within the city is the Cebu Taoist Temple, a Taoist temple located in Beverly Hills. Views of Cebu City and its skyline can also be seen from villages and numerous gated communities located on its mountainsides.
Ayala Center Cebu is a shopping mall at the Cebu Business Park, and is currently undergoing a massive expansion. On average, more than 85,000 people visit this mall every day, with the figure increasing to 135,000 on weekends.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, Cebu city was part of the island-rajahnate and trade center of Pulua Kang Dayang or Kangdaya (literally "[the islands] which belong to Daya"), now better known as theRajahnate of Cebu. It was founded by a prince of the Hindu Chola dynasty of Sumatra, the half-Malay and half-Tamil, Sri Lumay. The name Sugbo (shortened form of Kang Sri Lumaying Sugbo, literally "that of Sri Lumay's great fire") refers to Sri Lumay's scorched earth tactics against Muslim Moro raiders(Magalos).
On April 7, 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. He was welcomed by Rajah Humabon (also known as Sri Humabon or Rajah Humabara), the grandson of Sri Lumay, together with his wife and about 700 native islanders. Magellan, however, was killed in the Battle of Mactan, and the remaining members of his expedition left Cebu soon after several of them were poisoned by Humabon due to threats of foreign occupation. The last ruler of Sugbo, prior to Spanish colonization, was Rajah Humabon's nephew, Rajah Tupas (d. 1565).
On February 13, 1565, Spanish conquistadors led by Miguel López de Legazpi together with Augustinian friars, whose prior was Andrés de Urdaneta, arrived in Samar, taking possession of the island thereafter. They Christianized some natives and Spanish remnants in Cebu. Afterwards, the expedition visited Leyte, Cabalian, Mazaua, Camiguin andBohol where the famous Sandugo or blood compact was performed between López de Legazpi and Datu Sikatuna, the chieftain of Bohol on 16 March 1565. The Spanish arrived in Cebu on 15 April 1565. They then attempted to parley with the local ruler, Rajah Tupas, but found that he and the local population had abandoned the town. Rajah Tupas presented himself at their camp on 8 May, feast of the Apparition of Saint Michael the Archangel, when the island was taken possession of on behalf of the Spanish King. The Treaty of Cebu was formalized on 3 July 1565. López de Legazpi's party named the new city "Villa de San Miguel de Cebú" (later renamed "Villa del Santísimo Nombre de Jesús)." In 1567 the Cebu garrison was reinforced with the arrival of 2,100 soldiers from New Spain(Mexico). The growing colony was then fortified by Fort San Pedro.
By 1569 the Spanish settlement in Cebu had become important as a safe port for ships from Mexico and as a jumping-off point for further exploration of the archipelago. Small expeditions led by Juan de Salcedo went toMindoro and Luzon, where he and Martín de Goiti played a leading role in the subjugation of the Kingdoms of Tundun and Seludong in 1570. One year later, López de Legazpi departed Cebu to discuss a peace pact with the defeated Rajahs. An agreement between the conquistadors and the Rajahs to form a city council paved the way for the establishment of a new settlement and the construction of the Christian walled city of Intramuros on the razed remains of Islamic Manila, then a satellite state of the Bruneian Empire.
On 1571, the Spanish carried over infantry from Mexico and then raised an army of Christian Visayan warriors from Cebu and Iloilo as well as mercenaries from the Tagalog region and assaulted the Sultanate of Brunei, in what is known as the Castille War. The war also started the Spanish–Moro Wars waged between the Christian Visayans and Muslim Mindanao, wherein Moros burned towns and conducted slave raids in the Visayas islands and selling the slaves to the Sultanates of the Malay Archipelago and the Visayans fought-back by establishing Christian fort-cities in Mindanao, cities such as Zamboanga City.
On 14 August 1595, Pope Clement VIII created the diocese of Cebu as a suffragan to the Archdiocese of Manila.
On 3 April 1898, local revolutionaries led by the Negrense Leon Kilat rose up against the Spanish colonial authorities and took control of the urban center after three days of fighting. The uprising was only ended by the treacherous murder of Leon Kilat and the arrival of soldiers from Iloilo. On 26 December 1898, the Spanish Governor, General Montero, evacuated his troops to Zamboanga, turning over government property to Pablo Mejia. The next day, a provincial government was formed under Luis Flores as president, General Juan Climaco as military chief of staff, and Julio Llorente as mayor.
The signing of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Spanish–American War provided for the cession of Cebu along with the rest of the Philippine islands to the United States until the formation of the Commonwealth Era (1935–46). On 21 February 1899, the USS Petrel (PG-2) deployed a landing party of 40 marines on the shores of Cebu. Cebu's transfer to the Commonwealth government was signed by Luis Flores although others, most notably General Arcadio Maxilom and Juan Climaco, offered resistance until 1901. Governor W. H. Taft visited Cebu on 17 April 1901, and appointed Julio Llorento as the first provincial governor. Juan Climaco was elected to that office in January 1904.
After having remained a town since its original founding in 1565, Cebu became a chartered city on 24 February 1937. Many other Philippine cities such as Dansalan (now Marawi), Iloilo City, and Bacolod City were also incorporated at that time .
Along with the rest of the country, Cebu came under Japanese occupation during WWII. The Japanese encountered some opposition there from guerrillas led by Col. James Cushing and the Cebu Area Command. It was finally liberated with the Battle for Cebu City in March and April 1945. The military general headquarters of the Philippine Commonwealth Army and 8th Infantry Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary, active from 1942 to 1946, was stationed in Cebu City during World War II.
Colon Street, the oldest national road in the Philippines, is the center of a dense and compact area in downtown Cebu City that was once the heart of Cebu City's shopping and business activity, with fashionable shops, restaurants and movie houses. In the early 1990s, much of this activity shifted to the more modern and more diverse business districts located in almost all of the urban areas of the city, including in what was considered residential and leisure neighborhoods. Colon also serves as a transit point for public utility jeepneys (PUJ) covering arterial routes within the city.
Climate data for Cebu City
|Average high °C (°F)||30.3|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.4|
|Average low °C (°F)||22.6|
Cebu City has a land area of 315 square kilometres (122 sq mi). To the northeast of the city is Mandaue City and the town of Consolacion; to the west is Toledo City and the towns of Balamban and Asturias; to the south isTalisay City and the town of Minglanilla.
Across Mactan Strait to the east is Mactan Island where Lapu-Lapu is located. Further east across the Cebu Strait is the Island of Bohol.
Ceboom, a portmanteau of Cebu and Boom, has been used to refer to the rapid economic development of both Cebu City and Cebu Province in the early 1990s.
With Cebu city's proximity to many islands, beaches, hotel and resorts, diving locations and heritage sites, high domestic and foreign tourist arrivals have fueled the city's tourism industry. Due to its geographic location, accessibility by air, land and sea transportation, Cebu City has become the tourist gateway to Central and Southern Philippines.
The city is a major hub for the business process outsourcing industry of the Philippines. In 2013, Cebu ranked 8th worldwide in the "Top 100 BPO Destinations Report" by global advisory firm, Tholons. In 2012, the growth in IT-BPO revenues in Cebu grew 26.9 percent at $484 million, while nationally, the industry grew 18.2 percent at $13 billion.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, formerly known as Cebu Pan Asian Holdings, is the first holding company from Cebu City publicly listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Ayala Corporation, through its subsidiary Cebu Holdings, Inc. and Cebu Property, both publicly in the PSE Index, developed the Cebu Park District where the mixed-used development zones of the Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park are located. Both master planned areas are host to regional headquarters for various companies in the banking, finance, IT and tourism sectors among others.
Shipbuilding companies in Cebu have manufactured bulk carriers of up to 70,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) and double-hulled fast craft as well. This industry made the Philippines the 4th largest shipbuilding country in the world.
With a revenue growth rate of 18.8 percent in 2012, the real estate industry is the fastest growing sector in Cebu. With the strong economic indicators and high investors' confidence level, more condominium projects and hypermarkets are being developed in the locality.
The South Road Properties (SRP) is a 300-hectare (740-acre) prime property development project on a reclaimed land located a few metres off the coast of Cebu's central business district. It is a mixed-use development that will feature entertainment, leisure, residential and business-processing industries. It is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and is funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation(JBIC). Traversing the property is a 12-kilometre (7.5 mi), four-lane highway known as the Cebu Coastal Road that provides the motorists with a good view of Cebu's south coast and the nearby island of Bohol.
Prices in Cebu
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$0.80|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||$6.50|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||$13.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||$20.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||$30.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||$2.35|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||$1.90|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||$1.10|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||$3.50|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||$3.80|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||$0.16|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||$1.75|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||$1.00|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||$52.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||$34.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||$75.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||$0.18|
30 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
83 $ per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Mactan-Cebu International Airport is in Lapu Lapu. It is possible to get from there to downtown Cebu by jeepney, but most travellers will find a taxi much more covenient. The taxi ride might cost about ₱250 and take 50 minutes, but both numbers vary greatly depending on traffic conditions. the p 300 domestic airport terminal fee is now within the ticket price.
Cebu City's domestic port is the country's busiest, and is home to almost 80 percent of the country's passenger vessels. The country's largest shipping lines — 2Go Travel, Trans-Asia, George & Peter Lines, Cokaliong,Lite, Super Shuttle, Kinswell, Roble, Montenegro, and Weesam Express — all run ferries to and from Cebu, and several have their headquarters there.
Large passenger ferries with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 passengers ply the more distant routes such as to Manila, Iloilo, Butuan, Zamboanga and Cagayan de Oro. Medium-sized vessels such as the roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) types go to nearer destinations; most places in the Visayas are accessible from Cebu.
For some destinations, such as Ormoc, Bohol and Dumaguete, fast hydrofoil ferries are available as well, from companies such as Oceanjet. Travel time is about half that of a RoRo and the comfort level higher, but prices are at least double.
Local ferries, such as one to Lapu-Lapu. are also available.
To get to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport you can use the Lapu-Lapu ferry which costs only ₱14, departs every 20 minutes from pier 3 and takes 20 minutes. A yellow jeepney runs between the Lapu-Lapu ferry pier and the airport for ₱7.
The passenger port is in Cebu City, near downtown. The parts of the port that handle containers and other freight extend for a long way north of that, reaching into Mandaue.
Buses go to and from most nearby cities, mainly along the north-south coastal highway. For more distant places — such as Dumaguete, Bacolod or even Manila — there are buses that ride ferries for parts of their routes.
There are two major bus terminals, the north terminal in Mandaue and south terminal in Cebu City. Ceres Bus lines operates regular bus services from these terminals and are considered the "safer" alternative to the smaller privately operated bus lines.
Transportation - Get Around
Do as the locals do and catch a colorful jeepney. Simply ask around for which route to take, or read the signs on the sides of the vehicles showing their routes. They are available 24 hr and cover most of the nooks and crannies of the city. Costs start at ₱8 and increase for longer distances. Beware of pickpockets and other theft, this is common and even locals fall victim.
There are no buses with routes within the city; jeepneys serve that function.
Small buses — vans that seat about a dozen passengers — run between all the towns that make up Metro Cebu, and are often the best way of getting between those towns, more comfortable than jeepneys and cheaper than taxis. Their terminals are generally next to major malls; for example a van goes from Ayala Mall in Cebu to Gaesano Mall in Lapu-Lapu for ₱35.
Taxis are ominpresent in Cebu City. Sadly, there's a decent chance you'll be overcharged by a taxi driver at some point during your trip to Cebu. This should be considered an unfortunate cost of visiting Cebu (or anywhere in the Philippines). You can (and should) report improper taxi behavior to the Department of Tourism in Cebu by phoning +63 32 254 2811.
Unless you're familiar with the city, always insist on a metered fare as a negotiated fare will almost always be much higher. If you know the city and need to go a long distance, it may be worth paying a negotiated fare so that the driver doesn't take the scenic route or you become victim of an uncalibrated meter. Late in the evenings, there could be taxis driving with an uncalibrated, inflated meter.
Most trips around the city should not cost more than ₱100. The fare from the airport to most of central Cebu should be ₱200-250 depending on whether you use the white or yellow cabs (white ones are reportedly cheaper).
If you know the name of the building, establishment, area or street you wish you reach, taxis are still the fastest way to your destination. Most drivers know where almost everything is. If the driver is pleasant, a ₱10-50 tip is warranted, especially if he loads or unloads your bags. Most drivers do not have, or will tell you they do not have change, so be ready with 50's and 20's when going on short trips.
It is best to avoid the "Private" taxis as they take advantage of tourists and charge 5-10 times the normal fare. You will find these taxis at the some of the high-class hotels. They are normally owned by the hotel to make money and may charge ₱500 for something that should cost ₱60. Some hotels make it hard for other taxis to pick you up at their premise and you may need to walk outside to save money.
Another place where private taxis are common is the airport. To avoid them, simply ask a porter for help and for a metered taxi. Downstairs at the exit for arrivals, there is a booth that will flag down a taxi for ₱70, but you can also go up the ramp and there are a large number of metered taxis waiting for you. You can also wend your way upstairs to Departures where many metered taxis are available. Fare down town to Ayala or SM Malls should be around ₱150 on the meter. You may be told "500" by the driver. Just grab the door handle and say "What, you don't have a meter?" Don't travel unless the meter is used; not using the meter is illegal, and you can report it to local officials.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Cebu City has many shopping malls - the biggest being SM City Cebu, has four levels, a huge department store, supermarket, movie theater and over 200 shops and restaurants. The Ayala Mall is more upscale; it has a large department store, two supermarkets and a movie theater, and it offers more restaurants and stores that appeal to tourists. These are modern buildings with lots of western goods in addition to local stores. There are other, older and smaller malls dotted all over the city, such as Country Mall, Robinson's Mall, e-Mall, Mango Square and Cebu Parkmall. In addition to this there are many stores and places to stop. One nice place is the Colon part of the Old Downtown.
If you need to fix something there are hardware stores in all of the malls. Cebu Home and Builders Center along AS Fortuna-Mandaue, Mactan (near old bridge) and Cebu Parkmall is the home depot style that carries the most complete line for finishing and building materials. There is a large warehouse store called S & R membership shopping that offers good prices on goods in bulk. Another great place to buy household goods on the cheap is White Gold, near SM. For furniture the two best places to go is Sun Gold and Mandaue Foam, just remember to ask for at least 10-20% off the price. If you want to buy groceries, the Metro Supermarket in Ayala Mall is well stocked - local and imported products - and affordable. Metro also has lots of great buys and the lowest prices you can get in their department stores in Ayala Mall, Mandaue City and Colon St. You may also shop at the SM Supermarket in SM City or for best value go to SaveMore Supermarket in VisMin at Cebu Parkmall.
Malls & Supermarkets
- SM malls & Savemore supermarkets & Alfamart.. 8am-8pm. all part of the SM group. higher prices.
- Robinsons Malls & Robinsons Supermarkets & MiniStop & South Star Drug. 8 am 8pm. all part of Robinsons group. higher prices.
- Colonnade Supermarkets, Colon Street. & one in Mandaue, 32-2552510.6am-9pm. lower prices.
- Gaisano Malls & Supermarkets. 6 am-9 pm. many Gaisano all over Cebu.lower prices.
- Shopwise & Rustans & Wellcome & Family Mart & Rose Pharmacy. 8am-8pm. part of Dairy farm (HK) which has supermarkets all over Asia.
- Puregold & S&R & Lawson. 7am-9pm. all part of the Puregold group. lower prices.
- Prince Hypemarket. 8am- 8pm. now has 20 stores . lower prices.
- 7-Eleven. 24 hours. has over 1700 stores in the Philippines and is opening new stores every week. higher prices.
- City Malls (Bacalso & Consolacion). 8am-9pm. 33% owned by Jollibee and 33% owned by sm
Banks & ATMs
- HSBC Bank (UK), Ground floor, Taft Ayala bldg, Cardinal Rosales Avenue (Cebu business park). Has the only ATMs in Cebu without a ₱200 fee for overseas cards. HSBC has also the only ATMs in Cebu where you can take up up to ₱40,000 per time.
- Citi Bank has a (ATM with a max of ₱15,000 per use). (USA).
- Standard Chartered Bank (UK).
- Both are along Mindanao Avenue in the Cebu Business park. and both have a ₱200 fee for overseas cards.
- Fully Booked, Level 2, The Terraces, Ayala Centre (Cebu Business Park), , e-mail: , [email protected]. A modern bookshop with a good selection of imported fiction and non-fiction books, a smaller collection of books about the Philippines and an in-shop café.
The great thing about Cebu is that, while being an island paradise, on the one hand, it's also a sophisticated city, with a wide range of pretty decent restaurants to choose from. Street-food abounds in Cebu and is amazingly cheap. You can buy all sorts of Philippine delicacies from the many street stalls scattered around Cebu City.
- SuTuKil - An acronym for sugba (grilled), tula (soup-based/with broth), and kilaw(raw, soaked/pickled in vinegar). This is a popular term for ordering a selection of fresh seafood and meat from the market and cooked any way you like it in an eatery.
- Lechon - Roasted suckling pig. The whole province of Cebu is known for its lechon which is known to be the best in the Philippines.
Cebu has Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Continental, fusion, and of course local restaurants. It also has other international cuisines like American, Spanish, Thai and Indian. For tourists, the two best areas to find great restaurants are Ayala Mall and IT Park. Ayala Center Cebu recently opened a modern extension called The Terraces with an abundance of food choices adjacent to Marriott Hotel. It also has two grocery stores with large sections of food imported from the rest of the world. The IT Park has over 20 great restaurants and most of them are open 24 hours a day. Both of these eating areas offer free WiFi. On the other hand, SM City Cebu also opened an extension to the main mall called SM Northwing with more than 10 choices of local and international cuisines.
- Alberto's Pizza, B. Rodriguez Ave. (opposite Vicente Sotto Hospital). Offers a good and rather affordable locally made thin crust pizza.
- Ang Manok ni Señor Pedro. Specialises in Lechon Manok or roasted chicken which is a local favorite.
- Bens Lechon, Has branches in Mactan Marina Mall, Airport Rd, Parkmall Mandaue and also in White Gold Supermarket., , e-mail:[email protected]. Popular for its Native Cebu Lechon, in its branch in STK Food St. they offer STK an abbreviation for sugba, tuwa and kinilaw, offeringsinugbang panga, tuna belly, squid and the famous Bisaya chicken. They also offer pochero, caldertang kambing along with other Filipino dishes.
- Casa Verde, Has branches in Ayala Center Cebu, IT Park and the original restaurant in Ramos.. Well known for their baby back ribs.
- Cielo (2nd Level, The Forum, Archbishop Reyes), , e-mail:[email protected]. Open daily, except Mon., 11AM-2PM and 6PM-12midnite. Cielo is an authentic Italian style restaurant with a contemporary bar and lounge, the interior and music is quite reminiscent of NY City. Specialties include gourmet pizzas, pasta, osso buco, scallopini ala marsala and traditional Italian desserts such as bread pudding, panna cotta, tartufo.
- CNT Lechon, SM City Cebu. Serves authentic Cebuano Lechon.
- Golden Cowrie, Branches in Salinas Drive, SM Cebu and Robinson's Cybergate.
- Giuseppe's, Marie Luisa Drive, Banilad. Authentic Italian restaurant.
- Hola Espanol. Spanish cuisine in the Philippines. Try their Paella Negra, and other paella varieties.
- Joule's chicken, Talamban (Across Blue Gym, No signs at all, look for the smoke on your left and motorbikes on your right, and long lines at the window.). Famous for their lechon manok (roasted chicken).
- The Jungle Restaurant. They serve international cuisine. Aside from dining, they too have entertainment, dances from around the world, fire dancing, Local Filipino traditional dances, Filipino culture, arts and crafts etc.
- La Buona Forchetta da Paolo Ristorante Pizzeria, Advent Business Center, 139 Acacia St., Kamputhaw. is popular among foreign residents for offering authentic Italian cuisine at reasonable prices. Equally noteworthy Italian restaurants are La Tegola (with outlets in Busay and Banilad) and Brescia(Salinas Drive, Lahug), which also has a wide range of imported wines.
- Larsian Barbeque (Near Fuente). Best and the cheapest around the city. The barbeque portions are small so you have enough space to store dessert. Try various kinds of barbequed local delicacies not for the faint of heart: innards, coagulated blood, squid, hotdogs aside from the usual pork and chicken varieties.
- Mooon Cafe. Is a local restaurant located at the Terraces in Ayala Mall as well as in Guadalupe not far from the Capitol building. Its specialty is Mexican "inspired" food and ambiance, but they serve a wide variety of options.
- Little Saigon Big Bangkok, 1 Paseo Saturnino Drive ( Old Maria Luisa Road) next to The Spa at Cebu, Banilad, Cebu City, , e-mail:[email protected]. Little Saigon Big Bangkok is an Asian restaurant specializing in creative Thai and Vietnamese "street food" cuisines, among many others.
- Gustavian's near Giuseppe's for steaks, euro-continental, and a pub theme. Also in Ayala terraces. Pretty good deli too.
- Siomai sa Tisa. Steamed Pork Siomai served with chili sauce.
- Spice Fusion, It has branches in Banilad Town Center and SM Cebu. They offer a wide selection of Southeast Asian food.
- Tajimaya Yakiniku, Lahug (End of Crossroads Mall). Serves Japanese cuisine.
Desserts, pastries and cakes
- Postrio Bakery and Cafe. Cebu-based bakeshop and cafe
- Chedz Designer Cakes. Cebu-based bakeshop specializing in designer birthday and wedding cakes
- La Marea - Cebu-based bakeshops specializing in cakes
- Leonas Cakes and Pastries - Cebu-based dessert and pastry shop with several outlets in Cebu. Try their banana walnut cake.
- Dessert Factory. Dessert restaurant in Ayala Center Cebu
- Cebu La Fortuna Bakery. Try their masi, a Chinese Filipino sweet product of crush nuts and sugar wrapped in rice paste. This is their only excellent product; the others may not be worth much for a try.
- 10 Dove St - in the village of Santo Nino. The owner converted a garage like structure into a cheap, sandwich bistro. Real star are her fantastic cakes, very fresh, served by the slice from old-fashioned cake platters.
Sights & Landmarks
Shrines and historical landmarks
- Basilica of Santo Niño (Basilica del Santo Niño (Basilica of the Holy Child)), Osmeña Boulevard, . A large and venerable church that traces its history to the founding of the convent of the Santo Niño de Cebu in 1565. It contains a statue of the Santo Niño (Holy Child) that regarded as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines. The statue was presented by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana during the baptism of King Humabon and his wife Queen Juana on 14 April 1521. The natives of Cebu were formally Christianized by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Father Andres de Urdaneta on 27 April 1565. However, as they found the natives hostile, the village was set on fire. Later on, in a burnt-out house, a soldier named Juan Camus found the statue untouched. This was proclaimed a miracle. The statue, adorned with gold and precious stones, is in a glass case to the left of the altar. The church sees a constant stream of devotees praying at pews in the sanctuary and in front of statues of saints. The Basilica del Santo Niño Museum (open Tu-Su 08:00-11:45, 13:30-16:45) contains the vestments used to dress the Santo Niño and jewellery offered to the Santo Niño for use during his feast on the third Sunday of January. ₱10.
- Colon St. Brave the cacophonous traffic to see the oldest street in the Philippines with some nice worn-out classical buildings dating back to the American Era. At night, this street transforms into a market with good buys everywhere. Be wary of pickpockets though.
- Fort San Pedro (Fuerza de San Pedro). The smallest Spanish outpost in the Philippines during the colonial era. It has a small museum showcasing the wreckage and treasures from the sunken San Diego galleon from Mexico. The area is scenic with the newly renovated and open-air Plaza Independencia at the entrance.
- Fuente Osmeña
- Life-size statues of popes, Stations of the Cross and Mysteries of the Holy Rosary in Danao City.
- Magellan's Cross, Plaza Sugbo, off Magallanes St (between the Colegio de Santo Niño (south of the Basilica of Santo Niño) and Cebu City Hall - if you approach the Basilica from Osmeña Boulevard, walk through the courtyard of the Basilica and the Colegio to reach the Plaza). An octagonal building decorated with murals containing a large wooden cross that commemorates the Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan who planted a wooden cross upon converting the original inhabitants to Christianity. A plaque states that the visible wooden cross contains the original cross, but some historians say the original cross was reduced to firewood by local inhabitants when the Magellan fleet headed elsewhere. Take time to appreciate the various candle sellers who dance around during worship and while selling the candles.
- Casa Gorordo Museum, 35 Lopez Jaena St, , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00. A well-preserved Spanish colonial mansion constructed largely of wood, set in a pleasant, manicured garden. The lower floor has a collection of old tools, and an A/C room that has changing displays such as art exhibitions. The more interesting upstairs level was the former living quarters of the Gorordo family. It features lovely carved wooden furniture and a wide patio. The kitchen is particularly interesting, as it contains a traditional dirt stove, a wooden food safe, and a traditional dish drying rack fitted to the outside of the window. Adults: ₱70.
Museums, nature and other
- Dance with the smoothest criminals in the world Experience the life behind prison bars and dance with the smooth friendly dangerous criminals. You can mingle with them take pictures with them but you don't have to worry much; guards and police are around. Still your life is in your hands. Free performances and bus. The inmates' performances are held on the last Saturday of each month.
- Cebu Parkmall and Cebu International Convention Center
- Cebu Provincial Museum (Museo Sugbo) (a short taxi ride from Fort San Pedro). The museum is housed in the former Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, which was once the Carcel de Cebu. Its four Spanish-era buildings made of coral stone contain artifacts relating to the history of Cebu.
- Provincial Capitol, which is particularly scenic at night, is by far the largest provincial Capitol building anywhere in the entire archipelago. Its original design is a miniature of the White House and was built during the American Era.
- Heritage of Cebu (Eastern end of Colon St). A massive and particularly detailed monument showcasing the heritage of Cebu from the old Spanish to the American colonial era.
- Mount Manghilaw
- Santa Rosa Falls
- Taoist Temple. Visit the temple for a unique look at the island's Chinese heritage. The Chinese make up a significant part of the population, with many of the locals having full or partial Chinese ancestry.
- Crocolandia. Witness different sizes of crocodiles, snakes, deer and birds.
- Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum, is a musically-themed museum in Cebu City, Philippines that pays homage to the musical heritage of Cebu. This museum is operated under the Tipiganan sa mga Handumanan sa Kanta ug Kinaiyang Sugbuanon (Treasury of Memories) Foundation. It is located along V. Gullas St. (former Manalili) and D. Jakosalem St. Cebu City, which used to be the old building of The Freeman Newspaper and now houses Cebuano and Visayan musical treasures and memorabilia.
Things to do
- Biking - Go to Tops, which literally sits at the top of the Mt Busay for an unobstructed view of the entire city at night. A few shops and restaurants stand along the way for a short stop. At one time taxi drivers charged a whopping ₱500+ for the ride to Tops but the price has doubled to a ridiculous non-negotiable ₱1000, the best way to experience Tops is by mountain bike. This is a world class climb and on any given day, Cebu's bikers are humping the 45 minute to 1 hr trek filled with switchbacks and views better than you see actually at the very top. Ask your hotel where you can rent a mountain bike. They will have to ask around a bit, but it's worth it.
- Drink, Eat, Laugh and Party - Cebu city is one of the cities which won't miss the party scenes at night, being a major city of commerce and finance in the Philippines; the development of bars, clubs and other commercial establishments are at a fast rate. Take a break from the hectic busy urban life... take a laugh, comedy bars are common in the Philippines and usually Sarcasm the lowest common of wit as most people would say is the common specialty of comedians, don't get pissed at them if they make fun of you, smile back and just get along. Comedy and disco bars, coffee shops and restaurants are found in Gen. Mexilom Ave., Fuenta Rotunda and Osmeña Blvd.
- Ride a Tartanilla - Head to Cebu's old quarters in Carlock St and try riding a horse drawn carriage called a tartanilla. Remember to negotiate with the driver before taking a ride.
- See the scenic view of Cebu City's skyline - The Marcelo Fernan Bridge orSecond Mactan Bridge offers some interesting views of the city at night, and is even picturesque from below. Arrange for a taxi to take you there.
- Shop - Cebu City is well known for two spacious and modern malls outside Manila. SM City Cebu and the Ayala Center Cebu are the most famous and luxurious shopping centers at the heart of the city. Boutique shops, mini-malls, themed malls, fine and alfresco dining include ParkMall, Banilad Town Center, among others.
- Sinulog Festival - The island of Cebu gets especially busy on the third Sunday of January due to the Sinulog Festival. It is the local way of honouring the Child Jesus. Main thoroughfares around the city are blocked for an all-day and all-night loud and colourful street party. Don't forget your dancing shoes!
- Swim and Sun - Mactan is actually the popular place when it comes to beaches which is just minutes away from Cebu City and is where the Airport is located. But despite its popularity, Mactan is a poor choice for travelers who are looking for a real beach experience. One would be hard-pressed to call any beach in Mactan a "paradise"...that is unless you enjoy fenced off, for-pay, mostly man-made muddy swim holes. Two ironies are at work on Mactan. Number #1: If you really like beaches, you are only about 90 minutes from great beaches, world class beaches ( examples include Moalboal and Alona in Bohol)... those are closer to the ones you see on postcards from the Philippines. Number #2: most people who enjoy Mactan absolutely hate the sun (count the number of umbrellas opened on any given day in Cebu!) ) and have a slightly less strong aversion to the water...and instead are enjoying mactan as the result of a someone else's generosity or purchased time, or bought a package deal back in Korea without knowing any better, or as furloughed cebu city workers who take some pleasure telling co-workers and friends they were at the so and so 3 star hotel for the weekend but do little else than take picture of the event rather than simply enjoying the experience.
For a real beach experience, visit nearby Bantayan Island. It is accessible by chartered plane from Mactan Cebu Airport or through Hagnaya Port (3 hr by car from the city) where it is around an hour ferry ride to Sta Fe port of Bantayan Island. Day trips to Virgin Island can be arranged with your resort as well.
- Snorkel, bird-watching and scuba diving - The island of Olango and its 6 small satellite islands are ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving as well as observation of migratory birds.
- Xtreme Rides - Just adjacent Robinson's Mall is the Crown Regency Cebu which is the tallest building in the city. Adventure seekers may head to the top floor to experience a breathtaking view of this modern city and its environs. You may also opt to join in the Xtreme Rides that literally puts you on the edge of the city, or you may walk around the edge of the building (don't worry, safety cables are attached) to experience this once in a lifetime experience. All of these you can enjoy for a small fee.
- Backstreet Academy (Backstreet Academy), Capitol Site, Cebu City, Philippines., , e-mail: [email protected]. 9AM-6PM. An alternative tour experiences platform, they enable locals to offer authentic and unique activities to tourists such as street food tours, weaving workshops, landscape painting classes, Lechon feasts with locals and various types of Filipino Martial Art lessons with masters. A social enterprise, they work with many underprivileged people who either serve as hosts or facilitators. The facilitators will be your medium of communication with the local hosts. Transport is provided for some of the activities. $10-$25.
- Mango Avenue and Mango Square is where the bulk of the nightlife is located. The typical venues are nightclubs, bars and karaoke boxes. There is also a variety of girlie clubs lined up on Mango Ave leading up to Mango Square. There are also dispersed clubs and local-frequented bars off the beaten track. Ask a taxi driver of their whereabouts.
- J Ave. (Formerly Juliana's), a large dance club in Mango Square, is crowded every night of the week. ₱100 entrance fee that includes one free beer of your choice. A local beer will cost you only ₱50 (Red Horse). The more expensive drinks are around ₱280. The music is a mix of hip hop and electronic music and it can get pretty loud and bumping. Excellent bar staff. This establishment is especially popular with young Japanese and Korean tourists. Great place for meeting friendly non-prostitute Filipina women, but that's not to say that there aren't working ladies here.
- Se Bens Authentic Cebu Lechon offers the Authentic Cebu Lechon Tastes and Quality with other pulutan menus with your favorite beer along with its Native Filipino short orders such as Pochero or Bolalo on its newly open restaurant and grille. Visit Se Bens to experience the Cebuano Hospitality.
- Waterfront Hotel and Casino Cebu - Gamble away your kid's college fund and drink all night in this 5-star hotel and entertainment center.
- Crossroads is an array of shops and restaurants that offer an alternative nightlife to IT Park which is just nearby.
- Sunflower is a famed nightclub that is a little way out of the city center but most taxi drivers will know where it is.
Safety in Cebu