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This article is about . For ,see Cebu (disambiguation).

Province of Cebu
Ph seal cebu.png
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Governor Gwendolyn García
locatormapfile  = Rehiyon VII Gitnang Visaya.jpg
Barangays 1,203
Physical characteristics
Area 5,088.4 km²
(19th largest)
Total (2000) 3,356,137
Density 660/km²
(6th highest)

Cebu is one of the provinces of the Philippines. It lies to the east of Negros Island; to its east is Leyte and to the southeast is Bohol province. It is flanked on both sides by the straits of Cebu (between Cebu and Bohol) and Tañon (between Cebu and Negros). Cebu is located between 9°25'N and 11°15'N latitude and between 123°13'E and 124°5'E longitude in the center of the archipelago.

Cebu Island is a long narrow island stretching 225 km (140 mi) from north to south, surrounded by 167 neighboring smaller islands, that includes Mactan Island, Bantayan, Daanbantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. Of the hundreds of small islands some are uninhabited which make them the targets of adventure-seeking tourists.

Cebu is known for its narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus, and coastal plains, all characteristics of a typical tropical island. Cebu also has predominant rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island. Cebu's steep mountains reach over 1,000 meters. Flat tracts of land can be found in towns of Bogo, San Remigio, Medellin, and Daanbantayan at the northern tip of the province.

Its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city in the country, which forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with 4 neighboring cities Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Talisay City, Danao City and 8 other municipalities. Cebu is served by Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Mactan Island, thirty minutes drive from downtown Cebu City.

Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the country and the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the central and southern parts of the archipelago. It has five-star hotels, casinos, white sand beaches, world-class golf courses, convention centers, and shopping malls. The UK-based Condenast Travellers Magazine named Cebu the 8th best Asian-Pacific island destination in 2005, and 7th in 2004.


People and culture

The native people of Cebu are called Cebuanos, most are descendants from Austronesian people, some have Spanish and Chinese ancestry. Spanish and Chinese communities play an important economic and political role in Cebu. Cebuano culture is laid back and has preserved Hispanic traditions in its native culture. American influence is dominant in contemporary music, movies, fastfoods, and the wide use of English. Foreign ethnic groups includes Koreans, currently estimated to be the biggest group, followed by the Americans, Japanese, British, Germans, Australians, and other smaller groups of Asians and Western Europeans.


Main article: Cebuano literature


Cebuano is the indigenous language of Cebu. It is also spoken in most parts of Central and Southern Philippine Islands, including Bohol, western Leyte, Negros Oriental, the northern and eastern coasts of Mindanao, and parts of Bukidnon, Agusan, Surigao, Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur. Differences exist but in many of these places the variations are slight.<ref>Resil Mojares, Cebuano Literature: A Survey of Bibliography with Finding List (Cebu City: University of San Carlos, 1975), p. 5.</ref> There are more than 20 million speakers of Cebuano. [1] Cebuanos are conversant in Tagalog, as well as other Visayan languages such Hiligaynon and Waray-Waray.

In the Camotes Islands, a language related to Waray-Waray called Porohanon is spoken. What distinguishes it from Cebuano is that what is normally "y" in Cebuano is "z" in Porohanon. So in Camotes, maazo kaazo (very good) is said instead of maayo kaayo

In Bantayan Island, Bantayan Visayan is spoken. It is closer to Hiligaynon than it is to Cebuano.

Spanish is spoken by its mestizo and Spanish communities. Chinese (Fookien & Mandarin) are spoken by the Chinese Cebuanos. English is also used on education, media, commerce, and the government.


Cebu is predominantly Roman Catholic. Other religious minorities include Protestant churches of Assemblies of God, Word for the World, Iglesia ni Cristo, Jesus Miracle Crusade, Jehovah's Witnesses, God's Kingdom, the Baptists, a Reformed Baptist (, The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints knownly (Mormons) in the Philippines, Taoists, some Muslims, etc.

The patron of Cebu is the Santo Niño de Cebu, the Holy Child Jesus The statue is housed in the country's oldest church, the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. Soon, the patron was changed to the Lady of Guadalupe to conform to canonical practice of having patron saints instead of Jesus Christ himself.

According to historical accounts, the Santo Niño was given by the Portuguese sea captain and explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of the chief of Cebu. That act is depicted in Cebu's largest, most popular and largest cultural event, the Sinulog where street-dancing and loud drum beats preceded by a holy Mass is the main attraction.

Cebu has a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and has several major churches, including the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the San Carlos Church, the Sto. Rosario Parish Church, San Jose-Recoletos Church, Sacred Heart Church, Our Lady of the Rule Parish National Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City etc. as well as several other non-Catholic churches and temples.


In the Census of Population and Housing (Census 2000), Cebu City recorded a total population of 718,821 persons, 56,522 more compared to the 1995 Census of Population (POPCEN) results. Metro Cebu (5 cities) and Cebu Province is estimated to have over 2.5 million inhabitants.


Before the arrival of the Spaniards, Cebu then known as Zubu (or Sugbo) was a trading post, with trade routes to China, Siam, Arabia as well as the nearby Malay islands.

The Magellan Expedition

Main article: Ferdinand Magellan
File:Magellan's voyage EN.svg
One of Magellan's ships circumnavigated the globe, finishing 16 months after the explorer's death.

Losing favor for his plan of reaching the Spice Islands by sailing westward from King Manuel I of Portugal, Portuguese maritime explorer Ferdinand Magellan offered his services to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V of Spain. On September 20, 1519, Magellan led a flotilla of five ships with a crew of 250 out of the Spanish port of San Lucar de Barrameda enroute to the Spice Islands via the Americas and Pacific Ocean.

They reached the Philippine Archipelago on March 17, 1521. Raja Kolambu of Mazzaua in Mindanao told them to head for Cebu, where they could trade and have provisions.

On April 14, 1521, Magellan erected a large wooden cross on the shores of Cebu.

Arriving in Cebu City, Magellan, with Enrique of Malacca as translator, befriended Raja Humabon of Cebu and persuaded the Raja of allegiance to Emperor Charles V of Spain. Later Raja Humabon and his wife were baptized as King Carlos and Queen Juana. The Santo Niño was presented to Cebu's Queen as a symbol of peace between the Spaniards and the Cebuanos. On April 14, Magellan erected a large wooden cross on the shores of Cebu. Afterwards, some 800 native Cebuanos were baptized.

Hoping to make the new Christian King Carlos (Humabon) supreme in the region, Magellan be-friended Humabon and alliances developed between the two people. Magellan soon heard of a tribal ruler named, Lapu-Lapu, in nearby Mactan Island. It was thought that Raja Humabon and Lapu-Lapu have been fighting for control of the flourishing trade in the area.

On April 27, the historic Battle of Mactan occurred where Magellan was killed and his men were driven off the island by the natives of Mactan. According to historian and chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's body was never recovered despite efforts to trade for it with spice and jewels.

Magellan's second-in-command, Juan Sebastián Elcano took his place and sailed the remainder of the fleet back to Spain, circumnavigating the world.

The Spanish Conquest and Colonial Period

Survivors of the Magellan Expedition brought tales of a savage island in the Orient with them when they returned to Spain. Consequently, several follow-up expeditions were sent but all ended in failure.

Forty-four years after Magellan first set foot in Cebu, in 1565, conquistador Miguel López de Legazpi and his 500 armed soldiers together with several Augustinian and Franciscan friars arrived and declared that the Spanish crown succeeded in colonizing the islands. Legazpi and his men then marched through Zugbo and bombarded the palisades of chieftain Rajah Tupas and destroyed the village. He and his men, later rebuilt it and called it Villa del Santíssimo Nombre de Jesús (Village of the Most Holy Name of Jesus). Thus, in 1569, it became the first Spanish settlement established by the Spanish Cortés in the Philippines.

On August 14, 1571, Cebu (Villa del Santíssimo Nombre de Jesús) became a Diocese. Legazpi departed for Manila in 1571, and employed garrisons, a governor and half of his soldiers in Cebu.

In 1860, Cebu opened its ports to foreign trade (Mojares xiv). The first printing house ("Imprenta de Escondrillas y Cia") was established in 1873. In 1880, Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion was established. The first periodical ("El Boletin de Cebu") started publishing in 1886.

See also: Manila Galleon

June 12, 1898 marked the end of the Spanish era and the onset of the American regime. In 1901, Cebu became a municipality and on February 24, 1937 became a chartered city.

World War II

Cebu, being the most densely populated island in the country, served as a vital Japanese base during the Japanese occupation in World War II which began with the landing of the Japanese Imperial Army in April 1942. Almost three years later in March 1945, an American force landed and reoccupied the city.


Industrial Estates / Economic Zones

  • 13 locations

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Mactan Island has regular direct flights to (among others) Hongkong, Singapore, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Doha, Qatar. There are also direct transfer flights via the capital's NAIA that readily connects the city to other destinations in the world.

With the number of weekly international flights to and from MCIA increasing, a new international terminal will be constructed starting 2006 and will be completed in four years

MCIA which has a capacity of 2 million passengers, will in future be purely devoted for domestic use.

Crossing at the Cebu Business Park
Cebu City Business park in Metro Cebu

The Cebu International Port is the biggest and main port of entry in the province of and Central Visayas Region. Its international port is a multipurpose terminal covering an area of 10 hectares.


The city mostly gets its power from an interconnection grid with the Leyte Geothermal Power Plant which also powers majority of the Visayas Islands. There are also coal-fired power plants. Distribution of electricity is provided by the Visayas Electric Company (VECO).

Telecommunication facilities in the city are abundant provided by some of the country's largest telecommunication companies. Connections to the internet are also readily available (e.g. DSL/Broadband Connection).

the Cebu Business Park, a prime business and financial center in Metro Cebu Nearby is the Asiatown Information Technology (IT) Park, another business district that caters mostly to businesses related to the information technology (IT) industry such as software development, telecommunication, call centers, among others.

South of the city is the South Road Properties (SRP) Special Economic Zone, a 330-hectare prime real estate zoned that would house a business district, a tourism zone, and an industrial area patterned after the nearby Mactan Export Processing Zone. Its main thoroughfare is the South Coastal Highway which stretches from downtown Cebu City up to Talisay City down south. A 1.2 kilometer tunnel is currently being constructed at the highway's entrance in Cebu City to connect it with Sergio Osmeña Avenue which traverses the North Reclamation Area connecting with Ouano Avenue at the New Mandaue City.

Mandaue City: Emerging Convention City in Asia

Cebu International Convention Center

This convention center serves as monument of this historical landmark, in recognition of Mandaue’s involvement in the international stage since the beginning of history.

As venue of the 12th ASEAN summit, the city continues to play an important role in international relations, becoming the core of development and strengthening its role as the growth engine of the province of Cebu.

Just ten minutes away to five star resorts and tropical hideaways; five minutes to world class shopping; and surrounded by the best lifestyle destinations of the metropolis.

The city’s seaport can take one to the wonders of the islands and enjoy year-round festivals.

Across the bridge, an international airport can fly you to major destinations in Asia and the rest of the world.


Indicators (2005):

  • Investments (US$ Million) -- 4,983.60
  • Total Exports (US$ Million) -- 2,846.88
  • Total Imports (US$ Million) -- 3,127.16

Major Industries:

  • Electronics / electrical equipment manufacturing, computers, metals and precision instruments, chemicals, industrial parts assembly, food processing, furniture, fashion accessories, gifts, toys and housewares (GTH), garments, stonecraft, shipbuilding, and mining.

Principal Exports:

  • Semi-conductor devices, electronic timepieces, electronic components, wire harness, floppy disk drives, photographic equipment, garments, furniture, camera paraphernalia, car stereos, audio/video equipment, carageenan, fashion accessories, coconut oil, frozen shrimps, vehicle / machinery parts

Financial Systems:

  • 50 Commercial Banks;
  • 27 Rural Banks;
  • 9 Savings Banks;
  • 5 Gov't. Banks;
  • 2 Off-shore Banks

With more than 80% inter-Island shipping based in Cebu and having the most domestic air and sea linkages, Cebu is the most accessible place to all points of the country and a major industrial, commercial, trade, and educational hub right in the strategic center of the archipelago.

Its extensive international port facilities, its accessibility to Asia and the rest of the world has led more than a hundred firms, with multinational companies like Mitsumi, Pentax Corp., Marine Colloids, Fairchild Semiconductor, Tsuneishi Heavy Industries, Muramoto Audio-Visual, Lexmark International, Asahi Optical, Teradyne, NEC Technologies, Timex, Olympus Optical, United Technologies, Maithland-Smith, Taiyo Yuden, and others to set up manufacturing plants on the most successful industrial estates, leading the whole country in exports with growth rates for the past 5 years averaged close to 20% higher than that of the entire nation. Government support and incentives provide a major impetus for its growth.

Cebu's labor force is oriented towards non-agricultural lines and is rated one of the most productive. High domestic and foreign tourist arrivals, strategic central geographic location and accessibility, man and natural resources - all have fueled the robust growth of Cebu with an excellent economic track record and now the fastest growing economy in their country.

Cebu is home to some national and international corporations like Gaisano Group of Companies, Aboitiz Group of Companies, WG&A, Norkis Group of Companies, Bigfoot International, Lexmark Philippines Inc., Lhuillier Jewellers, among others. Its international port (cargo and container) is currently the one of busiest in the country. Homegrown brands in the city have expanded throughout the past years finding a niche in the national and even in the international market like Penshoppe, Oxygen, Loalde, and Island Souvenirs. Other homegrown brands that have expanded outside the city and province include BO's Coffee Club, Julie's Bakeshop, Orange Brutus, among others.

Due to its burgeoning furniture-making industry, Cebu has been hailed as the furniture capital of the country. The Department of Trade and Industry in Cebu is aiming to develop this aspect of Cebu economy by specifically targeting small to medium enterprises or SMEs whose products are considered export-quality.

Cebu is also fast becoming an IT hub as many companies, either local or outsourced, are establishing their headquarters in Cebu. The city has become a site for various U.S. call centers and BPOs. The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an organization comprised of Cebu's businesses, are hedging the city's growth and economy on information and communications technology, with the aim of making it a premier ICT investment, software, and e-services hub in Southeast Asia.

Shipbuilding companies in Cebu have manufactured bulk carriers of up to 70,000 DWT, and double hulled fastcrafts as well.


Educational Center for 2/3 of the country

  • Over 1,000 private and public elementary schools
  • 200 secondary (high) schools
  • 9 universities
  • 29 colleges
  • 10 manpower training centers
  • Average annual population of 130,000 college students.

The elementary school is from grade 1-6. The high school program takes four years to finish; commonly taken after graduating from elementary school. Among the prominent high schools of Cebu are Don Bosco Technology Center or DBTC, University of San Carlos High schools, Cebu City National Science High School, University of the Philippines high school, PAREF - Springdale School, and several private schools that offer high school programs.

On a higher note, Cebu City National Science High School boasts a very strong curriculum concentrating on Mathematics, Science , and Technology. It has a reputation for producing exceptional and globally competent graduates.

Cebu is the main educational hub in central and southern regions of the country. It has nine large universities each with a number of campus branches throughout the metro, and more than a dozen other schools and colleges specializing in various courses such as Medicine, Engineering, Nautical courses, Nursing, Law, Computer and IT, etc.

The most prominent of these universities are the University of San Carlos (USC) University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) and the University of the Philippines Cebu (U.P. Cebu). USC is often regarded as the country's oldest educational institution and is located in four campuses within the Cebu City. On the other hand, U.P. Cebu is a branch of the renowned University of the Philippines System.

The first university in Cebu is the University of the Visayas. It is located along Colon Street, the oldest street in the country. UV has many satellite campuses scattered strategically in the whole province. Its schoolpaper, called The Visayanian, has produced many excellent writers. The chief editors of two of Cebu's biggest newspapers were once writers of TV.

Its newest university, Cebu Doctors' University (formerly Cebu Doctors' College) was elevated to university status on November 2004. It is the first and only medical university in the country and is currently constructing a nine-storey main building at the Cebu Boardwalk in nearby Mandaue City.

Among foreign students in Cebu are Iranians, Nepalese, Thais and Koreans.


Media Facilities:

  • 7 local television channels
  • 3 cable TV stations
  • 20 FM & 13 AM radio stations
  • A variety of local, national and international papers

Cebu has 3 local networks including the dominant ABS-CBN Channel 3, GMA Channel 7, Cebu Television Channel 28, Real Cebu Television (RCTV 36), and the Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN 47), a religious station partly owned and endorsed by the Archdiocese of Cebu. Channel 28 and 36 are only seen on cable television and CCTN operates a UHF frequency on channel 47 on free TV and channel 56 on cable.

While national newspapers have presence in the island, Cebu has three English-language local newspapers: The Freeman, SunStar Cebu and Cebu Daily News whilst there are also Cebuano-language newspapers, SunStar SuperBalita owned by Sun Star and Banat News owned by the Freeman. As of 2005, each of the local dailies sell for P10 a copy, which is much cheaper than their national counterparts.


Some Congressmen of the Province of Cebu have proposed to divide the province into 4 new provinces..

  • Congressman Simeon Kintanar has proposed to create a province called as Cebu Del Sur which shall comprise the 2nd district of Cebu with Argao as the capital.
  • Congressman Antonio Yapha has also proposed to create a province called as Cebu Occidental which shall comprise the 3rd district of Cebu with Toledo City as the capital.
  • Congresswoman Clavel Asas-Martinez has also proposed to create a province called as Cebu Del Norte which shall comprise the 4th district of Cebu with Bogo City as the capital.

Cebu is currently subdivided into 9 cities and 44municipalities.




Fort san pedro.JPG

* Magellan Shrine

Magellan Shrine Cebucation.JPG

* Lapu Lapu Shrine

Lapu lapu shrine cebucation.JPG

* Capitol Building

* Cebu International Convention Center

* Marcelo Fernan Bridge

* Taoist Temple


  • Sinulog. The Sinulog festival is Cebu's biggest and most popular festival. It is celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January. The feast is in honor of the holy image Señor Santo Niño de Cebú. Fiesta Señor, as it widely known, is the most celebrated among Cebu's festivals where people converge along the route of a grand solemn procession and partake in the gaiety amidst a mardigras parade immersed in vivid colors and the constant drums of the Pit Señor.

Unique and exotic, dance steps are accompanied by a different beat, played by a brass instead of the usual drum and bugle. This makes up a one-of-a-kind festivity that entices and seduces the crowd to gather and witness one of the most anticipated celebration in the City of Mandaue, the Mantawi Festival.

In April 7, 1521, Magellan first sighted the island of Sugbo in search for food and supplies for his vessels’ voyage back to Spain. Mandaue at that time was called “Mantawi” - derived from a vine that grew abundantly in the coves of the area. This community with abundant vines has even been mentioned by Antonio Pigafetta as a flourishing settlement nearest to Sebu under the leadership of Datu Lambuzzan.

  • Paskuhan. A Christmas celebration of songs and lantern making held during the month of December spread good cheers to local residents and visitors alike.
  • Kadaugan sa Mactan. A one day re-enactment - held at the Mactan shrine - celebrated with much pomp and pageantry every 27th of April to commemorate the historic Battle of Mactan between the forces of Lapulapu and Magellan.
  • Virgin of the Rule Fiesta. Held to honor the patroness of Opon on November 20-21, this religious and social event reveals the deep religious faith of the people and the penchant for merry making. A food fair, a procession and a coronation of the Fiesta Queen highlight the festivity.
  • Semana Santa sa Bantayan.

A unique mixture of solemn religious rites and local celebration highlights the Holy Week activities in Bantayan Island. The normally quiet island is visited by relatives and friends of the residents, as well as tourists to experience the scenic rites and to cool off the summer heat in the beautiful white sandy beaches and clear tropical waters.

  • Fiesta sa Carcar. Is celebrated on November 24-25 in honor of the town's patron, St. Catherine of Alexandria. Carcar town is noted for its old Spanish style houses in the quiet countryside setting. During fiestas, the residents would invite friends, relatives and town visitors into their homes to taste popular local delicacies. A lively and enjoyable event.
  • Nuestra Señora de Regla Fiesta. Lapulapu City - Held to honor the patroness of Opon on November 20-21, this religious and social event reveals faith of the people and the penchant for merry making. A food fair, carnival, procession and a coronation of the Fiesta Queen highlight the festivity.
  • Tagbo. Poro, Cebu - Celebrated every January in honor of Patron Santo Niño de Poro. Beloved memoir of a living past, Tagbo is the cornerstone from which this great municipality has sprung. Rich in cultural heritage and deep in spiritual values, Tagbo is a very significant event preluding the birth of a town every dear to the hearts of her sons and daughters.
  • Sanayon. Agro-tourism festival in the southern towns of the second district about 100 km from the city. A month-long activity to spread out tourism to the coutryside.
  • Tres de Abril Celebration. Celebrated every 3rd of April in commemoration of the Spanish resistance in the south. This historic battle under Leon Kilat's leadership gave Cebu the glory of being the first major island outside Luzon to oppose Spanish dominance.
  • Siloy Festival. Celebrated every August 26 in the town of Alcoy.
  • Haladaya Festival. Celebrated during the summer in the town of Daanbatayan (see Datu Daya).
  • Bakasi-Dinagat Festival. Celebrated in the town of Cordova.

See also


<references />

External links

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