Places of Interest
Guitar-making is the occupation of the people of Mactan District and Maribago District in Lapulapu City.
Tropical island Cebu is famous not only for its fresh mangoes but its export-quality dried mangoes.
Planted in April 21, 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, it is the spot where the first Christian Filipinos, Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana and about 400 of their followers, were baptized by Fr. Pedro Valderema.
Image of Santo Niño
Considered as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines, the image of the Santo Niño, or Holy Child, was given by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana, among the first Filipinos to be Christianized, as a baptismal gift in 1521. The image survived a great fire in 1565 unscratched. It has since been deemed miraculous and venerated by the Cebuanos as their patron saint.
Basilica Minor del Santo Niño
The church was built by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Father Andres Urdaneta on the site where the image of Santo Niño was found in 1565. The first structure of the church was, however, destroyed by fire on November 1, 1568. It was rebuilt in 1602 under the administration of Juan Albaran and was rehabilitated in 1740. On May 1965, the church was conferred the title of Basilica Minor del Santo Niño by Cardinal Antonuitte, Papal Legate during the Fourth Centennial Celebration of the Christianization of Cebu.
Cebu’s biggest and most popular festival, the Sinulog Festival is a feast in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Santo Niño de Cebu. People converge along the routes of a grand solemn procession and partake in the gaiety amidst a mardi gras parade immersed in wild colors and the constant beating of drums. Fiesta Senyor, as it is widely known, is celebrated every third Sunday of January.
It is a coral island and famous scuba diving and beach site. It is also the site of the Export Processing Zone, which presently employs a 37,118-strong workforce. Mactan Island, located across Mandaue City, encompasses a total land area of 150 hectares.
Malapascua, a term that literally means "Unfortunate Christmas," is a paradise where time stands still. The island is blessed with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. The west coast is especially ideal for swimming and snorkeling. It takes about three hours by land from Cebu City to reach the island, which lies at the northern tip of Cebu and west of Leyte.
About a third of the way up the west coast of Cebu is the sleepy little market town of Moalboal. About five kilometers outside the town, down a dusty track, is Panagsama Beach, which was one of the first places where scuba diving caught on in the Philippines. In the early 1980s, it was one of the most popular and highly regarded diving destinations in Asia, which led to dive resorts having sprung up all along the adjacent coast. From Moalboal, you can dive straight off Panagsama Beach. All you need to do is swim out a few meters and drop down onto a beautiful, sloping wall that descends to 35 meters. Panagsama Beach is home to an extraordinary array of coral, anemones, sponges, and a swarming host of brightly colored reef fish.
Olango Wildlife Sanctuary
Olango Island supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found thus far in the country. Migration of these birds starts from their breeding places in Siberia, Northern China, and Japan. Based on data gathered so far, the birds use Olango as a major refueling station as well as a wintering ground. At Olango, the birds can replenish their fat reserves by feeding on the rich supplies of invertebrates in the intertidal mudflats. These fat reserves fuel the birds on the next lap of their journey, which may cover from 3,000 to 15,000 kilometers of nonstop flight.
Magellan’s Cross (Magallanes St., Cebu City)
Planted in April 21, 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan; spot where the first Christian Filipinos, Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana and about 400 followers, were baptized by Fr. Pedro Valderema. In 1525 to 1740, the Agustinian priests built an open shrine for the cross but the natives began to take chips from the cross believing it had miraculous power so a kiosk-like structure was built to protect the cross from total destruction. To protect it further, a hallow cross of tinadalo wood was made to encase the original cross which still stands today.
Fort San Pedro (Pier Area, Cebu City)
The smallest, oldest tri-bastion fort in the country. This served as the nucleus of the Spanish settlement in the Philippines. It has a total inside area of 2,025 sq. meters. The walls are 20 feet high, 8 feet thick, and the tower is 30 feet high from the ground. Work was first started on May 8, 1565 with Miguel Lopez De Legazpi breaking the ground. After the battle of Manila Bay, Commodore George Dewey turned the fort to the local Cebuanos, and then it became the American Warwick Barracks during the American Regime, which was later converted into classrooms where the Cebuanos received formal education.
During World War II, from 1941 to 1945, it served as fortification for Japanese soldiers. When the battle for liberation was fought, the fort served as an army camp. After 1950, Cebu Garden Club took over and fixed the inner court into a miniature garden. For a couple of years it also housed the Cebu City Zoo. In 1978 to August 15, 1993, it housed the offices of Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority. At present, it is under the care and administration of the PTA and now houses the National Museum that showcases the San Diego shipwreck & Fort San Pedro diggings.
Heritage of Cebu Monument (Colon St., Cebu City)
Located in the original Plaza Parain, it showcases the significant and symbolic events in the history of Cebu from the time of Rajah Humabon to the recent beatification of Cebuano martyr Pedro Calunsod. The monumental sculptural tableau is the work of national artist Edgardo Castrillo. Construction began on July 1997 and it was inaugurated on Dec. 8, 2000.
Magellan Marker (Punta Engaño, Lapulapu City)
Inspired by his success in Christianizing the people of Cebu, Magellan crossed the channel to Mactan Island in an effort to spread the faith. Before he reached the shore, he was killed by island chieftain Lapulapu and his men during the battle for supremacy and freedom on April 27, 1521. Efforts to retrieve the body of Magellan were futile inspite of the offer to trade jewelries and spices for the dead body. This marker was erected in 1866 to mark the spot where the great explorer died.
The oldest street in the Philippines was built by the Spaniards in the time of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Named after Christopher Columbus, it is the heart of downtown Cebu, a glittering area by night lined with moviehouses, restaurants, department stores, and other business establishments. An obelisk detailing its historical significance was constructed on its northern end.
Lapulapu Monument (Punta Engaño, Lapulapu City)
Site where the battle between Mactan Island Chieftain Lapulapu and the foreign aggressor Ferdinand Magellan occured in April 27, 1521. It depicts the hero holding a bolo in one hand and a pestle on the other. Said weapons were believed to have been used during his combat with Magellan. This monument stands as a reminder of Filipino bravery.
University of San Carlos (P. del Rosario St., Cebu City)
The oldest school in the country established in 1565. This was formerly called Colegio de San lldefonso, established by the Jesuits.
Capitol Building (Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City)
The seat of the Provincial government, is of pre-war vintage, and has the undulating mountains of Cebu for its background. Majestic and imposing, its high dome can be seen along Osmeña Boulevard. A replica of the United States' White House. One of the many beautiful capitol buildings in the country, constructed in 1937 under the administration of Governor Sotero Cabahug.
Casa Gorordo Museum (35 Lopez Jaena St., Cebu City)
Home of the first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo (1862-1934). A tour inside this residence is a brief journey into a Filipino lifestyle in a particular period between 1860 & 1920. The place presently features noted paintings, museum relics, a courtyard, antique household items and furniture.
Fort San Pedro National Museum (Legaspi Ext., Cebu City)
Artifacts taken from the old Spanish Galleon known as San Diego within the deep sea of Fortune Island off the coast of Nasugbo, Batangas are on display in this centuries-old fort. Artifacts excavated within Forts San Pedro's premises are also on display. The Museum used to house the offices of the Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority.
University of San Carlos Museum (P. del Rosario St., Cebu City)
A product of years of research activities of the Anthropological Department’s faculty in Central and Southern Philippines, it has four galleries: Spanish Colonial, Ethnographic, Archeological, and Natural Science.
The Southwestern University Museum (Urgello Private Road, Cebu City)
Holds the extensive collection of Lydia Aznar Alfonso reflecting the flourishing trade, lifestyle, and culture of the port city Cebu in pre-historic times. Exhibits of excavated gold, trade beads, coins, iron-age potteries, rare trade wares of porcelain from China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, including Ming, Celadon, and other China trade jars, as was Ban Chieng, Haripunchai pottery, and gold teeth peggings were excavated in the areas of Cebu, and the Visayas and Mindanao. The museum also displays heirloom jewelry, santoses, and church carvings and other church accessories.
Julian Jumalon's Butterfly Sanctuary and Art Gallery (20-D Macopa St., Basak, Pardo, Cebu City)
The country's oldest butterfly collection and Butterfly Sanctuary with live immature- and adult-stage local butterflies in their natural settings. It also houses the Lepido Mosaic Art collection, so called because it utilizes butterfly wings as its medium. Beautiful and intricate samples of these artworks can be seen at the PROF. JULIAN JAMALON residence.
Rizal Museum and Library (Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City)
Located within Cebu City Library along Osmeña Boulevard, it showcases a collection of antiques donated by famous and rich Cebuano families. Also on display is a collection of artworks of the Cebuano painters and artists. Its upper floor is utilized as a performing arts hall for concert and theatre productions by Cebu talents. On the ground floor is the Rizal Memorial Library which keeps some important books on Cebuano history and culture.
Arcenas Antique Collection
Spanish period furniture and "santoses", jewelries, pottery, porcelain wares are on display at Dr. and Mrs. Ramon Arcenas’ residence located at Banawa, Cebu City.
Rose Ong Orchid Collection
So beautiful and varied, the biggest orchid collection in the province.
Aznar-Alfonso Antique Collection
Owned by Dr. Lydia-Aznar Alfonso, the antique collection is of much younger vintage. Pieces of lovely period furniture, a very wide collection of jewelry, “santoses” as well as authentic “grave goods” from various archaeological diggings in the island of Mactan and Cebu helped enrich Dr. Alfonso’s beautiful collection.
Pres. Sergio Osmeña Memorabilia & Cap Art Gallery (60 Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City)
Contains an estimated 500 personal belongings and documents worthy of remembrance of the Grand Old Man of Cebu, made possible by various donations of generous friends and relatives of the former president.
Contains the memorabilia of Dr. Jose Rizal given by his sister to the University of Southern Philippines Museum.
Sala Piano Museum (415 Gorordo Avenue, Lahug, Cebu City)
Houses the Ingrid Sala Sta. Maria Miniature Piano Collection donated to the family foundation in January 1990. A unique collection of hundreds of pianos of varying sizes and shapes. Venue to classical concerts and houses a music foundation.
Mactan Island (across Mandaue City)
A coral island and famous scuba diving site, where beach resorts of international standards are located. Also the site of the Export Processing Zone, with 102 companies in operation, employing 37,118 people. Land area – 150 ha.
Malapascua Island (across the northernmost tip of Cebu)
It was on Christmas day when the Spaniards reached the island. According to townfolks, it was supposed to be a special day of celebration but unfortunately a storm hit the island and so came the name “Malapacual”, Malas sa Pasko, which means “Unfortunate Christmas” in English. Malapascua is sometimes referred to as “Logon”, the main community in the south. “Logon” got its name when the Japanese and Americans fought over the island during WWII. The island is 3 km. long and 1 km. wide, with a population of about 3,000. It has white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. The west coast is ideal for swimming and snorkeling but one should be careful because of unpredictable weather. A walk or tour on the whole island can be done within half a day.
Camotes Island (north of Cebu, across Danao City)
The island is composed of 4 towns: Poro, San Francisco, Tudela, and Pilar. To cross the island, one has to go to Danao City, an hour away from Cebu City, or take a fastferry. There are two boats which travel to and from the island and Danao City everyday. One fastcraft travels from Cebu City.
Kawasan Falls (Matutinao, Badian)
One can feel the surrounding lush greenery of the panoramic waterfalls.
Badian Island 97 km. southwest of Cebu City
Famous for beautiful corals, reefs, and white sandy beaches, making it an excellent diving spot.
Olango Wildlife Sanctuary
Olango Island supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found so far in the country. Migration starts from the birds’ breeding places of in Siberia, Northern China, and Japan. Based in data gathering so far, the birds use Olango as a major refueling station as well as a wintering ground. At Olango, the birds can replenish their fat reverses by feeding on rich supplies of invertebrates in the intertidal mudflats. These fat reserves must fuel the birds on the next lap of their journey which may cover from 3,000 to 15,000 km. of nonstop flight.
Moalboal 89 km. southwest of Cebu City
Offers white sandy beaches and rich marine life for scuba diving. Notable as an excellent diving area is the water around Pescador Island.
Nonoc Cave (Borbon). 83 km. north of Cebu City
Very picturesque view, shelter for picnic goers and bathers.
Mactan Island (across Mandaue City)
Famous for its beach resorts of international standards and excellent diving, its proximity to Cebu makes it a prime destination for local and foreign travelers. It is also the site of the Export Processing Zone, with over 100 companies in operation, employing close to 40,000 people.
Basilica Minor del Santo Niño
This church was built by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Fr. Andres Urdaneta on the site where the image of Santo Niño was found in 1565. The first structure of the church was however destroyed by fire on November 1, 1568. It was rebuilt in 1602 under the administration of Juan Albaran and was rehabilitated in 1740. On May 1965, the church was conferred the title of Basilica Minor del Santo Niño by Cardinal Antonuitte, Papal Legate during the Fourth Centennial celebration of the Christianization of Cebu.
Image of Santo Niño
Considered as the oldest religious relic in the Philippines. It was on April 21, 1521 that Magellan gave the image to Queen Juana as a baptismal gift. Forty-four years later, on Apri1 27, 1565, when Miguel Lopez de Legaspi arrived in Cebu, Fr. Andres de Urdaneta, who formally Christianized the Cebuanos, found the natives hostile. Legaspi himself besieged the settlement and set the village on fire. It was on one of the burnt houses that Juan Camus, a soldier, found the image of Santo Niño unscratched. Since then the miraculous image has been venerated by the Cebuanos as their Patron Saint. At present, the miraculous image is kept in the Parish Covent, and a replica is adorned with gold and precious stones and enshrined in glass. It is housed in a side altar inside the Basilica Minor del Santo Niño.
Taoist Temple (Beverly Hills, Cebu City)
The temple preserves the teachings of Lao-Tse, the 600 B.C. Chinese philosopher. Everyday people climb its 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures) to light joss sticks and have their fortune read.
A Buddhist Temple, the third Chinese temple on Beverly Hills, located at the right side of the road to the Taoist Temple.
Chapel of the Last Supper
Life-sized carvings of the Lord Jesus and his 12 apostles seated at a long table for the Last Supper. This is the only one of its kind in the country. This treasured relic is found in the Church of Mandaue City that dates back to 1601.
Celestial Garden (Banawa Hills, Cebu City)
Owned and managed by the Tanchan Foundation. Twelve hectares of rolling hills where life-size statues depicting the drama of the Stations of the Cross were built.
Cebu Botanical Garden (Camp Marina, Capitol Hills)
Where plant hobbyists can see a collection of greenery.
Found in the municipality of Liloan, around 18 km. north of Cebu City. Built by the American in 1904.
Built in 1972 at a cost of P65 million. This 864-meter bridge connects the islands of Mactan and Cebu.
A popular hangout during weekends, centuries-old acacia trees dot this park.
Fuente Osmeña Park (Osmeña Blvd., Cebu City)
A lovely circular park with a beautiful fountain in the middle. Named after Cebu’s Grand Old Man, the late President Sergio Osmeña, Sr.
Situated 2,000 above sea level on the cool hills of Busay, it is an excellent sight-seeing spot which offers a breathtaking view of Metro Cebu and the islands of Mactan and Olango. Open kiosks are available for daytime picnics and instant evening parties.
Guitar Factories (Maribago District, Lapulapu City)
One can actually see how guitars are made. It is amazing to note that while guitar-making is the occupation of the people of Mactan District, the raw materials used have to be shipped from Mindanao and nowhere on the island can be found such materials.
Sinulog(every 3rd Sunday of January)
Cebu’s biggest and most popular festival. The feast is in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Santo Niño de Cebu. Fiesta Senyor, as it is widely known, is the most celebrated among Cebu’s festivals, where people converge along the routes of a grand solemn procession and partake in the gaiety amidst a madri gras parade immersed in wild colors and the constant beating of drums.
Pasko sa Sugbo (Cebu City/province-wide)
An annual Christmas celebration by lighting & decorating the main thoroughfare in Cebu, starting from capitol down to Plaza Independencia. Other activities include nightly cultural shows by the different schools, parol, Christmas tree & daygon competition.
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 countryside.
Paskuhan (Cebu City/province-wide)
A Christmas celebration of songs and lantern making held during the month of December to spread good cheer to local residents and visitors alike.
Kadaugan sa Mactan (Lapulapu City)
A one-day re-enactment celebrated with pomp and pageantry every 27th of April to commemorate the historic battle of Mactan between the forces of Lapulapu and Ferdinand Magellan.
Pasko sa Kasakit (Bantayan Island; Holy Thursday & Good Friday)
A religious procession of life-size images of the death and passion of Jesus Christ carried in richly decorated & lighted carrozas.
Tagbo (Poro, Camotes Island, Cebu; every January)
Celebrated in honor of the 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 very dear to the hearts of her sons and daughters.
Cassava Festival (Camotes Island, Cebu)
Held with the aim of creating awareness among the people on the different uses and economic opportunities offered by cultivating cassava.
Carcar Fiesta (Carcal, Cebu; November 24-25)
Celebrated 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.
An annual celebration of Philippine independence held every June 12.
Via Crucis (Banawa Hills, Cebu City)
A Lenten activity where devotees do their penitential procession through the Stations of the Cross built on 12 hectares of rolling hills.
Dinagat Festival (Cordova, Cebu)
The festival is characterized by street dancing & an interpretative dance competition based on the fishing rituals & culture of the Cordovahanons.
Nuestra Señora de Regla Fiesta (Lapulapu City; November 20-21)
Held to honor the patroness of Opon. This religious and social event reveals the deep religious faith of the people and their penchant for merry making. A food fair, carnival, procession, and a coronation of the Fiesta Queen highlight the festivity.
Crocolandia (Biasong, Talisay City)
Situated beside the Mananga River in Talisay, it has for its main attraction a mini-zoo and a botanical garden. It is also equipped with picnic areas, restaurants, refreshment center, souvenir shops, butterfly sanctuary, boat & fishing area, and a library.
Family Park (Nasipit, Talamban, Cebu City)
Nestled in the Nasipit mini-watershed, it provides families with an alternative and wholesome recreation site within the city. This 20-hectare area is nature-friendly. Trees surround the whole complex, the product of a reforestation effort in 1983.
Mountain View Nature's Park (Sitio Garahe, Busay, Cebu City)
Overlooking the city, it is situated near the cool flower gardens of Busay. This park comes with a mini-zoo, accommodations, and canteen.
Alta Vista Golf and Country Club (Aznar Road, Pardo, Cebu City)
Situated in the lower mountains of Pardo, this golf course offers a different and challenging terrain for the avid golfer. The golf course covers 60 hectares for a world-class, par 72, 18-hole course covering 5,670 meters.
Verdemar Golf Club (Barangay Bancasan, San Remigio, Cebu)
Situated near the sea, it also offers sea-side accommodations (Casa del Mar Resort Hotel).
Cebu Country Club Inc.
Situated just a few minutes from the heart of the city, it is the oldest existing golf course in Cebu. The course is spread over an area of 52 hectares of what used to be sugarland in the pre-war days.
Club Filipino Inc. de Cebu
It is an 18 hole golf course covering 59 hectares.
Courtesy: Department of Tourism
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