Cebu City, 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 City is a significant center of commerce, trade and education in the Visayas region.
It is the first Spanish settlement and the oldest city and the first capital of the Philippines. It is considered as the Fount of Christianity in the Far-East. Cebu City is a significant cultural center in the Philippines. The imprint of Spanish and Roman Catholic culture is evident. The city’s most famous landmark is Magellan’s Cross. This cross, now housed in a chapel, is reputed to have been erected by Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão Magalhães) when he arrived in the Philippines in 1521. It was encased in hollow tindalo wood in 1835 upon the order of the Augustinian Bishop Santos Gómez Marañon to prevent devotees from taking it home chip by chip.
A few steps away from Magellan’s Cross is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño (Church of the Holy Child). This is an Augustinian church elevated to the rank of basilica in 1965 during the 400th anniversary celebrations of Christianity in the Philippines, held in Cebu. The church, which was the first to be established in the islands, is built of hewn stone and features the country’s oldest relic, the figure of the Santo Niño de Cebú (Holy Child of Cebu).
Sinulog festival is a religious event celebrated during the island’s cultural festivities. Held every third Sunday of January, it celebrates the festival of the Santo Niño, who was formerly considered to be the patron saint of Cebu. The sinulog is a dance ritual of pre-Hispanic indigenous origin. The dancer moves two steps forward and one step backward to the rhythmic sound of drums. This movement resembles somewhat the current (sulog) of the river. Thus, the Cebuanos called it sinulog.
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.
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.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “Cebu City”, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.