The Other Side of Metropolis Cebu
Known to local and international guests and travellers as the home of the Sinulog Festival, Cebu is more than just the religious Señor Sto. Niño festivities. Called the Queen City of the South, Cebu City is the largest city in the large island in the Visayas region. Catering to international visitors, Cebu has an international airport that welcomes direct flights from Korea, Singapore, Hongkong and Doha Qatar. It is a commercial hub in the Visayas region.
Known for many historical markers and centuries-old churches which are architectural landmarks, Cebu is a tourist destination with breath-taking beach resorts and rich cultural heritage and majestic mountain and sea views. Abundant with mountains, caves, forests, Cebu is also surrounded by water and small islands.
Because of its international frontiers, Cebu is a highly urbanized city of commercial shopping malls, business centers and world-class international hotels. But there’s another face of Cebu that is yet to be discovered and explored by the frequent business travellers and holiday makers. Cebu is opening its doors to various nature-oriented outdoor activities like camping, hiking, river trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and cave hunting. Shying away from the bustling metropolitan activities, the traveller can commune and bask in Mother Nature’s grandeur, within an hour’s reach from the urban center.
Where to Go and What to Do
Cebu is a perfect business and leisure destination, having easy access to numerous white sand beaches a few minutes away from the city. A coral island and a famous scuba diving and beach site is the upscale Mactan Island.
An island on the northern tip is Malapascua Island, with crystal clear, white-sand beaches. The island’s west coast is ideal for snorkelling and swimming. The marine sanctuary of Gato Island spoils divers with wreck dives and occasional sightings of thresher shark off Monad Shoal.
A tour around the island will give the travellers good view of the historic churches and other markers and landmarks, fisher villages and the amazing Kawasan Falls in Badian. Kawasan Falls is found inside the mountain village of Matutinao. It is a peaceful nature-friendly place where one gets to experience the cool cascading waters.
Sumilon Island is another beach lover’s paradise with breath taking natural lagoon with high mangroves, natural caves and pristine lakes. Diving (Sumilon has four dive sites), bird watching, fishing, hiking, trekking and paddling are the activities offered by this seemingly innocent-looking island.
Other places of interest around Cebu are Carcar – with a 17th century church, villadolid watchtowers and caves; Argao – with five beaches and three caves; Dalaguete – with beach resorts, centuries old church, Osmeña Peak; Boljoon – with centuries old churches, Eli (natural barrier against Moro raids and serve as watchtowers), and Oslob – with old Spanish cartel ruins, 1788 church belfry, Spanish-era gazebo and medicinal hot springs.
Some famous Food
Travel to Cebu will not be complete without trying the “Siomai sa Tisa” – siomai is Chinese steamed pork dumpling with the best sauce and ‘halo-halo’ (Filipino iced dessert), lechon or roasted pig and danggit (fried dried small fish).
Local language is Cebuano or Bisaya but most people speak English making communication easy for foreign guests.
Cebu is no longer an Old City. It is now an Adventure Island.