Cebu City, located on the eastern shore of Cebu Island, is the capital city of Cebu Province. It is the Philippines’ second most significant metropolitan center after Manila, the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, and the oldest city in the country. Cebu City is a significant centre of commerce, trade and industry in the Visayas and Mindanao region and one of the most popular destinations in all of the Philippines for foreign tourists.
Aerial View Mactan and Olango Island, Metro Cebu
Cebu City located on the eastern shore of Cebu in the central part of the country. It is the Philippines’ main domestic shipping port and is home to about 80% of the country’s domestic shipping companies. Cebu also holds the second largest international flights in the Philippines and is a significant center of commerce, trade and industry in the Visayas and Mindanao region.
It is one of the most popular destinations in all of the Philippines for foreign tourists. Cebu is a booming metropolitan area with all the conveniences of a modern city. At the same time, it boasts of being a major international gateway to Cebu Province and nearby provinces teeming with natural resources in like white sand beaches (both commercial and untouched), as well as historical sites that reflect its cosmopolitan past: from the birth of Christianity in Asia, to early commercial trade with Mexico and China, to vestiges of the American colonization of the Philippines.
In the 16th century, Cebu City was an area part of the Rajahnate of Cebu with an Islamic, Hindu and Animist populations. On April 7, 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. He was welcomed by Rajah Humabon, the King of Cebu, who together with his wife and about 700 native islanders, were baptized by the Spaniards on April 14, 1521. Magellan, however, failed to successfully claim the Philippines for the crown of Spain, having been killed by Datu Lapu-Lapu, a Muslim king in Mactan Island on April 27, 1521 in the Battle of Mactan.
On April 27, 1565, Spain colonized the area with the arrival of Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, together with Augustinian Friar Andres de Urdaneta, sailing from Mexico, arrived in Cebu. The Spaniards established settlements, trade flourished and renamed the city on January 1, 1571, from San Miguel (Saint Michael) to Villa del SantÃsimo Nombre de Jesus (Village of the Most Holy Name of Jesus). During this six year period of exploration and settlements by the Spaniards, Cebu City was the capital of the Spanish East Indies. In 1898, the city was ceded to the United States after the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War. In 1901, the city was governed by the United States for a brief period, however it attained the status of a charter city in 1936 and was governed independently by Filipino politicians. Following the end of the Japanese occupation in World War II, the city gained independence from colonial rule in 1946.
Language / Dialect
Cebuano is the official language spoken in Cebu and it is also spoken in most areas of the central Philippines. There are about 20,000,000 speakers of Cebuano. Most of its people are conversant in other Philippine languages including Tagalog, as well as other Visayan languages such Hiligaynon, Waray-Waray and other languages. As with the rest of the Philippines, English is widely spoken and understood by most people in Cebu.
The local economy of Cebu City is supported by trade, services, and tourism. Small and medium enterprises play a great role in the economy. It is also home to a number of national and international corporations some of which are homegrown. More than 80% of interisland vessels operating in the country are also based there. Recently, addition of business process outsourcing
(BPO) firms like call centers have contributed much to the growth of the local economy. These and the contributions of nearby cities like Mandaue have made Metro Cebu as the country’s second most important economic center.