Cebu – Philippine’s Crowning Holiday Destination
An enticing island province in Philippines, Cebu comprises 167 islands and islets. Cebu city serves as the capital of Cebu and it is the oldest city in Philippines. Spreading on an area of 4,943.72 km2, the city is among the most developed provinces in the country. Declared as the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine the city is one of the most important tourist destinations in the region. The city is home to 2,619,362 residents and was founded on August 6, 1569. The history of the city dates back to the 13th century when it was called as Zubu. It has been ruled by HIndus, Buddhists, Animists, Datus. The city was ruled by the Portuguese from 1521. The city also served as major Japanese base during the Second World War. The island gained independence from the colonial rule in 1946. Majority of the locals speak Cebuano, the official language of the city. A growing tourism hub, English is also spoken and understood.
All flights coming to Cebu land at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport as this is the major airport serving domestic as well as international flights. Located on Mactan Isnad, the airport is Philippine’s second busiest airport. Cebu features tropical type of climate and has 2 distinct season – wet season and dry season. The city remains dry for most part of the year except from June to December, when occasional rainfall occurs. The annual average temperature ranges from 24 to 34 °C with very little variation. While May is the hottest month of the year, December is the coolest. Though travellers can visit the city during any time of the year, the drier months from December to May is the peak tourist season. Sinulog celebrated every third Sunday of January, Kabayo Festival in March, Kabanhawan Festival on Easter Sunday, Tartanilla Festival in June and Siloy Festival in August are among the major festivals and events celebrated in the city.
Boasting of a long coastline and temperate weather for most part of the year, Cebu is truly a paradisiacal holiday destination. Start your Cebu city tours from Fort San Pedro, which is the best pace to have a peek into the history of the region. This fort is testimony of the Spanish settlement in the Philippines and was built in 1565. Located very close to the fort is the famous Basilica del Santo Niño, Philippine’s oldest Catholic Church. The beaches of Cebu deserve special mention as they are among the most charming and cleanest beaches in the world. If you are looking for the most exotic and distinctive beaches then visit Sta. Fe Beach in Bantayan Island, Tingko Beach in Alcoy, Santiago White Beach in Camotes Island, Dalaguete Beach Park, Logon Beach in Malapascua Island and Hidden Beach in Aloguinsan. Not only are these beaches beyond the ordinary but also offers wondrous opportunities of snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming and other water sports.
St. Niño Church houses the Magellan’s Cross and the paintings on the ceiling of the chapel are worth sighting. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is another famous church in the city. Heritage of Cebu Monument (a landmark attractions), Colon Street (the oldest street in the country), The Taoist Temple (among the popular tourist spots in the city), Cebu Provincial Capitol Building (one of the most beautifully built provincial Capitol buildings in the country), Cebu IT Park (a popular recreational center) and Mactan Shrine (famous for its 20-meter tall monument of Rajah Lapu-Lapu) are the major attractions one should not miss in Cebu.
Eating and Shopping
The best part of Cebu is that it not only is an island utopia but also is one of the most chic cities in the country. While there are endless numbers of luxurious restaurants, resorts and fine dining places, the city is famed for its street food which is amazingly tasty and incredulously cheap. SuTuKil, Tula , kilaw and Lechon are among the local delicacies that you should sample in Cebu. For those who are not very keen on trying the local dishes, there are many Chinese, Japanese, Continental, Asia, Korean and Italian restaurant that serve wide array of cuisine options. For cheap and yummy street food, go to Larsian near Near Chong Hua Hospital. The city is equally popular for its nightlife as it is for its gastronomical delights. Mango Avenue and Mango Square are the hottest entertainment destinations where most of the clubs and pubs are located.
SM City Cebu, Ayala Mall, Robinson's Mall, Cebu Parkmall, e-Mall, Mango Square and Country Mall are the major shopping malls in the city. If you are looking for shopping destinations beyond the contemporary places then visit Colon Street, Carbon Market and Taboan Public Market which are the local street markets in the city. Dried fishes, dried mangoes, Otap (a local tasty biscuit), Masareal (a local sweet), personalized t Shirts and Lapu-Lapu guitars are some of the major shopping items in Cebu.
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