The people, the local food, the history, the energy — Cebu never fails to impress!
If you’re planning to visit the Philippines and Cebu isn’t on top of your list, then you might want to make a few changes. Deemed as the Queen City of the South, there is a lot going on in Cebu City. It is the center of trade, commerce and tourism in the Philippines so expect this city to be lively and yes, full of surprises.
From historical sites to pristine beaches and fantastic food, Cebu is definitely a traveler’s haven. Before packing up for your trip, here are some fast facts about the Queen City of the South.
A Growing Metropolis
If you think Cebu is all about the beaches and the so-called island life, you’re absolutely wrong. The busiest city in Visayas and Mindanao, Cebu is bustling and is growing at a rapid pace.
You can find plenty of shopping districts, business parks, adventure parks, and some of the biggest malls in the country. There are also a number of proposed and ongoing infrastructure projects. So, expect major changes in the city in a year or so.
Since the Philippines was colonized by different countries, Cebu has its own story to tell. One look at the Cebu Heritage Monument can give you an idea. This tableau of sculptures feature ships, churches, crosses, and historical figures that exhibit some of the most important events in the history of Cebu.
There’s also the Sto. Niño Basilica, the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country that has an exquisite architecture — beautiful archways, ancient paintings and stained glass windows.
Gorgeous Island Hopping Sites
Surrounded by tiny islands with stunning white beaches and crystal clear waters, Cebu continues to amaze local and foreign tourists. From half-day to full day tours, you can never go wrong with a trip to the beach.
Cebu is the perfect place to treat yourself and your friends to paradise – snorkel in the reefs, fish with the locals and visit some small villages. Cap off the day with a drink or two, laze at the shore and enjoy the glorious sunset.
Speaking of beaches, Cebuanos are absolute beach bums! In fact, Sunday is considered a “beach day” in Cebu. With plenty of stunning beaches and tiny neighboring islands, who could resist taking a dip in the blue waters?
If you want to spend a quiet day at the beach on weekends, think again. Cebuanos go in big groups so expect a massive crowd on your trip to the nearest beach.
Sunday is Lechon Day
Sunday is not only beach day in Cebu but also “lechon day.” Lechon is a roasted suckling pig which is very popular in the Philippines. You can find various lechon kiosks across the city on Sundays.
Now every Filipino knows that Cebu has the best-tasting lechon. Even Anthony Bourdain, a world famous tv host, commended Cebu for having the tastiest lechon in the Philippines. To top it off, he even called it the best pork dish ever.
The Sinulog Festival
A month-long celebration, the Sinulog Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January. Cebuanos look forward to it every year. In fact, some of the locals are actually more excited about Sinulog than New Year’s celebration.
Come January and you’ll see the excitement growing everywhere. The streets are decorated with colorful signs and other paraphernalia. Some vendors start selling Sinulog t-shirts. You can even hear Sinulog music played in various malls.
Affordable Scuba Diving
Have you been wanting to get an open water certification? Come to Cebu and take a scuba diving course! The Philippines provides some of the most affordable diving excursions in the world and Cebu is just the perfect place to start. The Nalusuan and Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary are two of the best diving destinations where you can spot mandarin fish, bizarre sea sponge and other colorful sea creatures.
Oozing with excitement in every corner, Cebu continues to be a sought-after tourist destination. What we have in this list are just the tip of the iceberg as there are still lots of interesting and exciting things in the Queen City of the South. Before you get to indulge on local food and relax by the beach, feast your eyes on numerous natural and man-made wonders Cebu has to offer.