Square: 4,467km2 – Population: 3.979 million (2015)
Cebu is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas (Region VII) and consists of the main island and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government. Cebu City forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with four neighboring cities and eight other local government units. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Mactan Island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines.
Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. During the last decade, it has transformed itself into a global hub for business services – such as data entry, software development and telemarketing. The city has a diversified economy that also includes furniture making, heavy industry, logistics & shipping as well as tourism.
Cebu City, the capital of Cebu, is considered to be the oldest city in the
Philippines. It is also known as the oldest settlement established by the
Spaniards in the country.
Among these historical sites in the area are Magellan’s Cross found in downtown Cebu (a Christian cross planted by the Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu on April 1521), the Lapu-Lapu Shrine (a 20-meter statue found in Mactan erected in honor of Datu Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who killed Magellan), Colon Street (the oldest and the shortest national road in the Philippines) and Fort San Pedro (the oldest military defense structure built by the Spanish and indigenous Cebuano laborers under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi).
Through the years, Cebu has become a modern digital province. The rise of big companies, the trend of technology, and the innovation by the people have helped to make Cebu very progressive. Cebu is now the home for many domestic and international BPOs (Business Process Outsource) companies and small to very large companies that contribute to the progression of the whole island especially Cebu City.
Today, when one speaks of Cebu, it means a dynamic business environment coupled with the natural environment of the province that allows for luxury, pleasure and relaxation. Cebu, as the second city of the Philippines has everything: dynamic businesses and industries, breathtaking natural beauty of ocean and mountains, beautiful resorts and luxury hotels, fun activities and myriad of culinary choices.
Often called the “queen of the south,” Cebu, the country’s oldest city has now become one of the country’s favourite tourist destinations. With a keen choice of historical sights, long stretches of white sand beaches, excellent year-around scuba and water sports action, choice of dining, exciting nightlife and, of course, the famous warm hospitality it’s no surprise that visitor numbers, new hotels and tourist attractions are increasing.
One of the cornerstones of the Cebu City experience is island hopping. This area is known for its beautiful, sparkling water and a wealth of opportunities for tourists to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and diving. The Mactan Island seashore offers incredible views with the opportunity to take in a bit of history as well. The area features multiple resorts and waterside activities for families to enjoy. While each island offers a variety of unique experiences, travelers can expect to enjoy dive safaris, fish feeding, dolphin watching and sunset dinners anywhere they stay along the water.
Sightseeing in Cebu City is an outdoor experience with sights such as Fort San Pedro, conveniently located on the beautiful seaside. This historic destination is within walking distance of the Basilica Del Santo Nino, making it easy to visit two important sights in Cebu City at once. The Basilica Del Santo Nino is the oldest 16th century Roman Catholic Church in Cebu City, and its three distinct architectural styles make it a must-see destination for tourists. The Pilgrim Center sits across from the Basilica and offers services to locals and travelers alike.
The climate of Cebu City presents plenty of opportunities to enjoy unique outdoor adventures. The city is becoming famous for adventure activities including the Sky Experience that allows visitors to experience the thrill of sky walking and zip lining.
Tourists can also experience swimming with whales, sharks and dolphins or picnic and swim in the shadow of the exquisite Tumalog Falls. Getting up close to nature is one of the most exciting parts of the Cebu City experience.
CEBU IS BOOMING
Of the regions of the Philippines, Cebu Island and Mactan Island – serve as the country’s alternate major metropolis. At a time when the prospects for the Philippines growth continue to improve, Cebu is in the lead pack among the regions. The major economic drivers of growth in Cebu in recent years have been tourism and the IT (information technology) sector. Fifty-six percent of Metro Cebu’s total economic output is due to industry with services accounting for an additional 36% and agriculture accounting for 8% of the regions economic output.