Just a few of the reasons to make Cebu a part of your summer destination:
Magellan’s Cross – located along Magallanes St., this marks the spot where Philippine discoverer Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross after baptizing 800 natives led by Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana. The cross is believed to have healing powers.
Lapu-Lapu Monument – located in Mactan Shrine, this structure was built to pay homage to Lapu-Lapu, the brave Filipino chieftain who first resisted the Spanish rule.
Basilica Minore del Santo Nino – One of the oldest churches in the country, was first built in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fr. Andres De Urdaneta, was rebuilt again in 1620 after a fire destroyed it and rehabilitated in 1740. The church houses the celebrated image of the Santo Nino de Cebu, first given by Magellan in 1521 after her baptism.
Fort San Pedro – Located in the Pier Area, this fort was formerly a Spanish settlement and sheltered Filipino revolutionaries during the war. It has a museum that displays artifacts recovered from a sunken Spanish galleon.
Colon Street – It is Cebu’s oldest street and is home to a number of stores, malls, cinemas, restos and other shops, making it truly downtown
TOPS – Cebu’s highest point. It is a privately-maintained place which offers a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline as well as that of adjoining island. Best to go here before sunset. Entrance fee of P100.
Restaurants galore – From Italian to Continental to pan-Asian, Cebu has all sorts of cuisine to excite the palate. But a must-try are the sutukil restos near Mactan where the freshest seafoods are either grilled, turned into a warm broth or simply eaten raw.
Museums, museums – the Casa Gorordo Museum in Cebu’s downtown area houses a number of interesting Spanish era paintings and relics, while the President Osmena Memorabilia and CAP Art Gallery ontains the personal belongings and documents of the late former president
College/ University Town – The University of San Carlos is reputed to be one of the country’s oldest schools and there are many others known for their high quality of education.
White Sand Beaches – The adjoining islands and towns of Mactan, Malapascua, Bantayan, Camotes, Argao, Badian, Barili, Carmen, Compostela, Consolacion, Dalaguete, danao, Liloan, Moalboal, Oslob, San Fernando, Santander and Talisay are just some of the places which pride themselves of their excellent beaches
First-Class Hotels & Resorts – Shangri-La, Plantation Bay, Marriott, Marco Polo, and Waterfront hotels are just some of the first-class ones you can find here
Big shopping malls – Check out offerings in the usual big malls like SM, Robinsons, Ayala Center and the region’s own, Metro Gaisano
World-Class Dive Sites – Cebu is a diving mecca and among places to check out are Moalboal, Mactan, Badian island, Sumilon, Oslob, Sogod and other exotic islets
Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary – A must-see for nature enthusiasts that’s all of 920 hectares. There are a total of 77 species of migratory birds who stop here before taking off for their breeding grounds in Australia, China, Japan, Siberia and New Zealand.
Orchid Farm – Found in Moalboal, showcases over 200,000 kinds of orchids, including rare varieties from Asia, South America and Hawaii.
Butterfly Haven – Lush botanical garden of artist-lepidopterist JN Jumalon in Basak, Pardo Cebu City. Aside from showcasing 50 different butterfly and moth species, it also has an art gallery that displays the country’s oldest butterfly collection.
Furnitures and Handicrafts – Cebu is the country’s top exporter of furniture made from bamboo, rattan, stone and other materials. It also produces handicrafts like abaca bags, capiz lamps, hand-woven cloth and native jewelry. Tourists can check out the selections in various shops in Colon St. and Carbon Market.
Guitars – The province, notably Maribago district, is world-renowned for its guitar-making industry. It produces not only colorful, high quality guitars but also ukuleles, banjos, mandolins and other string instruments
Antiques and Old Things – The province is replete with relics and items from the pre-Hispanic, Hispanic era and should be on the must-visit of avid anticque collectors.
Native Delicacies – some of the yummy treats offered by the province: dried mango preserves, sugar-coated biscuits or otap, dried fish or danggit, Cebu lechon (without the gravy, but still tasty), Cebu longganiza or chorizo, chicharon (pork crackling) and fresh fruits, like mangoes. Pasalubong/ souvenir food shops abound.
(Paraphrased from the travel guide of theDepartment of Tourism, Philippine Convention & Visitors Corp.)