Apr 4, 2011 - Cebu    1 Comment

Cebu: A Perfect Holiday Destination

Cebu City is a getaway destination which is about an hour air travel from Manila. It’s found in an island in central Philippines with Cebu City as its capital. The stretched island is thin with a few miniature islands off-shore. Its international airport is located on the flat island of Mactan. An island separated from the main land mass by the narrow Mactan strait. Cebu city is one of the prominent centers for commerce and infrastructure in the Visayas and Mindanao region of the country. Because of this and other key aspects that Cebu City was given the well deserved moniker Queen City of the South.

Shangri-la Mactan

Shangri-la Mactan -- Photo courtesy of seansabado on flickr

For tourists local and foreign, Cebu offers many travel destinations. One primary historical and religious marker is the “Magellan’s Cross” which was named after Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese born explorer who arrived in Cebu in the early 1500s. Pieces of the original cross are believed to be encased in the present spot. Across the street from the downtown marker is the Sto. Niño Basilica. It used to be the only Catholic Basilica in East Asia. The basilica houses the celebrated “Santo Niño” the patron saint of the Cebuanos. Another historical site downtown in Cebu is the Fort San Pedro, the remains of the Spanish military fortification that still stands today as a tourist site.

The Taoist Temple is also a site worth a visit. One can see a vista of the city on top of the hill where the temple resides. Or rent a cab to drop by “The Top” or “Tops”, a small park located at the crest of a mountain where one can spend quality time contemplating or snatch a friend for a drink. During twilight and in hours of darkness one can behold glowing lights from the buildings and houses below.

Food in Cebu is available almost every street corner and it is cheap. The Chinese inspired dimsum, fried meat chops, grilled Q’s, and other well loved cuisine is available almost everywhere. Carbon Market located downtown is the center for local vendors selling assorted goods. Taboan Market is well known for promoting dried fish and Filipino Pasalubong delicacies.

Magellan Cross in Cebu

Magellan Cross in Cebu --Photo courtesy of nucksfan604 on flickr

If you happened to be in Cebu City in January, don’t miss the “Sinulog Festival” — held every third week of January. The celebrations consist of a fabulous procession of the image of the Child Jesus followed by devotees of Sto. Niño. After which, a fluvial procession takes place. There is also a parade of magnificent floats along the main roads of Cebu City followed by local groups in colorful costumes, street dancing and chanting. Sinulog Festival is marked as more than festivity by tourists. This fiesta is the Philippine adaptation of Mardi gras. During the weeklong celebration period, hotel accommodations might be fully booked in Cebu City. It is highly recommended to book way ahead of time if planning to be there.

Marcelo Fernan Bridge

Marcelo Fernan Bridge—Photo courtesy of SparksNPixels on Flickr

The year long attractions of tourist visiting Cebu are its beaches. In fact the island offers a lot within the northern portion and southern part. In Mactan Island (where the airport is located), are several beach side resorts, hotels, bars and restaurants. Mactan Island boasts of world class diving spots to thrill the diving fanatics.

To get to Cebu, ferry boat trips ply the Manila-Cebu route (about 23 hours) at the Port of Manila, if on a leisurely vacation. But getting there fast can be easy by catching any of the airlines that fly almost hourly to Cebu from the Manila Domestic Airport (all airlines except PAL) or the Centennial Terminal (for Philippine Airlines only). Air Plhilippines, Cebu Pacific, PAL (Philippine Airlines), Zest Airways, and PhilExpress are among the airliners that takes one to Cebu fast and economical.

Source: Cebu Tourism website

1 Comment

  • I love Cebu!

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