Cebu City is the capital of the province of Cebu in the Philippines and is the second most important metropolitan center in the country. The city lies on the eastern shore of the island of Cebu and is the oldest city in the country, even older than the nation's capital, Manila. Cebu is one of the main hubs of international flight into the country and is the most important center of commerce, trade, and industry in the Visayas and Mindanao parts of the country. It is because of this and other important aspects that Cebu City was given the monicker Queen City of the South.
Cebu City is part of an informal metropolitan area which includes the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Talisay. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Lapu-Lapu City is only a twenty-minute drive away from Cebu City. To the northeast of the city are Mandaue City and the town of Consolacion , to the west are Toledo City and Balamban , to the south are Talisay City and the town of Minglanilla . Across Mactan Strait to the east is Mactan Island where Lapu-Lapu City is located.
The city is in important cultural center. The city's most famous landmark is Magellan's Cross . This cross, now housed in a chapel, was supposedly planted by Ferdinand Magellan when he arrived in the Philippine Islands in 1521. Cebu City is also host to the popular Sinulog festival, held every third Sunday of January in honor of Santo Niņo, the city's patron saint. The University of San Carlos, the oldest institution of higher education in country is also in the city.The University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City is considered as the oldest school in the country and in Asia. Formerly known as the Colegio de San Ildefonso, it was founded by the Spanish Jesuits on August 1, 1595. This makes the Cebu-based university older than the University of Santo Tomas (1611) in Manila and Harvard University (1636) in the United States.
Cebu, or Sugbu, was already a prosperous settlement before being colonized by Spain. It had trade relations with China and the other countries of Southeast Asia.
On April 7, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. He was welcomed by Rajah Humabon, who together with his wife and about 800 natives, were baptized by the Spaniards on April 14, 1521 and are considered to be the first Filipino Christians. Ferdinand Magellan planted a cross to mark this occasion. The original cross is reputedly still encased in another wooden cross for protection, and housed in a small chapel. This site, known as Magellan's Cross , is one of the major historical landmarks of Cebu City and is located just in front of the present city hall, on Magallanes Street (Magallanes being the Spanish form of Magellan). Magellan, however, failed to successfully claim the Philippines for the crown of Spain, having been slain in neighboring Mactan Island on April 27, 1521 by its chieftain Lapu-lapu.
On April 27, 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, with Augustinian Fr. Andres de Urdaneta , landed in Cebu. Legaspi renamed the city on January 1, 1571, from San Miguel to La Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus. During this six year period, Cebu City was the capital of the newly established Spanish colony.
- Official City Government Website
- Make it Cebu!
- Cebu Artists Gallery
- The Freeman News
- Sunstar Cebu News