Cebu General Tourist Information

Time and again Cebu City, and the entire province, has been consistently ranked as one of the finest destinations in the world. Highly receptive to tourism and business, its economy has just grown stronger through the years, and progress has made the province a great location to visit and live in.

Location & Geography

Cebu is situated to the east of Negros, on the southeast by Bohol and directly to the west is Leyte. In between Cebu and Bohol is the Bohol Strait, while Tanon Strait lies alongside Negros and Cebu.

Geographically, the island stretches some 149 miles (225 km). The terrain varies widely as there are plenty of hills and plateaus. At the north and south ends are striking mountain ranges, most rising over 3,000 ft.

It should also be mentioned that there more than a hundred small islands surrounding Cebu, a majority of which have become popular with tourists and adventurers. Among them are Bantayan, Mactan and Camotes.


Cebuano is the language not just of the Cebuanos, but also of the people of Bohol. Negros Oriental, and other places like Davao, Zamboanga, and Surigao. There are some differences between the Cebuano spoken in each province, but the similarities are still strong. Most of those living in Cebu are also highly conversant in Tagalo and English.


As the first province to come under heavy control and rule of the Spanish conquistadors, Cebu is predominantly Roman Catholic. Like Manila they have their own Archdiocese and several churches. The Basilica Minore del Santo Nino holds the the statues of the Sto. Nino de Cebu, which, along with the Our Lady of Guadalupe, are the most revered saints in the province.

Other prominent churches are the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Sacred Heart Church, Santo Rosario Parish Church and several others.


The key to the economic success of the province is its infrastructure, which can rival that of any city in the Philippines. In the capital city lies the Cebu Business Park, which is considered as one of the main business and commercial centers in the country.

There is also the South Road Properties Economic Zone, the Mactan Export Processing Zone and the Asiatown Information Technology Park. All three serve as showcase areas for the finest in business and tourism.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is capable of handling flights from all over the world, while the Cebu International Port, covering roughly 10 hectares, is one of the most vital shipping ports in the archipelago.

The telecommunications industry is one of the best, with everything from cable TV, cell phones to broadband Web access widely available. An abundance of coal powered and geothermal power plants ensure the steady flow of electricity in the province.


With a large percentage of shipping done in Cebu, as well as substantial air shipments as well, the entire province has become one of the most vital cogs in the economic growth of the Philippines. Not only are its ports and facilities numerous, but they are world class, leading to the establishment of foreign companies in the area.

Unlike other provinces, the province is more oriented towards industries than agriculture. One of its most well known is the making of furniture, which have grown to an extent that it is recognized as the finest in the country. Information technology, electronics, mining, banking are other businesses flourishing in Cebu.


On March 16, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan and his crew arrived in the capital of Cebu, where they were met by the Raja, the local ruler. In a short while the Spaniards had convinced the Raja to convert to Christianity, and after he and his wife were baptized, the other inhabitants soon followed.

Over forty years later, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came and took over the entire province. For over 300 years the Spanish would rule until 1898, when the Americans came.

During World War II, Cebu suffered greatly, as its large population made it a prime target for the Japanese Imperial Army. It was not until March 1945 that the Philippine and US forces succeeded in driving away the Japanese.

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