Dubbed as the “Queen City of South,” Cebu City has captured the hearts of millions of tourists all over the world. The beautiful 196-kilometer long island is at the forefront of the country’s sustainable tourism movement.
As a first-class city and the most populous city in Visayas, Cebu is undoubtedly an economic powerhouse in the region. Because of its great establishments and developments, Cebu is also known as the “second city” of the country after Manila. It also boasts a rich cultural heritage, world-class white sand beaches, and many more.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should explore the Queen City of the South:
Centuries-Worth of Heritage Sites
When in Cebu City, you must experience the centuries-worth heritage of the city. As the Philippines’ oldest city, Cebu City holds a significant value for the country’s entire history. From ancestral houses, heritage monuments, museums, temples, and many more, there is no running out of heritage sites to visit in the place.
One of the most famous historical landmarks is the Magellan’s Cross. It bears the beginning of the Spanish colonization in the country, with Ferdinand Magellan’s arrival in Mactan, Cebu in 1521. You can also visit the Museo Sugbo, which showcases the city’s local heritage through its galleries.
Soul-fulfilling Religious Sites
As the pinnacle of Roman Catholicism in the Philippines, Cebu City houses some of the oldest churches in the country. For your Visita Iglesia, you can visit churches in Cebu with centuries-worth of history.
The Santo Niño Basilica Church in Cebu City is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. The church’s location is where Santo Niño de Cebu’s image was discovered during Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s expedition.
Jaw-dropping Beaches and Water Attractions
Photo: Sumilon Island White Sand Bar
Of course, we can’t talk about Cebu without its pristine water attractions and beach paradise. From white sand beaches, tiny islands, to one-of-a-kind waterfalls, you enjoy a refreshing dip across Cebu. To get the most out of these tropical delights, you’ll have to travel at least an hour or two from the main city.
The infamous white beaches in the north are Bantayan Island and Sumilon Island and in the south is the Moalboal resort town. Here, you can find great diving sites where you can experience the island’s rich marine life.
Island Hopping Opportunities
Photo: Malapascua Island
From Cebu City, the province has around 167 islands and islets. With its many beautiful islands, you can’t miss a great island hopping opportunity when visiting here. Some of the most popular islands for island hopping tours are the Olango Island Group in Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Camotes, Sumilon, and Pescador Islands.
Photo: Kawasan Falls
Looking for some thrill? Extreme adventure awaits when visiting Cebu. In the heart of the city, you can find facilities offering ziplines and rope course activities. Meanwhile, some of the best places for extreme activities are only an hour or two away from the main city.
Heading south, you can enjoy the Kawasan canyoneering activity, which is one of the most sought-after by adrenaline-junkie tourists. Kawasan offers various extreme adventures from canyoneering, trekking, rappelling, rock climbing, and waterfall jumping. Furthermore, it has an enchanting natural backdrop along with its ice-cool turquoise waters.
Just near Kawasan Falls, you can climb Osmeña Peak and enjoy the panoramic view of the island’s rock formations. Meanwhile, if you want to swim along with the gentle giant Whale Sharks, you can have this once-in-a-lifetime experience in Oslob.
We all love shopping. And when on vacation, we can’t forget the pasalubong. From small stores to local markets to high-end malls, there is no running out of places to shop in Cebu City. What’s more, the souvenir items you can buy from these stores are not only unique but also affordable. You’ll surely go home with lots of great memories and beautiful souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones from your trip.
Friendly and Loyal Locals
One of the main reasons why recurring tourists keep going back to Cebu City is because of its people. A tourist would say that the locals of Cebu are one of the friendliest and most hospitable people they have ever met. Plus, they enjoy the company of other people in whatever they do. Thus, you can expect to see big groups of people hanging out and having fun eating, drinking, or singing together.
Experience Cebu City’s Beautiful Nightlife
As the country’s second-largest city, it is only expected that Metro Cebu’s nightlife can compete with that of Manila. The city of Cebu is a hub of vibrant music bars, nightclubs, cocktail and karaoke lounges, and party places. Especially if you’re a party person, you’ll surely have an unforgettable experience with what Metro Cebu’s nightlife has to offer.
Vibrant Feasts and Celebrations
Cebu City is known for its colorful and vibrant feasts and celebrations as a way of their religious devotion. Every year, the Cebuanos celebrate the Sinulog Festival. Sinulog is one of the grandest festivals in the Philippines and is referred to as the “Mother of All Festivals” in the country. Indeed, people across the country and the globe flock to the island to experience its festivities.
Sinulog Festival is held every third of January, as an honor to Santo Niño. The meaning of “Sinulog” is “graceful dance” that started as a dance to represent the “sulog” or current of a river. During the celebration, the feast participants wear colorful costumes and dance to joyous music brought by native gongs, drums, and trumpets.
And last but not the least, the food! Cebuanos are undoubtedly the masters of the kitchen. They take pride in their world-class dishes that will make both your eyes and your stomach hungry. If there’s one food Cebu is known for, it would be their best-tasting juicy lechon. Other famous food are humba, balbacua, ngohiong, sikwate, and more.
Another Cebuano staple is ginabot, which is a crackling made from pig intestines. They also have exotic dishes like the tuslob buwa (pig brains), bakasi (salt-water eels), and lansiao (soup number 5).
Cebu City has many amazing things to offer that will add vibrance to your trip. So what are you waiting for? Adto na sa Cebu! (Let’s go to Cebu!)