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September 08, 2011

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Cebu, an island in the Pacific


Being a native of Cebu, i couldn't resist showing you a glimpse of my hometown.
Cebu owns a lot of interesting, historical features and I will just show you a few places…
You must come and see the rest for yourself.


The mayor holds his office here,
located in downtown Cebu


From time immemorial , this spot has been set aside to commemorate the erection of a cross in Cebu by the expedition of Magellan, when King Humabon of Cebu and his Queen, sons and daughters, together with some 800 of their subjects were baptized by father Pedro Valderrama. This hallowed site was inspired in 1735, by Rev. Juan Albarran, Prior of San Agustin and in 1834 by Rt. Rev. Santos Gomez Maranon, Bishop of Cebu. The image of the Santo Nino found by the expedition of Legaspi in a house near the present site of the Cathedral of Cebu, and is venerated by the faithful in the nearby church of San Augustin.

There were many rumours about this cross. One of the most popular rumors was the growth of this Cross, that thousands of people from all over the island visited this area for pilgrimage. Did the cross really grow? Many locals do believe in this miracle. But to others, the growth of the cross was probably referred to, as parrallel to the growth of christianity. The original tree is hidden underneath the big cross, to prevent the visitors from chipping off a slice of it, as a souvenir for their own healing and for their loved ones. This was one of the miracles affiliated with the cross. Legend has it that when someone took a piece of the cross as a request of his sick parent, his father was immediately healed. Since then, many Filipinos from all over the islands and the world pay homage to the Sto. Nino, the child Jesus. This also explains the presence of many vendors, selling candles ,religious icons or amulets.

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The oldest Church in Cebu was named after the Santo Nino (Saint Child). When Legazpi came back to the philippines, a century later, they noticed that the natives were aloof and were not as receptive to them as their first visit with Magellan. So Legaspi wanted to teach the natives a lesson and they burned the whole village to subjugate the people. In one of those burning houses, a statue of the Sto Nino was found unscathed.This was the statue Magellan gave to Queen Juana, when they embraced Christianity. Our natives gave the Spaniards their gold and jewelries, and in return, the Spaniards gave them their religious icons. From that time on , after discovering the figure after the fire, the statue was proclaimed miraculous.It was also declared as the patron saint of the island of Cebu.

Sto. Nino

"Sinulog" is Cebu's biggest annual religious festival.This festival revolves around the church, a reenactment of it's history, from the pagan times, to the coming of the Spaniards, and the acceptance of Christianity. It is usually held during the third sunday of January, and visited by tourist from all over the world. It is similar to the "mardi gras" of Brazil.


A peso for a dance? Meet our band of Temple Dancers. Give them a peso for a candle, and they will sing and dance for you in a prayer.
Or should I call them professional prayer dancers?


This prayer tradition was handed over from one family generation to another. Only these women knew the secrets behind their power chantings.


After the prayer dance, a candle is lighted up and offere God and all his saints.  You can make your own private prayer or just leave the candles to burn…Religious artifacts, it is not uncommon to see an array of vendors selling religious artifacts and amulets around this area.

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Fort San Pedro in Cebu City is presently, a historical park which houses the National Museum and provides sanctuary for quiet reflection.


Built in 1738 as a defense against pirates, the fort was a stronghold for Filipino freedom fighters in 1898, was a U.S. Army barracks, was a prison camp during the Japanese occupation, as well as a private zoo by Father Tropa, a reknowned Lamplighter.
San Pedro was the name of the ship which brought Legazpi to the Philippines in 1565. This is also the smallest triangular fort in the world.

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Taoist Temple is located in Beverly Hills, Cebu City, an affluent residential subdivision in Cebu.
Once upon a time, the mountains of Beverly was occupied by thieves. An affluent chinese merchant had a dream, the Gods ordered him to built a temple in the mountains, for good joss or luck.To have a share of this luck, many Chinese merchants, as well as Filipinos built their houses around it.

This temple preserves the teaching of Lao-tse the 600 B.C. Chinese Philosopher. A stairway to heaven was built, consisting of 99 steps.
People climbed the steps, as some form of penance and surrender to God, hoping that God will hear out their prayers more.
Visitors may also have their fortune read, after lighting some joss sticks.

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Top of the world? No, I'm just at the top of Cebu. Situated at the highest sea level of Cebu, the tops of cool Busay Hills is an excellent sight seeing spot which offers a breathtaking view of Metro Cebu and the islands of Mactan and Olango. Cottages are available for daytime picnics and instant evening parties. It is a great place to celebrate full moon parties, Only 20 minutes drive from Cebu City's foothill.

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After an easy and accommodating reception in Cebu, Magellan was confident to conquer the rest of the neighboring islands.
Unfortunately, he was received in Mactan by a hostile Sultan chief Lapu-lapu. A bloody battle followed in the island of Mactan,
and 3 weeks later Magellan died in this Island, on this spot in April 27, 1521.

The Lapu-Lapu Monument at Punta Engano on Mactan Island is a testament to this proud chieftain who killed Magellan
and is revered as the country's first leader to resist Spanish colonization, and our first national HERO.

What happened to Lapu-lapu now? We named our national fish, LAPU-LAPU, after him.

And Magellan ? It used to be the most popular hotel in cebu for the last decade.

hahaha, how's that for a cebuano humour? LOL(laugh out loud)

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Well, that was just a brief introduction of Cebu City. Cebu, has no doubt more interesting and beautiful places, but you will need to see that for yourself in person. So what are you waiting for? Do come and visit…