Cebu is the gateway to around two-thirds of the Philippine archipelago. It is the primary destination of approximately 35% of the Philippines’ foreign visitors.
Even before the Spanish colonization, Cebu already played a vital role in trade and commerce in Asia because the island has been gifted with a natural harbor. Its channel is deep enough to accommodate the flow of goods through international cargo sea vessels, and the Mactan island serves as protection from winds and current. Cebu is a kaleidoscope of varying cultures and lifestyles, a meeting of east and west, a fusion of things traditional and modern.
All these, plus the convergence of personalities and groups from varying backgrounds give the island a culture and lifestyle that is uniquely Cebu.
N Mactan is an island located a few kilometres from Cebu City in the Philippines. The island is part of Cebu Province and it is divided into Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. The island is separated from Cebu by the Mactan Channel which is crossed by two bridges: the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge.
Being one of the major tourist Islands of Cebu, Mactan Island boasts of a diverse collection of tourist spots and attractions. Being a coral island, Mactan offers some of the best diving, snorkeling, island hopping, jet ski, sailing and cultural activities of any island in the Philippines.
The only aquarium attraction in the Visayas is also located on the island.
Mactan Island provides some of the best Island Hopping Adventures in the entire Philippines. Being a coral island itself, Mactan has many relative close islands in which to hop to. There is vast diversity of islands to choose from, with each one having its own special interest.
On of the cornerstones of the Cebu City experience is island hopping. This area is known for its beautiful, sparkling water and a wealth of opportunities for tourists to enjoy swimming, snorkeling and diving. The Mactan Island seashore offers incredible views with the opportunity to take in a bit of history as well. The area features multiple resorts and waterside activities for families to enjoy. While each island offers a variety of unique experiences, travelers can expect to enjoy dive safaris, fish feeding, dolphin watching and sunset dinners anywhere they stay along the water.
Historical and Religious Sites
Sightseeing in Cebu City is an outdoor experience with sights such as Fort San Pedro, conveniently located on the beautiful seaside. This historical destination is within walking distance of the Basilica Del Santo Nino, making it easy to visit two important sights in Cebu City history at once. The Basilica Del Santo Nino is the oldest 16th century Roman Catholic Church in Cebu City, and its three distinct architectural styles make it a must-see destination for tourists. The Pilgrim Center sits across from the Basilica and offers services to locals and travelers alike.
The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, and is the centre of the Santo Niño Catholic celebrations in the Philippines.
SINULOG is a dance ritual in honor of the miraculous image of the Santo Nino. The dance moves to the sound of the drums and this resembles the current (Sulog) of what was then known as Cebu’s Pahina River. Thus, in Cebuano, they say it’s Sinulog.
More than just the meaning of the word is the significance of the dance. Historians now say that Sinulog, which is of pagan origin, is the link between the country’s pagan past and its Christian present. Let’s trace its history.