Viva Cebu!

PauTravels at the Magellan's Cross in Cebu

In continuation of our trip last September 2006 in the island of Bohol, our group of 17 people ferry ourselves to one of the key and most historical cities in the Philippines.  Cebu City is part of now the great metropolitan region of Metro Cebu which lies in the middle section of elongated island province of Cebu.

Cebu (pronounced as ‘Se-boo’) is the center of commerce and trade in the Visayan region of the Philippines and is connected to most domestic airports and some international airports through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.  This makes Cebu as the second major gateway and second most important trade center of the country after Manila.  The Port of Cebu also connects the island to other islands in the country.

Aside from it’s importance in the Philippine economy, Cebu is also very rich in history as it is considered the oldest city in the country.  It marks its existence in history for more than 439 years ago, before the first Spanish expedition came in the islands in 1521 which led to the Philippines’ official discovery, putting it in the map.  The expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan that year has seen a thriving settlement with an organized social structure led by a datu.  And the settlement was already a center of trade by trading Chinese, Japanese, Malays, Indians, Burmese, and Arabs.

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Philippines, How Much Have I Seen of You?

My home country, the Philippines, is an archipelagic nation of 7,107 islands that is situated in the South East Asian region.  It is a tropical country bounded by three bodies of water, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the West Philippine Sea to the west, and the Celebes Sea to the south.  It is basically composed of three island groups: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The country’s population is pegged at 88 Million, 90% o which are Roman Catholics.  A smaller percentage of the population is composed of Muslim Filipinos who generally reside at the southern islands.  The Philippines also has a long history of Spanish colonization, 333 years in total.  This is still evident with Hispanic architecture left.  The Philippines was discovered by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Megallan under the Spanish flag in 1521.  Then it was also under the US Commonwealth rule for 40 years.

The Philippines is also composed of a diverse group of people with hundreds of different dialects though English is a second language.  And each of its 7000+ islands has a distinct characteristic on its own.  And on this journal, I’ll be listing down the different places in this country of mine that I have visited and possibly my experience with Philippine culture.  And I’ll be linking any blog that I’d be writing for each destination.

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