CEBU City: Tourist Destinations & Historical Places

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I've always wanted to go to Cebu and after going to Boracay, I promised myself I will definitely go there which eventually happened, praise God. Destiny is on my side and bless me for I managed to book a flight for two at Cebu Pacific Air PISO FARE promo. Am I that giddy when I booked it.

It was our first time in Cebu, with me is my companion Van. There are so many stories to tell with our quick visit at the queen of the south but it was truly memorable and we'll definitely come back. Cebu is like visiting Manila as well. It's like walking at the streets of Recto or Ermita. Old buildings, busy street. I made a mental note to myself that I have to
 learn their dialect.

We started out early so that we can go to different famous places in Cebu. So if you're planning to go to Cebu, here are some of the historical & tourist spots we visited:

Our first stop is Colon Street. There you can see the Colon Marker. Colon street is Philippines' oldest street by the way. It's already 446 years old! The Colon Marker is the obelisk which gives you the end or begining of the street. 

Next stop is the Cebu Heritage Monument. About walking distance from 
the Colon Marker. 

Off we go to the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral house, one of the oldest house in Cebu. We didn't get the chance to get inside though.

Next is Casa Gorordo. Home to the first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo (1862-1934). Walking into this residence, you step back in time and get a view Filipino lifestyle in the period of between 1860 & 1920. Featuring noted paintings, museum relics, a courtyard, antique household items and furniture.

A special project of Don Ramon Aboitiz is the Casa Gorordo Museum, situated in the middle of the Parian district, one of the oldest streets/districts in Cebu. Don Ramon acquired the house in 1980 and turned it into a museum.

Then off to Basilica Del Sto. Nino, we instantly find Basilica Del Sto. Nino. There were a lot of people inside and outside the church. I love the structure of the church. It really made me feel like I was in Spain. 

The church was built by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and Fr. Andres Urdaneta on the site where the image of Santo Niño was found in 1565. The church was however destroyed by fire on November 1, 1568 and was subsequently rebuilt in 1602 under the administration of Juan Albaran and was rehabilitated in 1740.

On May 1965, the church was conferred the title of Basilica Minor del Santo Niño by Cardinal Antonuitte, Papal Legate during the Fourth Centennial celebration of the Christianization of Cebu.

I'm really excited to check out Magellan's cross. One of the place that you should really visit once to get to Cebu. When we got there, I was amazed that it wasn't that big. I was expecting it to be a huge gazebo. 

A little story about Magellan's cross. When Magellan traveled from Spain to the Philippines in 1521, he brought with him in a wooden cross. This cross was planted at a place called Sugbu, now Cebu, to symbolize the colonization of the country on behalf of 
King Philip II of Spain.

To preserve the cross the original has been encased in an outer layer of tindalo wood, mounted on a concrete pedestal, and housed in a tile-roofed kiosk. The roof of the kiosk is adorned with a painting depicting the landing of Magellan in Cebu and the planting of the original cross on the shore.

Fort San Pedro looks exactly like Fort Santiago. he smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the country. Fort San Pedro served as the hub of the Spanish settlement in the Philippines. It has a total inner area of 2,025 sq. meters, with the walls being 20 feet high and 8 feet thick. The tower stands approx 30 feet high from ground level.

Work first started on May 8, 1565 with Miguel Lopez De Legazpi breaking the ground. After the battle of Manila Bay, Commodore George Dewey turned the fort over to the local Cebuanos. It became the American Warwick Barracks during the American Regime, and was later converted into classrooms where Cebuanos could receive a formal education.

During World War II, from 1941 to 1945, it served as fortification for Japanese soldiers. When the battle for liberation was fought, the fort served as an army camp. After 1950, Cebu Garden Club took over and fixed the inner court into a miniature garden. 

For a couple of years it also housed the Cebu City Zoo. In 1978 to August 15, 1993, it housed the offices of Department of Tourism and the Philippine Tourism Authority. At present, it is under the care and administration of the PTA and now houses the National Museum that showcases the San Diego shipwreck & Fort San Pedro diggings.

Lastly, we went to Taoist Temple. This place is so serene. I really enjoyed going here. Preserving the teachings of Lao-Tse, the 600 B.C. Chinese philosopher, the Temple offers a nice break from the hustle and bustle of down town Cebu. 

There are some 81 steps representing the 81 chapters of the Taoism scriptures. On reaching the top you can light joss sticks and have your fortune read. (Note! on a hot and humid day the 81 steps to the top feel like 181, so just take it slowly).

In my opinion one of the best places I have visited here is the Taoist Temple. I fully recommend you visit this place and explore what it has to offer.

Of course, Cebu will never be complete without trying their famous Cebuchon! :) definitely mouth-watering! :) I love its crunchiness and the taste, superb! :)

Indeed, Cebu is a remarkable place. Aside from the historical places, I am truly amazed at how they take pride on our very own Filipino culture. 

Till we meet again Cebu! :)

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