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About Cebu

'Suroy 'ta sa Cebu' which means 'Come to Cebu' is the customary greeting of the locals. Palms of the two hands held close together against the chest is a greeting that denotes welcome, goodbye, respect, devotion or loyalty to suit the occasion. It is our fervent wish that you may one day experience the warmth of Cebuano hospitality in this fascinating island.

Population: Cebu Province - approx. 2.4 million; Metro Cebu 152,508

Land Area: 508,844 hectares

Religion: Predominately Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim

Currency: The county’s currency is the Philippine Peso (Php/P), divisible into 100 centavos. Notes are in P10, P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1000 denominations, while coins are in denominations of 5, 10 and 25 centavos, and P1, P5 and P10.

Establishments in Cebu do not readily take foreign currency.  However, most foreign currencies can easily be changed at banks, hotels and authorized foreign exchange dealers.  Major foreign credit cards are accepted in various hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants.

Language: Cebuano/Visayan Dialect, Pilipino/Tagalog and English widely understood and used.
English is the medium of instruction used in most colleges and universities in the province.

Industry: Industrial parts assembly, food processing, furniture, stonecraft, garments, fashion accessories, gifts, toys and housewares making, electrical equipment manufacturing, ship building, coal/dolomite mining, gun making Exports: Seafood, mangoes, rice and coconut products, guitars, rattan, buri, bamboo,  stonecraft, rattan and wrought iron furniture products

Climate: Dry month daily temperatures 26- 38 centigrade / 3 Seasons
             Summer/Hot periods is from February - May
             Rainy season is from June  August
             (Being outside the typhoon belt, Cebu is seldom visited by typhoons.)
             Cool periods is from October - February

The province is a long narrow island at the center of the Visayan Islands, 365 miles south of Manila. Cebu City is centrally located in the widest portion of the island at the east coast harbor.

Cebu, Philippines was under Spanish rule for three centuries. After discovery of the Philippines by Magellan in 1521, the first Spanish settlement was built in Cebu in 1565 by Mexico's Spanish government to colonize the country. Cebu also has the oldest school in the country, the University of San Carlos, and the oldest street, Colon Street, built by the Spaniards.  After centuries as a Spanish colony, a revolution led in part by Emilio Aguinaldo broke out in 1896 in the Philippine Islands and the revolutionary government in June 12, 1898 declared independence, which the United States authorities refused to recognize the new government.  Right after the Spanish- American War, on December 10, 1898, representatives of Spain and the United States signed the Treaty of Peace in Paris wherein Spain sold the Philippine Islands, receiving in exchange $20,000,000. After fighting a savage guerilla war (The Philippine-American War) for two and a half years, the Filipinos suddenly found themselves in a seemingly advantageous position as allies of the United States.  The Japanese then occupied the Philippines during World War II. Shortly after the landing of the Japanese Army in Cebu City on April 10, 1942, the entire province became the principal Japanese base due to its strategic location and substantial population. Cebu finally saw the light of freedom in March 1945 when American liberation forces landed in Talisay town.  Not until after World War II, the government of the United States of America gave the Philippine Islands its independence on July 4, 1946.

Today, the Philippines celebrates its Independence Day on June 12, although its independence was only recognized on July 4, 1946 by the United States. From 1946 to 1961, Independence Day was observed on July 4, but in the name of nationalism, President Diosdado Macapagal, upon the advice of historians, reverted to the June 12 date, which up to that time had been observed as Flag Day.  Philippine historians point out that independence in 1946 came with numerous strings attached. The U.S. retained military bases, and that independence was linked to legislation passed by the U.S. Congress, which was designed to ensure that the Philippines would remain an economic ward of the U.S.

Cebu is the gateway to two thirds of the Philippine archipelago. It is the primary destination of approximately 35% of the Philippines' foreign visitors.  The harbor of Cebu City is an international port with ocean-going vessels and domestic ships and five inter-island shipping companies. Cebu serves as the base for 80 percent of the country’s inter-island shipping capacity in all of its 44 domestic ports. The Cebu-Mactan International Airport is ideally and strategically located that travel time is only 3 to 4 hours to fourteen (14) cities in the Asia Pacific. Mactan-Cebu International Airport is a major trade center in the south for both domestic and international traffic. Its traffic is continually increasing and is now serving 520 commercial flights weekly transporting 7,613 passengers daily.

Cebu has an abundance of beauty. From the central mountains to the coral sands, the island is a natural wonder. Most of the archipelago's 8,120 species of flowering plants can be found in Cebu. 5,832 are unique to the country. Birds migrating from Russia enroute to Australia stop at the Olango Bird Sanctuary. Mountains streams cascade from misty heights to the sea. Colorful butterflies contrast with flocks of noisy birds. Some of the wold's best scuba diving is located around Cebu's shore with magnificent coral formations, spectacular marine life and drop-offs plunging to blue nothingness. There are regular sightings of dolphins and whales in the surrounding seas. The cool highlands are within 30 minutes drive from Metro Cebu. Roadside clumps of giant hibiscus, fragrant plumeria (frangipanni) and delicate orchids brighten the way. Being an important city next to Manila, Cebu today is fast-growing as a vital business as well as a leisure destination.