I actually have second thoughts about posting this page for I know that I have not captured the beauty of Cebu and I am not giving justice to this "queen city" of the Visayas Region. Both the City and the Province have a lot to offer (beaches, and other tourist destinations) which you will not see here.
Like Leyte, Cebu was also a part of my vacations when I was a child. At that time, there was no direct route from Masbate to Ormoc City, so we had to pass by Cebu and spend a few days in an Aunt's place before proceeding to my grandparents in Ormoc.
I had the opportunity to first revisit Cebu as an adult after spending a week-long vacation with my college classmates in Zamboanga City after our board examination in 1990. We spent a day in Cebu on our way to Ormoc, then to Masbate.
At present, I have returned to the city a few times for official business.
Cebu is a metropolis which, for me, is very much like Manila in several ways. As in the case of Davao and Cagayan de Oro, there aren't much places within the city I found interesting to photograph.
Good thing that being one of the early Spanish settlements, Cebu has historical sites worth visiting. In fact, Cebu or more specifically its neighboring island of Mactan, is known in the world as the place where the great circumnavigator Ferdinand Magellan was killed in what National Geographic regretfully describes as an "inconsequential" (a euphimism for "stupid") battle with the natives. Lapu-lapu, the man who killed Magellan, however, is revered as the first anti-Spanish Filipino hero.
After our short official business in our Regional Office, my officemate, Bong, and I visited the historical sites with the guidance of my good friend, Nonette Babida, who generously showed us around. She brought us to Waterfront Hotel where she was also instrumental in my first visit and gambling at a casino. Having lost a whopping P100-worth of coins (courtesy of Nonette) at the slot machine, I felt like I was already in the league of the gambler Ex-Pres. Erap Estrada and the scoundrel Atong Ang. :)
All photos were taken on March 15-16, 2001. The first picture above shows the structure which houses the Cross that Magellan erected in Cebu and the second is the Lapu-lapu shrine in Mactan. They are Cebu's best known historical landmarks.
|This is the obelisk marker at the end (or entry point, depending on where you're coming from) of Colon Street in downtown Cebu. The marker says that Colon is the first-ever street in the Philippines and was constructed (or named?) in the 16th century when the Spaniards arrived. Manileņos will find Colon as a mix of Aurora Boulevard in Quiapo, and Recto Avenue at the University Belt. It's an activity and transport hub.|
|Fort San Pedro near the Cebu City port area. It is a smaller version of Fort Santiago in Manila, and was built for the same purpose by the Spaniards.|
|Inside Fort San Pedro. Just a "proof" shot to show that I got to see the inside of the fort.|
|Posing with the famous Lapu-lapu. I'm not very good in history, but I just wondered as I'm writing this, if Lapu-lapu himself killed Magellan or if it was one of his men who was responsible. What if Lapu-lapu was like the egoistic Douglas McArthur who took all the credit for his generals' successes? The most logical explanation I could think of is that, being the leader, Lapu-lapu was the only local warrior whose name was known to historians then. Please correct me, if I'm wrong.|
|The marker commemorating the battle of Mactan. The painting in the background depicts the battle between Magellan's and Lapu-lapu's men. On a lighter note, a local fish is also named after Lapu-lapu -- which gives you an idea of the strange ways Filipinos show appreciation to their heroes. :)|
|This is another monument at the back of the Lapu-lapu shrine. There were names of Spanish royalties in this structure but I honestly don't know what it is for. My companions were also clueless. I just liked this shot, is all.|
|Near the shrine, there is a marketplace where you could buy fresh seafoods and have them cooked in nearby restaurants. The cooking is superb and fast, but surprisingly, not cheap either. The day before, Nonette took us to a restaurant in Country Mall where the food was also excellent. Clockwise in this picture are Bong, Ferdie, Nonette, Josie, and her sister.|
|At the background is the Magellan's Cross, which is Cebu's main historical piece. According to historians, Magellan erected a wooden cross when he landed in Cebu to symbolize the coming of Christianity to these islands. The original cross is encased in this outer casing which is what's visible to visitors. The ceiling shows paintings depicting the historical event.|
|This is a new structure outside the Sto. Niņo Basilica because it wasn't there in 1990 when I last visited the place. It was very ideal for an outdoor mass and there were elevated bleachers on both sides of the open square fronting it. This is what they call the Sto. Niņo Shrine, I guess.|
|I just took a fancy to these uniformly dressed women amid colorful balloons. Couldn't quite decide if they were religious devotees or vendors. What were those pouches on their hips for if they went there to pray?|
|Another "proof" shot. At the background is the Basilica's facade and the people hearing mass being celebrated in the open at the Sto. Niņo Shrine.|
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