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Cebu Philippines

The City of Cebu is the oldest in the Philippines. It is one of the most developed provinces in the country, the commercial and educational center of the Visayas area. The official language of Cebu is Cebuano, though its natives are also proficient in English, Tagalog and other Visayan languages. Roman Catholic is predominant, followed by several religious minorities such as Protestant churches, Taoists, Latter-Day Saints, Muslims, etc.

Cebu lies to the east of Negros Island. It also has Leyte in the east and Bohol in the southeast. It is enveloped by the straits of Cebu and Tanon and is located between 9deg25'N and 11deg15'N latitude and between 123deg13'E and 124deg05'E longitude in the center of the archipelago, approximately 365 miles south of Manila. It can be reached in an hour through air travel.

This long narrow island of Cebu stretches 225 km or 140 miles from north to south. It is surrounded by 167 smaller islands like Mactan island, Bantayan, Daanbantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. For the most part, Cebu has rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island.

The native people of Cebu are called Cebuanos. Most descended from Austronesians and some have Spanish and Chinese ancestry. Cebuano culture has preserved strong Hispanic traditions in its native culture. Contemporary muisi, movies, fastfoods and the wide use of English are dominant influences from Americans. Cebu takes pride in being the country;s oldest colonial city. In April 14, 1521, Magellan planted a large wooden cross that commemorates the archipelgo's first encounter with the west. From mainland Cebu, Magellan crossed the channel to the island of Mactan in an effort to spread Christianity. the chieftain of Mactan, Lapu-lapu, together with his warriors, resisted the attempt and killed Magellan as he reached the shore. A monument now marks the historical site.

Cebu has, in recent years, become a model for independent industrial development. It is a busy capital, next to Manila, in comercial activity and cosmopolitanism. Shipping is a chief industry in Cebu. Among other industries in the city are the manufacturing of processed foods, textiles, and chemicals. Cebu is also a world center for production of rattan furniture. it is well known as the guitar producing capital of the Philippines. The guitar-making industry is centered in Maribago and Abuno on Mactan island, where a day's production includes at least a hundred assorted instruments including mandolins, banjos and string basses.

Cebu is well known for its sun-drenched, white sand beaches and year-round tropical climate. In terms of accommodation, a good range of beach resorts from mid-priced to luxury is concentrated on Mactan Island. Mactan maintains the still unspoiled charm of the relatively uncongested countryside.

Off the northwestern tip fo Cebu Island is Bantayan Island, now becoming popular among venturesome beach fanciers with a taste for excellent soft shell crabs. One the southwest coast, Moalboal, about three hours overland from cebu, has been a haven for scuba-diving enthusiasts as well as budget trallers, earning a reputation among some as "the Philippines' best-kept secret."


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