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Province of Cebu
Cebu montage.jpg
Flag of Cebu (province).svg
The Gateway to a Thousand Journeys [1]
Ph locator map cebu.png
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°19′N123°45′E / 10.32°N 123.75°E / 10.32; 123.75 Coordinates: 10°19′N123°45′E / 10.32°N 123.75°E / 10.32; 123.75
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Founded6 August 1569
  Type Sangguniang Panlalawigan
   Governor Gwendolyn Garcia (PDP-Laban)
   Vice Governor Hilario Davide III (LP)
   Provincial Board Cebu Provincial Board
  Total (province)4,943.72 km2 (1,908.78 sq mi)
Area rank20th out of 81
 excludes independent cities
Elevation1,097 m (3,599 ft)
 (2015 census) [3]
  Total (province)2,938,982
  Rank4th out of 81
  Density590/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
  Density rank7th out of 81
  Voter(2016) [4]
Bantayanon language
 Population data excludes independent cities
   Independent cities
   Component cities
+  137including independent cities
Time zone UTC+8 (PST)
ZIP code
IDD : area code +63(0)32
ISO 3166 code PH
Income class 1st class
PSGC 072200000
Patron Santo Niño de Cebu

Cebu ( /sɛˈb/ ; Cebuano : Sugbu) is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas (Region VII) region, and consists of a main island and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, "the Queen City of the South", the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government.


The Cebu Metropolitan Area or Metro Cebu is formed by 7 neighboring cities (Carcar City, Cebu City, Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Naga City, and Talisay City) and 6 municipalities (Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, and San Fernando).

Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines with Metro Cebu being the second largest metropolitan area in the Philippines (after Metro Manila) and Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for business processing services, tourism, shipping, furniture-making, and heavy industry.

Mactan–Cebu International Airport, located on Mactan Island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines.


The name "Cebu" comes from the old Cebuano : sibu or sibo ("trade"), a shortened form of sinibuayng hingpit, 'the place for trading'. It was originally applied to the harbors of the town of Sugbu, the ancient name for Cebu City. [5] Alternate renditions of the name by traders between the 13th to 16th centuries include Sebu, Sibuy, Zubu, or Zebu, among others. [6] Sugbu, in turn, is derived from the Old Cebuano term for "scorched earth" or "great fire". [5] [7]

A map showing the route of the Magellan expedition circumnavigating the world. Magellan's voyage EN.svg
A map showing the route of the Magellan expedition circumnavigating the world.

The Rajahnate of Cebu was a native kingdom which existed in Cebu prior to the arrival of the Spaniards. It was founded by Sri Lumay otherwise known as Rajamuda Lumaya , a half-Malay, half-Tamil prince of the Chola dynasty who invaded Sumatra in Indonesia. He was sent by the Maharajah to establish a base for expeditionary forces to subdue the local kingdoms, but he rebelled and established his own independent Rajahnate instead. [8]

The arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 began a period of Spanish exploration and colonization. [9] [10]

Losing the favour of King Manuel I of Portugal for his plan of reaching the Spice Islands by sailing west from Europe, Magellan offered his services to king Charles I of Spain (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor). On 20 September 1519, Magellan led five ships with a total complement of 250 people from the Spanish fort of Sanlúcar de Barrameda en route to southeast Asia via the Americas and the Pacific Ocean. They reached the Philippines on 16 March 1521. Rajah Kolambu the king of Mazaua told them to sail for Cebu, where they could trade and obtain provisions.

Arriving in Cebu City, Magellan, with Enrique of Malacca as a translator, befriended Rajah Humabon the Rajah or King of Cebu, and persuaded the natives to ally themselves with Charles I of Spain. Humabon and his wife were given Christian names and baptized as Carlos and Juana. The Santo Niño was presented to the native queen of Cebu, as a symbol of peace and friendship between the Spaniards and the Cebuanos. On 14 April Magellan erected a large wooden cross on the shores of Cebu. Afterwards, about 700 islanders were baptized.

Magellan soon heard of Datu Lapu-Lapu, a native king in nearby Mactan Island, a rival of the Rajahs of Cebu. It was thought that Humabon and Lapu–Lapu had been fighting for control of the flourishing trade in the area. On 27 April the Battle of Mactan occurred, where the Spaniards were defeated and Magellan was killed by the natives of Mactan [11] in Mactan Island. According to Italian historian and chronicler Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's body was never recovered despite efforts to trade for it with spice and jewels. Magellan's second-in-command, Juan Sebastián Elcano, took his place as captain of the expedition and sailed the fleet back to Spain, circumnavigating the world.

Depiction of the Cebuano tattooed warrior class (timawa) in the Boxer Codex (c. 1590) Visayans 1.png
Depiction of the Cebuano tattooed warrior class ( timawa ) in the Boxer Codex (c. 1590)

Survivors of the Magellan expedition returned to Spain with tales of a savage island in the East Indies. Consequently, several Spanish expeditions were sent to the islands but all ended in failure. In 1564, Spanish explorers led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailing from Mexico, arrived in 1565, and established a colony. [12] The Spaniards fought the King, Rajah Tupas, and occupied his territories. The Spaniards established settlements, trade flourished and renamed the island to "Villa del Santísimo Nombre de Jesús" (Town of the Most Holy Name of Jesus). Cebu became the first European settlement established by the Spanish Cortés in the Philippines. In 1595, the Universidad de San Carlos was established and in 1860, Cebu opened its ports to foreign trade. The first printing house (Imprenta de Escondrillas y Cia) was established in 1873 and in 1880, the Colegio de la Inmaculada Concepcion (College of the Immaculate Conception) was established and the first periodical The Bulletin of Cebu ("El Boletin de Cebú") began publishing in 1886. In 1898, the island was ceded to the United States after the Spanish–American War and Philippine–American War. In 1901, Cebu was governed by the United States for a brief period, however, it became a charter province on 24 February 1937 and was governed independently by Filipino politicians.

Cebu, being one of the most densely populated islands in the Philippines, served as a Japanese base during their occupation in World War II which began with the landing of Japanese soldiers in April 1942. The 3rd, 8th, 82nd and 85th Infantry Division of the Philippine Commonwealth Army was re-established from 3 January 1942 to 30 June 1946 and the 8th Constabulary Regiment of the Philippine Constabulary was reestablished again from 28 October 1944 to 30 June 1946 at the military general headquarters and the military camps and garrisoned in Cebu city and Cebu province. They started the Anti-Japanese military operations in Cebu from April 1942 to September 1945 and helped Cebuano guerrillas and fought against the Japanese Imperial forces. Almost three years later in March 1945, combined Filipino and American forces landed and reoccupied the island during the liberation of the Philippines. Cebuano guerrilla groups led by an American, James M. Cushing, is credited for the establishment of the "Koga Papers", [13] which is said to have changed the American plans to retake the Philippines from Japanese occupation in 1944, by helping the combined United States and the Philippine Commonwealth Army forces enter Cebu in 1945. The following year the island achieved independence from colonial rule in 1946.

In February 2012 Cebu island experienced the effects of magnitude 6.7 earthquake on the neighboring island of Negros and was the largest quake in the area for 90 years. The tremor shook buildings but there were no reports of major building damage or loss of life on Cebu Island itself. This tremor was caused by a previously unrecorded fault.

In October 2013, Cebu and Bohol were hit by record-setting 7.2 magnitude earthquake which left more than 100 dead and collapsed some buildings, including 5 historical churches. There were over 700 aftershocks.


Cebu Island
Ph locator cebu island.png
Location Visayas
Archipelago Philippines
Adjacent bodies of water
Area4,467.5 km2 (1,724.9 sq mi) [14]
Length196 km (121.8 mi) [15]
Width32 km (19.9 mi) [15]
Coastline513.9 km (319.32 mi) [14]
Highest elevation1,097 m (3,599 ft) [14]
Region Central Visayas
DemonymCebuanos (masculine) / Cebuanas (feminine)
Population3,979,155 (2015 census) [3]
Pop. density890/km2 (2,310/sq mi)
Ethnic groups Visayans (Cebuanos)

Cebu is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands. The province consists of Cebu Island, as well as 167 smaller islands, which include Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. But the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue are independent cities not under provincial supervision, yet are often grouped with the province for geographical and statistical purposes.

The province's land area is 4,944 square kilometres (1,909 sq mi), or when the independent cities are included for geographical purposes, the total area is 5,342 square kilometres (2,063 sq mi).

Cebu's central location, proximity to an unusually exotic tourist destination, ready access to a diversity of plant, animal and geological wonders within the island, and remoteness from earthquake and typhoon activity are some of the special attributes of Cebu.

Cebu Island

Cebu Island is the 126th largest island in the world. Cebu Island itself is long and narrow, stretching 196 kilometres (122 mi) from north to south and 32 kilometres (20 mi) across at its widest point. [15] It has narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus, and coastal plains. It also has rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island.

Cebu's highest mountains are over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) high. Flat tracts of land can be found in the city of Bogo and in the towns of San Remigio, Medellin and Daanbantayan at the northern region of the province. [15]

The island's area is 4,468 square kilometres (1,725 sq mi), [14] making it the 9th largest island in the Philippines. It supports over 3.5 million people, of which 2.3 million live in Metro Cebu.

Beaches, coral atolls, islands, and rich fishing grounds surround Cebu.

Coal was first discovered in Cebu about 1837. There were 15 localities over the whole island, on both coast; some desultory mining had been carried out Naga near Mount Uling, but most serious operations were at Licos and Camansi west of Compostela and Danao. [16] Active work ceased about 1895 with insurrections, and no production worked for more than ten years. A topographic and geologic survey of Compostela, Danao, and Carmen took place in 1906. [17] The Compostela-Danao coalfield contained about six million workable tons. The tramroads, one from Danao to Camansi, one from Compostela to Mount Licos, were undertaken in 1895, together with a wagon road built in 1877, from Cotcot to Dapdap.


The climate of Cebu is tropical. There are 2 seasons in Cebu − the dry and wet season. [18] It is dry and sunny most of the year with some occasional rains during the months of June to December. The province of Cebu normally gets typhoons once a year or none.

Northern Cebu gets more rainfall and typhoons than southern Cebu because it has a different climate. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit Northern Cebu in 2013 killing 73 people and injuring 348 others. Though most typhoons hit only the northern part of Cebu, the urban areas in central Cebu are sometimes hit, such as when Typhoon Mike (Ruping), one of the worst to hit Cebu lashed the central Cebu area in 1990.

Cebu's temperatures can reach a high of 36 °C (97 °F) from March to May, and as low as 18 °C (64 °F) in the mountains during the wet season. The average temperature is around 24 to 34 °C (75 to 93 °F), and does not fluctuate much except during the month of May, which is the hottest month. Cebu averages 70–80% humidity. [19]


Cebu has little remaining forest cover. The remaining forest patches in Cebu are composed primarily of the following tree species. [20]


Endemic species in Cebu include the Cebu Flowerpecker ( Diceaum quadricolor ), Cebu Slender Skink ( Brachymeles cebuensis ), and Black Shama ( Copsychus cebuensis ).

Administrative divisions

Ph fil cebu.png

The province of Cebu has 3 independent cities (Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue) that are not under provincial supervision but are grouped with the province for geographical and statistical purposes, 6 component cities (Bogo, Carcar, Danao, Naga, Talisay, and Toledo), and 44 municipalities for a total of 53 units listed below:

PSGCCity or MunicipalityPopulation±% p.a.AreaPD2015ElectorateDistClimate
2015 [3] 2010 [21] km2sq mi/km2/sq mi20162013CK
072201000 Alcantara 0.5%15,16013,5562.15%35.2013.594301,10011,2289,5797thIIIAf
072202000 Alcoy 0.6%16,97914,7572.71%61.6323.8028071012,8839,1602ndIIIAf
072203000 Alegria 0.8%23,30022,0721.04%89.4934.5526067017,01514,9667thIIIAf
072204000 Aloguinsan 1.1%32,10027,6502.88%61.9223.915201,30021,78718,3273rdIIIAf
072205000 Argao 2.5%72,36669,5030.77%191.5073.9438098049,79442,4382ndIIIAf
072206000 Asturias 1.6%47,85744,7321.29%190.4573.5325065034,76627,9953rdIIIAm
072207000 Badian 1.3%37,91237,6990.11%110.0742.5034089026,41822,9527thIIIAf
072208000 Balamban 3.0%87,17771,2373.92%333.56128.7926068053,34640,2623rdIIIAm
072209000 Bantayan 2.7%79,08474,7851.07%81.6831.549702,50045,50744,8544thIVAm
072210000 Barili 2.5%73,86265,5242.31%122.2147.196001,60049,76146,0453rdIIIAf
072211000 Bogo 2.7%78,12069,9112.14%103.5239.977502,00053,23545,4684thIVAm
072212000 Boljoon 0.6%16,34414,8771.81%117.0045.1714036011,47210,2522ndIIIAf
072213000 Borbon 1.2%35,52632,2781.84%120.9446.6929076024,89520,8485thIVAm
072214000 Carcar 4.1%119,664100,6323.35%116.7845.091,0002,70074,30358,0881stIIIAf
072215000 Carmen 1.7%51,32541,2794.23%84.7832.736101,60033,27031,0955thIIIAm
072216000 Catmon 1.0%30,47127,3302.09%109.6442.3328072018,96517,7035thIVAm
072217000 Cebu City 31.4%922,611866,1711.21%315.00121.622,9007,600709,608547,6812 LDIIIAm
072218000 Compostela 1.6%47,89839,1673.91%53.9020.818902,30032,71626,7605thIIIAm
072219000 Consolacion 4.5%131,528106,6494.07%37.0314.303,6009,20084,91262,9606thIIIAm
072220000 Cordova 2.0%59,71250,3533.30%17.156.623,5009,00039,16329,6946thIIIAm
072221000 Daanbantayan 2.9%84,43074,8972.31%92.2735.639202,40053,98643,5754thIVAm
072222000 Dalaguete 2.3%67,49763,2391.25%154.9659.834401,10040,23934,6922ndIIIAf
072223000 Danao 4.6%136,471119,2522.60%107.3041.431,3003,30093,08885,2795thIIIAm
072224000 Dumanjug 1.7%51,21046,7541.75%85.5333.026001,60036,70531,9807thIIIAf
072225000 Ginatilan 0.5%15,91915,3270.72%70.1027.0723059012,82710,1687thIIIAf
072226000 Lapu-Lapu 13.9%408,112350,4672.94%58.1022.437,00018,000214,117173,341LoneIIIAm
072227000 Liloan 4.0%118,753100,5003.23%45.9217.732,6006,70072,62053,5855thIIIAm
072228000 Madridejos 1.2%36,42934,9050.82%23.959.251,5003,90026,54623,5834thIVAm
072229000 Malabuyoc 0.7%19,37318,4260.96%69.2726.7528072014,25911,3197thIIIAf
072230000 Mandaue 12.3%362,654331,3201.74%34.8713.4610,00027,000226,091187,3186thIIIAm
072231000 Medellin 1.9%55,33250,0471.93%73.1928.267602,00036,75929,9874thIVAm
072232000 Minglanilla 4.5%132,135113,1782.99%65.6025.332,0005,20064,56850,8191stIIIAf
072233000 Moalboal 1.1%31,13027,6762.26%124.8648.2125065019,82118,6637thIIIAf
072234000 Naga 3.9%115,750101,5712.52%101.9739.371,1002,90074,94863,7551stIIIAf
072235000 Oslob 0.9%27,89326,1161.26%134.7552.0321054020,70718,2832ndIIIAf
072236000 Pilar 0.4%11,30811,564−0.43%32.4212.523509009,3118,8495thIVAf
072237000 Pinamungajan 2.2%65,95557,9972.48%109.1642.156001,60040,73735,6903rdIIIAf
072238000 Poro 0.9%25,21223,4981.35%63.5924.554001,00015,64614,6295thIVAf
072239000 Ronda 0.7%20,36018,5821.76%57.1022.0536092015,75813,5517thIIIAf
072240000 Samboan 0.7%20,88418,6132.22%45.1617.444601,20013,76712,1652ndIIIAf
072241000 San Fernando 2.3%66,28060,9701.60%69.3926.799602,50048,52537,7701stIIIAf
072242000 San Francisco 1.9%55,18047,3572.95%106.9341.295201,30031,63226,6245thIVAf
072243000 San Remigio 2.0%57,55751,3942.18%95.2736.786001,60041,00634,0794thIVAm
072244000 Santa Fe 1.0%28,60327,2700.91%28.0510.831,0002,60019,21314,9334thIVAm
072245000 Santander 0.6%17,85716,1051.99%35.6713.775001,30012,55010,9242ndIIIAf
072246000 Sibonga 1.6%48,18643,6411.90%133.4551.5336094030,92226,6621stIIIAf
072247000 Sogod 1.2%35,10830,6262.63%119.2346.0329076023,58020,5035thIVAm
072248000 Tabogon 1.3%39,01333,0243.22%101.3539.133801,00027,31323,7184thIVAm
072249000 Tabuelan 0.9%25,63022,2922.69%141.1354.4918047019,71316,8634thIVAm
072250000 Talisay 7.7%227,645200,7722.42%39.8715.395,70015,000138,606111,6961stIIIAm
072251000 Toledo 5.8%170,335157,0781.55%216.2883.517902,000117,15098,5573rdIIIAf
072252000 Tuburan 2.2%63,86658,9141.55%224.5086.6828074047,38239,0763rdIIIAw
072253000 Tudela 0.4%11,2969,8592.62%33.0212.753408908,3937,8665thIVAf
Provincial capital
Highly Urbanized City
Component city


Population census of Cebu (province)
YearPop.±% p.a.
1960 1,003,894    
1970 1,159,200+1.45%
1980 1,392,000+1.85%
1990 1,709,621+2.08%
1995 1,890,357+1.90%
YearPop.±% p.a.
2000 2,160,569+2.91%
2007 2,440,120+1.69%
2010 2,619,362+2.61%
2015 2,938,982+2.22%
Excludes independent cities
Source: Philippine Statistics Authority
[3] [21] [22]

The population of Cebu Province in 2015 was 2,938,982 people, with a density of 590 inhabitants per square kilometre or 1,500 inhabitants per square mile. [3] When the independent cities – Cebu City (922,611 [23] ), Lapu-Lapu (408,112 [23] ), and Mandaue (362,654 [23] ) – are included for geographical purposes, the total population is 4,632,359 people, with a population density of 870 inhabitants per square kilometre (2,300/sq mi).

The population of the Central Visayas is predominantly young with about 37 percent of its population below 10 years old. This is very evident in the very broad base of the population pyramid in the region which has prevailed since 1970 but at a declining rate. A decline of 2.29 percentage points in the proportion of household population below 15 years old was noted from 1980 to 1995. Conversely, an increase of 3.06 percentage points was observed in the 15–64 age group during the same period. The population of the region is evenly distributed between males and females. However, the male population in the region has been increasing at a faster rate compared to the female population. [24]

In 2010, the median age of the population of the province was 23.0 years, which means that half of the population was younger than 23.0 years. [2] This is higher than the median age of 20.8 years that was recorded in 2000.


Spoken languages in Cebu [25] [ failed verification ]
Other Visayan languages

The Cebuano language is spoken in Cebu, as well as in most areas of the Visayas, including Bohol (where it is spoken as Boholano), Siquijor, western Leyte, Biliran and Negros Island Region (especially in Negros Oriental), as well as most provinces of Mindanao.

In the Camotes Islands, especially in Poro, people there speak their own Visayan language called Porohanon, which has some Masbateño and Waray-Waray influences. Some of the residents in Bantayan islands also speak Bantayanon, a Visayan language related to Hiligaynon.


The Basilica Menor del Santo Nino in Cebu, the first church built in the Philippines. Named by the Holy See as the "Mother and Head... of all Churches of the Philippine Islands". Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.jpg
The Basílica Menor del Santo Niño in Cebu, the first church built in the Philippines. Named by the Holy See as the "Mother and Head... of all Churches of the Philippine Islands".

The majority of its population are Roman Catholic [27] followed by roughly 95% of Cebuanos [ citation needed ]. There are also followers of Iglesia Filipina Independiente, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Cebu is the capital of the Catholic faith [28] by virtue of being the first Christian city, [29] the first capital of the Spanish East Indies, and the birthplace of Christianity and the Philippine Church. Pope John Paul II, in his Homily for Families in Cebu (19 February 1981), called the island as the birthplace of Christianity in the Philippines. [30]

The image of Santo Niño de Cebú (Holy Child of Cebu), the oldest Christian image in the Philippines, is enshrined and venerated at the Basilica of Santo Niño. According to Philippine historical documents, the statue of the Santo Niño (Holy Child) was given to the wife of the Rajah of Cebu by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The friendship is depicted in Cebu's cultural event, the Sinulog where street parades and loud drum beats preceded by a Christian Mass is celebrated every third Sunday of January. Cebu has a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and has several major churches, including the Basilica Minor del Santo Niño de Cebu, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Santo Rosario Parish Church, San José–Recoletos Church, Sacred Heart Church, Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, National Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule, National Shrine of Saint Joseph, Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe of Cebu, San Nicolas de Tolentino Church, and other Christian churches, as well as several other non-Catholic churches, mosques and temples.


Former governors
Julio Llorente 1900–1901
Juan Climaco 1902–1903
Sergio Osmeña 1904–1905
Dionisio Jakosalem 1907–1912
Manuel Roa 1912–1922
Arsenio Climaco 1923–1930
Mariano Jesus Cuenco 1931–1933
Sotero Cabahug 1934–1937
Buenaventura Rodriguez 1937–1940
Hilario Abellana 1941–1943
Jose Delgado 1943–1944 [lower-roman 1]
Jose Leyson 1944–1945; [lower-roman 1]
Fructuoso Cabahug 1945–1946
Manuel Cuenco 1946–1951
Sergio Osmeña, Jr. 1952–1955
Jose Briones 1956–1961
Francisco Remotigue 1961–1963
Rene Espina 1964–1969
Osmundo Rama 1969–1976
1986–1988 [lower-roman 1]
Eduardo Gullas 1976 [lower-roman 1] –1986
Lito Osmeña 1988–1992
Vicente de la Serna 1992–1995
Pablo Garcia 1995–2004
Gwendolyn Garcia 2004–2013
Hilario Davide III 2013–2019
  1. 1 2 3 4 Appointed


District Representative Party TermBloc
1st Eduardo R. Gullas Nacionalista [31] 1Majority
2nd Wilfredo S. Caminero NUP 3Majority
3rd Pablo John F. Garcia PDP-Laban/1-Cebu 1Majority
4th Janice Z. Salimbangon PDP-Laban/1-Cebu 1Majority
5th Vincent Franco D. Frasco Lakas/1-Cebu 1Majority
6th Emmarie M. Ouano-Dizon PDP-Laban/1-Cebu 1Majority
7th Peter John D. Calderon NPC 2Majority


Cebu City, although independent from Cebu Province (together with Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu), is the largest city and economic hub of the island. Cebu City.jpg
Cebu City, although independent from Cebu Province (together with Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu), is the largest city and economic hub of the island.

"Ceboom", a portmanteau of Cebu and boom, has been used to describe the province's economic development. With many beautiful islands, white sand beaches, luxury hotels and resorts, diving locations and heritage sites, high domestic and foreign tourist arrivals have fueled the tourism industry of Cebu. Cebu consistently gets a big share of tourist arrivals in the Philippines and has become the tourist gateway to Central and Southern Philippines due to its central geographic location, accessibility, and natural resources. The province also hosts various national and international conferences every year.

About 80% of domestic and international shipping operators and shipbuilders in the Philippines are located in Cebu. Shipbuilding companies in Cebu have manufactured bulk carriers of up to 70,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT), and double-hulled fastcraft as well. Cebu's industry helps make the Philippines the 5th largest shipbuilding country in the world. [32]

Cebu's extensive port facilities and its proximity to intra-Asian shipping and air routes are major factors which led multinational companies to establish offices or factories on the main island, as well as in the island of Mactan, where they are clustered in special economic zones known as the Mactan Economic Processing Zone 1 (MEPZ-1) and the Mactan Economic Processing Zone 2 (MEPZ-2). Due to its burgeoning furniture-making industry, Cebu has been named as the furniture capital of the Philippines. Cebu's other exports include: fashion accessories, guitars, coconut, coconut oil, [33] dried mangoes, carrageenan, gifts, toys, watches, cameras, electronic components, and housewares.

With a revenue growth rate of 18.8 percent in 2012, the real estate industry is the fastest-growing sector in Cebu. With the strong economic indicators and high investors' confidence level, more condominium projects and hypermarkets are being developed in the locality. An additional 100 commercial and residential buildings would be completed by 2015 and another 170 to 200 buildings are expected to be finished by 2017. 64 new hypermarkets will be developed in Cebu. [34]

In 2013, Cebu ranked 8th worldwide in the "Top 100 BPO Destinations Report" by global advisory firm, Tholons. [35] [36] The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an organization of Cebu's businesses, is promoting the city's growth and economy on information and communications technology, with the aim of making Cebu the premier ICT, software and e-services investment destination in southeast Asia. Data gathered by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 showed that of the 98 BPO and IT companies operating in Cebu, 32 offer voice operations while 66 companies offer non-voice operations. Of the 95,000 employed by the industry, more than half or 50,000 are in the non-voice sector. In 2012, the growth in IT-BPO revenues in Cebu grew 26.9 percent at $484 million, while nationally, the industry grew 18.2 percent at $13 billion. [37] [38]

Cebu's economy is also driven by the mining and quarrying areas in Toledo, Naga, Alcoy, and Danao.

Cebu even boasts being a subsidiary of one of the leading ice rink manufacturers in the world. These rinks are engineered and fabricated in Cebu by Ice Rink Supply and shipped worldwide [39] and Freeze Point Rink Services. [40]


Mactan-Cebu International Airport Mactan Cebu International Airport.jpg
Mactan-Cebu International Airport

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Mactan Island serves as the main gateway to domestic and international routes to or from Cebu City and other islands in the Visayas region. In the last 15 years, MCIA's passenger traffic has grown at an annual average of 21% for international passenger traffic. The airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines in passenger and cargo traffic. The plan for a new terminal expansion of the airport is underway and estimated to cost $240 million under a public-private partnership program of the Philippine government. The new terminal will host international flights while the old terminal will host domestic flights. [41]

In addition, MCIAA (MCIA Authority) General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete (who was the project of BRT earlier) also proposed to establish a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line to transport airport passengers to and from MCIAA and different parts of Cebu. This will be integrated into the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System being planned in Metro Cebu. [42]

The Cebu International Port is the largest shipping hub in the Visayas region.

Cebu Pacific Air is an airline owned by Cebu-based Gokongwei family. On 28 May 2008, Cebu Pacific was named as the world's number one airline in terms of growth. The airline carried a total of almost 5.5 million passengers in 2007, up 57.4% from 2006. [43] On January 6, 2011, Cebu Pacific flew its 50 millionth passenger (from Manila to Beijing). The airline reached the 100 million passengers in 2015. [44] Cebu Pacific commenced international long-haul flights to Middle East and Australia, flight to Guam starting Q1 2016.

Notable business districts are the Cebu Business Park and the Cebu IT Park. This area hosts industries related to the information technology industry such as software development, telecommunications, engineering research and development centers, and business process outsourcing. In 2013, Ayala Corporation's affiliate, Ayala Land Inc., announced that it is looking at introducing another business park development within the Cebu City area to optimize the high performance of real estate investments in Cebu. [45] Cebu Holdings Inc. and the Ayala Corporation created Cebu Park District, an integrated, master-planned, mixed-use economic zones of the Cebu Business Park and Cebu I.T. Park. The district plays a vital role in the city's economy. It is where many of the region's corporate headquarters are located. Both parks and the adjoining areas enjoy a critical mass of local and international locators in the spheres of business, banking, finance, IT and tourism services, among others.

The city's 300-hectare (740-acre; 3.0 km2; 3,000,000 m2) reclamation forms South Road Properties – a mixed-use development south of the city which features entertainment, leisure, residential and business-processing industries. [46] Is the site of SM Seaside City Cebu, the eighth largest mall in the world (and 3rd largest shopping mall in the Philippines), Filinvest's Citta di Mare [47] and Il Corso, [48] and the University of the Philippines – Cebu campus. [49]

In Mactan Island, Megaworld Corporation's Mactan Oceantown is a 25–hectare business park near Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa. The project will be home to high-tech offices, a retail center, residential towers and villages, leisure facilities with a beach resort frontage. [50]

Mactan Island is linked to mainland Cebu via Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge.


Cebu is home to a local television station, Cebu Catholic Television Network (CCTN) [lower-alpha 1] ).

Despite having their local stations, Cebuanos prefer to watch the Philippine four dominant television networks namely: ABS-CBN, People's Television Network, The 5 Network, CNN Philippines, and GMA Network.

While national newspapers have a presence on the island, Cebu has English-language local newspapers – The Freeman (under the Star Group), Sun.Star Cebu and Cebu Daily News (under the Inquirer Group): and Cebuano-language newspapers – SunStar SuperBalita owned by SunStar, and Banat News owned by The Freeman. Each of the local newspapers sell cheaper than their national counterparts. Also started work from to 2018, big informational web portal about Cebu, who include news, directory, events, real estate etc.


The Philippine elementary school begins from Grades 1 to 6. The high school program takes six years, from Grades 7 through to 12, taken after graduating from elementary school. Cebu is considered as the main education hub in the Visayas. It has eleven large universities each with a number of college branches mostly throughout the capital, Cebu City, and more than a dozen other schools and universities specializing in various courses such as Medicine, Engineering, Nautical courses, Nursing, Law, Commerce, Education, Computer and IT and other professions.

The most prominent of these universities are:

Other notable institutions include: Asian College of Technology in Cebu City and Talisay, Benedicto College, Cebu Eastern College, Cebu Institute of Medicine, a medical school in affiliation with Velez College, The International Academy of Film and Television, established in Mactan in 2004 and Cebu's first film school, Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, Salazar Colleges of Science and Institute of Technology, among others.

Cebu is home to one fully accredited international school, Cebu International School, a K–12 school established in 1924.



Cebu City is a significant cultural centre in the Philippines. The imprint of Spanish and Roman Catholic culture is evident. There are also many historically important sights all over the province.


Sinulog's annual maritime procession. Sinulog Festival - Fluvial Procession (3298505319).jpg
Sinulog's annual maritime procession.

Sinulog Festival is the largest fiesta (festival) in the Philippines. Held every third Sunday of January, it commemorates the Child Jesus (Santo Niño), the Lord and Protector of Cebu. The Sinulog is a dance ritual of pre-Hispanic indigenous origin. The dancer moves two steps forward and one step backward to the rhythmic sound of drums. This movement resembles the current (sulog) of what was then known as Cebu's Pahina River. Thus the name Sinulog.

The Sinulog Festival celebration lasts for nine days, culminating on the final day with the Sinulog Grand Parade. The day before the parade, the Fluvial Procession is held at dawn with a statue of the Santo Niño carried on a pump boat from Mandaue City to Cebu City, decked with hundreds of flowers and candles. The procession ends at the Basilica where a re-enactment of the Christianization of the Philippines on the island of Cebu is performed. In the afternoon, a more solemn procession takes place along the major streets of the city, which last for hours due to large crowds participating in the event.

When the Spaniards arrived in Cebu, the Italian chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, sailing under convoy with the Magellan expedition, offered the wooden figure of the Santo Niño as a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Rajah Humabon who was named Juana after her baptism together with the Rajah, who was also renamed, Carlos. Juana, together with the natives, according to tradition, danced and worshipped the Santo Niño de Cebu in their indigenous Sinulog dance ritual.[ citation needed ] The Sinulog ritual was preserved, focussing on the worship to the Santo Niño. Once the Santo Niño church was built in the 16th century, the Catholic Malay people started performing the Sinulog ritual in front of the church, the devotees offering candles and indigenous dancers shouting "Viva Pit Señor!", which means to "Trust in the Lord"[ citation needed ].

In the 1980s and 2000s, the city authorities of Cebu added the religious feast of Santo Niño de Cebu during the Sinulog Festival to its cultural event. Despite being a religious festival and a Christian festival, Sinulog has come to be a celebration for all Cebuanos and Filipinos regardless of their faith and practices. Aside from its religious nature, Sinulog has also become renowned for its street parties. In 2012, Cebu introduced Life Dance, the biggest outdoor dance party in the country outside Metro Manila. The Sinulog street parties are considered a major attraction for youth individuals but, in most cases for most people, particularly the faithful, a growing problem that threatens the religiosity and solemnity of the festival. In 2016, the festival had the worst recorded case of a stampede wherein large groups of people, both worshippers, and drunken party-goers, were congested in the uptown area, with no passable exit routes and virtually no crowd control up until midnight and with one recorded case of a teenage woman losing consciousness because of cramped spaces. Due to this incident, the then Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña enforced a strict liquor ban in the following festivals during his term to ensure the safety of the worshippers and spectators and to maintain the solemnity of the celebration.

Kadaugan sa Mactan

Literally translates to the "Victory in Mactan", this is a historical festival reenactment of the Battle of Mactan. Celebrated canonically on the 27th of April, It depicts the events before, during, and immediately after the defeat of Portuguese Navigator Ferdinand Magellan at the hands of Lapu-lapu and his men. Usually, in the Kadaugan sa Mactan, Filipino celebrities, especially celebrities of Cebuano origin, are chosen to portray the key characters of the events of the Battle of Mactan (specifically Lapu-lapu, his wife Reyna Bulakna, and Magellan). This is typically a week-long celebration and culminates with the Rampada Festival, a stylized contemporary reenactment of the victory celebration after the battle in Mactan, incorporating Latin and ballroom dances and steps. Despite the Sinulog Festival being more popular by comparison, the Kadaugan had already been established as a festival of Cebu and its culture and history long before Sinulog was an established festival.

Pasigarbo sa Sugbo

Literally translates to the "Celebration in Cebu", this Festival is a relatively new festival in Cebu, conceptualized in 2008. This festival was the "Brainchild" of Cebu's first female governor, Gwendolyn Garcia. This festival was a program and a major tourism endeavor initiated by the governor in order to promote Cebu as an entire province and to celebrate Cebu in its culture, faith, history, and continuous advancement. In this festival, each individual town in Cebu is encouraged to showcase a theme, a product, a festival, or something unique from their place. Despite, in itself, not being a religious festival, praise, thanksgiving, and worship to God, as well as devotion to the patron saints of each town of Cebu is also given emphasis in the festival (as hinted in the Best in Andas category). Unlike the Sinulog Festival, which is limited to two major categories (Sinulog-based and Free Interpretation), Participants of Pasigarbo are given more freedom in the interpretation of the culture, faith, history, and products of their hometowns. Ever since its conception, the festival had been celebrated yearly at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in Mandaue, around the date of the Provincial Charter Day of Cebu which is celebrated every 6th of August, however, was ceased after 2012. This was largely due to the 2013 Bohol earthquake, which also heavily affected Cebu and the lack of support from the provincial government for both the repair of the CICC and the festival itself. This was mainly because Garcia was no longer in position as governor at the time. Fortunately, the festival was recently relaunched in 2019, less than a month after Garcia's return to the provincial seat. Unlike previous celebrations, the 2019 Pasigarbo, due to the abandoned state of the CICC, was celebrated, much like the Sinulog Festival, in the Cebu City Sports Complex. As per its return, it has established itself once more as a provincial festival and a new addition to Cebu's prime festivals and significant dates, together with the Sinulog Festival and the Kadaugan sa Mactan.

International relations and sisterhood agreements

Existing sisterhood agreements
Domestic sisterhood agreements


  1. a religious station partly owned and endorsed by the Archdiocese of Cebu

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