Saturday, December 27, 2008

Amazing Cebu, Philippines

The beautiful Philippine Islands, over 7,ooo in all, was visited by a famous Portuguese explorer in April of 1521, Ferdinand Magellan. He landed in Cebu, known then as Sugbo, April 7th and helped convert the local Filipino people to Catholic Christianity. Unfortunately for Magellan, he underestimated a nearby Chieftain named Lapu Lapu and was killed by Lapu Lapu, on April 27th, 1521. Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines, still has to this day part of the original cross, that Magellan planted on Cebu's eastern shore. From 1521 to 1898 the Philippines was under Spanish rule.

 Jose Rizal, the Philippines' National Hero, was martyred in 1896, during the rule of Spain. This was the start of the, Philippine Revolution. Jose Rizal, was a doctor, author and political figure, who spoke fluently in 10 different languages. The Philippines became a US Colony in 1898. Then, after having fought bravely with the Americans in WWII, Filipinos gained their independence in 1946.

 Cebu is centrally located in the Philippines with the island of Luzon to the north, where Manila is located and Mindanao to the south, where Davao lies. Cebu is an island, a province and a city. Mactan Island, located directly across from Cebu Islands mid-eastern shore, is connected to Cebu Island by 2 bridges, the Mactan-Mandaue bridge aka, the "Old Bridge" and a little ways down is the, "New Bridge." 

Mactan Island is home to the nation's 2nd busiest airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport & a very busy Seaport, with 80% of the Shipping Companies being based here; it's a leading exporter. Cebu is in a key & strategic central location and has the highest national economic growth rate. Cebu is also the nation's top tourist destination, with Mactan Island's 5 star resorts, dive centers for world class scuba diving & white sand beaches with their beautiful pristine waters. Mactan is also home to MEPZ I & MEPZ II, ( Mactan Export Processing Zone ) with many industries based here making semiconductors, watches, electronics etc. Cebu is famous for it's guitars, furniture & mangoes; the mangoes fresh & dried, are sooooo delicious here! Cebu also has many Call Centers, because the people here speak really Good English....have you ever dealt with a Call Center & couldn't understand a word they were saying? Well, that's why there are more & more Call Centers opening here every year. And if you're a bird watcher or photographer, nearby Olango Island has a large concentration of migratory birds, wintering  from Russia, China & Japan.

About 96 million people live in the Republic of the Philippines, with 81% being Roman Catholic, 12% Protestant & 5% Muslim. Cebu Province has a population of about 3. 5 million. Cebu City is also referred to as the, Queen City of the South. The people of Cebu are fun loving, very family devoted and very, very hospitable. They love to karaoke, get together & eat with family, friends & relatives. And wow, do they have a lot of relatives! :-) They're always more than willing to help in anyway they can.

So, if you're looking for a new destination....consider Beautiful & Amazing Cebu, Philippines....Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2009! Hope you have a Great One!!

~ Ross Throndson