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Cebu Holidays Overview
Cebu is a long and narrow island which is located in the Philippines archipelago. The island which covers a distance of 225 km is surrounded by several neighboring islands like Mactan Island, Bantayan Island, Olango and Camotes Island. The topography of the island features narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus and coastal plains. There also exists a hilly terrain on both the northern and southern parts of the island. Some of the mountains on Cebu measure as high as 1000 meters and are popular with adventure thrill-seeking tourists who like to hike up the steep slopes.
Cebu city which is the oldest Spanish colonial city in the Philippines is the capital of Cebu. Cebu city along with four neighboring cities Mandaue City, Lapu- Lapu City, Talisay City and Danao City and eight other municipalities make up the Cebu Metropolitan Area. Today, Cebu city is one of the most developed provinces of the Philippines, which is home to industries like shipping and shipbuilding, manufacturing and IT enabled services.
Apart from all this trade and development, the city and its surrounding areas are world famous for their many white sand beaches which are dotted with many luxurious resorts, tropical hideaways, dive spots, golf courses and bustling shopping malls all of which contribute to make Cebu a major global tourist destination.
The history of Cebu is linked with the maritime exploits of the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, who arrived in Cebu city in 1521. Magellan proceeded to befriend the ruler Raja Humabon of Cebu and cajoled him to sign an allegiance with the ruler of Spain Emperor Charles V of Spain to whom Magellan had pledged his services. Having befriended the Raja, he later baptized the Raja and his wife as King Carlos and Queen Juana. The Santo Niño was presented to the queen as a symbol of friendship between the two nations and on April 14th Magellan erected a large wooden cross on the shores of Cebu. The explorers further baptized more natives of Cebu and tried to establish the rule of the newly baptized King Carlos in the region.
The ruler of Cebu had been involved in a power struggle with the tribal king Lapu Lapu of Mactan Island for many years. The cause of the dispute was the control of the burgeoning trade in the region. This led to the historic battle of Mactan during which Magellan was killed. The natives of Mactan then succeeded in driving out the conquerors. Later on Cebu was colonized by Augustinian and Franciscan friars who established the first Spanish settlement in Zugbo. The Spanish reign continued until 1898 after which the Philippines came under the rule of Americans. During the Second World War Cebu was occupied by the Japanese Army and it served as an important Japanese base until it was liberated by the Allies in 1945.
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holidays - Top Events
Sinulog is a nine day religious festival which takes place in January every year. The main celebration though takes place on the third Sunday in January during which there are elaborate processions that feature revelers in dazzling costumes who hold aloft images of infant Jesus. Cebu is renowned for its Sinulog festivities that feature much music and dance , beauty pageants, cultural shows and food exhibitions.
Tres de Abril Celebrations
Every year on the 3rd of April Cebu City commemorates the anniversary of the major resistance movement against the Spanish colonizers which was led by Leon Kilat who guided Cebu to victory. This festival is celebrated with much pomp and grandeur and it features elaborate parades, historic dramas and exhibitions.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Korean Air and Qantas all provide air links to Cebu City from various Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The flight time from these cities to Cebu varies between 11 to 20 hours depending on the route taken and the number of stops that have to be made.
The closest Australian mission is located in Manila.