Like any Spanish colony where Catholicism is the predominant religion, churches of different sizes and styles have been constructed all over the archipelago of the Philippines. In the countrysides of Cebu, there are very old churches that have withstood the test of time and continue to foster the Catholic belief of the Cebuanos.
In the southern municipality of Naga, a Muslim-inspired Moorish cathedral built in coral stone, is the pride of the locals. It was built in the 17th century.
In the city proper, standing majestically in the heart of the city is the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, named after the Santo Nino or Child Jesus who is the patron saint of Cebu City. It is believed to be miraculous and have been in existence even before 1521, when it was given as a gift to Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon. They were the first Filipinos who were baptized in the Catholic belief.
Of course, there is the Taoist temple also which is located inside the posh subdivision of Beverly Hills on top of a 99-step hill. From its location, one can get a panoramic view of the city and the nearby island of Mactan.
Further down south, in the municipality of Carcar, is St. Catherine’s Church which took six years to finish. It is popular for its byzantine designed altar and bell towers shaped like minarets.
Going further down will take you to the coastal municipality of Argao which is not only famous for its beaches but also of handwoven blanket industry which was introduced in the 17th century. A well-preserved church complex can also be found here.
Down in Dalaguete is a church complex similar to that of Argao because Dalaguete used to be annexed to Argao, until it was proclaimed independent in 1711. The church is dedicated to San Guillermo and the altars are shaped like vases with rococo motif.
Creativity and Trade
The Cebuanos are innately artistic and creative and they have nurtured this creativity over the centuries and have helped develop the province economically. Most of their products have become famous all over the world and even local artisans have become world-famous.
You will never ran out of things you want for presents, local flavour and what-have-you in Carbon Market. It is the main depot of market goods from all over the province. A few roads away, is the famous Colon Street. It is the oldest street in the country and many malls are located here to cater to all kinds of market.
Among the thriving industries in the province are the guitar-making and the rattan furniture industry. The rattan furniture is so expertly-handcrafted that they are export quality. The locally-produced guitars can compete with the imported ones in terms of quality and standards.
For the nature lover and Sun-worshiper
Cebu is famous for its breathtaking beach resorts and dive-sites. Being an island province, virtually its entire coastline is a place for swimming and for other activities such as snorkeling, windsurfing and sailing. Even more remarkable is the fact that beach resorts are very accessible from the city proper.
Dive-sites in Cebu vary in their nature and standards. Some dive-sites are good for beginners, while others are for the more experienced ones. Most dive-sites in Cebu can be found in the islands of Mactan and Olango and for the more advanced divers, Moalboal is the diving place to be. The area around Moalboal is said to be characterized by undersea caves, rich corals and bigger kinds of fish. Another island good for diving is the Badian Island because of the unique biodiversity and colorful corals. A beach resort called Panagsama located at a fishing village west of Moalboal is a delightful getaway with its crystal clear water and unexplored white sand. Other southern municipalities that have exquisite beach resorts for both public and private use are Argao and Dalaguete. Going northward, the towns of Liloan, Consolacion, Compostela, Danao and Carmen are popular weekend getaways where people can enjoy a dip in the sparkling waters and family picnics in the white sand beaches.
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