Not to be confused with Cebu City.
For other uses, see Cebu (disambiguation).
Province of Cebu

Cebu Provincial Capitol


Nickname(s): The Gateway to a Thousand Journeys[1]

Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 10°19′N 123°45′E / 10.32°N 123.75°E / 10.32; 123.75Coordinates: 10°19′N 123°45′E / 10.32°N 123.75°E / 10.32; 123.75
Country Philippines
Region Central Visayas (Region VII)
Founded 6 August 1569
Provincial Capital Cebu City
  Type Sangguniang Panlalawigan
  Governor Hilario Davide III (LP)
  Vice governor Agnes Magpale
  Provincial Board
  Total (province) 4,943.72 km2 (1,908.78 sq mi)
Area rank 20th out of 81
  excludes independent cities
Elevation 1,097 m (3,599 ft)
Population (2015 census)[3]
  Total (province) 2,938,982
  Rank 4th out of 81
  Density 590/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
  Density rank 7th out of 81
  Voter(2016)[4] 1,903,740
  excludes independent cities
  Independent cities
  Component cities
+  137 including independent cities
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code 6000–6053
IDD:area code +63(0)32
ISO 3166 code PH-CEB
Income class 1st class
PSGC 072200000

Cebu (/sɪˈb/, /sˈb/ or /sɛˈb/; Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Sugbo, Filipino: Lalawigan ng Cebu) is a 1st provincial income class island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas (Region VII) region, and consisting of the main island itself and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government. Cebu City forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with four neighboring cities (Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and Talisay City) and eight other local government units. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Mactan Island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines.

Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with 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 shipping, furniture-making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry.


A map showing the route of the Magellan expedition circumnavigating the world.

Between the 13th and 16th century Cebu then known as Zubu[5] (or Sugbo) was an island inhabited by Hindus, Buddhists and animists, ruled by Rajahs and Datus.

The Rajahnate of Cebu was a defunct 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.[6]

The arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 established a period of Spanish exploration and colonization.[7][8]

Losing favor for his plan of reaching the Spice Islands from king Manuel I of Portugal, 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 crew of 250 people from the Spanish fort of Sanlúcar de Barrameda en route to southeast Asia via the Americas and 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 have provisions.

Arriving in Cebu City, Magellan, with Enrique of Malacca as translator, befriended Rajah Humabon the Rajah or King of Cebu and persuaded the natives of allegiance to 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.

Pigafetta's illustrations of Cebuanos during the expedition.

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 killed by the natives of Mactan[9] 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 their fleet back to Spain, circumnavigating the world.

Survivors of the Magellan expedition brought tales of a savage island in the East Indies with them when they returned to Spain. 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.[10] 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 (University of 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 February 24, 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 Infantry 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",[11] 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
Location Visayas
Archipelago Philippines
Adjacent bodies of water
Area 4,467.5 km2 (1,724.9 sq mi)[12]
Length 196 km (121.8 mi)[13]
Width 32 km (19.9 mi)[13]
Coastline 513.9 km (319.32 mi)[12]
Highest elevation 1,097 m (3,599 ft)[12]
Region Central Visayas
Province Cebu
Demonym Cebuanos (masculine) / Cebuanas (feminine)
Population 3,979,155 (2015 census)[3]
Pop. density 890 /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).[2]

Cebu's central location, proximity to 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 itself is long and narrow, stretching 196 kilometres (122 mi) from north to south and 32 kilometres (20 mi) across at its widest point.[13] 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.[13]

The island's area is 4,468 square kilometres (1,725 sq mi),[12] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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.


Main article: Climate of Cebu

The climate of Cebu is tropical. There are 2 seasons in Cebu − the dry and wet season.[16] 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 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 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.[17]

Administrative divisions

Cebu is subdivided into 6 component cities and 44 municipalities. The cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue are often grouped with the province for geographical and statistical purposes, but are independent cities that are not under provincial supervision.

PSGC City or Municipality Population ±% p.a. Area[2] PD2015 Electorate Dist Climate
2015[3] 2010[18] km2 sq mi /km2 /sq mi 2016 2013 C K
072201000 Alcantara 0.5% 15,160 13,556 2.15% 35.2 13.59 430 1,100 10,102 9,579 7th III Af
072202000 Alcoy 0.6% 16,979 14,757 2.71% 61.63 23.80 280 730 11,333 9,160 2nd III Af
072203000 Alegria 0.8% 23,300 22,072 1.04% 89.49 34.55 260 670 15,431 14,966 7th III Af
072204000 Aloguinsan 1.1% 32,100 27,650 2.88% 61.92 23.91 520 1,300 20,124 18,327 3rd III Af
072205000 Argao 2.5% 72,366 69,503 0.77% 191.5 73.94 380 980 45,139 42,438 2nd III Af
072206000 Asturias (Naghalin) 1.6% 47,857 44,732 1.29% 190.45 73.53 250 650 31,631 27,995 3rd III Am
072207000 Badian 1.3% 37,912 37,699 0.11% 110.07 42.50 340 880 23,588 22,952 7th III Af
072208000 Balamban 3.0% 87,177 71,237 3.92% 333.56 128.79 260 670 47,548 40,262 3rd III Am
072209000 Bantayan 2.7% 79,084 74,785 1.07% 81.68 31.54 970 2,500 39,721 44,854 4th IV Am
072210000 Barili 2.5% 73,862 65,524 2.31% 122.21 47.19 600 1,600 42,831 46,045 3rd III Af
072211000 Bogo 2.7% 78,120 69,911 2.14% 103.52 39.97 750 1,900 48,290 45,468 4th IV Am
072212000 Boljoon 0.6% 16,344 14,877 1.81% 117 45.17 140 360 10,216 10,252 2nd III Af
072213000 Borbon 1.2% 35,526 32,278 1.84% 120.94 46.69 290 750 22,182 20,848 5th IV Am
072214000 Carcar 4.1% 119,664 100,632 3.35% 116.78 45.09 1,000 2,600 63,285 58,088 1st III Af
072215000 Carmen 1.7% 51,325 41,279 4.23% 84.78 32.73 610 1,600 32,126 31,095 5th III Am
072216000 Catmon 1.0% 30,471 27,330 2.09% 109.64 42.33 280 730 17,150 17,703 5th IV Am
072217000 Cebu City 31.4% 922,611 799,762 2.76% 315 121.62 2,900 7,500 631,003 547,681 2 LD III Am
072218000 Compostela 1.6% 47,898 39,167 3.91% 53.9 20.81 890 2,300 29,306 26,760 5th III Am
072219000 Consolacion 4.5% 131,528 106,649 4.07% 37.03 14.30 3,600 9,300 73,893 62,960 6th III Am
072220000 Cordova 2.0% 59,712 50,353 3.30% 17.15 6.62 3,500 9,100 34,273 29,694 6th III Am
072221000 Daanbantayan 2.9% 84,430 74,897 2.31% 92.27 35.63 920 2,400 48,601 43,575 4th IV Am
072222000 Dalaguete 2.3% 67,497 63,239 1.25% 154.96 59.83 440 1,100 35,658 34,692 2nd III Af
072223000 Danao 4.6% 136,471 119,252 2.60% 107.3 41.43 1,300 3,400 86,085 85,279 5th III Am
072224000 Dumanjug 1.7% 51,210 46,754 1.75% 85.53 33.02 600 1,600 32,494 31,980 7th III Af
072225000 Ginatilan 0.5% 15,919 15,327 0.72% 70.1 27.07 230 600 11,143 10,168 7th III Af
072226000 Lapu-Lapu (Opon) 13.9% 408,112 350,467 2.94% 58.1 22.43 7,000 18,000 188,815 173,341 Lone III Am
072227000 Liloan 4.0% 118,753 100,500 3.23% 45.92 17.73 2,600 6,700 62,429 53,585 5th III Am
072228000 Madridejos (Lawis) 1.2% 36,429 34,905 0.82% 23.95 9.25 1,500 3,900 23,134 23,583 4th IV Am
072229000 Malabuyoc 0.7% 19,373 18,426 0.96% 69.27 26.75 280 730 12,814 11,319 7th III Af
072230000 Mandaue 12.3% 362,654 331,320 1.74% 34.87 13.46 10,000 26,000 189,712 187,318 6th III Am
072231000 Medellin 1.9% 55,332 50,047 1.93% 73.19 28.26 760 2,000 32,756 29,987 4th IV Am
072232000 Minglanilla (Balud or Buat) 4.5% 132,135 113,178 2.99% 65.6 25.33 2,000 5,200 55,652 50,819 1st III Af
072233000 Moalboal 1.1% 31,130 27,676 2.26% 124.86 48.21 250 650 19,821 18,663 7th III Af
072234000 Naga 3.9% 115,750 101,571 2.52% 101.97 39.37 1,100 2,800 63,755 63,755 1st III Af
072235000 Oslob 0.9% 27,893 26,116 1.26% 134.75 52.03 210 540 18,886 18,283 2nd III Af
072236000 Pilar 0.4% 11,308 11,564 −0.43% 32.42 12.52 350 910 8,613 8,849 5th IV Af
072237000 Pinamungajan 2.2% 65,955 57,997 2.48% 109.16 42.15 600 1,600 40,737 35,690 3rd III Af
072238000 Poro 0.9% 25,212 23,498 1.35% 63.59 24.55 400 1,000 13,790 14,629 5th IV Af
072239000 Ronda 0.7% 20,360 18,582 1.76% 57.1 22.05 360 930 14,397 13,551 7th III Af
072240000 Samboan 0.7% 20,884 18,613 2.22% 45.16 17.44 460 1,200 12,577 12,165 2nd III Af
072241000 San Fernando 2.3% 66,280 60,970 1.60% 69.39 26.79 960 2,500 43,398 37,770 1st III Af
072242000 San Francisco 1.9% 55,180 47,357 2.95% 106.93 41.29 520 1,300 27,484 26,624 5th IV Af
072243000 San Remigio (Kanghagas) 2.0% 57,557 51,394 2.18% 95.27 36.78 600 1,600 37,122 34,079 4th IV Am
072244000 Santa Fe 1.0% 28,603 27,270 0.91% 28.05 10.83 1,000 2,600 16,929 14,933 4th IV Am
072245000 Santander (Tañong) 0.6% 17,857 16,105 1.99% 35.67 13.77 500 1,300 11,577 10,924 2nd III Af
072246000 Sibonga 1.6% 48,186 43,641 1.90% 133.45 51.53 360 930 27,317 26,662 1st III Af
072247000 Sogod 1.2% 35,108 30,626 2.63% 119.23 46.03 290 750 21,586 20,503 5th IV Am
072248000 Tabogon 1.3% 39,013 33,024 3.22% 101.35 39.13 380 980 24,746 23,718 4th IV Am
072249000 Tabuelan 0.9% 25,630 22,292 2.69% 141.13 54.49 180 470 17,880 16,863 4th IV Am
072250000 Talisay 7.7% 227,645 200,772 2.42% 39.87 15.39 5,700 15,000 120,240 111,696 1st III Am
072251000 Toledo (Pueblo Hinulawan) 5.8% 170,335 157,078 1.55% 216.28 83.51 790 2,000 103,658 98,557 3rd III Af
072252000 Tuburan (Bagacawa) 2.2% 63,866 58,914 1.55% 224.5 86.68 280 730 42,547 39,076 3rd III Aw
072253000 Tudela 0.4% 11,296 9,859 2.62% 33.02 12.75 340 880 7,763 7,866 5th IV Af
TOTAL 4,632,359 4,167,320 2.03% 4,454 1,700 1,000 2,600 2,696,819 2,517,629
Provincial capital
Highly Urbanized City
Component city
Italicized names are former names


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 Office

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±0 ), Lapu-Lapu (408,112±0 ), and Mandaue (362,654±0 ) – 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 male and female. However, the male population in the region has been increasing at a faster rate compared to the female population.[20]

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[21]
Languages percentage
Other Visayan languages

Cebuano is spoken in Cebu and it is also spoken in most areas of the Visayas, including Bohol, western Leyte, Negros Oriental and most provinces of Mindanao.


The majority of its population are Roman Catholic[22] followed by roughly 95% of Cebuanos. There are also some followers of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Devotees inside the Basilica del Santo Niño.

Cebu is the capital of the Catholic faith[23] by virtue of being the first Christian city,[24] 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[25]

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.


Congressional districts
District Representative Party City Municipality
1st Gerald Anthony V. Gullas Jr. Nacionalista Carcar Minglanilla
Naga San Fernando
Talisay Sibonga
2nd Wilfredo S. Caminero Liberal Alcoy
3rd Gwendolyn F. Garcia One Cebu
(United Nationalist Alliance)
Toledo Aloguinsan
4th Benhur L. Salimbangon One Cebu
National Unity
Bogo Bantayan
San Remigio
Santa Fe
5th Ramon H. Durano VI Liberal Danao Borbon
San Francisco
6th Jonas C. Cortes Liberal Mandaue Consolacion
7th Peter John D. Calderon Liberal Alcantara


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 hotel 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.[26]

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,[27] 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.[28]

In 2013, Cebu ranked 8th worldwide in the "Top 100 BPO Destinations Report" by global advisory firm, Tholons.[29][30] 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.[31][32]

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.[33]


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.[34]

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.[35]

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.[36] On January 6, 2011, Cebu Pacific flew its 50 millionth passenger (from Manila to Beijing). The airline reached the 100 million passengers in 2015.[37] 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.[38] 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.[39] 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[40] and Il Corso,[41] and the University of the Philippines – Cebu campus.[42]

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.[43]

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


Cebu has television and cable stations namely: MyChannel (channel 28), Real Cebu Television (RCTV) (channel 36), Amazing Cebu (channel 56) and the CCTN (channel 47[lower-alpha 1]). MyChannel, RCTV, Amazing Cebu and Sugbo TV are only seen on cable television. CCTN operates an UHF frequency on channel 47 and can also be accessed through Skycable's channel 18 Cebu City.

Despite having their local stations, Cebuanos prefer to watch the Philippine three dominant television networks namely: ABS–CBN, TV5 and GMA Network.

While national newspapers have presence in 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.



Cebu City is a significant cultural centre in the Philippines. The imprint of Spanish and Roman Catholic culture is evident. The city's most famous landmark is Magellan's Cross. This cross, now housed in a chapel, is reputed to have been planted by Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão Magalhães) when he arrived in the Philippines in 1521.[44] It was encased in hollow tindalo wood in 1835 upon the order of the Augustinian Bishop Santos Gómez Marañon to prevent devotees from taking it home chip by chip. The same bishop restored the present template or kiosk, located at the present Magallanes street between the City Hall and Colegio del Santo Niño. Revered by Filipinos, Magellan's Cross is a symbol of Catholicism in the Philippines.

A few paces from Magellan's Cross is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño (Church of the Holy Child). This is an Augustinian church elevated to the rank of basilica in 1965 during the 400th year celebration of Catholicism in the Philippines, held in Cebu. The church, which was the first to be established in the islands, is built of hewn stone and features the country's oldest relic, the figure of the Santo Niño de Cebu (Holy Child of Cebu).


Festivals and fiestas

All cities and municipalities in the province have their own different respective cultural festivals. Only the municipalities of Asturias, Compostela, Pilar and Tabogon have no designated annual celebrations.

  • Pintos Festival – Bogo
  • Kabkaban Festival – Carcar
  • Karansa Festival – Danao
  • Garbo Festival – Lapu-Lapu
  • Panagtagbo Festival – Mandaue
  • Dagitab Festival – Naga
  • Halad Inasal Festival – Talisay
  • Hinulawan Festival – Toledo


Main article: Sinulog
Sinulog's annual fluvial procession

Sinulog Festival is the largest fiesta (festival) in the Philippines. Held every third Sunday of January, it commemorates the Child Jesus, 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 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 Catholicizing (that is, the acceptance of Roman Catholicism) 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 crowd participating in the event.

When the Spaniards arrived in Cebu, the Italian chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, sailing under convoy with the Magellan expedition, offered a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Rajah Humabon. She was later named Juana, the figure of the Santo Niño. The natives also honored the Santo Niño de Cebu in their indigenous Sinulog ritual. The Sinulog ritual was preserved but limited to honoring 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!".

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. In 2012, Cebu introduced Life Dance, the biggest outdoor dance party in the country outside Metro Manila.

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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