Cebu is one of the most visited places in the Philippines. This island in the Central Visayas region really has a lot to offer. From historic places down to its hidden gems, Cebu proves that this island deserves to be called as the Queen City of the South. So, if you are planning to spend some of your time in Cebu, here are the 26 spots that you need to visit.
1. CASA GORORDO.
Located at the heart of Cebu City, is a house, presently called as “Casa Gorordo” that was built in the 1850s and originally owned by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales. The house was then bought by a merchant from Vizcaya in Spain named Isidro Gorordo, and four generations of the Gorordo family have lived in this house, and this includes the first Filipino bishop of Cebu named Juan Gorordo. That is where the present name came from.
Casa Gorordo majestically serves as a definite illustration of the Spanish colonial era house locally known as “Balay nga Tisa” or in English, “House with tiled roof”. This Cebu Casa Gorordo Museum is also made of coral stone blocks, and molave hardwood flooring.
The unique architectural design of Casa Gorordo Museum, combines both native Spanish and Chinese influences which entices hundreds of tourists who visit in the city. You can also see variety of century-old paintings that are mounted and displayed inside the said museum. Also, the blending of the cultures from east and west is referred to “mestizo” that defines the character and identity of Filipinos.
Inside of Casa Gorordo Museum Cebu are the artifact collections that reflects the Cebuanos’ lifestyle from the late 1800s until the pre-World War II era. Also, there are Casa Gorordo Museum merchandise that are not available and cannot be found from any stores around the city.
Temple of Leah is a 45-minute drive away from the city’s car line and is one of the most visited tourist spots in the city.
The magnificent Temple of Leah is located in Busay, Cebu City and covers a land area of about 5, 000 square meters, and seven storeys high. Its structure is inspired by ancient Roman architecture intact with Doric columns made of granite. The building and its corners are also adorns with various Grecian statues.
10K Roses is not just an ordinary café like the one that you have been into. What makes it different from other cafes in Cebu, is because of its modern industrial look with a roof deck where guests and al-fresco diners can see an overlooking view of the ocean, mangrove forest, and the ever-changing skyline or a sun set. Also, Cebu 10K Roses is filled with white artificial roses planted on both sides of the concrete foot-path that will lead the guests to the main dining area. Even though these plants are just artificial flowers, when you look at it from afar, it’s like a field full of white roses that dances slowly together with the wind.
On the other hand, this café might be located in the metro, guests can still feel the cool breeze of the air because of its wide-open area planted with ten thousand white artificial roses that are being lit-up at night. These 10K roses that are planted makes the view even more beautiful in the cold evening. After the sun sets, these roses serve as a romantic light for those who are into hanging out and star-gazing on the seaside.
Dalan Colon as it is know to Cebuanos is considered as the oldest and longest street in the Philippines. This historical street in Cebu City was built by the Spaniards during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
This street was named after Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) and now became the heart of the city as it glitters during night time lined with movie houses, restaurants, department stores and other commercial businesses. Universities were also built in the said street.
Colon has also been the place where cultural events first arise and witnessed the ups and downs of Cebu’s economic and political competence up since then, up until now.
This significant icon holds the most important role when it comes to Christianity especially to Cebuanos. Magellan’s Cross is planted by the Portuguese and Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan upon their arrival in Cebu on March 15, 1521, and on the same day, marks the birth of Christianity in the land.
The historical cross is now enclosed under a Spanish-styled pavilion, few meters away from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.
This church is considered to be the most sacred and holiest place in Cebu City. This is where the miraculous image of the holy child Sto. Niño lies. It is also known as the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country and built on the spot where the image of Sto. Niño was found during the expedition of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
This monument is a tableau of sculptures made of concrete, bronze, brass, and steel that exhibits scenes about the events and structures related to the history of Cebu.
The structures that can be seen in the monument are the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, St. John the Baptist Church, Magellan’s Cross, and Spanish Galleon.
While the scenes are the baptism of Rajah Humabon, procession of Santo Niño, Roman Catholic Mass, and the Battle of Mactan.
The monument is located in the Parian District and is few meters away from the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.
This ancestral house in Parian, Cebu City is said to be the very first Chinese house built outside of China. The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House was built during the Spanish colonial era in the country where the Chinese where required to live in the Parians of a city.
The ancestral house is also referred as “Balay nga Bato ug Kahoy” by the Cebuanos as this house was made out of coral stones and wood.
Aside from Yap-San Diego Ancestral House and Casa Gorordo, the Museo de Parian is also one of the oldest houses in the country that was built at about centuries ago, probably, the same year when the Yap-San Diego was constructed.
With the presence of artifacts and antique materials, these were used as evidence by the historians and architects that this house was built way before 1730, tough the exact year is not yet clear when it was completed.
What makes this house a historic one, is because of its roof that is made of tisa or red clay tiles while the trusses supported a lot of marvelous carvings, made by the Chinese artisans.
10. Fort San Pedro
This historical landmark was a military defense structure built by the Spaniards headed by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.Fort San Pedro is triangular in shape, with two sides facing on the sea, while the third one is facing on the land. The 2, 025 square meters fort was made of wood and built after the arrival of Legaspi and his expedition.
11. Museo Sugbo
This captivating infrastructure in Cebu City is located few blocks away from Fort San Pedro.
Museo Sugbo was once a Carcel de Cebu, the provincial jail of the province. This building is believed that most of the coral stone blocks from the Parian Church were used to build parts of the carcel.
After the transfer of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) to a more spacious and modern prison complex in the year 2004, the goal was converted to Museo Sugbo—the repository of Cebuano heritage—a feat that was realised when the first four galleries of the museum were inaugurated in 2008.
12. Taoist Temple
Cebu Taoist Temple became one of the iconic symbols for the Cebuanos. This temple is also considered as a symbol of the city’s large and prosperous ethnic Chinese population. This place is open for the public enabling the tourists to have a meditation spot when they want to exhaust all their tiredness from the city.
Upon entering the Cebu Taoist Temple, you can see that this building is surrounded by the dragon statues. In Chinese beliefs, a dragon for them, is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. This temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion that follows the principles and teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher named Lao Tze.
13. Sirao Garden
This spot is one of the most visited places in the city because of its colorful landscape filled with various kinds of flowers.
Upon entering from the entrance, you will see a lot of flowers that blossoms together. Red, yellow, pink, orange–name all the colors you want to name, the flowers of Sirao Garden will show you. The most exciting part in the area is the wide-open hand that serves as your platform to see the entire landscape of the colorful garden.
14. Osmena Peak
It would be a nice Cebu experience if you will try trekking up to the summit of this hill. This spot is the most attractive mountains for those who are mountaineers because of the scenic view they see from above. The sea of clouds that freely flows like the water of the ocean is the most refreshing thing you will see from here every morning before or during sunrise.
One of the hidden gems of Cebu is the iconic Kawasan Waterfalls that lies in the municipality of Badian, a place located in the southern part of Cebu. This waterfall flaunts an amazing beauty of green bushes that surrounds the area. It is a peaceful natural place with a gentle hush of rushing cold waters. This is a multi-layered waterfalls located in Barangay Matutinao of the said municipality.
The iconic Kawasan Waterfalls is also popular because of its refreshing turquoise water. It is an attraction that sits at the foot of Mantalongon Mountain Range with about one kilometer from the car line of Badian and at least around four hours of walking from the Osmena Peak of Dalaguete. Cebu’s Kawasan Waterfalls consist of two main cascades and both has deep natural pools that are perfect for swimming. The first cascade is stands at about 40 meters while the other one is at about 20 meters and can be reached within 10 minutes of trekking.
Swimming with these gentle giants in Oslob is for sure, one of the best adventures you will ever have. However, if you really want to swim with these creatures, I suggest that you should be early in going to the site because there are a lot of tourists who also wants to be with these whale sharks. For the safety of both human and marine lives , tourists are advice to undergo first the five to ten minutes orientation of dos and don’ts. If you wish to put you sun block on before you plunge, better get rinsed before interacting with the whale sharks. Sunblock may cause harm to these giants.
Sumilon Island is one of the most visited islands in the region. It is located in the south eastern part of Cebu province in the Municipality of Oslob. This island is just a 30-minute boat ride from the car line of the said municipality. The Sumilon Island of Cebu is 24 hectares in size flaunting a “now you see, now you don’t” powdery white sand bar. What makes this island different from the others is because of its refreshing crystal blue waters. The refreshing breeze of the air is also one of the things that you will enjoy your stay in this island.
18. Pescador Island
The Pescador Island is located specifically in the Tañon Strait, just a few kilometers from the western coast of the province of Cebu. The name of the island derives from the Spanish term “Pescador” which means “Fishermen”. The waters in the island is very abundant with fishes and other marine life living on the surrounding coral reef that attracts many fishermen.
Given the fact that Cebu Pescador Island is a marine sanctuary, scuba diving in this area is the top activity. You also get the chance to see the rare green sea turtle swimming around the colorful are of Pescador Island, but it only depends on the weather condition.
You can also do free diving here at Pescador Island and swim along with the famous sardine run. For sure, as you see these group of fishes swimming altogether, you’ll be amazed of how this marine sanctuary was preserved by the Cebuanos.
19. Simala Shrine
Be mesmerized by the miraculous and sacred place of Cebu. This shrine is considered to be the home the miraculous image of the Most Blessed Mother Mary. It is located in Lindogon, Sibonga, Cebu—an hour and a half away from the metro. The place is very popular to the believers and Marian devotes over years. However, it’s not just popular for being the home of the Blessed Mother—it’s also famous because of its structure that looks like a place.
20. Tumalog Falls
This spot is the most majestic treasure of Cebu. Hidden in the southern part of Cebu province, this alluring waterfalls captures the heart and attention of tourists because of its magnificent view surrounded by green bushes with birds flying above.
Tumalog waterfalls is just a 30-minute ride from the main road of Oslob, few meters away from the site where the gentle giants swim.
Malapascua Island, Cebu provides satisfaction to the hundreds of tourists who visit here every day. The tranquillity of its crystal-clear water that crashes on the shoreline could give a relaxing sound to many. The fine white sand will be the witness of your happiness as you walk, run, and jump for joy. The wind that touches your skin is a fresh air that blows all your stress. Not just that. Malapascua Island’s weather is ideal for every backpacker who wants to be away from the busy metro. It is because this island is rarely hit by typhoons that enter the Philippine area—so, this means that you could visit the island any time of the year! No wonder why this magnificent island is described to be the little Boracay of Cebu.
22. Bantayan Island
Bantayan is one of the most visited islands in Cebu provine. This island became known to most of the tourists because of its alluring view and refreshing air. This island flaunts a powdery white sand and crystal clear water that’s perfect for the beach lovers.
Cliff diving is the top extreme adventures that most of the tourists do. Also, because of the abundance of marine life, snorkeling has made its way to be one of the water adventures to try while in the island.
23. Camotes Island
This magnificent group of islands possess wonderful beaches both touched and untouched. It’s the best island to start your journey when you want to do island hopping. This group of islands boast its pride as it became the sanctuary of different marine creatures. No wonder why this island has become one of the best diving sites in the province and in the Philippines.
24. Carnaza Island
This hidden gem of Cebu is a 173 hectares in size located in Daanbantayan, Cebu, the northernmost part of the province. Carnaza Island is one of the most alluring beaches in Cebu that is still complete in marine biodiversity. It’s no wonder why this island is perfect for snorkeling, scuba and free divig, or even just for relaxation. Why not try to visit this island? For sure, you will fell in love with the beauty it flaunts!
Famous with its stretched powdery white sandbar, Kalanggaman Island is now one of the top destinations of backpackers! Its pristine and cool waters is really perfect for those who love beaches. The palm trees planted on the island doesn’t only provide a shade for the tourists, but also to provide them a wonderful island experience because of the refreshing air it blows that touches the skin. Better get here wile it’s still new and a little bit of undiscovered! For sure, you will be enjoying every millisecond of your time while your feet is on its famous sandbar!
26. Cebu Safari
Located in Carmen, Cebu lies a jungle-like place. It’s where you can feel the African vibe and imagine like you’re in Serengeti (a wide place for wild animals). You don’t need your visa by just witnessing how wild animals live their life and the way they interact with one another. All you have to do is to book South Shore Tours and you’ll have your instant Safari experience!
These are just 26 spots where you can spend your day in Cebu. For more spots to be explored at an affordable price, just visit www.southshoretours.ph
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