How Cebu City Captured My Heart and Soul

Cebu is the second largest Philippine metropolis. This city boasts of being tagged as the Queen City of the Southern Philippines and one of the most important city for Philippine history as the seat of early Christianization and colonization of the country. Personally, I have only been in Cebu few times but I have never experienced being in the city, so I really wanted to travel back. Recently, I had the chance to be in the city for three days and I can say Cebu City has captured my heart and soul.

In this article, I will be pointing out major reasons why I fell instantly for this urban area.

Cebu is bastion of the Cebuano-speaking people.

Since Cebuano is my mother tongue, the language is music to my ears. Its Spanish influence, word precision and depth makes it unique compared with other Philippine languages. The varying accents and usage of words among millions of Filipinos embracing the language reflects the diversity among the culture among Cebuano-speaking people of the Southern Philippines. Furthermore, given that I have been learning new languages, I realized the beauty of my mother tongue, such that after I learned significantly in Norwegian, I used Cebuano more than English and Tagalog recently. Indeed, I am proud Cebuano-speaking Filipino.

Cebu is inherently religious Catholic metropolis.

Visiting Cebu is incomplete without visiting the Sto. Nino Church and The Cross of Magellan. These two historical and religious sites show the strong influence of Catholicism in the area. The reverence and devotion in Cebu is simply incomparable with other places with Catholic dominance. People in Cebu literally makes their Catholic faith a center of their lifestyle. Although individuals vary in attitude or behavior, I consider Cebu as a stronghold of the Catholic church, not just in Asia, but also in the world. Personally, due to these reasons, I somehow saw another perspective of the Catholic faith that made me hold more unto my roots and belief.

Cebu offers unique culture, food and festivities.

One of the most usual reason for people to go to Cebu is its culture, the Sinulog Festival and Cebuano cuisine. The Cebuano culture is similar with the general Filipino culture in terms of hospitality, family orientation and resilience; however it is different and perhaps better in terms of its depth in Catholic faith and real devotion. This devotion is depicted in Sinulog festival, which draws both pilgrims and tourists coming from inside and outside the country. Moreover, Cebu is well-knowned for its love of music and dance. The creativity and strength of the message these artistic forms convey is also evident in Cebuano literature and entertainment. Futhermore, Cebuano food is characterized by delicious well-spiced grilled whole pig, unique sweet products, fresh raw fish cooked in vinegar and other food products only seen or originated in the Southern Philippines, if not in Cebu.

Cebu has generally fine tropical weather.

The weather in Cebu is generally tropical with long periods of warm, dry season and few months of rainy season. Before, Cebu was known to be typhoon-protected primarily due to its central location within the Visayas Group of Islands. However, recently Cebu has been experiencing the wrath of strong typhoons, but not as often as the Western and Eastern regions of the country. Moreover, the sunny weather makes Cebu a perfect place for people to do outdoor activities, whether along the sea coast, on top of the mountains or within the busy Cebu metropolis. I can say Cebu is unique among the largest Philippine metropolis since one could enjoy coral white beaches in Cebu, while the rocky mountains and the urban areas are accessible to any tourist at any given time, without having to travel several hours from the heart of the city.

Cebu is full of life because of its friendly people.

I have come to meet few people in Cebu. They made my stay in Cebu comfortable and memorable. I felt Cebu was long-lost home place. The people are generally open, in spite of the strong influence of the Catholic faith. I got to experience Cebu through the hospitality and openness of individuals. With no other intentions, I felt warmth among people in Cebu, more than how I felt in Manila or Davao. Because of this, the primary advantage of Cebu is its people. Whether one is a foreigner or local tourist, Cebuano people has something to offer. Of course, my short vacation in Cebu is made special because I was with my generous grandfather and niece. The time I was in Cebu was nearly perfect. It was not perfect in reality, but I consider it like it was because of the people and sights of Cebu.

Lastly, I vow to keep coming back in Cebu regardless of what happens in the future. Cebu has left a good place in my mind and heart. Cebu is simply captivating.


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