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CEBU, PHILIPPINES


Cebu is famous for its beautiful shells. See some of our collection, below, after the text on this page.


CEBU is one of the 7,100 islands making up the PHILIPPINE nation, in the Pacific Ocean. For more information on the PHILIPPINES, click here. Cebu was originally called Sugbo, as early as the 13th century. At that time it was already an important crossroad of the pre-colonial era, in Southeast Asian trade.

Cebu Province has a total population of around 3 million. Cebuano is the native tongue. English and Tagalog are commonly understood and spoken.

Often called the "Queen City of the South" and the Seat of Christianity in the Philippines, Cebu is the country's oldest city. Exploring Cebu City, one encounters a rich historic past. Cebuanos are extremely proud of their cultural and historical heritage, a legacy which has endured thru the centuries from the time the great explorer Ferdinand Magellan first planted the cross on Cebu's shore.

From Zubu, the fishing village and busy trading port in 1521 has evolved a highly urbanized metropolitan center which now serves as focal point of growth and development in Southern Philippines. With its five cities; Cebu, Danao, Lapulapu Mandaue and Toledo; and its 48 smaller towns, Cebu. has more than kept pace with the nation's progress. Today ' the island province leads in traditional and non-traditional exports and has the highest economic growth rate anywhere in the country. Likewise, recent indications pointed out that Cebu has become the country's favorite tourist destination.

Cebu's 167 islets and islands are lined with idyllic white sandy beaches and pristine clear waters. Cebu. has gained wide popularity for its fantastic diving grounds evidenced by the proliferation of resorts which offer luxurious accommodations, excellent dive facilities and the services of competent dive masters and dive guides.

BRIEF HISTORY of CEBU


NOTE: We extend our appreciation for the following for information on the website of Cebu Travel Information @ http://www.asiatravel.com/Cebu/cebuinfo.html. For more information about places, trips, restaurants and many other interesting things, click the above web site.


In 1521, Portuguese Explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, made Cebu a base for the exploration and conquest of the Philippine islands. Magellan was killed in a battle on the nearby Philippine island of Mactan, by the chieftain of Mactan, Lapu-Lapu. Chief Lapu-Lapu became the first Philippine chieftain to thwart an attempt at foreign domination, for which he became a hero.

Miguel Lopez de Legazpi led the second wave, of Spanish Conquistadores, to the Philippines, who founded their first settlement, Villa San Miguel, on Cebu in 1565. Later the name of Villa San Miguel was changed to Villa de Santissimo Nombre de Jesus, after an image of the Santo Nino or Boy Jesus found among the ruins of a vanquished native village

In 1860, the demand for sugar cane, tobacco and hemp paved the way for the opening up of the countryside. And with Cebu's central location in the south, goods entered and exited through its ports. By the mid-19th century, Cebu had caught up with the outside world. Cities thrived with newly-established industries, and suburbs flourished. With the American rule came improved infrastructure, more modern ports and facilities.

Today, Metropolitan Cebu is a 33,000-hectare complex of three cities and six municipalities. Its population of more than a million is a cosmopolitan mix of Filipinos with Chinese, American and European influences. The prevailing dialect is Cebuano or Bisaya, the vernacular, but English and Tagalog are widely spoken.As in the past, the island province preserves with pride its role as the crossroads of international trade.

The recently-expanded and modernized Mactan International Airport services flights from all over the world. Ocean-going vessels dock at the similarly modernized ports.

HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL INFORMATION

Modern Cebu (which is the site of the oldest Spanish settlement in the Philippines) retains traces of its colonial heritage. Centuries-old churches and Antillan houses merge along tree-lined streets with modern high-rises and other modern buildings.


Fort San Pedro, is the smallest and oldest bastion in the country. It was built in 1738 to repel Muslim raiders. At times, it served as a stronghold for Filipino revolutionaries, as a US army barracks, and as a prison camp during the Japanese occupation. Today, it is a historical park.


Lapu-Lapu's Monument in Mactan Island, was erected in honor of the first Filipino Chieftain who fought for his people's freedom. Adjacent to Lapu-Lapu's monument is Magellan's marker, a tribute to the Portuguese explorer slain by Lapu-Lapu on that same spot.

Casa Gorordo, once the residence of the first Catholic bishop of Cebu, has been restored as a reminder of a more gracious bygone era. Its opulent halls house cultural and historical relics of the 18th century, a collection of old prints, and contemporary works of art. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 5 pm. A modest entrance fee is collected.

The Osmeņa residence holds some of General Douglas MacArthur's memorabilia and the personal mementos of Sergio Osmeņa, the first President of the Philippine Republic after World War II.

The University of San Carlos Museum within the city proper houses a wide collection of interesting finds from all over the country. Its exhibits of religious relics, archaeological and ethnic artifacts, botanical and zoological specimens and other finds are a must for history buffs and curio enthusiasts.

Magellan's Cross, the replica of which contains the remnants of the original one planted by Ferdinand Magellan on Cebu's shores, stands within a wayside shrine commemorating the conversion of the first Filipinos to Christianity. Ceiling murals depict the first Catholic mass celebrated on Philippine shores.

The Cebu Capitol, seat of provincial government, is a magnificent edifice of pre-war vintage. From the Avenue of Flags, its dome can be seen rising white against the backdrop of mountains in the distance.


Cebu is noted for it's beaches and fantastic dive sites. Resorts vie for your attention with international standard accommodations and complete facilities for a sporting vacation. Many of these are located within one or two hours' drive from downtown Cebu.

Mactan Island boasts of a dozen or more beach resorts scattered all around its coastline. Dive sites along the edge of the island are convenient for beginners and advanced divers alike. Adequate diving facilities are available. There is a 10-meter ledge which is a favorite fish feeding area. Buyong and marigondon are notable dive spots with drop-offs great for night diving

Olango Island across the Hilutangan Channel east of Mactan has an underwater peak for the more experienced diver. Beautiful coral gardens and a dense fish population make this site ideal. The town of Sta. Rosa is delightful with its natural rock formations composed of coral cliffs rising up from the ocean floor.

Sogod up north beckons with its crystal clear waters, said to be the spawning ground of giant marine turtles. An extensive natural cave network with subterranean rivers entice the adventurous.

Bantayan, a three-town island off the northern tip of Cebu, is fringed with fine white sand beaches, sheltering coves and lagoons, shoals and reefs with good coral cover.

Moalboal, the famous coastal town along Cebu's southwestern shores, is the diving capital hereabouts. Just off the town is Pescador Island, with its drop-offs down sheer cliffs studded with caves and overhangs. Other sites in the area included Sa-avedra and Bas Diot, particularly rich in corals and having bigger varieties of fish than other Moalboal sites.

Panagsama Beach, at the edge of a small peaceful fishing village due west from Moalboal, is an unspoiled strip of white beach lapped by clear-bottomed waters. Rustic cottages line the shore, where fishermen haul in their catch at daybreak.

Badian Island, south of Moalboal, entices with breathtaking coral formations and wonderfully tame fish. Divers are sure to encounter one or more large sea snakes on any dive (that should cause a shudder)

Gato Islet, named after its shape which resembles that of a sitting cat, has peculiar caves, lagoons and crevices that harbor breeder sea snakes and their young from March to September. (so dive from October to February I guess)

Sumilon Island, at the southern tip of Cebu, was developed as a marine sanctuary by the Siliman University in Negros Oriental province west of Cebu. Snorkeling and diving are good as its waters are rich breeding grounds for many marine species.

Argao and Dalaguete are southern towns with both exclusive and public resort facilities lining its white sand beaches. Windsurfing, sailing and snorkeling are popular.



So what about the beautiful sea shells and other marine life from Cebu?
Here are some examples!!

**Some of the shells shown here are courtesy of our friends Guido T. Poppe and Philippe Poppe, owners of Conchology, Inc., whose web site is http://www.conchology.be/index.php. You can subscribe to their website for FREE and they will email you lists AND PICTURES of thousands of beautiful shells which they have for sale. They also periodically send out under water pictures of marine life which you will really enjoy.

Conus leopardus Collection of Shells
from Cebu, Philippines
Conus mus
Conus striatus Conus unknown sp. Conus virgo
Conus marmoreus Harpa ventricosa Conus figilinus
**MURICIDAE
Chicoreus brunneus
Olango Island, Cebu
**CYPRAEIDAE
Cypraea labrolineata
Aliquay Island, Cebu
**MURICIDAE
Murex nigrispinosus
Olango Island, Cebu