Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Cebu City at a Glance

Scene at the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, an Augustinian church which was elevated to the rank of church in 1965 during the 400th year celebrations of Christianity in the Philippines, held in Cebu. This was the first church to be established in the islands. It is built of hewn stone, and features the country's oldest relic, the image of the Santo Niño de Cebu (Holy Child of Cebu).

AN ACQUAINTANCE once commented she thought Cebu was a big bore, and I had to literally shake my toes in disagreement – without actually disagreeing with her. She was holed in her hotel room for the remainder of her stay so how could she actually appreciate what this city had to offer if her lardy, lazy ass was glued to her hotel bed? Appreciation of anything is, after all, a subjective experience the way movie watching is. And one should not impose his views to other people. To each his own. Although my views are pretty tasteful. Bwahaha! (Jeez, humor me!)

On the contrary, Cebu City is a favorite city. It has a vibrant night life; a relatively cleaner air to breathe; a relaxed populace; and less annoying, albeit less greedy taxi drivers than – errr…. everywhere else!

Magellan's Cross, the city's most famous landmark. This cross, housed in a chapel, was supposedly planted by Ferdinand Magellan when he arrived in the Philippine Islands in 1521. 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. Revered by Filipinos, the Cross of Magellan is a symbol of the beginning of Christianity in the Philippines, the only major Catholic nation in Asia, comprising 80% of the population.

An art shop at the Ayala Center.

The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu, and is the second most significant metropolitan center in the Philippine Islands. The city is the first Spanish settlement in the country. Cebu is home to more than 80% of the country's domestic shipping companies.

Metro Cebu comprises the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, and Naga and boasts a population of about 2 million people. The Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Lapu-Lapu City is only a 20 minutes away from Cebu City. To the northeast of the city are Mandaue City, and the town of Consolacion, to the west are Toledo City, the towns of Balamban, and Asturias, to the south are Talisay City, and the town of Minglanilla. Across Mactan Strait to the east is Mactan Island where Lapu-Lapu City and an aquarium attraction are located.

Population of Cebu City alone– 798, 809 as of 2007!

There are 80 barangays (counties) in Cebu City. These are grouped into two congressional districts. Posted herewith are photos of Magellan’s Cross and a pious scene from the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino (Church of the Holy Child). And in celebration of the Holy Week, this is the Eye in the Sky wishing everyone a safe and meaningful season.

The walk between Ayala Center Cebu and Marriott Hotel.

As it was in Davao and Metro Manila, Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz's "You Changed My Life" was a huge money maker in Cebu! People came in droves! Sarah seems to be on a roll! Though I wouldn't subscribe to it being an excellent film, this had a better threshed out and well-grounded story than the first one. But the "bebe ko, bebe ko..." scenes were a bit gut churning.

Guitars on sale... or Cebu won't be the guitar-making capital of the country.

Ayala Center's row of restaurants.

Cebu Midtown Hotel. This was a very comfortable place to stay. Problem was, its wifi connectivity is a bit dodgy. You have to buy a wifi card that would allow you to use your laptop. When I tried, no card was available. Hilarious really! And everywhere you turn, within the vicinity of the hotel, you see a great number of Arab students and tourists. That should be good news. I used to have Moroccan and Algerian friends at my flat back in London, and contrary to common notion, they were very nice people. Miss having a good laugh with them really!

Map courtesy of wikipedia's the coffee aka Mike Gonzalez.

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