Comprising 7,107 islands, the Philippines is arguably one of the leading tourism havens in the world. Aside from its crystal-clear beaches, this Southeast Asian nation is also famous for its colorful festivals, delicious food, fun-loving people, exciting events, and captivating tourist attractions.
One of the best island destinations in the country is Cebu. The province, which has a total land area of 4,932.79 square kilometers, ranks among the developed areas in southern Philippines. It is considered the center of commerce, trade, and education in the Visayas region.
Like any other province in the Philippines, Cebu has its own share of fascinating tourist sites. No wonder the Travel + Leisure magazine named Cebu the fourth-best Asian island destination last year. There are more plenty of reasons to visit Cebu. Here are some of them.
Cebu boasts of some of the best white-sand beaches in the Philippines. Some say a visit to Cebu is never complete without enjoying its pristine waters. Barili, a third-class municipality in the southwestern coast of Cebu, is home to the Candugay and Sayaw Beaches. These bodies of water are ideal for various water recreational activities such as skimboarding and snorkeling. You can also indulge in the beaches of Alcoy, Liloan, Boljoon, and San Remigio.
Cebu City, the provincial capital, is the site of the colorful festival called Sinulog. This annual event, which is held on the third Sunday of January, pays homage to the child Jesus, known as the Santo Niño. During the occasion, the streets of Cebu are filled with people dressed in bright-colored costumes dancing to the beat of drums, trumpets, and native musical instruments. Other highlights of the nine-day event include fairs, exhibits, and film showing.
Skydiving is another tourist magnet in Cebu. Over the past years, there is a growing demand for the extreme sport in the province, prompting a group of professional daredevils to establish the Cebu Sport Parachute Club. Usually the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is used as the take-off point of skydivers in the city. Skydiving in Cebu allows you to enjoy a panoramic view of the south-central part of the country.
If turning back the hands of time is your idea of a vacation, then visiting the Magellan's Cross in Cebu City is right for you. The Christian symbol, which is housed inside a chapel near Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, was planted by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to celebrate the baptism of former island chief Rajah Humabon and more than 500 others on April 21, 1521.
Never leave Cebu without buying its famous dried mangoes. This sweet snack is said to be the best of its kind in the world. Cebu's dried mangoes, which are naturally dried under the sun, have a chewy consistency that leaves a distinct taste in your mouth.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.