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                                                          Magellans Cross

Of the 7,100 islands comprising the Philippines, Cebu has the most historical significance. At the time of the global scramble for exotic spices in the East,a Portuguese navigator sailing for Spain, Fernando Magallanes, came upon Zubu (Cebu) on April 7, 1921 The island then was already a flourishing village with "many sailing vessels from Siam (Thailand), China and Arabia docked at the port" as described by Antonio Pigafetta, Magallanes' chronicler. Then begun the Spanish era in the Philippines. However, it deteriorated upon the death of Magallanes in the hands of the brave local warrior, Lapulapu, only to resurrect with the arrival 44 years later, in 1565, of Miguel Lopez di Legazpi.

Its rich and colorful metamorphosis can be traced from 1521 as Zubu, the fishing village and busy trading port, to Villa San Miguel, later to Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus in 1575, then as the municipality of Cebu in 1905 up to its being a chartered city on February 24, 1937.

In the 19th century, Cebu started to exercise a dominant role in Southern Philippines' economic limelight. Agriculture, especially sugar cane cultivation and sugar manufacturing, pushed Cebu into playing an important role in this part of the country. But even more crucial than the agricultural products was her participation in trade and commerce. Proudly, Cebu has been given the honor as having many 'firsts' in the nation's history. Established by Legazpi in 1571, it became the first city in the Philippines, ante-dating Manila by 7 years. In point of fact, it is the oldest city in the country, having the oldest and smallest fort (Fort San Pedro), with the oldest church (Basilica of Sto. Niņo), the oldest school (San Carlos) and the oldest street (Colon). Referred to as the Queen City of the South and the seat of early Filipino Christianization, Cebu is also famous for its musical stringed instruments like banduria, guitar and piccolo.

Today, Cebu boasts of being the only city in the Philippines with the perfect blend of a business center and an entertainment hub.


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