Things to do in Cebu:

  • See Magellan’s Cross: In 1521, Spanish conquistador, Ferdinand Magellan planted a wooden cross in Cebu as a symbol to convert the native Cebuanos to Christianity. Although most historians agree that the original wooden cross was burnt by locals following Magellan’s departure, a plaque next to the cross states its genuineness. The cross is housed in an octagonal shaped building in Plaza Sugbo.
  • Visit the Basilica of Santo Nino: For all those interested in the fascinating religious history of the Philippines, the Basilica, dating back to 1565, is a must visit tourist destination in Cebu. The church contains a sacred statue of Santo Nino (translating as ‘Holy Child,’ Jesus) which is believed to have been presented to the Queen of Cebu by Spanish conquistador, Ferdinand Magellan. The Basilica is visited by many devoted Filipinos who come to pray at the holy site.
  • Visit the dancing inmates: You’ve seen the Youtube videos, now see the real life performance! The dancing prisonaers of Cebu are a cultural phenomena and travellers who happen to be in Cebu on the last Saturday of the month can visit the high-security penitentiary and see the show for themselves. Dancing to popular hits, from Michael Jackson to Justin Bieber, the inmates put on one hell of a performance that has become famous worldwide! And, it’s good for prison morale too – apparently inside crime, dropped 80% during rehearsals for the show and the community dancing has continued to improve prison health, behavior and spirit.
  • Take in an incredible Filipino Festival: There are so many festivals in the Philippines that during your stay, you are bound to be in the right place at the right time! Cebu is famous for one of the biggest, loudest and most colorful festivals in the Philippines, known as Sinulog, taking place on the third Sunday of January every year. The festival is dedicated to Santo Nino, the child Jesus, as the Cebuanos celebrate their development from paganism to Christianity. Other festivals throughout the year include ‘Paskuhan,’ a Christmas celebration, Virgin of the Rule Fiesta (in November) and Kadaugan se Mactan (every April). There are many more, which lead the island to be nicknames ‘island of festivals’ by some.