Cebu and Cebu City, nicknamed Queen City of the South, has a very rich history. The name Cebu originated from the term Sibu which was the old term for trade. Actually only the harbor of the town of Sugbo were called so, Sugbo being the ancient name for Cebu City. Before the arrival of Spaniards in 1521, Cebu was part of the rajahnate and trade center of Kangdaya, which means Islands belonging to Daya.
Magellan and the Spanish
Portuguese explorer and adventurer Ferdinand Magellan arrived in April 1521 and tried to claim the island for the Spanish crown. He was killed soon at the Battle of Mactan, the remaining members left quickly after several of them were poisoned. Spanish conquistadors under leadership of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi came back some 45 years later, took possession of the island for the king of Spain, named the village “Villa del San Miguel de Cebu” and fortified it later by building Fort San Pedro, today one of the main tourist attractions in the city.
Cebu City is now a highly urbanized city. It is the oldest city in the Philippines, has been its first capital is considered as the Fount of Christianity in the Far-East and is. Official population of Cebu City is close to one million, but if the surrounding cities are taken into account, it forms one big urban area called Metro Cebu with an estimated population of about 2.6 million people.
Cebu and Tourism
Meanwhile Cebu has become the most important tourist hub in the Philippines. Cebu City by itself has modern shopping malls, good restaurants and a lively party and night club scene. The island offers an array of white-sand beaches and island hopping opportunities. Good dive spots can be reached in minutes from the international airport, located on Mactan Island. Prime dive destinations are Malapascua Island to the north and Moalboal with Pescador Island to the south. Cebu is also a step stone for travelling to the dive sites of Bohol, Siquijor and Negros.