Cebu, Philippines - Stein Travel
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The island-province of Cebu sits in the centre of the Philippine archipelago and is served by international and domestic charter flights to and from its airport. As Cebu is also a shipping crossroads, it is a good jumping-off point for island-hopping to the tropical islets of the central Visayas region. Within easy reach are the caves and lagoons of Calanggaman and Gato; the beaches of Argao, Oslop and Carmen; and the favourite dive spots of Moalboal, Badian, Mactan and Olango.

The Cebu metropolitan area is the country's second-biggest city, and, along with its adjacent Maktan Island, has become a bustling package-tour destination, particularly for Japanese visitors. It abounds with shopping malls, fast food outlets, casinos, golf courses and all-inclusive resort hotels to cater for the holidaymakers who come to enjoy the sandy beaches and glorious balmy weather.

Cebu's main claim to fame is its colourful festival, held every third Sunday in January, known as the Sinulog. The festival is a religious celebration wherein various tribes in dazzling costumes hold aloft images of the infant Jesus. The revellers wend their way through the city streets from early morning to evening, singing and dancing.

Cebu is also the country's oldest Spanish colonial city and has several historic landmarks, including the original cross, planted by Magellan in 1521 when he baptised the first group of Filipino natives into the Catholic faith. The cross is now housed in a roofed kiosk in Magallanes Street. Downtown Cebu is dominated by Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines, dating from the 16th century and today is lined with stores, shopping malls, office buildings and movie theatres.

Information & Facts


The official language of the Philippines is Filipino, but English is widely spoken. Tagalog is the most predominant of the many dialects or local languages spoken throughout the islands.


The currency of the Philippines is the Peso (PHP), which is divided into 100 centavos. Major credit cards are widely accepted in the cities and tourist destinations. Banks do not always accept travellers cheques, but a receipt of purchase is useful. ATMs are available in the major cities. US dollars are widely accepted in Manila and other tourist areas and are the easiest currency to exchange; otherwise Euros and Pounds Sterling can also be exchanged in banks and hotels. Banks open from 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday, but their ATMs are open 24 hours. It is best to carry pesos when travelling outside of major centres.


Local time is GMT +8.

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