Know an Asian Island: Cebu, Philippines

 

Kawasan Falls on the West coast of Central Cebu, Philippines

It’s not just any island –it’s the 3rd “Best Island in Asia” according to Travel + Leisure’s Readers Choice Poll 2010 (The top two are Bali and the Maldives, which I have to say is not just one island, but anyway –Cebu is in good company.)

 

It’s also my home island, where I was born and raised. All my life I’ve told people what an awesome island Cebu (pronounced “seh BOO”) is.

 

Now that it’s got validation from a highly acclaimed travel magazine, let me teach you a thing or two about the third best island in Asia.

 

 

 

 

 

FACTS YOU’LL REMEMBER

 

  • Cebu is the second biggest city in the Philippines, after the capital, Manila. It’s located in the center of the Philippine archipelago, which has over 7,000 islands.
  • Cebu’s heritage is a mix of Spanish and Chinese influences, which you’ll find in a lot of old Catholic churches and local, Chinese-owned businesses.

 

HISTORICAL TRIVIA

 

While on his landmark expedition to circumnavigate the world, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by a Cebuano tribal chieftain named Lapu-Lapu. Set on converting the pagan chief to Christianity, Magellan and his sixty men descended on the shores of Mactan Island, Cebu, only to be met by 1,500 of Lapu-Lapu’s hostile men.  Magellan was shot by a poisonous arrow and later killed by bamboo spears.

 

POP CULTURE REFERENCE

 

Ever seen that Youtube video of orange-garbed prisoners dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? That one. That, along with several other choreographed dances of ‘80s hits, was shot in the exercise yard of a maximum security prison in Cebu.
The dances were originally part of a prison program to keep the inmates mentally and physically fit. Now it’s a point of pride (43 million views and counting), not to mention a tourist draw. The 1,500 or so male inmates give free monthly performances, and visitors can have their photos taken with the performers.

 

COOL THING TO KNOW

 

In Anthony Bourdain’s crappy coverage of the Philippines for his usually incredible show, “No Reservations,” he visited Cebu and sampled a local delicacy, a roasted pig called lechon. This is no ordinary pig over a spit –the pig is stuffed with a tasty blend of herbs and spices, and carefully kept moist as it spins slowly over hot coals.

 

The result is the juiciest strips that tear easily from your fingers, and skin that crackles as you bite into it. Tony Bourdain, food connoisseur and pork lover extraordinaire, called Cebu lechon “the best pig ever.”

 

WHY YOU SHOULD GO

 

It’s a tropical island with beautiful white-sand beaches and calm, warm waters famous for lush coral reefs and a wealth of marine life. It’s got all the comforts of a big city, but it still retains a friendly, small-town vibe.

 

That, plus delicious pork and dancing prisoners. Seriously, Cebu rocks. Consider it the next time you plan a trip to an Asian island.

Post your Comments












Book with OneTravel

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Cars
From:
To:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Click here for calendar
Time:
Adults:
Seniors: (65+)
Children:(2-11)
Infants on lap:
Infants on seat:
Class:
$ 15 OFF
Big Savings Coupon Code: Blog15

RecentPosts

  • Check Please! How To Ask For The Bill in 13 LanguagesComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 17 Jul 2014
  • Here is how you can ask for the check in thirteen languages. By knowing how to ask for the bill, you can avoid waiting at your table for hours on end without being given the check....read more

  • Animal of the Week: Lunita the Three-Fingered SlothComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Diana Denza, last post 16 Jul 2014
  • Our idea of heaven happens to look remarkably like the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, whose mission is to rescue and rehabilitate nature’s most chill creatures. It’s also the place Lunita, an impossibly cute orphaned baby sloth, calls home....read more

  • Love Is In the Air! ‘She Is Going Places’ On Planning a Vacation for TwoComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:OneTravel Staff, last post 16 Jul 2014
  • Planning a vacation for two can be as seamless as your love. We asked pro wanderer and OneTravel Twitter chat co-host Michele Herrmann of She Is Going Places to share her best tips for an argument-free vacation, favorite cities for couples, and the romantic attractions you can’t afford to miss....read more

  • 4 Munich Budget Savers to Pack in Your LederhosenComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0


  • By:Suzy Guese, last post 16 Jul 2014
  • Munich can drain a wallet faster than a twenty something can glug down that liter beer at Oktoberfest. Travelers shouldn’t write off Munich or pass it by on the autobahn due to cost. Here are a few very simple yet substantial budget savers to put in place on your visit to Munich....read more

  • 5 Sensational Blogs about Los AngelesComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0

    1
  • By:Chris Osburn, last post 15 Jul 2014
  • Los Angeles is a fantastic city but unless you know it well can prove a heck of a tough one to explore. Why just stick to the beach and major attractions when there's so much more to see and do? Here are six blogs about LA and by Angelinos to help you make the most of your visit to La La Land! For this list I tried to look past the many big media blogs and all the gossipy celebrity obsessed sites and really try to focus on blogs that offer the best insider perspective for folks visiting from out of town. I hope you find these blogs to be fun and useful reads!...read more