Explore: Cebu City’s Historical Spots

Cebu City Tour | www.jhanzey.net
Cebu has always taken pride on being one of the most historical cities in the country. From the arrival and discovery of the Philippines by Magellan, to the great milestones of civilization of our country, Cebu has undoubtedly played a huge role in our history. Last week, Cza and I had the chance to explore the city and indulge ourselves into its beauty and history.

Cebu City Tour | Plaza Independencia | www.jhanzey.net

Plaza Independencia

Once we landed safely on the airport, we decided to go straight ahead and explore the city. Our first stop: Plaza Independencia in Cebu City. Travel time from the airport is around 30 minutes, including the traffic. As we go around, I realized that Cebu is really reminiscent of Manila, except that there are no pesky MRTs or LRTs around, and there are no buses that hog the highways.
Cebu City Tour | Plaza Independencia | www.jhanzey.net
Thanks to our friendly taxi driver, Kuya Jeff, for helping us out and giving us tips on how to go around the area. He also mentioned that everything is within walking distance, and clarified that some of the places that we wanted to explore (i.e. Tops, among many others) is actually out of the way.
Plaza Independencia is a smaller version of Rizal Park in Manila, with huge spaces to stay and hang around, while basking under the sun and the history of the place. Apparently, it has been around since the early 1600s and was called as Plaza de Armas for a couple of years, before going through various name changes as the country goes under colonization of one nation to another.
Fun fact: during a road tunnel project in 2006, there were pre-hispanic human bones that were unearthed in the area, as well as gold death masks, and various jars. Talk about antiquity.
Cebu City Tour | Fort San Pedro | www.jhanzey.net

Fort San Pedro

Next stop was Fort San Pedro, which you’d easily spot once you get in the Plaza Independencia. Reminiscent of Fort Santiago in Manila, this place also served as a stronghold during the war. There were a couple of rooms here and there, and a small park inside. Some parts of the fort was converted into small museums, housing different artifacts and photographs of the old Cebu.
Cebu City Tour | Fort San Pedro | www.jhanzey.net
Fort San Pedro Facade

There’s an entrance fee of Php 30.00 per head, and an additional Php 20.00 for the parking fee. If in case you’re interested for a tour and a quick historical storytelling, they also offer a guide. You may inquire on the front desk once you got here.

Cebu City Tour | Fort San Pedro | www.jhanzey.net
The Park inside

There isn’t really much to see inside, as the park is somehow bare, and the museums are pretty small so you can quickly go around in just a couple of minutes. However, there are nice spots around where you can chill and take pictures, perfect for your turista shot or OOTD.

Cebu City Tour | Fort San Pedro | www.jhanzey.net
Walkway reminiscent of Intramuros’

Like most forts, they also have a walkway up the walls, with cannons still installed but (of course) no longer functional. During our visit, the place is under renovation, since most of its facade were affected during the earthquake in 2013, and the typhoon Haiyan in the same year. We’re glad that the government are giving off efforts to revive this historical marker, but we also hope that they’d focus on creating better exhibits inside the museums.

Cebu City Tour | Fort San Pedro | www.jhanzey.net
Various photographs of the history of Cebu
Cebu City Tour | Fort San Pedro | www.jhanzey.net
Replicas of Galleons
There were a lot of photos that are very interesting, images that shows how simple it was to live in the past. History is just flowing through each cracks of the building. However, it was kind of a let down seeing these beautiful photographs placed on an illustration board and covered in plastic. I hope in the next few years, they’d be able to transfer these to a better and decent looking frames. The galleries has so much to offer for such a mediocre execution.

MalacaΓ±ang sa Sugbo

Cebu City Tour | Malacanang Sa Sugbo | www.jhanzey.net
The president’s very own residence in Cebu, Malacanang sa Sugbo has been one of the spots that you’d usually read on tourist destination lists for the city. However, there isn’t really much to see, aside from its pearly white facade. You really can’t go in since it’s closed down. We passed by Malacanang sa Sugbo as we made our way to Magellan’s Cross, which is a couple of blocks away from the Plaza.

Magellan’s Cross

Cebu City Tour | Magellan's Cross | www.jhanzey.net
Unlike what most people expect, Magellan’s Cross is housed by a rather small building, and looks very simple, compared to the grandeur that you’d usually see when browsing photos. It was still majestic as you’d expect, with the beautiful ceiling painting. It’s amazing to realize that this cross stood through the test of time (which is more or less 500 years and counting). It’s located near Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, on the busy streets of Magallanes.
Aside from witnessing the cross, you are also free to say your prayers and leave a candle inside.

Basilica del Sto. NiΓ±o

Cebu City Tour | Basilica del Sto. Nino | www.jhanzey.net
Photo from Cza
Our last stop for the tour was the Basilica del Sto. Nino, a couple of meters away from Magellan’s Cross. We wanted to see the church as Cza is the type of person who likes to digest as much history and art and beauty that she can get. However, when we got here, it was the first Friday of the month, and the crowd is just overflowing. I honestly felt overwhelmed, as to how much these people value religion. The bleachers outside were full of people, and the church was also bursting with a huge crowd of Cebuanos. It reminded me of Quiapo and Baclaran, and how dedicated people were to going to the mass. We were supposed to snap some more photos but were informed by the guard that taking pictures are prohibited.
Why we decided to see it: it’s the first and oldest church in the country. That’s why!
All in all, the city tour was unbelievably tiring but worth it. If you’re the type of person who really appreciates these kind of tours, then I suggest you go around and see what’s up while you’re at it. Here’s a photo of our Cebu City tour itinerary, in case you’d like to (literally lol) follow our footsteps:
Cebu City Tour | www.jhanzey.net
Easy-peasy map!
Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water, a hanky, shades, an umbrella, and a “go fight” attitude! If ever you’re worried about transportation, there are plenty of taxis around, and you can also grab a ride through the local jeepneys. They have various codes for different routes, though. Make sure you know where you’re headed to in case you’ll take the jeep, as some of them might have difficulty in speaking Tagalog. If all else fails, Cebuanos are really good in speaking English, so don’t fret.
There you have it! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. How about you? Have you ever been to Cebu City? πŸ™‚


OTHER POSTS ABOUT TRAVELING CEBU

117 thoughts on “Explore: Cebu City’s Historical Spots

  1. I've only been to Fort San Pedro, Magellan's Cross and Basilica del Sto. Nino when I was in Cebu. We went to Taoist Temple as well and to that Makati-ish part of Cebu. I forgot almost everything because 1) it was still on 2011 and 2) we just had a quick tour on every place we visited because it's only for school tour. God, I wanna go back to Cebu!!!!!!!!

    http://www.anethfradez.com

  2. I've only been to Fort San Pedro, Magellan's Cross and Basilica del Sto. Nino when I was in Cebu. We went to Taoist Temple as well and to that Makati-ish part of Cebu. I forgot almost everything because 1) it was still on 2011 and 2) we just had a quick tour on every place we visited because it's only for school tour. God, I wanna go back to Cebu!!!!!!!!

    http://www.anethfradez.com

  3. I've been to CEBU twice already. The first time around was when I was a kid and had a tour like this.

    I would have to say though, that I enjoyed my 2nd time. I was able to visit and do a little food tourism kind of thing that led me to different CEBU restos.

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Also, I guess the best time to go to CEBU would be the OFF peak season…

    cheaper tickets and they have a lot of promo in hotel rates.

    http://www.foodinthebag.com

  4. I've been to CEBU twice already. The first time around was when I was a kid and had a tour like this.

    I would have to say though, that I enjoyed my 2nd time. I was able to visit and do a little food tourism kind of thing that led me to different CEBU restos.

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Also, I guess the best time to go to CEBU would be the OFF peak season…

    cheaper tickets and they have a lot of promo in hotel rates.

    http://www.foodinthebag.com

  5. I've been to all those places mentioned by feet lang and alone like napuntahan ko lahat in one day. Well, I tried exploring some places on my own so yeah hihi. If possible, don't bring huge bags and just be hassle free. Bags can really attract idiots at napagsasamantalahan, sad to say mga bata pa yung nangunguna.
    Glad you enjoyed your tour, Ate Jhanz. Balik balik ulit soon πŸ™‚

    Lou | wandersoul.co.vu

  6. I've been to all those places mentioned by feet lang and alone like napuntahan ko lahat in one day. Well, I tried exploring some places on my own so yeah hihi. If possible, don't bring huge bags and just be hassle free. Bags can really attract idiots at napagsasamantalahan, sad to say mga bata pa yung nangunguna.
    Glad you enjoyed your tour, Ate Jhanz. Balik balik ulit soon πŸ™‚

    Lou | wandersoul.co.vu

  7. Is it bad that I don't really care about tourist sites? Haha I've been to Cebu twice but completely avoided the usual spots. We just hung out like we were locals + went to the beach!

  8. Is it bad that I don't really care about tourist sites? Haha I've been to Cebu twice but completely avoided the usual spots. We just hung out like we were locals + went to the beach!

  9. Nope nope nope! Never been to cebu but surely one day i wil!

    I love the 3:
    Yung pics about sa malacanng, sa history ng cebu and ofcourse ang krus ni magellan! πŸ™‚

  10. Nope nope nope! Never been to cebu but surely one day i wil!

    I love the 3:
    Yung pics about sa malacanng, sa history ng cebu and ofcourse ang krus ni magellan! πŸ™‚

  11. Cebu looks lovely! Thanks for the post, now I'll know where to go when I find the time and money for a trip. It's nice to finally find another Filipina blogger πŸ™‚

  12. Cebu looks lovely! Thanks for the post, now I'll know where to go when I find the time and money for a trip. It's nice to finally find another Filipina blogger πŸ™‚

  13. I've never been, but I'd love to visit someday- there's so many historical spots <3 These photos are so beautiful, glad you got a chance to visit & thank you for sharing your trip with us!

  14. I've never been, but I'd love to visit someday- there's so many historical spots <3 These photos are so beautiful, glad you got a chance to visit & thank you for sharing your trip with us!

  15. I've only been to Cebu once (some 15 years ago, I think?), and you wouldn't believe that of all places to miss, I wasn't able to see the Magellan's Cross. I got sick as soon as we landed, so I had to stay behind. What a bummer. Hahaha!

  16. I've only been to Cebu once (some 15 years ago, I think?), and you wouldn't believe that of all places to miss, I wasn't able to see the Magellan's Cross. I got sick as soon as we landed, so I had to stay behind. What a bummer. Hahaha!

  17. I've been to Cebu once. But haven't had most of the historical places. Like in the Basilica del Sto. NiΓ±o, We were not allowed to go inside because the Bell that time is under repaired. The Magellan's cross has braces and is under-reconstruction. Our trip was scheduled weeks after the earthquake last November 2013. Still, I was happy to now that they have historical places restored. And I was planning to go back on Janaury 2016.

  18. I've been to Cebu once. But haven't had most of the historical places. Like in the Basilica del Sto. NiΓ±o, We were not allowed to go inside because the Bell that time is under repaired. The Magellan's cross has braces and is under-reconstruction. Our trip was scheduled weeks after the earthquake last November 2013. Still, I was happy to now that they have historical places restored. And I was planning to go back on Janaury 2016.

  19. I think we all have different preferences lang talaga! πŸ˜€ Hehe! My friend likes history and stuff like that, so we decided to take a quick trip sa city πŸ˜€

  20. I think we all have different preferences lang talaga! πŸ˜€ Hehe! My friend likes history and stuff like that, so we decided to take a quick trip sa city πŸ˜€

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