Monday, March 16, 2015

Cebu Province, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
The Minor Basilica of the Holy Child (Spanish: Basílica Minore del Santo Niño), commonly known as Santo Niño Church, is a minor basilica in Cebu City in the Philippines that was founded in the 1565. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church established in the country on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú, a statue depicting the Child Jesus was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The Holy See calls the temple the "Mother and Head of all Churches in the Philippines" (mater et caput... omnium ecclesiarum Insularum Philippinarum). The image is the same statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a gift over forty years after Humabon's baptism to Christianity on April 14, 1521. It was found by a soldier preserved in a burnt wooden box after Legazpi razed the village of hostile natives. When Pope Paul VI made the church a basilica in 1965, he said it was "the symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines."

The present building, which was completed from 1739-1740, has housed the oldest religious image in the country ever since.

The Cebu Taoist Temple or The Philippine Taoist Temple Inc. is situated inside Beverly Hills Subdivision, Cebu in the Philippines. The building of Cebu Taoist Temple commenced in 1972 by a group of Chinese. The main temple is elevated over 270 meters above the sea level and the highest area is about 300 meters above sea level. It has a nearby temple named Phu Sian built by another Chinese Community but is not open to the public.

Cebu Taoist Temple is open to both worshippers and non-worshippers from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. The devotees usually pray to the Gods to grant their wishes and ask for answers to both minor and major decisions in life. Visitors can ask for wishes and answers if the Head or the Temple Attendant is there.

Museo Sugbo is the Cebu Provincial Museum located in the former Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), four blocks from Plaza Independencia.

Mactan or Maktan is a densely populated island located a few kilometres from Cebu Island in the Philippines. The island is part of Cebu Province and it is divided into Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. The island is separated from Cebu by the Mactan Channel which is crossed by two bridges: the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge. The island covers some 65 km2 (25 sq mi) and is home to some 430,000 people, making it the nation's most densely populated island. Along with Olango Island Group, the isles are administered as two cities covering 75.25 km2 (29.05 sq mi).

JRG Halad Museum is a musically-themed museum in Cebu City, Philippines that pays homage to the musical heritage of Cebu. Located along V. Gullas St. (former Manalili) and D. Jakosalem St. Cebu City, the old building of The Freeman Newspaper has been converted to a museum which houses Cebuano and Visayan musical treasures and memorabilia.

The Cathedral Museum of Cebu is a museum in Downtown Cebu City in the Philippines, (re)opened in November 2006. It is the ecclesiastical museum of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu.

The focus of the museum is regional Church architecture and artifacts. Many of the items on display are from the Spanish colonial times.

It is situated next to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and not far from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The collection is housed in a building which is in itself a museum piece; it goes back to the 19th century. The building was one of the few extant structures in downtown Cebu City that was totally spared from the ravages of World War II. It also survived uninformed renovators and the natural elements.

It was built in the early nineteenth century probably during the incumbency of Cebu Bishop Santos Gomez Marañon. Bishop Marañon, who was known as a church builder, was responsible for the construction of the churches of Oslob, Cebu and Naga, the Episcopal Palace across the cathedral, the bell tower of Argao and the convent of Sibonga.

It was first the parish convent of the Cathedral, then a school of the University of San Carlos, then a cooperative store, and even as a temporary chapel during the renovation of the Cathedral.

The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, also as The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and of St. Vitales (consecrated to the blessed name of Jesus and dedicated to the saint), or The Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Vitales is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu in Cebu, Philippines. Cebu was established as a diocese on August 14, 1595. It was elevated as a metropolitan archdiocese on April 28, 1934 with the dioceses of Dumaguete, Maasin, Tagbilaran, and Talibon as suffragans. Before being raised as a primatial church in Cebu, the temple was the first church in the Philippines dedicated to St. Vitales and built near the fort in April of 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fray Andrés de Urdaneta.

Construction of the cathedral took many years due to frequent interruptions, brought about by lack of funds and other unexpected events. At one time, funds meant for the building of the cathedral were diverted to the moro wars. The death of an incumbent bishop who spearheaded the construction/reconstruction and vacancies in the office were also factors.

The architecture of the church is typical of Spanish colonial churches in the country, namely, squat and with thick walls to withstand typhoons and other natural calamities. The facade features a trefoil-shaped pediment, which is decorated with carved relieves of floral motifs, an IHS inscription and a pair of griffins. The Spanish Royal Coat of Arms is emblazoned in low relief above the main entrance, reflecting perhaps the contribution of the Spanish monarch to its construction.

During World War II, much of the cathedral was destroyed by Allied bombings of the city. Only the belfry (built in 1835), the facade, and the walls remained. It was quickly rebuilt in the 1950s under the supervision of architect Jose Ma. Zaragosa, during the incumbency of Archbishop Gabriel Reyes.

In 1982, a mausoleum was built at the back of the sacristy at the initiation of Archbishop Julio Cardinal Rosales. It serves as a final resting place for the remains of Cebu's bishops and clergy. Cardinal Rosales, who died three months after inauguration of the mausoleum, is interred there along with Archbishop Manuel Salvador, a coadjutor archbishop of Cebu, and Archbishop Mariano Gaviola, the archbishop of Lipa (1981–1993). The remains of Bishop Juan Bautista Gorordo, the first Filipino and Cebuano bishop of Cebu, are also interred there. 

The cathedral was renovated for the 75th anniversary celebration on April 28, 2009 of the elevation of Cebu into an archdiocese. An application is pending at the Vatican for the cathedral's elevation into a minor basilica in honor of St. Vitalis, an early Christian martyr. His feast day coincides with the day the image of the Sto. Niño de Cebu was found almost 450 years ago, as well as the anniversary of the elevation of Cebu into an archdiocese.

Malacañang sa Sugbo (English: Malacañang of Cebu, Tagalog: Malakanyang sa Cebu) is the official residence of the President of the Philippines in the Visayas. It is located in Cebu City near the Port Area and Fort San Pedro, and within walking distance from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Magellan's Cross, and City Hall. It is named after the Malacañang Palace, the official residence of the President in the capital city of Manila.

Jumalon Museum, Butterfly Sanctuary and Art Gallery is a private museum, art gallery and nature reserve run by the Jumalon Foundation. It is located in Julian N. Jumalon St. (former Macopa St.) Basak, Pardo, Cebu City, Philippines.

Inside the compound is a salon and garden. The garden is a collection of a hundred butterfly food plant species. Among these plants flutters around 50 local and foreign species of butterflies. Some rare species are hatched in captivity and later released.

Inside the salon is Jumalon's collection of butterflies and other insects. Also found inside is the histories of butterfly species. The salon also houses the paintings and other works of Jumalon, who was also an artist. Most popular among his works is his mosaics made entirely of butterly wings (lepido mosaic) from damaged butterfly taken from his collection and other collections around the world. These mosaics depicts several places around Cebu City and National Heroes among others.

The Sinulog Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, and is the center of the Santo Niño celebration in the Philippines. Other places like Maasin City, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental and Southern Leyte also have their own version of the festival in honour of the Santo Niño.

The Sinulog commemorates the Filipino people's acceptance of Christianity (specifically, Roman Catholicism), and their rejection of their former animist beliefs. The first of these conversions happened in 1521 on the island of Cebu, when Rajah Humabon and his queen Amihan (Humamay) were baptised along with their subjects, becoming Carlos and Juana of Cebu.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the grand street parade which lasts for 9 to 12 hours (practically the entire day) with participants coming from the different towns and cities of Cebu and from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao across the Philippines. The Sinulog dance contingents are dressed in bright coloured costumes dancing gracefully to the rhythm of drums, trumpets and native gongs. Smaller versions of the festival are held in various parts of the province, also to celebrate and honor the Santo Niño.

Cebu is one of the provinces of the Central Visayas Region in the Philippines. It consists of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. The province is located to the east of Negros and to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands. Cebu is a long narrow island stretching 225 kilometers from north to south and has narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus and coastal plains. It subdivided into 6 cities and 47 municipalities.

Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. Cebu City is also the provincial capital and the oldest city in the Philippines.

Cebu has a very colorful history. Between the 13th and 16th century, Cebu then known as Zubu or Sugbo was an island inhabited by Hindu and Muslim tribal groups ruled by Rajahs and Datus. The arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the island of Cebu 1521 established a period of Spanish exploration and colonization. The natives were converted to Christianity and a large wooden cross was erected on the shores of Cebu. The Battle of Mactan occurred where the Spaniards were defeated and Magellan was killed by the natives of Mactan who resisted the Spanish invasion. Today, the Magellan’s Cross is one of the traditional landmarks of Cebu. 

Cebuano is the official language spoken in Cebu. It is related to other Visayan languages, such as Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, and Waray-Waray. The majority of Cebu’s populations are Roman Catholic. There are also some followers of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Though Cebu has been classified officially to have two climates, the dry and wet, rainfall is usually not that high in the province. Wet season usually comes in June and December, while the dry season comes in January until May. 

Cebu’s economy is the fastest growing economy in the Philippines. Its labor force is oriented towards non-agricultural lines and is rated as one of the most productive work force in the country. The island has the most domestic air and shipping and cargo vessels in the Philippines. Its extensive international port facilities, its accessibility to Asia and the rest of the world has led to many multinational companies to established manufacturing industries on the island. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Mactan island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines. 

Cebu has many traditional festivities. The most famous is Sinulog which is a religious festival celebrated every third Sunday of January. The feast is held in honor of the patron saint, Señor Santo Niño de Cebu (Lord Holy Child of Cebu) and the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in the Philippines. Historical landmarks in the province include the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro, Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Magellan’s Cross and Cebu Taoist Temple.

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