Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Cebu is also a variant spelling of the cattle known as zebu.
Cebu is an island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital is Cebu City and is composed of Cebu Island plus neighboring small islands. Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the country. The metropolitan area of Cebu City (which includes Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City) is second only to Metro Manila in population.
People and Culture
Cebu is the first and oldest city in the Philippines. Long before Manila fell into the hands of the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century, Cebu was already an established trading port, visited by many of its Asian neighbors. During the native rebellion against the Spaniards, the Conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi erected the stone fortress named Fort San Pedro, which became a military post for the Spaniards. The "seed" of Christianity in Asia was also planted here.
Linguistically, Cebu is the home to the country's second largest group. A derivative of Bisaya, the Visayan language, Cebuano was originally spoken only in the island of Cebu. However, it is now being spoken in many parts of Mindanao, the eastern part of Negros Island, the western and southern parts of Leyte, Bohol, and even in Samar.
Politically, the province of Cebu has been an active player. In fact, Cebu is the home of the Philippine's second president, Sergio Osmeña Sr. who came into power after the demise of Manuel L. Quezon, known as the father of Filipino Language.
Strategically, due to its geographical location, Cebu is the alternate gateway to Manila. Many multinational companies have established their local headquarters in Cebu because of her central location. Cebu is a port of call for many international (and almost all domestic) shipping and air lines, making her virtually the capital of the Philippines.
Cebu also features Asia's oldest school. The University of San Carlos (USC) in Cebu City is considered the oldest school in the country and in Asia. Formerly known as the Colegio de San Ildefonso, it was founded by the Spanish Jesuits on August 1, 1595. This makes the Cebu-based university older than the University of Santo Tomas (1611) in Manila and Harvard University (1636) in the United States.
Before the arrival of the Spaniards, Cebu, then known as Zebu or Zubu, was a thriving fishing village and a busy trading post, with trade routes to China, Siam, Arabia as well as the nearby Malay islands.
The Magellan Expedition
On April 7, 1521, the great Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan landed on Cebu island. He was on expedition under the command of the Spanish king whose goal was to search for the fabled island of Moluccas and to see about expanding the Spanish territory to the Orient.
The natives of Cebu, under the leadership of the chieftain, Rajah Humabon , were a friendly people and allowed the foreigners to their land. It was not long before the Spanish friars who came with Magellan started preaching Christianity to the pagan natives. In reverence to the Christian God, Magellan planted a large wooden cross and the first Holy Mass held on Philippine soil took place on the shores of Limasawa. It was also during this time that the Rajah, accompanied by some 400 natives, were converted into Christianity.
The First Filipino Christian
To honor the Spanish king, the chieftain of Cebu and his wife were renamed Carlos and Juana, after Juan Carlos I of Spain. As a gesture of goodwill, the Spaniards gave Reina Juana an image of the child Jesus, the Santo Niño, which became the island's patron saint. After becoming an ally of Humabon, Magellan attempted to win over Gat Lapu-Lapu of nearby Mactan Island, but Lapu-Lapu, unlike his cousin Humabon, did not take well to the Spaniards. The Battle of Mactan erupted and Magellan was killed on the shores of the island, leaving his second-in-command, Sebastian del Cano to take the remainder of his ship and crew back to Spain. It became known as the First Circumnavigation of the World and Ferdinand Magellan, as the commander of the expedition, the First Man to Circumnavigate the World.
The Legazpi-Urdaneta Expedition
Forty-four years later, in April 1565, Miguel López de Legazpi together with Friar Andres de Urdaneta declared that the Spanish crown succeeded in colonizing the islands. Legazpi bombarded the palisades of chieftain Rajah Tupas and destroyed the village. He later rebuilt it and called it Villa del Santisimo Nombre de Jesus. Thus, in 1571, it became the first Spanish city established by the Spanish Cortes in the Philippines.
On August 141565, Cebu / Santisimo Nombre de Jesus was detached from the Catholic diocese of Manila and became a diocese of its own. Three centuries later, in April 1898 marked the end of the Spanish era and the onset of the American regime. In 1901, Cebu became a municipality and on February 24, 1937 became a chartered city.
Cebu, being the most densely populated island in the country, served as a vital Japanese base during the Japanese occupation in World War II which began with the landing of the Japanese Imperial Army on April 1942. Three years later on March 1945, an American force landed and liberated the city from the Japanese.
- Official Website of the Provincial Government of Cebu
- Official Website of the City Government of Cebu City
- Sun.Star Cebu Online
- Dazzling Cebu - What it is now
- K.I. Marine Sports Center
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