Cebu is a city on Cebu Island in the Philippines. It is known as the Queen City of the South. It is one of the most popular destinations in all of the Philippines for foreign tourists. It has the largest sea port in the Philippines, the second largest air hub and the second largest city in the country. It is the fastest growing large city in the nation with an annual growth of over 5% per year.
Cebu is a booming metropolitan area with all the conveniences of a modern city. At the same time, it boasts of natural resources like countless white sand beaches (both commercial and untouched), as well as historical sites that reflect its cosmopolitan past: from the birth of Christianity in Asia, to early commercial trade with Mexico and China, to vestiges of the American colonization of the Philippines.
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan landed in Cebu. He was welcomed by Rajah Humabon, the king of Cebu, who together with his wife and about 700 native islanders, were converted into Catholicism. Magellan, however, was killed in the Battle of Mactan, and the remaining members of his expedition left Cebu. In 1565, Spanish conquistadors led by Miguel López de Legazpi arrived in Cebu, but left after clashing with hostile natives. By 1569 the Spanish settlement in Cebu had become important as a safe port for ships from Mexico and as a jumping-off point for further exploration of the archipelago.
Cebu City is a significant cultural centre in the Philippines. The imprint of Spanish and Roman Catholic culture is evident. The city’s most famous landmark is Magellan’s Cross. This cross, now housed in a chapel, is reputed to have been planted by Magellan himself.