Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Moalboal in Cebu hosts over 10 dive sites

When people talk of diving in Cebu, they usually mention the small town of Moalboal in the province’s southwestern coast that is famous for the thousands of sardines that have…

When people talk of diving in Cebu, they usually mention the small town of Moalboal in the province’s southwestern coast that is famous for the thousands of sardines that have come to populate its seas.

Italian Sergio Forti, who manages a dive resort named Sampaguita in Moalboal’s Panagsama Beach or what they call Bas Diot (Cebuano words that literally translate to “few sand”), said the sardines arrive in and leave Moalboal as part of their normal migration process but they’ve come to stay for good around three years ago.

“Sardines are always migrating but they’ve been in the town for some time. Biologists couldn’t explain why. They say that let’s enjoy them while they’re still around,” he added.

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Singapore popular destination with Filipinos: tourism board

Summer, the season for travel, is here. Where do you plan to hie off to? If Singapore is on top of your list, check out the new and popular as…

Summer, the season for travel, is here. Where do you plan to hie off to? If Singapore is on top of your list, check out the new and popular as well as thematic places and events that it has to offer to tourists.

Sherina Chan, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) Area Director for the Philippines and Brunei, said in a briefing in Cebu City that they have all kinds of accommodations — from luxury to budget — for visitors.

Right in the heart of Singapore’s city center is Marina Bay Sands, a world-class casino and hotel offering luxury dining, shopping, and entertainment.

Marina Mandarin Singapore (above) is among the best places to stay in Singapore. With its inventory of 53,895 rooms, Singapore has accommodations for every visitor with rates ranging from P1,925 to P5,500 for budget hotel and P6,050 to P13,200 for luxury suites. Click on photo to enlarge. (Photo from Marina Mandarin Singapore website)

Marina Mandarin Singapore (above) is among the best places to stay in Singapore. With its inventory of 53,895 rooms, Singapore has accommodations for every visitor with rates ranging from P1,925 to P5,500 for budget hotel and P6,050 to P13,200 for luxury suites. Click on photo to enlarge. (Photo from Marina Mandarin Singapore website)

Marina Bay is capped by the Sands Skypark, which offers a view of Singapore from 57 storeys above ground, and has a 150-meter long infinity pool, a stretch of restaurants and clubs, plus the first Louis Vuitton Island Maison in Southeast Asia on its waterfront, said Chan.

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Smart, MyCebu.ph to deliver info on tourism, heritage sites through phone scanning

Philippine wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Cebu-based website MyCebu.ph have partnered to deliver information on tourism and heritage sites to mobile phones and tablets through quick response or…

Philippine wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Cebu-based website MyCebu.ph have partnered to deliver information on tourism and heritage sites to mobile phones and tablets through quick response or QR code scanning.

The project is being undertaken in partnership with the Department of Tourism.

Smart and MyCebu.ph will place special markers on tourism and heritage sites all over Cebu. The markers will contain a snippet of information about the site and a QR code that, when scanned, will open an article about the landmark. To be able to load the information, users must be connected to the Internet and they must have a QR code reader in their devices. Most phone platforms offer free QR code scanners in their respective application markets.

QR Code demo on Colon Street

MYCebu.ph editor Marlen Limpag explains to bloggers and journalists gathered on Colon Street, the country’s oldest street, the QR Code data tagging of Cebu tourism and heritage structures, a joint project between MyCebu.ph and Smart Communications Inc, done in partnership with the Department of Tourism. During the demo on Colon St., journalists and bloggers were able to load a photo of old Colon by scanning the QR Code contained in a special marker.

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Smart, MyCebu.ph offer Sinulog guidebook for free download

(Update: The Sinulog guidebook can now be downloaded in this page. We now have a Sinulog Guide Android app version as well as a Sinulog Guide mobile website for other…

(Update: The Sinulog guidebook can now be downloaded in this page. We now have a Sinulog Guide Android app version as well as a Sinulog Guide mobile website for other devices. )

The country’s wireless leader Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) and Cebu-based website MyCebu.ph have produced an electronic guidebook on the Sinulog for the iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Android phones and tablets and other tablets, e-readers and smartphones.

A Guide to Sinulog 2012 will be made available for free download at the Mactan Cebu International Airport through quick response or QR code scanning, USB download or e-mail distribution. Tourists and balikbayans can get a copy of the guidebook as soon as they arrive in Cebu for Christmas vacation or the Sinulog festivities.

A Guide To Sinulog 2012

A Guide to Sinulog 2012 will be made available for free download at the airport, Ayala Center Cebu, malls, hotels, restaurants, resorts and the offices of the Sinulog Foundation and Department of Tourism. The guidebook can be read on the iPad, iPhone, Android tablet and phones, Kindle and various other tablets, smartphones and e-readers. Shown above are the guidebook’s editions for the (from left) iPad, Kindle and Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The Sinulog guide will also be made available for free download through partners Ayala Center Cebu, Department of Tourism Central Visayas, and the Sinulog Foundation. The ebook will also be available in hotels, resorts and other tourism establishments in Cebu.

A Guide to Sinulog 2012 is part of a groundbreaking project on Cebu tourism that will be launched in historic Barangay Pari-an on December 20.

The group will also produce an ebook compilation of winning entries of the Sinulog photo contest that will be released next year.

Unlike websites, ebooks can be read in various devices even without an Internet connection.

“This is part of our efforts to support the DOT and the Cebu local government in the promotion of tourism in Cebu. Through digital and social media, we can showcase our heritage to more people around the world through locally generated content.” said Atty. Maria Jane Paredes, senior manager for Public Affairs Group, Smart.

A Guide To Sinulog 2012 demo on the iPad

MyCebu.ph editor Marlen Limpag and Lourdes Gocotano of Smart Public Affairs Vis Min demo the iPad edition of A Guide To Sinulog 2012, an ebook that can be viewed on tablets, smartphones and ereaders. The guidebook will be offered for free download at the airport, Ayala Center Cebu, malls, hotels, resorts, restaurants and other tourism establishments in Cebu. Looking on is Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Ballesteros (left).

“Most travelers nowadays bring along tablets, e-readers or smartphones. An electronic guidebook would be very useful to them because they no longer need to carry around heavy books, including those that devote merely a chapter on Cebu or the Sinulog. You just download it once and you can read it anywhere and at anytime, even without an Internet connection.Our guidebook is an extensive resource that you take with you wherever you go,” said Marlen Limpag, MyCebu.ph editor.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind project. It’s a unique resource that would help our guests make the most of the biggest festival in the Philippines,” said Sinulog Foundation Executive Director Ricky Ballesteros.

The Sinulog guide contains helpful articles and tips on Cebu’s grandest festival. It contains the complete list of cultural and religious activities.

It also lists establishments near the procession and grand parade route where tourists can stay. It also contains offline maps of the procession and grand parade routes that readers can view even without an Internet connection. The ebook, however, also provides a link to a frequently updated and interactive online map that people can view if they are connected to the Internet.

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San Juan Bautista Parish Church, once Cebu’s most opulent church

DIONISIO Alo stood seething with anger as authorities tore down the magnificent San Juan Bautista Parish Church in Parian in the late 1870s. “His heart bled with every stone that…

DIONISIO Alo stood seething with anger as authorities tore down the magnificent San Juan Bautista Parish Church in Parian in the late 1870s.

“His heart bled with every stone that was removed and all he could do was bite his lips causing them to also bleed,” said Ang Sugbo sa Karaang Panahon: An Annotated Translation of the 1935 History of Cebu by Fe Susan Go.

Alo, who was capitan of the Parian gremio, was so angry at the destruction that he unknowingly crushed the golden handle of his baston.

The destruction of what had been described in various historical sources as the most magnificent church in Cebu was the end of centuries of struggle between the local mestizo community and the Spanish friars who wanted control over the structure.

San Juan Bautista Parish in Parian

The San Juan Bautista Parish Church in the Parian district is described as having been the most magnificent church in Cebu. (PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE CEBUANO STUDIES CENTER OF USC)

The Parian church, according to Go’s translation submitted to the University of San Carlos as her masteral thesis in history, “has never been surpassed by any other church that has been built in Cebu, such as the Cathedral, the Seminary and San Nicolas.” It was built in 1602.

What remains on the site today, the San Juan Bautista chapel, is but a faint reminder of an opulent past.

“The church was made of stone blocks, plastered together in a mixture of lime and the sap of the lawat tree. The roofs were made of tiles, and the lumber used was molave, balayong and naga. The paraphernalia used in the mass was made purely of gold, the pews were carved by a sculptor of the Parian, the altars were covered with stone slabs with money and gold inlaid, and the church bells were big and loud. The tolling of these bells was so loud that it could be heard as far as Hilotungan ang the town of Talisay,” Go said in her thesis.

“The Augustinian friars upon seeing the magnificence of the church of the Parian, got envious, and employed every shrewd means they could think of to take over the Parian church,” the thesis said.

Fr. Rafael Vasquez, a Parianon, however, fought back and kept the friars at bay.

San Juan Bautista Church in Pari-an

The San Juan Bautista Parish Church in a diorama of the old Pari-an district located inside one of the galleries of the Museo Pari-an sa Sugbo 1730 Jesuit House, which is just a few meters away from where the Pari-an church was located. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Go said in one of her footnotes that Augustinian Fr. Santos Gomez Marañon filed a petition “to have the Parian parish supressed and incorporated into the Cathedral.”

Rivalry

Go said, “Many reasons for this request were given, but it definitely had the earmarks of a direct challenge against the dominance of the Chinese mestizo community of Parian and their elaborate church, which far outshone the cathedral.”

Through the years, however, the rivalry with Spanish friars continued with succeeding priests and capitans of the Parian gremio.

During the time of Don Pedro Rubi as Parian captain, the bishop ordered that masses be held at the church only on Sundays.

During the time of Don Maximo Borromeo as captain, the bishop “removed the right of the Visayas priests to officiate mass in the Parian Church.”

“In retaliation the residents of the Parian decided to make use of the school across from the church and converted it into a chapel where the parish priest of Parian could officiate the mass.”

In 1875, Dionisio Alo, known as Capitan Isyo, became capitan of the Parian gremio. With the San Juan Bautista fiesta in June approaching, Capitan Isyo called for a meeting to discuss preparations. The fiesta was a big affair in the area with most Parian residents spending “as much as three thousand pesos” for the celebration.

Capitan Isyo also wanted to discuss who would replace their parish priest, the Ilonggo Fr. Anselmo “Pari Imoy” Albanceña, who died in December 1874. The replacement would be celebrating the fiesta mass.

Fr. Tomas de la Concepcion, the parish priest of the cathedral, told the group “to request the bishop to appoint a white priest.” De la Concepcion said there was no Filipino priest capable of being named to the post.

Capitan Isyo, however, strongly disagreed and shouted at a cabeza de barangay who agreed with the suggestion.

“At that instance, a quarrel broke out between the two. While Capitan Isyo used his prerogatives as head of the mestizo gremio, Padre Tomas also made use of his power as representative of the Bishop in order to force Capitan Isyo to yield and accept (a) white priest as their parish and spiritual guide.”

The heated and bitter exchange ended with the two deciding not to hold a mass for the fiesta or even holding any celebrations.

Grudge

Followers of Capitan Isyo feared he would be excommunicated and tried to change his mind but the nationalist community leader just told them, “I would prefer that the church be destroyed rather than have a friar in it.”

Parian Church, according to "Ang Sugbo sa Karaang Panahon", “has never been surpassed by any other church that has been built in Cebu, such as the Cathedral, the Seminary and San Nicolas.” (PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE CEBUANO STUDIES CENTER)

Parian Church, according to “Ang Sugbo sa Karaang Panahon”, “has never been surpassed by any other church that has been built in Cebu, such as the Cathedral, the Seminary and San Nicolas.” (PHOTO USED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE CEBUANO STUDIES CENTER)

Fr. Tomas kept a grudge against Parian and “boasted to his priestly friends, especially the friars, that he was obsessed with the complete destruction of the Parian church.”

When Fr. Tomas reported the incident to the bishop, including Capitan Isyo’s declaration that he would rather have the church destroyed than have a white priest in it, the bishop felt insulted.

On June 24, 1875, the bishop forbade the parish priest from saying mass in the Parian church. The community’s fiesta celebration was also overseen by the Cathedral parish priest. Capitan Isyo could not do anything and his enemies made sure he would keep his post so that they could exact their revenge. They told residents that the capitan was to blame for what happened in Parian.

The bishop then ordered a Spanish engineer to check the durability of the Parian church. The engineer later informed the governor that the materials used to build the church were weak and the structure, including the stone wall that surrounded it, should be torn down.

Date of destruction

The governor of Cebu then ordered the destruction of the church. He also ordered the bishop to take possession of everything inside the church, including its statues and bells.

While Ang Sugbo Sa Karaang Panahon listed the destruction of the church as having occurred in 1875-1876, Go said “the actual destruction of the church seems to have taken place in late 1878 or 1879.

According to information printed on a photograph found at the Cebuano Studies Center in the University of San Carlos, “the convent of the church was spared and was used later during the American regime as a public library and a fire station.”

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Casa Gorordo, home of Cebu’s first Filipino bishop

An authentic Spanish mansion with period furniture, the Casa Gorordo along Lopez Jaena St. in Cebu City showcases a lifestyle from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. The stone and…

An authentic Spanish mansion with period furniture, the Casa Gorordo along Lopez Jaena St. in Cebu City showcases a lifestyle from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century.

The stone and tile structure, restored and maintained as a museum by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), is one of few remaining houses called “balay nga tisa,” which was the building of choice of Cebu’s local rich families in the 1800’s.

Architect Melva R. Java, writing about island architecture in “Cebu: More Than an Island,” said the Spanish-period houses of coral stones and clay tile roofs depict a synthesis of “two world views–Asian transiency and Western permanence.”

SINUG SA RAFI. Every Monday after the Sinulog grand parade, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. holds a traditional "Sinug sa Rafi" at the Casa Gorordo. Click on photo to enlarge. (Photo by Max Limpag)

SINUG SA RAFI. Every Monday after the Sinulog grand parade, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. holds a traditional "Sinug sa Rafi" at the Casa Gorordo. Click on photo to enlarge. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Casa Gorordo’s lower floor served as storage spaces and probably also housed the horses and carriage like the other “balay nga tisa” of the landed gentry in colonial Cebu. Today, it accommodates museum offices and an area for art exhibitions.

The house’s lower floor walls are made of coral stones, and it bears all features typical of a balay nga bato: spacious interiors with ventanillas or vents below the window sills, sliding Capiz windows, and tugas posts and 12-inch wide floorboards.

An arch with intricate carvings of plants and birds separate the dining room or comedor from the landing and living room. At the end of the dining room is a kitchen typical of that period when the house was built.

Sliding doors open up into a wide balcony or azotea that runs by a long section of the house. Beside the house was built a new service building inspired by 19th century architecture and the garden, which has been landscaped, has been the venue of several events.

Aside from being one of the few remaining Spanish-period houses in the country, Casa Gorordo also gained prominence because it was the residence of Cebu’s first Filipino bishop.

The house was owned by the Reynes-Garces family before it was bought by Juan Isidro Gorordo, father of Juan Gorordo–who served as bishop of Cebu from 1910-1932, in 1863.

Casa Gorordo, which was declared a national landmark by the National Historical Institute in 1991, was opened by RAFI as a museum in 1983. Displayed inside the house are antique furniture and altar pieces as well as relics of a lifestyle at the turn of the century.

The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Entrance fees are: P10 (elementary and high school students), P15 (college students), P40 (local), and P70 (foreign).

How to get there

Casa Gorordo is part of surviving heritage structures found in Parian, which got its name from the word “pari-pari (to barter or trade)” because it used to be the Chinese trading district of old. The area was the home of Cebu’s affluent citizens in the 19th century.

Parian is 20 to 30 minutes by cab from other areas in Cebu City.

Video tour

Click play on the YouTube video below to load a video tour of Casa Gorordo by its curator, Florencio Moreno II. Caution: the audio is loud because it is meant to be listened to on a phone without using earphones.

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Yap-Sandiego ancestral home: Soul of old Cebu

The house exudes the essence of a bygone era, a time already lived and long forgotten. You can feel it in the creaking of the wooden stairs and floorboards that…

The house exudes the essence of a bygone era, a time already lived and long forgotten.

You can feel it in the creaking of the wooden stairs and floorboards that sigh the burden of the years.

You can see it in the second floor banggera–an extended windowsill that continues to hold a clay jar for storing drinking water and chinaware, and Capiz windows as well as in the intricately carved old furniture and images of saints with their ivory heads and hands.

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home holds the distinction of being one of the oldest houses in the Philippines and possibly the oldest Chinese home outside of China. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home holds the distinction of being one of the oldest houses in the Philippines and possibly the oldest Chinese home outside of China. (PHOTO BY MAX LIMPAG)

Its cut coral stone walls, hardwood posts and beams, and roof of red clay tiles tell of a Cebu much, much younger and vastly different from what it is today.

Indeed, the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home holds the distinction of being one of the oldest houses in the Philippines and possibly the oldest Chinese home outside of China.

Current house owner Val Sandiego, famous choreographer and antique collector, estimates its construction to be between 1675 to 1700.

“In 1614, the church of Parian was built. Then after around 60 years later, the house was put up,” said Sandiego, who is a descendant of original owners Don Juan Yap and his wife Doña Maria Florido. The couple’s eldest daughter married Don Mariano Sandiego of Obando, Bulacan–who was then the cabeza de barangay (barangay chief during the Spanish colonial period) of Parian where the structure is located.

The house’s roof and walls are 95 percent original, according to Sandiego, making this edifice that he and his family continue to live in during weekends a little over 300 years old.

The things inside are not nearly as ancient as the structure but some, like the huge mirror in the living room, are over a hundred years old. The mirror that now adorns the second floor wall of the Sandiego ancestral home was used on several occasions by Negros native Pantaleon Villegas, better known as Leon Kilat, who led the revolution against the Spaniards in Cebu in 1898.

Some of the images of saints have missing hands, stolen or sold because these were made of ivory which was how they used to do them back then.

Sandiego, who acquired ownership of the house in early 2000, did an expensive restoration work on the structure in 2003 and has since opened it and his antique collection to the public.

The house is open for visits from Monday to Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., for P50 per person.

How to get there

Parian, which was where the wealthy and influential Chinese mestizos lived during the Spanish period, is in downtown Cebu City and cab drivers know where it is. The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home is across the towering Heritage of Cebu monument on the side of Mabini Street at the junction of Lopez Jaena.

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Sinulog 2012 depicts Cebu as ‘City of Culture’

A retracing of Cebu’s journey through the years, the people and countries it interacted with, and their influences on the island’s values and beliefs will be the central idea behind…

A retracing of Cebu’s journey through the years, the people and countries it interacted with, and their influences on the island’s values and beliefs will be the central idea behind the 2012 Sinulog Festival.

The theme “One Beat. One Dance. One Vision.” remains the same but the concept changes year by year and it will be “Cebu, City of Culture” in 2012, said Sinulog Foundation executive director Ricky Ballesteros.

Ballesteros explained the concept was influenced by Cebu City’s award in July 2011 as first ever ASEAN City of Culture, which was bestowed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministers of Culture and the Arts.

Photo by Daniel Ybanez, Sinulog 2011 Contingent Category 6th place winner. Used with permission from Sinulog Foundation, Inc.

Photo by Daniel Ybanez, Sinulog 2011 Contingent Category 6th place winner. Used with permission from Sinulog Foundation, Inc.


At the launching parade on January 6, 2012, students from 15 participating schools in Cebu will be dancing to the beat of the Sinulog garbed in the costumes of ASEAN member nations as well as Philippine regional dresses.

During the Grand Parade finale on January 15, 2012, the stage will transform into different time settings that will end with tall skyscrapers depicting a modern and cosmopolitan Cebu.

People can also expect the ongoing nightly cultural activities at the Fuente Osmena circle to be wholesome apart from having entertainment value since these are being screened by the foundation, said Ballesteros.

“We want the children to learn more about our culture through the nightly events at Fuente. The children today are focused on computer games and other things, they know little about our heritage,” he pointed out.

Visitors

There will be visitors from different countries, including a National Geographic staff and a crew from Hawaii mainstream tv that will be covering the religious and cultural sides of the Sinulog Festival. The tv station will be creating a video documentary on the Sinulog, said Ballesteros.

The Philippine tourism secretary and organizers of popular festivals like Dinagyang and Ati-Atihan will also attend as well as other national government officials, said Ballesteros.

“Organizers of other Philippine festivals are excited to attend the Sinulog. They want to know how we do it here,” he added.

There will be a lot of balikbayan and VIP guests and there might be representatives from ASEAN member nations showing up for the Sinulog.

For the convenience of Pinoys abroad and international guests who have come to Cebu for the Sinulog, there are help desks in big malls manned by Cebu City Tourism Commission personnel.

The City Government is also hosting a party for balikbayan guests at The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu on January 12, 2012.

Contingents

A few out-of-town contingents have signified their intention to join, among them free interpretation category grand champion Placer of Masbate. This 2012, though, Placer will send another group to compete in the Sinulog-based category. It first joined as a contingent in the Sinulog-based category and won but came back competing in the free interpretation, where it has been defending champion for the last two years.

“I’m excited to see this group perform in the Sinulog-based category,” said Ballesteros, adding it would go up against perennial Sinulog-based winner Tangub City. He added that Tangub has been finishing first in its category for the last 10 years, breaking Southwestern University’s nine-year win record.

Also to watch out for, of course, are other out-of-town as well as Cebu contingents, said Ballesteros.

Other groups who have signified their intention to join include four from Leyte and a few others from Mindanao like Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Cotabato.

Groups participating in either Sinulog-based or free interpretation, two categories for the grand parade, will be judged for their performances on the street and in the grandstand. There will be around eight judges’ stations along the parade route.

Security

According to Ballesteros, the City is prepared for the influx of people that will be converging in Cebu for the Sinulog Festival.

Security is a priority in meetings being held to discuss festival preparations, he pointed out. A committee tasked to handle security measures is led by the military’s Central Command in coordination with police offices in Cebu City and Central Visayas.

Reinforcements in the form of additional soldies and policement will be sent in from neighboring provinces, he said, adding that like the last Sinulog celebration, the Marines will also be utilized for security purposes.

Along the parade route, there will be eight police outposts manned by Cebu City station heads.

Finale

Some more security personnel will be assigned at the Cebu City Sports Center where the Grand Parade finale will happen.

When the dancers perform at the stage in front of the grandstand, Ballesteros said the background will be clouds and designed in a way that it won’t be competing with the performing group’s props. Then later in the finale, this will change to tall buildings to showcase a modern and vibrant Cebu.

The stage will be adorned with red and yellow Sinulog flowers and a mini-chapel of the Sto. Nino will be placed at the side. This is so guests can see that th Sto. Nino is involved even in the festive side of the celebration.

Seats at the grandstand will be divided into four colors with different categories and prices for tickets: red is for sponsors and VIPs, blue is for balikbayans and other guests and costs P700, yellow costs P600, while green costs P500.

(This article is part of a project on Cebu tourism supported by Smart Communications, Inc., the wireless leader in the Philippines.)

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Schedule of cultural, religious activities during Sinulog 2012

Sinulog is the grandest fiesta celebration in the Philippines. It has several religious and cultural events scheduled to start as early as December. The highlight of the celebration, however, is…

Sinulog is the grandest fiesta celebration in the Philippines. It has several religious and cultural events scheduled to start as early as December. The highlight of the celebration, however, is the Sinulog weekend when the religious procession and grand parade are held.

The following are the official schedules of activities as announced by the Sinulog Foundation.

Sinulog 2012 cultural events

Dec 01, 2011 – Jan 31, 2012
Sinulog Street Fair, Osmeña Blvd.

December 11, 2011
2nd Sinulog Cup Baseball Tournament c/o Cebu City Sports Commission

December 12, 2011
Sinulog on the Spot Painting Contest @ Fort San Pedro

December 16, 2011
Launching and Sinulog Photo Exhibits @SM City

December 17, 2011
Sinulog Poster Making Contest @ Emall

December 18, 2011
Sinulog Best Dance Crew Elimination / Sinulog Musicfest Elimination

January 05, 2012 (Thursday)
Opening Salvo: Walk with Jesus
4:00 AM Assembly Time (Area) Fuente Osmeña
4:30 AM Start of Walk-Fuente Osmeña Blvd. – Basilica del Sto. Niño
5:30 AM Installation of Hermano & Hermana Mayores 2012

January 06, 2012 (Friday)
Sinulog 2012 Kick Off
2:00PM Solemn Mass (Basilica del Sto. Niño) sponsored by the Sinulog Foundation Inc . and Cebu City government
3:00 PM Launching Parade (Basilica del Sto. Niño to Cebu City Sports Center)
7:00 PM Opening and Launching Program, Fuente Osmeña
7:30 PM Ms. Cebu 2012 Presentation
9 :00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
10:00 PM Street Party Bands

January 07, 2012 (Saturday)
Sinulog sa Kabataan – Lalawigan
8:00 AM 2nd SINULOG FOOTBALL CUP c/o Cebu City Sports Commission
1:00 PM Parade of Participants, Capitol Site to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Lalawigan, Cebu City Sports Center
4:30 PM Awarding of Winners
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña) Department of Education, Cebu Province Division
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente Osmeña , Street Party Bands

January 08, 2012 (Sunday)
Sinulog sa Kabataan- Dakbayan
4:00 AM Cebu City 2012 Marathon – www.cebumarathon.com
8:00 AM 2nd SINULOG FOOTBALL CUP c/o Cebu City Sports Commission
1:00 PM Parade of Participants, Plaza Independencia to Cebu City Sports Center
2:00 PM Sinulog sa Kabataan sa Dakbayan, Cebu City Sports Center
4:30 PM Awarding of Winners
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña) University of San Carlos
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O, Street Party Bands

January 09, 2012 (Monday)
6:30 PM Cultural Show (Fuente Osmeña) University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Cebu Institute of Technology University, St. Paul’s College Foundation
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 10, 2012 (Tuesday)
6:30 PM Cultural show (Fuente Osmeña) University of Cebu
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 11, 2012 (Wednesday)
9:00 AM Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña) Department of Education, Cebu City Division
7:00 PM Ms. Cebu 2012 Coronation Night, Cebu City Waterfront Lahug Hotel
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 11-22, 2012
Sinulog Fiesta “OTOP Fair 2012” Atrium A & B SM City Cebu Organized by Department of Trade & Industry -Cebu

January 12, 2012 (Thursday)
9:00 AM Airport Welcome (Balikbayan Flights)
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña) Salazar Colleges of Science Institute of Technology, Cebu Normal University, Asian College of Technology
6:00 PM Balik Cebu, Welcome Party @ Ayala Center Cebu
6:00 PM Sinulog Festival Queen 2012 Photo Shoot and Runway Competiton @SM City
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
8:00 PM Handumanan @ Ayala Terraces
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente Osmeña , Street Party Bands

January 13, 2012 (Friday)
Visual Merchandising Contest(Dept. Stores and Malls)
4:00 AM Walk with Mary (Area) Fuente Osmeña-Sto. Niño
9:00 AM Solidarity Meeting (All Competing Contingent /Floats / Higante / Puppteeters Cebu City Sports Center Gym
5:00 PM Sinulog Best Dance Crew Grand Finals
6:00 PM Sinulog Musicfest Band Competition Grand Finals
6:30 PM Cultural Shows (Fuente Osmeña) University of San Jose Recoletos, Southwestern University, Cebu Technological University
7:30 P.M Cebu Popular Music Festival, Cebu Coliseum
7:30 P.M Sinulog Festival Queen 2012, Cebu City Sports Center
8:00 PM Sinulog Idol (Fuente Osmeña Circle)
9:00 PM Concert @ the Fuente O , Street Party Bands

January 13-15, 2012
9:00 AM Devotees’ City organized by Cebu City Government

January 14, 2012 (Saturday)
6:00 AM Fluvial Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
9:00 AM Re-enactment of the Baptism of Queen Juana and Rajah Humabon Basilica del Sto. Niño
2:00 PM Solemn Procession of the Miraculous Image of Sto. Niño
7:00 PM Sinulog Fireworks Competition @ SM City Cebu
7:00 PM Street party @ Fuente Osmeña and Plaza Independencia
8:00 PM Kasadya Nite Mardi Gras @ Ayala Center Cebu

January 15, 2012 (Sunday) SINULOG GRAND PARADE
4:00 AM Mañanita Mass @Basilica del Sto. Niño
6:00 AM Pontifical mass with His Eminence Ricardo J. Cardinal Vidal
9:00 AM Sinulog Grand Parade Carousel Kick Off
7:00 PM Grand Finale and Fireworks, Cebu City Sports Center
7:30 PM Street Party Bands, Fuente Osmeña

January 16, 2012 (Monday)
1:00 PM Awarding Ceremonies, Cebu City Sports Center

January 20, 2012 (Friday) “HUBO”
4:00 AM “HUBO Mass” Ritual @ Basilica del Sto. Niño

January 21-22, 2012
CEBU CHESS FESTIVAL – “WORLD’S LARGEST CHESS TOURNAMENT” @ the Cebu City Sports Center

January 28, 2012 (Saturday)
1:00 P.M Screening of Finalists Short Film/Video Documentary Contest
6:00 P.M Awarding Ceremonies Photo Contest and Video Documentary Contest @SM City Cebu
January 30 – Feb. 10, 2012 Photo Exhibits “Winning Photos Sinulog ’12 @SM City Cebu

Schedule of religious activities and novena masses

January 05-13
Novena Masses- Pilgrim Sponsors
5:30 am City Parishes / Barangays
7:00 am Business Sectors
8:30 am Basic Education – Private Schools
10:00 am Parishes: District & Vicariate
11:30 am Business Sectors
1:00 pm Government Offices: City & Provincial
2:30 pm Basic Education – Public by Districts
4:00 pm Colleges
5:30 pm Universities
7:00 pm Archdiocesan Organizations, Movement & Communities

FIRST DAY NOVENA
January 05, 2012 (THURSDAY)
Dawn Procession – WALK WITH JESUS
4:00 am – Assembly Time – (Area) Fuente Osmeña
4:30 am – FOOT PENITENTIAL PROCESSION
(Fuente Osmeña – Basilica)
Please bring with you rosaries, candles & statues of Sto. Niño
5:30 am – FIRST MASS
– INSTALLATION OF HERMANO & HERMANA MAYORES 2012 SECOND DAY NOVENA

January 06, 2012 (FRIDAY)
2:30 pm – OPENING SALVO SINULOG FOUNDATION

THIRD DAY NOVENA
January 07, 2012 (SATURDAY)

FOURTH DAY NOVENA
January 08, 2012 (SUNDAY)
8:30 am – CHILDREN’S MASS WITH COLEGIO DEL SANTO NIÑO

FIFTH DAY NOVENA
January 09, 2012 (MONDAY)

SIXTH DAY NOVENA
January 10, 2012 (TUESDAY)
7:00 pm – ENVIRONMENTAL MASS

SEVENTH DAY NOVENA
January 11, 2012 (WEDNESDAY)
8:30 pm – SENIOR CITIZEN’S NIGHT

EIGHTH DAY NOVENA
January 12, 2012 (THURSDAY)
8:30 pm – BARANGAY NIGHT

NINTH DAY NOVENA
January 13, 2012 (FRIDAY)
Dawn Procession – WALK WITH MARY
4:00 am – Assembly Time – (Area) Fuente Osmeña
4:30 am – FOOT PENITENTIAL PROCESSION
(Fuente Osmeña – Basilica)
Please bring with you rosaries, candle & statues of Santo Niño.
5:30 am – MISA DE TRANSLACION
(Motorcade proceeds to National Shrine of St. Joseph, Mandaue City)
1-2 pm – DISTRICT TEACHERS TRADITIONAL HALAD
7:00 pm – RE-ENACTMENT OF THE FIRST WEDDING
8:30 pm – DEP Ed NIGHT

VESPERAS
January 14, 2012 (SATURDAY)
5:30 am – Visayan Mass
7:00 am – Mass for the OFW Families
7:00 am – FLUVIAL PROCESSION Ouano Wharf Mactan Bridge , Lapu-Lapu, Pasil
Pier 1
9:30 am – RE-ENACTMENT OF THE ARRIVAL OF THE IMAGE
10:00 am -RE-ENACTMENT OF THE FIRST MASS AND BAPTISM
1:00 pm – SOLEMN PROCESSION OF THE MIRACULOUS IMAGE
7:30 pm – PONTIFICAL MASS
7: 30 pm – Traditional Sinulog Offering
– Fireworks display

SOLEMNITY : FIESTA SEÑOR DAY
January 15, 2012 (SUNDAY)
4:00 pm – MAÑANITA MASS
6:00 pm – PONTIFICAL MASS
MOST REV. JOSE B. PALMA, D.D.
8:30 am – Augustinian Recollect Communities
10:00 am – Cebuano Mass
11:30 am – English Mass
1:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
2:20 pm – Cebuano Mass
4:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
5:30 pm – English Mass
7:00 pm – English Mass

THANKSGIVING MASS
January 16, 2012 (MONDAY)
5:00 am – Cebuano Mass
6:00 am – Cebuano Mass
7:00 am – English Mass
8:00 am – MASS FOR THE OFW’S
10:00 am – Cebuano Mass
11:30 am – English Mass
1:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
2:20 pm – Cebuano Mass
4:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
5:30 pm – English Mass
7:00 pm – English Mass

HUBO
January 20, 2012 (FRIDAY)
4:00 am – “HUBO MASS”
6: 00 am – Cebuano Mass
7:00 am – English Mass
8:00 am – English Mass
9:00 am – Cebuano Mass
10:00 am – Cebuano Mass
11:00 am – Cebuano Mass
12:00 am – English Mass
1:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
2:00 pm – English Mass
3:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
4:00 pm – Cebuano Mass
5:00 pm – English Mass
6:00 pm – English Mass
7:00 pm -English Mass

(This article is part of a project on Cebu tourism supported by Smart Communications, Inc., the wireless leader in the Philippines.)

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Sto. Nino pilgrims find a place to stay in Cebu

Cebu’s Fiesta Senyor or feast of the Sto. Nino draws devotees from all over, and thousands converge every January in Cebu City to fulfill a “panaad” (devotion). There are pilgrims,…

Cebu’s Fiesta Senyor or feast of the Sto. Nino draws devotees from all over, and thousands converge every January in Cebu City to fulfill a “panaad” (devotion).

There are pilgrims, however, who do not have relatives here and cannot afford to pay for rooms so the City Government puts up a “Devotee City” every Sinulog Festival to accommodate them.

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Sinulog 2012 Grand Parade Route

The Sinulog Carousel route for the grand parade has been unchanged for years. It starts on Natalio Bacalso Ave. near E-mall and then to the New Imus Road then turning…

The Sinulog Carousel route for the grand parade has been unchanged for years. It starts on Natalio Bacalso Ave. near E-mall and then to the New Imus Road then turning left to Gen. Maxilom Ave. then to Fuente Osmeña then left to Osmeña Blvd.

While Sinulog dancers usually perform on the streets, they are sure to do their routines in designated judging areas. We will confirm with organizers which areas these will be and once we get confirmation, we will indicate these on the map below. Please make sure to revisit this page when Sinulog nears to get a confirmation.

(This article is part of a project on Cebu tourism supported by Smart Communications, Inc., the wireless leader in the Philippines.)

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Affordable rooms along Cebu’s Sinulog routes

One of Cebu’s most anticipated events, the Sinulog Festival, is drawing close and there is a certain buzz in the island in anticipation of two festival main events – the…

One of Cebu’s most anticipated events, the Sinulog Festival, is drawing close and there is a certain buzz in the island in anticipation of two festival main events – the Solemn Procession and Grand Parade.

Since major Cebu City streets will be closed during these two activities and travel by vehicle difficult, a good option for visitors would be to stay in hotels or inns near the procession and street dancing routes.

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Magellan’s cross symbolizes conversion

This small octagonal structure in downtown Cebu City may appear unimpressive, but it houses a valuable relic and marks an important spot for Cebuanos. Enclosed in tindalo wood inside the…

This small octagonal structure in downtown Cebu City may appear unimpressive, but it houses a valuable relic and marks an important spot for Cebuanos.

Enclosed in tindalo wood inside the octagonal kiosk is what is left of the original cross that Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan planted in Sugbu (now Cebu) some 490 years ago.

The cross, or what remains of it, had to be preserved inside another wooden encasement after Catholics, believing it had miraculous powers, chipped away parts as souvenirs.

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Colon, oldest street in the country

It may look like any ordinary street but this crowded stretch overflowing with shops, stalls, sidewalk vendors, people, and passenger jeepneys is, believe it or not, the oldest in the…

Colon Street

COLON STREET. This thoroughfare in downtown Cebu City is the oldest street in the Philippines. The undated photo of the old Colon Street above was taken from the book City Of Cebu, which was published by the Cebu City Government in 1970.

It may look like any ordinary street but this crowded stretch overflowing with shops, stalls, sidewalk vendors, people, and passenger jeepneys is, believe it or not, the oldest in the Philippines.

This thoroughfare in downtown Cebu City known as Colon Street existed way back in time, since Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi commissioned its creation in 1565 as part of a settlement called “Villa de San Miguel (St. Michael’s Town)” that also had Fort San Pedro as its nucleus.

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Parian monument depicts Cebu historic events

Cement, iron, and steel come together to form the towering Heritage of Cebu Monument built right on the original Plaza Parian in Cebu City. Conceptualized by multi-awarded sculptor Eduardo Castrillo,…

Cement, iron, and steel come together to form the towering Heritage of Cebu Monument built right on the original Plaza Parian in Cebu City.

Conceptualized by multi-awarded sculptor Eduardo Castrillo, the mammoth structure depicts significant moments in Cebu’s history beginning with that fateful fight of April 21, 1521 in the island of Mactan where native chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

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Kawasan Falls continue to attract visitors

Cool and refreshing is how best to describe the emerald water of the Matutinao River that forms what is commonly known as Kawasan Falls as it follows its meandering course…

Cool and refreshing is how best to describe the emerald water of the Matutinao River that forms what is commonly known as Kawasan Falls as it follows its meandering course to the sea.

The river creates no less than eight waterfalls of varying heights but it is only in five that bathing is possible.

Kawasan Falls in the village of Matutinao in the Cebu town of Badian, a three-hour bus ride from Cebu City, are popular with locals and tourists.

Kawasan Falls, Badian, Cebu

Visitors ride on a raft to underneath one of Kawasan’s waterfalls for a different kind of shower experience.

They don’t mind the long walk along a rocky and uneven trail to the falls, the first one of which is 1.5 kilometers away from the main highway where the buses make their stop.

The first waterfall travelers come across from the road is the biggest and tallest and also the most popular. Visitors usually stop here to enjoy a dip in the clean water or just enjoy the sight and sound of the falling sheet of liquid from the open cottages built along the riverside.

More adventurous tourists take a ride on a raft to under the waterfall for a shower under the gushing water. Ten people can fit in the raft and need to pay only P300 plus another P50 each for the life vests they are required to wear.

Jumping from any of the falls has been prohibited starting in 2008 when a tourist was killed and a few others injured when a jumper landed on the raft they were on.

Other falls

Visitors who intend to go up to the other waterfalls will have to climb steep steps carved on the mountainside and continue on a narrow trail that goes up or down in some areas and across dry riverbeds or makeshift bamboo bridges in others.

Dense vegetation grows by the side of the trail. The further upriver one goes, the fewer people and the more private the scene. At least two smaller waterfalls form a pool of shallow water that is safer for children.

The farthest waterfall is what locals call “the source.” Willie Lastimoso, who lives close, said beyond the source is the beginnings of the Matutinao River. The view is spectacular upriver but tourists will need a local to bring them there.

Lastimoso said he has been renting out huts at the source since 1989. Back then, overnight stay near this topmost waterfall is possible at the wooden house owned by a German national but the structure had long been demolished.

“Nabuang man to siya. Mogawas ra man to kalit maghubo, mangahadlok ang mangaligo diri,” said Lastimoso. (The German went crazy. He would go out of the house naked, scaring the bathers.)

It is a 2.3-kilometer walk to the topmost waterfall and the sight of the short and narrow gushing water that is the source could turn off visitors. Tourists who brave the slippery and difficult path to reach it though can take the comfort in the fact that water is cleanest there.

Overnight stays

Rooms are available for overnight stays at areas near three waterfalls. Regular rooms for two range from P900 to P2,500 while bigger rooms that can fit five to 10 people cost P3,500.

Open cottages are also available for day use at only P300.

At Willy’s, which is built near the first waterfall, fan rooms are priced at P1,200 and P1,500 and air-con rooms are at P2,500, with two beds, and P3,500, which is good for 10. For inquiries, call 0927-5456061.

The Kawasan Nature Park Multi-Purpose Cooperative also has accommodations nearby. Call 032-5161781 or 0926-4057141 for bookings or reservations.

Rooms are also available at the waterfalls farther upriver at more or less the same rates.

A concerted effort by the immediate community and the local government of Badian has ensured a Kawasan free of trash and pollution. They were also able to preserve the river’s forest cover and dense vegetation.

Sore thumbs that stick out during my visit are people doing laundry in shallow parts and the concrete structures built near the falls.

Getting there

A swim in the cool water or a shower under the falls is worth every second of the tedious three-hour journey to Badian.

Buses at the Cebu South Bus Terminal along N. Bacalso Avenue in Cebu City leave hourly for the town. The terminal is 20 minutes by cab from the uptown area, and drivers pass on to passengers the entry fee of P10.

Each terminal user is also charged a P5 fee.

At the terminal, ask for the Ceres bus to Badian. It is bigger and seats more comfortably than the other buses.

Tell the bus helpers to drop you at the church in Kawasan near the walkway to the waterfalls. The Badian town center is a good eight kilometres from Kawasan and you shouldn’t stop there.

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Suroy-Suroy Sugbo goes to 22 southern towns

Cebu southern towns prepare food, songs, and dances for guests who joined this year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Southern Heritage Trail tour that kicked off today from the Provincial Capitol. The first…

Simala

Church of the miraculous Virgin Mary in Simala, Aragao

Cebu southern towns prepare food, songs, and dances for guests who joined this year’s Suroy-Suroy Sugbo Southern Heritage Trail tour that kicked off today from the Provincial Capitol.

The first stop of the three-day tour was the town of Minglanilla, where visitors had their fill of Cebuano food specialties budbud pilit paired with ripe mango as well as danggit.

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BPI museum traces history of banking in Philippines

Ever wondered how and when banking started in the Philippines? The oldest bank in the country, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), tells the story through its newly opened museum…

Ever wondered how and when banking started in the Philippines? The oldest bank in the country, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), tells the story through its newly opened museum in Cebu City.

Gold coins of 1861. (Click to enlarge)

On display at the museum are gold coins that started circulation in 1861, 10 years after the El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II that we know today as BPI was established.

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Smart brings mobile financial services to Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island, known for its crystal-clear waters and long stretch of powdery white sand, is considered one of the tropical attractions of the Philippines. It is accessible via a 2-hour…

Bantayan Island, known for its crystal-clear waters and long stretch of powdery white sand, is considered one of the tropical attractions of the Philippines. It is accessible via a 2-hour land trip from Cebu City, plus a one-hour ferry ride from Hagnaya Port in northern Cebu.

The long trips to and from the island, however, have restricted the exploration of its beauty and other offerings. Island residents too, choose to stay within the confines of the territory, limiting their financial and social activities, and virtually isolating them from the Philippine mainland.

SMART MONEY. Bantayan Island residents can now avail themselves of mobile financial services with the opening of the first Smart Money Center in the island. (PHOTO BY SMART COMMUNICATIONS)

SMART MONEY. Bantayan Island residents can now avail themselves of mobile financial services with the opening of the first Smart Money Center in the island. (PHOTO BY SMART COMMUNICATIONS)

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More people join RAFI’s 2011 Gabii sa Kabilin

More than 2,500 participants attended the fifth annual Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. This is a significant increase from the 1,800 participants last year, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc….

More than 2,500 participants attended the fifth annual Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. This is a significant increase from the 1,800 participants last year, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. said in a press statement.

At the same time, the Gabii sa Kabilin featured 11 museums and seven heritage sites, which are more than the nine museums and heritage sites opened in 2010.

ORCHESTRA. The Marigondon Public School Children’s Orchestra perform on the grounds of the Casa Gorordo Museum during the Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. Click on image to view larger photograph. (PHOTO BY RAFI)

ORCHESTRA. The Marigondon Public School Children’s Orchestra perform on the grounds of the Casa Gorordo Museum during the Gabii sa Kabilin last May 27. Click on image to view larger photograph. (PHOTO BY RAFI)

This year’s participating museums included the Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Fort San Pedro, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Museo Sugbo, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF)-Rizal Museum, Museuo Parian sa Sugbo (1730 Jesuit House), Sacred Heart Alternative Gallery, Cebu Normal University (CNU) Museum, Cebu City Museum, and Mandaue City Central Plaza. The heritage sites include Plaza Independencia, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño, Sacred Heart Church, Heritage of Cebu Monument (Plaza Parian), Plaza Hamabar, and Plaza Sugbo.

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