When it comes to the best tourism spots in the Philippines, most people think of Cebu. Cebu is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. It is comprised of Cebu island and more than 150 surrounding islands and islets. The capital, Cebu City, is dubbed as the “Queen City of the South”.
If you are planning on visiting this part of the world, you should know that there are many interesting things you can do on this small island. One can explore Cebu for a few days, but it pays to plan the trip in advance to maximize your time here. To help you out, here are the 5 best things to do in Cebu, Philippines.
1. Spend some time gambling
Let’s be clear – gambling is fun and relaxing and if everything goes well, it can be quite rewarding too! It turns out that the gambling industry in the Philippines is on the rise and Cebu is not an exception. Locals enjoy playing all kinds of casino games – from blackjack and roulette to slots and traditional Asian casino games. But, it’s the tourists that are contributing the most to this sector.
Back in the days, there was just one state-run company that was taking care of gambling activities. Today, the situation is different – the market is liberalized and both domestic and foreign companies can invest here. While it’s true that the capital of the Philippines, Manila, has the highest number of casinos, it’s also true that popular travel destinations like Cebu have them too.
What’s interesting about casinos and gambling in Cebu is that most of these facilities are part of hotels. This makes sense because as we said before, this place is a popular travel destination. Two good examples of hotels like this are the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino and Emerald Resort and Casino. The latter is still in the process of construction, but it has already grabbed the attention of players due to its size and luxury. To learn more about these places and gambling in Cebu, get information from this article.
2. Enjoy diving
If you are into outdoor activities, diving in Cebu is also one of the hottest activities here. In fact, it is considered as one of the best diving spots in Asia. Many hotels in this part of the Philippines are offering equipment rentals to divers. They also have organized diving trips for all categories of divers. Even if you have never been involved in an activity like this, you should take diving classes here.
From turquoise-colored waters and shipwrecks to attractive corals and exotic fishes, you can find all these things while diving in Cebu. The marine life here is simply amazing. The best part is that you can choose from a wide range of diving spots like Santa Rosa, Tingo Shark Point, Hilutungan Island, and Talima Sanctuary.
3. Be part of a traditional festival
In case you are planning on visiting Cebu in January, you will get a unique chance to be part of a traditional festival. There are over one hundred festivals celebrated in different parts of the Philippines every year. They include unique pieces of folktales, legends, history, and culture of this country. One of these festivals is the Sinulog Festival of Cebu.
This event lasts for nine days! It’s a very colorful celebration that incorporates both traditional and religious elements of this part of the world. The festival is held in the capital – Cebu City. Keep in mind that it’s held on the third Sunday of January, every year. The event is dedicated to baby Jesus or Santo Nino as the locals call it. During this period, you will find hundreds of people dressed in specially designed costumes in bright colors dancing in the streets. The best part is the music which includes traditional musical instruments, trumpets, and drums. In addition to dancing and music, you can also visit exhibits, fairs, and movie projections that are part of the festival.
4. Visit the stunning beaches
Without any doubt, the stunning beaches found in Cebu are among the most popular attractions for tourists that come from all over the world. Many hotels in Cebu place are located near the beach. Take some time to explore the beaches because many of them are simply breathtaking.
The weather in Cebu is warm and sunny throughout the year. This means that you can enjoy sunbathing in almost any season. When it comes to the location of these beaches, we should mention that many of them are located on the surrounding small islands close to Cebu City like Bantayan, Badian, Mactan, and Malapascua. The latter is the favorite of many visitors. It’s situated in the blue and green Visayan Sea. This is basically the center of the Philippines. The beach here is covered in white sand and in the deep waters around the island you can explore marine life (thresher shark is just one of the animals found here).
5. Check the religious sites and artifacts
Religion plays an important role in Cebu, so it’s no wonder why there are so many artifacts here. When in Cebu, you should definitely visit the Basilica Minor del Santo Nino, an old basilica where you will find Magellan’s Cross, a cross erected by the famous Portuguese explorer – Ferdinand Magellan. Interestingly, Magellan lost his life on Mactan Island close to Cebu City. Here you can find the famous Lapu Lapu monument in honor of Magellan. It’s an area with beautiful gardens and restaurants.
Additionally, many people are visiting the Cebu cathedral which was built in 1591 as well as the Taoist temple. The number of Chinese expats here is not very high, but they are here and their Taoist temple with 81 steps is worth visiting.
These are just some of the things that visitors can do in Cebu. And if you’re willing to explore more, you will find more fun things to do here.