Alexa

Leave your heart in the island paradise of Cebu

Find sublime scenery, wonderful weather and friendly people in this heavenly land

Water Shiatsu, a special Japanese massage style offered by the CHI Spa, helps visitors relax and revitalize both mind and body in water.
The Ocean Pavilion inside the resort is an ideal place for weddings.
Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino.
One of the fine white sandy beaches dotted around Mactan Island.
Beach scene in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.

Water Shiatsu, a special Japanese massage style offered by the CHI Spa, helps visitors relax and revitalize both mind and body in water.

The Ocean Pavilion inside the resort is an ideal place for weddings.

Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino.

One of the fine white sandy beaches dotted around Mactan Island.

Beach scene in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.

For people like me who feel that a four and a half hour plane ride to Bali is too much time to waste of one's limited life, Cebu-which is just a two and a half hour flight from Taipei - is an ideal holiday destination to spend a whole week on the beach, in the spa, and visting historical sites which date back to the 16th century.
Zubu, the original name for Cebu, was already an important port and traiding crossroads for many centuries before the birth of Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan. In the sixteenth century, Magellan became the first European to visit the Filipino island, and his name has been associated with it ever since.
Local people say that for more than a millennium before Magellan's birth, Cebu's sheltered harbor served as a hub for travelers and merchants from exotic and far-off lands.
Friendliness and beauty
The Cebuanos' friendliness, the island's natural attractions, and the numerous modern and ancient heritage sites have made Cebu stand out as one of the most popular destinations for international visitors to the Philippines.
I was invited to visit Cebu and one of its biggest island neighbors, Mactan, in the beginning of May for a business trip to meet some Taiwanese businesspeople. They shared with me their observations and experiences on living and investing in Cebu.
The friendly Cebuanos, the other islands in the vicinity, plus the pleasant local climate have left a good impression on these Taiwanese businesspeople. Many expatriate managers who were appointed by their Taiwan headquarters to manage factories here, feel that Cebu has stolen their hearts - some have even married local people and settled down in Cebu.
"On Sunday, to relax after a hard week at work, I can go to the beach or go diving without having to go far," said Ken Yu, a 32-year-old who has been running his family's overseas factories in Cebu for eight years. Comparing this to his bitter memories of the gray sky and polluted environment around a factory he formerly managed in southern China several years ago, he considers life in Cebu ideal for an industrious businessman like himself to work hard and enjoy life.
Situated in the middle of the Philippine archipelago, Cebu is protected from typhoons and enjoys a relatively dry climate The surrounding seas are clear, calm, and a year-round paradise for diving aficionados.
Some diving areas are famous for thresher sharks, manta rays and the extremely popular whale sharks, while coral gardens, steep overhanging walls and underwater cliffs teeming with colored reef fish are common everywhere.
Those who prefer mountain treks can enter the deep green jungles in the mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island to find crystal-clear rivers and foaming waterfalls.
My enjoyable trip to Cebu was filled with the unforgettable experience of relaxation at CHI, the Spa at Shangri-la. A mere 15 minute drive from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, CHI is the largest and most luxurious private spa villa in the Philippines. It is one of the must go to places I recommend for Spa lovers.
"Indulge, relax and revitalize." This sums up my feelings of a 60-minute spa that included bathing in fragrant oils and aromatic herbs, and listening to light music, all set against the background of birds chirping and insects buzzing in the rain forest setting.
The superb experience leaves me sure that I will visit CHI again on my next trip to Cebu.
Some "must-sees" in Cebu:
Fort San Pedro:
The fort sits as a stately reminder of a bygone era. Began as a wooden structure in 1565 and after a number of modifications finally finished in stone in 1738, the fort is the smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the Philippines. Originally, the fort provided a safe haven for Spanish settlers, but over the years it has been used for many purposes, as a military garrison, a rebel stronghold, and even a zoo.
Basilica Minor del Santo Nino:
Built in 1565, the basilica is home to what many consider the oldest religious relic in the Philippines, the image of Sto. Nino.
In 1521, Magellan gave Filipina Queen Juana the image of Santo Nino as a baptismal gift. Forty-four years later, following the sacking of the town, a solider searching through the charred rubble found the image of Sto. Nino half-buried, totally untouched by the flames that had burned down the house around it. Since then, the miraculous image has been venerated by the Cebuanos with religious fervor, and people travel from all over the Philippines and the rest of the world to view this magnificent catholic icon.
Magellan's Cross:
Close to the Basilica Minor del Santo Nino stands Magellan's Cross and Shrine. Planted on April 21, 1521 by Ferdinand Magellan, this marks the spot where Fr. Pedro Valderma baptized the first Christian Filipinos, Rajah Humabon, Queen Juana and about 400 of their followers.
The cross was originally surrounded by an open shrine, however, as some natives believed the cross had miraculous power, they began to cut pieces off the cross believing it had a miraculous power. To prevent further damage, a new enclosed shrine was built and a hollow cross of Tindalo wood made to encase and protect the original cross.