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Life and Leisure in Cebu, Philippines

Updated on July 4, 2014


Cebu Map
Cebu Map

Cebu, a main island in the Visayas

Located in the middle of the Philippines, Cebu island is a melting pot of people from all over the Philippines and all over the world. It is the major Philippine city in the Visayas group of islands. It is the main starting point to going to different islands south of Manila.

You can practically come to Cebu from any part of the Philippines. Cebu has an international airport the Mactan Cebu International Airport. There are flights from Manila and other dometic cities daily. There are also international flights landing in Cebu, mostly from nearby Asian destinations. Cebu also has one of the busiest seaports in the country. You can easily ride ferries to nearby islands.


Lechon! This roast pork dish is very popular in the island. You will see a Lechon in every party that you will go to.
Lechon! This roast pork dish is very popular in the island. You will see a Lechon in every party that you will go to.
Dugo-Dugo. The blood stew is the bonus when you order a whole Lechon.
Dugo-Dugo. The blood stew is the bonus when you order a whole Lechon.
Panga ng Tuna. Seafood can easily be bought in Cebu. Try SU-TU-KIL!
Panga ng Tuna. Seafood can easily be bought in Cebu. Try SU-TU-KIL!
Kinilaw. Tanigue is a popular fish to be "kilawed". It's our own version of sushi.
Kinilaw. Tanigue is a popular fish to be "kilawed". It's our own version of sushi.
Ginabot and other popular "finger" foods from pongko pongko
Ginabot and other popular "finger" foods from pongko pongko
Larang- A hot and sour fish soup (typically Baracuda, Shark, stingray or some big fish)
Larang- A hot and sour fish soup (typically Baracuda, Shark, stingray or some big fish)
Sisig at Gerry's Grill.  There are so many restaurants in Cebu to choose from.
Sisig at Gerry's Grill. There are so many restaurants in Cebu to choose from.
Sunburst - Cebu's KFC
Sunburst - Cebu's KFC
Steamed Rice - a unique Cebu dimsum
Steamed Rice - a unique Cebu dimsum
Fried Chicken skin from Sunburst...CRUNCHY
Fried Chicken skin from Sunburst...CRUNCHY
A Sunburst order comes with some fries and coleslaw
A Sunburst order comes with some fries and coleslaw
Zubuchon Lechon can be bought by the kilo
Zubuchon Lechon can be bought by the kilo

Eating in Cebu!

You can practically find different cuisines in Cebu. Chinese, Japanese, European, Asian, American, and even Mexican food can be found in the different restaurants all over Cebu City.

For local food, Cebu is known for its Lechon. It is a young pig slowly roasted into becoming crispy at the outside, yet soft and juicy in the inside. Even the famed, Anthony Bourdain rated the Lechon from this island as the best pork that he has ever tasted, even better than the famous Balinese pork. A whole lechon can cost around $70-120$ depending on the size and the season. This popular Cebuano dish is even shipped to different parts of the country.

An order of Lechon typically has a free dugo-dugo(dinuguan for Tagalogs). It is a blood soup made from the blood of the pig that was roasted. If you wanna order a lechon click this link

Cebu has lots of local dishes to offer. Since it is an island surrounded by sea, you can expect to find a good selection of seafood entrees. Barbecue and grilling is quite popular in this island province.

Some restaurants that you may try in Cebu:

Sunburst - the favorite Fried Chicken among Cebuanos. Branches are located in major malls. A chicken order will include rice, fries, and coleslaw. You can make a sauce made of Worcestershire Sauce, Catsup, and Hot Sauce as a perfect dip.

Larsian - If you want some cheap barbecue thrills, then head to Larsian. It is located near Chong Hua Hospital near Fuente Osmena. You can order pork, chicken, liver, intestines, skin, gizzard, and even blood served on a barbecue stick. You can order puso (hanging rice) to go with your grilled goodies.

Dimsum Break - If you like Dimsum style eating, visit Dimsum break. Order steamed rice and get a good meal in a bowl. You can order fried and steamed dimsum delicacies like spring rolls, siomai, spareribs, shrimp dumplings, crab pincers, taro puff, shrimp toast and many more to compliment the unique rice creation.

Pongko Pongko - This is the favorite meal of locals who are on a tight budget. The "pongko-pongko" hawkers are all around the city. You can try the favorite Ginabot (Chicharon Bulaklak for Tagalogs) and other cholesterol-rich but very tempting items.

Sutukil - It means SUgba (grill), TUla (soup), KILaw (raw meat soaked vinaigrette). The most famous SUTUKIL restaurants are located in Mactan near the Lapu-Lapu Shrine. Sutukil restaurants serve mainly fresh seafood, like fish, crabs, prawns, shrimps, shells, and rock lobsters.

Zubuchon - Home of the lechon that was dubbed by Anthony Bourdain as "the best pig...ever!". You have to taste the skin of this roast pig. You may buy lechon by the kilo or order a whole pig for parties and other special events.

Tuslob Buwa - This is the newest craze in Cebu. Restaurants like Azul in Gorordo Avenue offer this unique cook your own food craze where diners sauté pork brains then they dip puso or hanging rice in it. It is delicious but it is not for people with heart or cholesterol issues.

There are so many choices for food and the major food chains are in Cebu like McDonald's, KFC, Jollibee, Pizza Hut, Starbuck's, Pancake House, and many more. If you get tired of local dishes, you can always choose a place that serves food that is familiar to you.

Things to do in Cebu

Malling at Ayala
Malling at Ayala
Enjoying the beaches of Mactan
Enjoying the beaches of Mactan
Island Hopping and stopping by a sandbar
Island Hopping and stopping by a sandbar
Resorts Galore...
Resorts Galore...

Exploring Cebu

Places to visit:

1. Magellan's Cross - Is the cross planted by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. It is located in Magallanes (the Spanish name of Magellan) Street near Basilica Minore del Santo Nino and in front of the Cebu City Hall. Magellan's Cross

2. Basilica del Sto. Nino and Other Churches - Cebu is a major center of Christianity and the main patron of the island is Sto. Nino (Holy Child Jesus). There are so many old churches to visit. Each town in the island has a main parish and each has its own patron. A lot of people go to pilgrimages to different patrons like Virgin of Guadalupe, Virgin of Rule (Lapu-Lapu), St. Catherine (Carcar), and many others.

3. Fuente Osmena - Located at the center of roundabout in uptown Cebu. This fountain was built to commemorate the first water system of Cebu. This is a nice place to stay during the Sinulog season.

4. Malls - Cebu has many malls where you can shop, dine, and enjoy a relaxing day with loved ones. SM City Cebu is the biggest mall right now in the island and is the 4th largest in the country. Ayala Center Cebu caters to a more upscale market. Robinsons Place Cebu and Robinsons Cybergate are located near Fuente Osmena. Parkmall is located in the North Reclamation Area. Gaisano Country Mall in Talamban. Elizabeth Mall in the downtown area.

5. Lapu Lapu Shrine - Located in Mactan Island, this shrine is dedicated to Lapu-Lapu, the hero who killed Magellan. You can eat sutukil in the nearby restaurants.

6. Moalboal - A town known for its beaches and diving spots.

7. Mactan - The airport is located in this island. So are resorts and other interesting places. Take time to explore!

8. Bantayan Island, Malapascua, San Remigio, Camotes - Nearby islands/towns that are known for beaches with a rustic appeal. Although in some seasons it gets crowded. Bantayan is probably the most popular Holy Week destination in Cebu.

9. Simala - a favorite destination for the religious. Located in the town of Sibunga in the southern part of the island.

10. Tops - Situated 2000 feet above sea level, you can practically see the whole of metro Cebu in this vantage point. You can also go there at night.

11. Resorts - The province is awash with resorts. There are affordable ones and there are also world-class establishments like Shangri-La Mactan, Plantation Bay, Imperial Palace, Maribago Bluewater, Abaca and Movenpick Resot. These resorts contributed in making Cebu as the No. 3 Island Destination in Asia according to a recent survey by Travel+Leisure.

12. Waterfront Casino - Wanna try your luck you can visit the Waterfront Hotel in Mactan and Lahug.

13. Mango Avenue at Night - Take your pick: you can sing in a karaoke place, dance to house music in one of the many bars, laugh at a comedy bar, or spend lots of money with some mature entertainment. Name it, Mango Avenue can give you several definitions of fun.

14. Carbon Market - The major market for fresh produce in Cebu.

15. Provincial Capitol - Home of the Office of the Governor. It is the Cebuano version of the White House.

16. SRP - The next development hub of the City of Cebu. In a few years, malls, buildings, and developments will sprout in this area. The South Road Properties is the legacy project of the Osmena Administration.

17. Colon Street - Named after Christopher Columbus, this is the oldest street in the Philippines.

Things to do:

1. Motorbike Trip all around Cebu - Rent a bike and explore the cities and towns of Cebu.

2. Island Hopping - Go to nearby islands and enjoy a day snorkeling, eating seafood, and having fun in a secluded island. ;)

3. Have a massage - Massage places abound and you can have a decent and satisfying massage for as low as $3.50.

4. Edge Coaster at Club Ultima - Experience the ride of your life while enjoying the view of the City of Cebu.

5. Day Tour at nearby Islands like Bohol - You can get a ticket easily to anywhere in the Visayas and Mindanao.

6. Suroy Suroy sa Sugbo - Discover the beauty of each Cebu town with this project of the provincial government.

7. Buy shirts at Island Souvenirs or Bisaya Ispesyal - Show your love for Cebu by buying these shirts.

8. Buy guitars in Mactan - Mactan Island is also known for high-quality, handcrafted guitars.

9. Ride a jeepney - Go around the city by riding the main means of transportation of Cebuano commuters.

10. Diving - Go diving in the many dive spots in Cebu and the nearby islands.

11. Zipline- Conquer your fear heights, try the zipline in Busay, Papa Kit's, Danasan, and Club Ultima.

12. Watch Sinulog - This is the main feast and Mardi Gras in honor of Sto. Nino. It is held every 3rd Sunday of January. We hope to see you there.

Event and Updates

August 5-15 1Cebu Expo at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) - This event will feature the finest products, and services the you can find in the Province of Cebu. This annual event will also showcase the different festivals in Cebu and will also have several activities that promotes Cebu as a place for tourism, investment, or permanent relocation. Check out the Expo now!

August 5-7 1Cebu Autoclub Meet at the CICC Parking grounds - See the best cars from the different Auto clubs in the province. If you love cars, you should not miss this.

August 28, 2010 San Roque Football Festival - The best clubs and schools converge at the San Roque football grounds for the San Roque Football Festival.

Spots to Visit



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    • profile image


      17 months ago from albama

    • paoyo profile image

      Pao Sobrepena 

      4 years ago from Philippines

      I must try the Cebu lechon one day if I can visit for vacation..

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Congratulations and 2 thumbs up Carlo! You really know how to promote the Cebu tourism industry. :)

      If you have time, you can bring yours special someone to Marshall's Irish Pub for date, you will love it there :)

    • carlo_olano profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Cebu City, Philippines

      Welcome and I hope that you have a grand time while in Cebu. :)

    • Arian Rey profile image

      Arian Rey 

      7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient Seas (PHILIPPINES)

      Cebu is always hailed as one of the top destinations in Visayan region. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Also try island hopping and EAT ALL YOU CAN. Truly a great experience everyone will love!!

    • profile image

      Cagayan de Oro news 

      8 years ago

      Can't wait to revisit Cebu!

    • profile image

      Sinulog Festival 

      8 years ago

      this content more familiar, that keeping visiting cebu...

      checkout some info for upcoming events on cebu at


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