Cebu City, the Queen City of the South, is the oldest city in the Philippines. It grew from the first settlement the Spanish colonists have built in the mid-1500s. Today, Cebu City rivals Manila in prestige and development. A growing cosmopolitan city, Cebu is a prime destination for both business and pleasure in the Philippines.
Cebu is a vital economic center in the Philippines as the country's main shipping port. Cebu has most of the facilities required for comfortable living and building successful enterprises that Manila also offers. The advantage that Cebu has over Manila is its lower cost of living. Cebu is considered one of the major global centers of the business process outsourcing industry.
Besides providing a good business environment, this premiere city of southern Philippines defines what an Asian island playground could be. The central business district is only a short distance to the beach. An ideal setup for staying or living in Cebu for an expat is to acquire a serviced flat on or close to the beach, work at the CBD or from home, drive to the Lahug district on weeknights to sample the nightlife, and play at the beach on weekends.
As for sightseeing, the opportunities for seeing the sights in Cebu are endless. You can go on an island-hopping expedition; the island of Cebu in which the city of Cebu is located has many surrounding islets with pristine white sand and clear blue waters. From the city, you can get a boat ride to Moalboal or Malapascua Island and try the diving spots there. For a glimpse of Cebu's colonial past, you can visit:
- Magellan's Cross, the cross planted by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew upon landing on the island.
- Basilica del Santo Niño, a minor Roman Catholic basilica and the oldest church in the Philippines.
- Fort San Pedro, the Spanish fortification from which the city of Cebu grew
- Museo Sugbo, an edifice made of coral bricks and is home to numerous galleries containing Spanish- and American-era artifacts.
Manila may be the country's capital, but Cebu City is the beating heart of its southern regions. Staying in Cebu and getting to know this beating heart is certainly worth your time.