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Author Topic: Cebu as of 1923  (Read 1105 times)

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Cebu as of 1923
« on: May 30, 2020, 06:14:13 am »
The City of CebuCebu, the metropolis of the Visayan Islands, is the oldest European city in the Philippines and one of the oldest occidental settlements in the East. Discovered and temporarily occupied by Magellan in 1521, it became a permanent Spanish possession in 1565, having thus almost exactly the same age as the other Spanish settlement, St. Augustine, in Florida. It is situated about midway of the east coast of the island of the same name. The island itself is practically coextensive with the Province of Cebu, of which the city is the capital. The province has the largest population of any in the Archipelago and is one of the most thickly inhabited. The city has a good harbor, protected by the Island of Mactan, and the scene which unfolds itself from the moment of entering the channel, between this Island and that of Cebu proper is a very busy one. There are good harbor facilities, and seagoing vessels of large draft are able to tie up along the docks.

Cebu is a fascinating mixture of old and new and contains a considerable number of places of special interest. The waterfront is busy with the various activities arising from [66]the city’s position as one of the chief centers of the Islands’ hemp trade. Here is a good opportunity to see the finest grades of this important staple, of which the Philippines have practically a monopoly.

Places of Historic InterestMost of the places of historic interest are within a short distance of this point. Calle Colon, the oldest street in the Islands, is in this city. On the main plaza is a small building housing a large hollow cross. This contains within it another cross, which, according to the most probable story, is the original one erected to mark the spot where Magellan and his companions gathered for the first mass on Philippine soil. But a short distance away is the old triangular Fort San Pedro, standing approximately on the site of Magellan’s fortifications; and in the same neighborhood stands the Augustinian church and convent. Here the sacristan will show to visitors the curious image known as the “Holy Child of Cebu.” It is agreed by historians that this is the one which was given by Magellan in 1521 to the temporarily converted wife of the rajah of Cebu, and recovered forty years later after the landing of Legaspi.

An automobile road through the Province of Cebu gives a pleasing succession of views of the sea through arcades of coconut palms that fringe the long narrow island of Cebu; a second road cuts across its backbone, giving finer views still.

Source: Philippine Islands book published in 1923

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