A February 2007 trip
to Cebu by writeonthespot
Quote: Mactan is a tiny speck in the Visayas map, but it has a large part in history.
Hotel | "Shangri-la Mactan"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 19, 2007
Shangri-La Mactan Isl Resort
Punta Engano Rd.
+63 (32) 231-0288
Attraction | "Islands Souvenir"
When it comes to shopping for souvenir items or delicacies to take home with you, Islands Souvenirs in the Philippines would have something available for you. It was founded by the young entrepreneur Jay Aldeguer, who is a native of Cebu. His little shop has blossomed and can now be found in major cities and malls throughout the Philippines. So successful was the concept that it has now its Islands Souvenirs shops in Singapore, Macau, Japan, and the USA. Islands Souvenirs’ bright and neon-colored shops are very attractive to tourists. Its Pasalubong Center in Mactan must be the largest there is. A big colored drawing of a girl in Hawaiian skirt greets visitors to the shop.
Main souvenir items found were shirts and shorts and other stuff you use in the island, like slippers and bags. There were also little desk decors, home trimmings, and fashion accessories like necklaces and bangles made of shells or native materials. You can also buy key chains, magnets with Cebu landmarks and Cebu travel guides. The other half of the store was dedicated to native delicacies. From dried mangoes to dried fishes, you name it, you can find all kinds of local food products of Cebu in Islands Souvenirs. Their stores in the malls don’t have these products but the big Pasalubong Center in Mactan has everything.
Pasalubong Center, Marigondon Road
Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines
032 340 8881
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 19, 2007
Marcelo Fernan Bridge
Attraction | "Sto. Niño Basilica"
Ever heard the story how the figure of the Holy Child Jesus, or Santo Niño, found its way in the Philippine shores? It was said that the figure was given as a gift to the wife of the local chieftain. Then, when a fire struck it was said that the figure was found unburned and still intact, a miracle that was instrumental in the conversion of the local tribes into Christianity. The said figure is believed to be the same figure that is kept inside the Sto. Niño Basilica. Locals and believers from other towns, islands and countries flock to the Cathedral to visit the Sto, Niño which is also a miraculous one.
During its feast day, usually celebrated with a Sinulog Festival every first month of the year, people would paint themselves black to symbolize the early Filipino aborigines, known as Negritos or Aetas. A figure of the child Jesus is paraded in the main streets of Cebu hyped with some street dancing. Every year the clothes of the original Santo Niño figure is changed and the clothes worn during the past year is placed on the replica that is shown on the altar. So, you want to visit the century-old icon of the Holy Child Jesus? Say Viva Pit Señor Sto. Niño!
Santo Niño Basilica
Another landmark in the city of Cebu is the Magellan’s Cross, just a stone throw away from the Sto. Niño Basilica. Magellan’s Cross is called as such because it is the original wooden cross that Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan planted when he arrived in Cebu. Because of the effects of time, weather and other external factors, it could not be avoided that the wooden cross would be subject to wear and tear. To preserve this historic landmark, the original cross was cast with wooden planks. At present, the cross is housed in a small octagonal shaped structure. It has wide windows that let light shine through.
The ceiling has a narrative painting of that fateful day with Magellan, along with Spanish soldiers, planted the cross on that same spot. This landmark is relevant to the Filipinos because it signified the locals’ conversion to Christianity. Because of the arrival of the Spaniards, the Philippines has become a significant mover in the Christian faith. In fact, the country remains to be the only Catholic nation in Asia.