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Island Group Visayas
Region Central Visayas
Capital Cebu City
Area 5,342.00 km²
Cities 9
Municipalities 44
- Total 2,439,005
- Density/km² 456.57
Income class 1
Location in the Philippines:


Cebu is one of the provinces of the Central Visayas Region in the Philippines. It consists of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. The province is located to the east of Negros and to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands. Cebu is a long narrow island stretching 225 kilometers from north to south and has narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus and coastal plains. It subdivided into 6 cities and 47 municipalities.

Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. Cebu City is also the provincial capital and the oldest city in the Philippines.

Cebu has a very colorful history. Between the 13th and 16th century, Cebu then known as Zubu or Sugbo was an island inhabited by Hindu and Muslim tribal groups ruled by Rajahs and Datus. The arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the island of Cebu 1521 established a period of Spanish exploration and colonization. The natives were converted to Christianity and a large wooden cross was erected on the shores of Cebu. The Battle of Mactan occurred where the Spaniards were defeated and Magellan was killed by the natives of Mactan who resisted the Spanish invasion. Today, the Magellan’s Cross is one of the traditional landmarks of Cebu.

Cebuano is the official language spoken in Cebu. It is related to other Visayan languages, such as Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a, and Waray-Waray. The majority of Cebu’s populations are Roman Catholic. There are also some followers of Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism. Though Cebu has been classified officially to have two climates, the dry and wet, rainfall is usually not that high in the province. Wet season usually comes in June and December, while the dry season comes in January until May.

Cebu’s economy is the fastest growing economy in the Philippines. Its labor force is oriented towards non-agricultural lines and is rated as one of the most productive work force in the country. The island has the most domestic air and shipping and cargo vessels in the Philippines. Its extensive international port facilities, its accessibility to Asia and the rest of the world has led to many multinational companies to established manufacturing industries on the island. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Mactan island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines.

Cebu has many traditional festivities. The most famous is Sinulog which is a religious festival celebrated every third Sunday of January. The feast is held in honor of the patron saint, Señor Santo Niño de Cebu (Lord Holy Child of Cebu) and the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in the Philippines. Historical landmarks in the province include the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Fort San Pedro, Lapu-Lapu Shrine, Magellan’s Cross and Cebu Taoist Temple.

The most populous cities and municipalities in Cebu are:

City/Municipality City class Area
in km²
Urbanisation Population
Total Density/km²
Cebu City Highly Urbanized City 315.00 0 urban 798,809 2,535.90
Mandaue City Highly Urbanized City 25.18 1 urban 318,575 12,651.91
Lapu-lapu City (Opon) Highly Urbanized City 58.10 1 urban 292,530 5,034.94
City Of Talisay Component City 39.87 3 urban 179,359 4,498.60
Toledo City Component City 216.28 3 partly urban 152,960 707.23
Danao City Component City 107.30 3 partly urban 109,354 1,019.14
Minglanilla Municipality 65.60 1 urban 101,585 1,548.55
City Of Carcar Component City 116.78 0 partly urban 100,632 861.72
City Of Naga Component City 101.97 0 partly urban 95,163 933.25
Liloan Municipality 45.92 1 urban 92,181 2,007.43

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