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History of Cebu

The island of Cebu is very strategically located, at the confluence of the main trade routes of the area, and it’s not surprising that as far back as the 1200s, the island (then known as `Sugbo’) was already a well-established trade centre. With the coming of the European explorers led by Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th century, Cebu became the base for their forays and excursions to the neighbouring islands. It was a Cebuano, a chieftain called Lapu-Lapu who killed Magellan and thus became a local hero- his statue still stands in front of the Cebu Capitol. The Spanish, however, soon returned- this time led by legaspi- and established a settlement on Cebu; the settlement soon became the main hub for trade with the outside world. It was through this city that Cebu’s indigenous products- hemp, sugarcane and tobacco- flowed to the rest of the country (and more farflung areas too), and goods entered. By the late 1800s, Cebu was a formidable trading city; and when the Americans took over the country, the infrastructure improved further.

Today, Cebu is a flourishing business and trade centre- very cosmopolitan, very smart, and very popular with virtually all tourists.

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