Sunday, 13 February 2011

Cebu island and city, Philippines; impressions

Cebu island and city, Philippines; impressions

Upon leaving Malapascua 10th January, after a 20 minute boat ride, you reach Maya, the most Northern point of Cebu island. From there it's a 3 hour ride to Cebu city.

As already noted on notes and pictures I took on Malapascua, the Philippines are Catholic. I love the kitsch of Latin American Catholicism and some of that kitsch can be found back in the Philippines. Cebu airport on the island of Mactan has even a big picture of Maria with Dutch text on it, near the first security check point inside the domestic departure terminal but having my hands full of luggage in a moving line, I didn't manage to step out of said line and take a picture although I would've loved to have that picture taken! Ah well, next time.
The picture above was taken in a hotel near Mactan airport.

The 10th January is Bodbod festival. On the way down from maya to Cebu city we passed through a couple of villages that were in full Fiesta swing and mode!

The town of Catmon is famous for its tasty "bodbod" and thus is the focus of the festival. The street dancing competition is participated by the different barangays has its dance movements, the movement of making the bodbod with the costumes in bodbod concept.

The picture shows one of the many bands that were participating. Note the two guys in the middle of the picture playing each other drums!

Than we entered Danao and stopped at the local church. Sto. Thomas de Villanueva Parish (Danao City Church) Established in 1595

The church of Danao was constructed in 1755 by Fr. Manuel de Santa Barbara, and was made up of materials from sugar cane and rocks from the sea. The crucero of the church was built in the 1800's. However, it suffered a partial destruction (was burned in 1942) during the World War II. Religious items and other important materials were also burned. From the original construction materials of the church, only the solid stones were spared from the fire. It was reconstructed in 1946. In 1981, the building underwent another renovation, this time almost a complete overhaul (only 30% of the original stands). The renovation was completed in 1985.

Very interesting about this church are the bells, which are named according to saints. The San Alipio bell, cast in 1845 and weighing 45 kilos, is the oldest. Two others, cast in 1917 were added and these were the Villanueva bell (630 kilos) and the Sagrado Corazon bell (249 kilos).

Magellan shrine

After having checked in to our hotel, my local guide took us to the Magellan shrine, at a location where the battle of Mactan was fought 27th April 1521 and where the famous Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan died in battle with Lapu Lapu.

Mangroves around Mactan, where Magellan died

Cebu has a nice fell to itself and in my opinion is well worth a visit. For all divers that read my blog, the diving around this island is stunning and plenty of great locations and dive sites are reachable within short distances.

Cebu gets my thumbs up!


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