Thanh Hoa

The island of Cebu in the Philippines delights visitors with its natural beauty

Embrace your heart and dance with the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu

The color blue is associated with peace and tranquility. Many of the world’s most famous beauty spots are linked to this vibrant yet soothing color, including the iconic blue and white colors of Santorini in Greece and the vibrant blues and turquoises of the Maldives. Unlike these places, Cebu in the Philippines mixes blue with another refreshing color – green, as the blue ocean meets the green jungle. While many places lay claim to the title, Cebu deserves to be called “Heaven on Earth”.

Stretching 196km from north to south, the island of Cebu is known as the “Queen of the South Philippines”. Located in an archipelago, it is surrounded by 167 smaller islands. Cebu City rests on the island’s east coast. Cebu attracts visitors thanks to the city’s history and the region’s idyllic beauty. I was excited to see white sand beaches and endless rows of coconut trees. The perfect time to explore Cebu is from December to February as the climate is usually cool and pleasant. This is also the peak tourist season. 

The Bantayan Church is featured with centuries-old life size statue of saints

I began my visit by exploring the ancient architecture and historic landmarks of Cebu City, such as Magellan’s Cross, planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in 1521. Other noteworthy Catholic sites include Bantayan Church. Visitors should not miss Fort San Pedro Fort and Colon Street, named after Christopher Columbus. 

As night falls, Colon Street becomes crowded with a night market full of shopping visitors. When Spanish settlers came to Cebu they brought their guitars. Filipino musicians have turned guitar music into an indispensable part of Cebu’s cultural life. Guitar shops can be found everywhere, and guitar music echoes in the breeze.

The Philippine tarsier is one of the smallest known primates, no larger than a adult men’s hand

With its white sand beaches and turquoise water, Cebu is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Adventurous visitors enjoy climbing high cliffs and jumping into the clear water below. Leaping into the cool water was a memorable experience.

About 130km to the southwest of Cebu City, hidden in the Barangay Matutinao Mountains near the town of Badian, lie the spectacular Kawasan Waterfalls. Here, turquoise water flows down the waterfall and throws up white foam, surrounded by lush greenery. From here I traveled to my final stop – Osmena Mountain. The green of the mountain was very different from the blue of the sea, but equally gorgeous. Visitors come here to enjoy the fresh mountain air, eat an outdoor picnic, and admire panoramic views of Cebu from up high. 

The aquamarine water sparkles under the golden sunshines

If time permits, be sure to discover another shade of blue at Cebu City’s tallest building, the Crown Regency Hotel & Towers. Here, visitors can try adventure sports like zip-lining between two buildings and wall-climbing, bringing them closer to the blue sky. This was another experience to remember.