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Cebu is a province that occupies the central section of Visayas.  It is bordered, clockwise from the North, by Visayan Sea, Camotes Sea, Cebu Strait, and the Tañon Strait. The province has a land area of 4,943.72 square kilometers or 1,908.78 square miles; and has 44 municipalities, 6 cities, and 1,066 barangays. [1]

Brief History of Cebu City

When Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese navigator and explorer, landed in Cebu on April 7, 1521, there was already a thriving port in the region. He sealed a blood compact with Humabon, the chief of Cebu, but was killed later by Chief Lapu-Lapu. On April 27, 1565, Miguel López de Legazpi and the friar Andrés de Urdaneta arrived on Cebu and founded the first Spanish settlement and Catholic mission in the Philippine archipelago. For six years, until Legazpi’s removal to Manila, Cebu was the Spanish colonial capital. [2]


Cebuano literature refers to the body of oral and written literature of speakers of Cebuano, the mother tongue of a quarter of the country’s population who live in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, and parts of Leyte and Mindanao. [3]

Among the early poetic forms are garay (verses), harito (shaman’s prayers), tigmo (riddles) and panultihon (proverbs), as described by the Jesuit Francisco Alzina (1668). The generic form for poetry is balak, which is characterized by the presence of enigma or metaphor called balaybay or sambingay. Most of the poems are sung like the occupational songs and lullabies. The balitaw is an extemporaneous poetic debate between man and woman that is sung and danced simultaneously. [3]

Of the many publications before the war, only Bisaya has survived as literary outlet of Cebuano. Because of the rise in prestige of English and later Tagalog, postwar Cebuano literature was relegated to third class although Cebuano was still the language of home and street. A new vigor in poetry was contributed by bilingual writers Leonardo Dioko, Junne Cañizares, Ric Patalinjug and others, whose exposure to Western modes and styles helped strengthen the poetic utterance with irregular rhythms, precise and concrete diction and practical attitudes. [3]

Festivals [4]

  • Sinulog Festival in Cebu City
  • Pintos Festival in Bogo City
  • Haladaya Festival in Daanbantayan
  • Silmogue Festival in Borbon
  • Karansa Festival in Danao City
  • Kabayo Festival in Mandaue City
  • La Torta Festival in Argao


  1. “Cebu.” PhilAtlas Website, Accessed on January 07, 2021.
  2. “Cebu City.” Britannica, Accessed on January 07, 2021.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Alburo, Erlinda. “Cebuano Literature in the Philippines.” National Commission for Culture and the Arts Website, Accessed on January 07, 2021.
  4. Modequillo, Archie. “Cebu-Island of many Festivals.” The Philippine Star, The Freeman Website, Accessed on January 07, 2021.



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