cebu_sugbo_kini

Cebu-Sugbo kini!

The image of the Sto. Nino, Cebu's icon, is painted on a <strong>bilao</strong> as part of a prop during a Sinulog performance

The image of the Sto. Nino, Cebu's icon, is painted on a bilao as part of a prop during a Sinulog performance

Speak of Cebu and images of the Sto. Nino, Cebu’s patron, comes to mind. And so does the valiant Lapu-Lapu, sweet mangoes, guitars and beaches. But it is more than that. Cebu is my home.

I’ve been thinking about doing this series for quite a time and so, with the end of the Cuyo Loop and as a fitting segue from my short sojourn in Masbate, I might as well feature my home province as seen from the perspective of a native son. Ahem. That might be a tall order but I’ll try. “I will stir clear of clichés… and trite writeups that has plagued us all these years.”

I promise, no dried fish market in Taboan. No guitars. No mangoes. No Malapascua and other known beaches that have been hogging other blogs and websites. And most of all, not another Taoist Temple done to death. I will stir clear of clichés, hackneyed features and trite writeups that has plagued us all these years. This will be the other Cebu beyond the tourist traps. The other, lesser known but equally important reasons to rush down to your local Cebu Pacific agency or log onto www.fly.com and get your tickets to come visit. Cebu has so much to offer, beyond all the postcard-perfect things! You won’t know what you’re missing until you come and explore.

Detail of a minibus that is more like a hybrid between a bus and a colorful jeepney that is found only in Cebu.

Detail of a minibus that is more like a hybrid between a bus and a colorful jeepney that is found only in Cebu.

The name Cebu is the hispanized version of the original Sugbo that some historians say has its etymology to the vernacular meaning shallow water. During the Spanish colonial period, it has been identified in maps as Zebu.

It’s history goes back to pre Spanish times but archaeologists have only started to appreciate it better now with several excavations undertaken like those in Boljoon and quite recently, at the Plaza Independencia where the discovery of a gold death mask marks the second site it’s been found in the country.

The island province is rich in history and culture and friendly people that some say are hard to please. It is the regional center in the Visayas and second only to Metro Manila as a commercial hub. It has a lot more to offer with many not too known aspects that I will try to feature.

This is Cebu. Sugbo kini!

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

19 Comments

  1. kouji
    October 21, 2008 @ 15:04

    no taoist temple? :O darn! 😀

    that minibus looks fascinating…

  2. estan
    October 21, 2008 @ 15:10

    kouji, no! 😀

  3. dong ho
    October 21, 2008 @ 16:43

    ill definitely enjoy this series. something new about cebu. not the usual. i hope you’ll be able to feature the “puso” and my ever favorite lumpia that you buy in cheavers. i forget the name.

  4. kouji
    October 21, 2008 @ 19:55

    not even one mango?? 😀

  5. estan
    October 21, 2008 @ 23:39

    not even one mango. or even the g-string of a guitar. so with the salty piles of dried fish, it won’t seduce me to include it 😀

    dong, puso will be part of it. you’re also referring to the ngohiong. hmmm, that gives me an idea.

    by the way, if you have other suggestions, i would look at it.

  6. gibb
    October 22, 2008 @ 0:59

    adto sa area sa University of San Jose Recoletos/Freedom park kung Domingo kay daghan mamaligyaay og ukay-ukay. Interesting na.

  7. dong ho
    October 22, 2008 @ 15:07

    astig estan! ngohiong nga yon. paborito ko yon. meron pa akong gusto dyan sa cebu, yung olango island. nakapunta ako dun nag island hopping kami. marami pang hindi nakaka alam dun. pero ang ganda ng tubig doon. sana ma feature mo rin yon.

    isa din sa mga plano kong gawin pagbalik ko sa cebu ay akyatin ang osmena peak. ganda pala ng mga bundok dun.

    salamat estan.

  8. Arnold
    October 22, 2008 @ 22:32

    Ummm..

    Will you feature the “goat’s eye” being sold in downtown?

    Hehe..

  9. estan
    October 22, 2008 @ 22:40

    dong, olango is quite far and the photos that i have are not complete.

    arnold, bai, hehehe, i’ll check colon out for this one and other “implements”

  10. The Islander
    October 24, 2008 @ 0:14

    will check out your Cebu series. want to see the other side of cebu.

  11. lawstude
    October 24, 2008 @ 10:50

    i will definitely follow this series estan ‘coz i am planning to go back to cebu early next year.

    i have visited cebu only once and yes, got trapped into your more popular destinations. (may post nga ako about taoist temple eh hehehe). but, i do hope to see cebu beyond the usual so i will have a deeper perspective of things when i go back there.

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  19. Chichi
    October 28, 2010 @ 6:52

    “I will stir clear of clichés… and trite writeups that has plagued us all these years.” – Thank you for showing the wonderful true colors of our hometown. Bisdak and Proud Kini!

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