1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cebú

CEBÚ, a city and municipality, port of entry, and the capital of the province of Cebú, island of Cebú, Philippine Islands, on the E. coast, a little N. of the centre. Pop. (1903) of the city proper, 18,330; of the municipality, 31,079; in the same year, after the census enumeration, the neighbouring municipalities of Mabolo (pop. 1903, 8454) and El Pardo (pop. 6461) were added to the municipality of Cebú. The surrounding country, which is level and fertile, is traversed by several good carriage roads. The port, formed by the north-west shore of the island of Mactán, is well protected from violent winds, and in front of it stands a picturesque Spanish fort. The streets are wide and regularly laid out. The government buildings are fairly good, and the church buildings very fine. Cebú is an episcopal see, and the palace of the bishop, although small, is widely known for its interior decorations. The Augustinian church is famous for its so-called miraculous image of Santo Niño. The Recoleto monastery and the seminary of San Carlos are worthy of mention. The cathedral was finished toward the end of the eighteenth century. The San José hospital here was founded by one of the religious orders. There was a leper hospital in the outskirts of the city until 1906, when a leper colony was established on the island of Culión. Commercially, Cebú is the second city of the Philippines. Hemp, tobacco, sugar and copra are the most important exports. In addition to the trade with foreign ports, an important domestic commerce is carried on with Manila, Bohol, Negros and northern Mindanao. Salt, pottery and fabrics of silk, sinamay, hemp and cotton are manufactured, and sugar sacks are woven in considerable quantity. The island of Cebú is known for its excellent mangoes and for the rare cornucopia-shaped sponges, called Venus’s flower basket (Euplectella aspergillum), found here. Historically Cebú is famous as the scene of Magellan’s landing in 1521. A cross, said to be the one first erected by him, is still preserved in the cathedral. The great explorer lost his life in the neighbouring island of Mactán; a monument marks the place where he was killed. The first Spanish settlement in the Philippines was established at Cebú in 1565, and from that year to 1571 it was the capital of the colony. The city is unincorporated. The language is Cebú-Visayan.