Cebus is not only famous for Ferdinand Magellans, a 15thcentury explorer, final pit stop, five centuries later, Cebu today has evolved to be the rising BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) center of the world!
Cebu is an island in the Pacific and an independent city progressively growing by leaps and bounds. You can tell from the busy construction sites, the roads and the buildings springing up everywhere. Its a metropolitan city that has retained its island flair. Because of this its a favorite place of expatriates from all over the world. They have voluntarily adopted Cebu as their primary if not, their secondary home.
Cebu is one of the biggest BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing) centers not only in the Philippines but in the world. In fact, its surpassing India. Most call centers are based here because of the locals accent free English, sidestepping India.
Cebu is also a popular hub for IT professionals, programmers, artists, writers, virtual assistants, and other electronically based jobs. Cebu is the Silicon Valley of the Philippines. stimulated by the outsourcing of jobs to Cebu. Consequently, its grown economically producing a new breed of local yuppies and an active nightlife in the IT district, where once the city slept. The nocturnal workforce is attuned and in sync with the office hour of the United States and Europe.
Cebu’s business district is centrally located. Beautiful white sandy beaches, diving spots, and mountain ranges all within a 15-30 minute drive! You can literally circumnavigate the island in one day, or cross the island from east to west in a couple of hours.
Cebu is also one of the biggest ship building ports in the world. This is where ship crew and dockers park and maintain their boats, a flurry of foreign activities are encouraged in the Mactan islands. This island is adjacent to Cebu, connected by a bridge, to the Export Processing Zone where all foreign business transactions are given tax breaks.
Cebus International Airport is also located in Mactan island; direct flights from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Bangkok, Dubai, etc.
Unlike most of the islands in the Philippines, Cebu is less hit by typhoons since it is situated at the center and is buffered by the surrounding islands.
Cebu is a historically rich island. The Spaniards landed in 1521, by the fleet led by Ferdinand Magellan, who came in the name of King Philipp of Spain (although Magellan was a Portuguese). The Portuguese denied Magellan the ships he asked for, so he went to Spain to persuade King Philipp to grant him the ships and crew for his journey. The rest was history. That’s how the Philippines came to be named after King Philipp and also how the Philippines later became a colony of Spain for four hundred years.
Magellan sailed from the tip of South America, now known as the strait of Magellan, and reached the Philippines via Mexico. As soon as he landed, he was welcome by a tribal chief Rajah Humabon and his queen. Magellan and his crew baptized over 800 natives on that very day, marking Cebu as the cradle of Christianity.
Divide and conquer, was Magellan’s philosophy to keep the tribes warring against each other to maintain sovereignty over the tribes. Magellan agreed to fight with Rajah Humabon, against a neighboring war lord, Lapu-lapu and it was on this fatal day, on Mactan island, that Magellan was killed, hopelessly outnumbered with just his 60 or so men against a thousand of
Magellan sailed with a fleet of 5 ships but only two ships returned to Spain. The battle of Mactan was later noted and describe by their historian on board, Pigafetta. They were the first voyage in history that circumnavigated the world, alas without their captain, Ferdinand Magellan. His DNA was left in Cebu and on the shores of Mactan Island.