Cebuano Music

Sinulog and
other Cebuano Dances

Sinulog and
other Cebuano Festivals

Cebuano Cuisine

Cebuano Folklore

Touring Cebu and
the Central Visayas


anabnr2.gif (15492 bytes)

The Central Visayas, which includes the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor, is the country's  heartland in more ways than just geographical.


cvisayasmap.jpg (36876 bytes)

lapumonument_jmphoto95.jpg (5457 bytes)

Lapu-Lapu Monument, Cebu

magellanmonument_dot76.jpg (3962 bytes)

Magellan Monument, Cebu



It was in the port settlement of Cebu that the Spaniards established their first base for the conquest and conversion  of the Philippines.  Early exposure to the ways of the West has made the Central Visayas a heavily acculturated region.

The region is home to the Visayans (or Bisayans, as the people of the region were called in pre-Spanish times).  The term bisayan has a vague origin: it may mean "slave", as the region was often plundered by pirates and the captured villagers sold as slaves, or it may be the word derived from Malay or Sanskrit for "victorious people".  Still others relate it to the Sri Vijaya, the ancient kingdom based in Sumatra, or to the local word sadya, meaning "happy".

The language in the region is Cebuano, also known as Bisaya or Binisaya.  Massive migration has spread the language to other parts of the Philippines, notably Mindanao. Today, about a quarter of the Philippine population consider Cebuano as their native language.   Besides Cebuano, Tagalog and English are widely spoken in the region while Spanish remains the language of an older elite sector of the community.

mananagat_natbook.jpg (15070 bytes)

Fishers' dance

itikitik_natbook.jpg (23577 bytes)

Itik-Itik, a Visayan dance

kuradang1_alejandro78.jpg (6512 bytes)

Kuradang, a native Cebuano dance

The cultural hub of the region is the city of Cebu.   Often called the "queen city of the South", Cebu is a bustling capital, second in the country only to Manila in commercial activity. Deep harbors make Cebu a popular berthing place for inter-island and ocean-going ships.  Flanked by easily accessible white-sand beaches and coral reefs, and home to one of the country's international airports, Cebu is a favorite tourist as well as business destination.

To Filipinos, Cebu is synonymous with mangoes, the sweet fleshy tropical fruit, widely grown in the region.  Cebuanos and natives of the Central Visayas are also popularly known as corn-eaters, their staple food being milled corn.






Back to Philippine Culture Page
Back to Tagalog HomePage


cebu_mangoes_98yerbok.jpg (7183 bytes)

The Fookien Times Philippines Yearbook
1998 Edition