Cebu (/sɪˈbuː/, /siːˈbuː/ or /sɛˈbuː/; Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Sugbo, Filipino: Lalawigan ng Cebu) is a first income class island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, and consisting of the main island itself and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government. Cebu City forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with four neighboring cities (Danao City,Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City and Talisay City) and eight other local government units. Mactan-Cebu International Airport, located in Mactan Island, is the second busiest airport in the Philippines.
Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for shipping, furniture-making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry.
Cebu is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands. The province consists of Cebu Island, as well as 167 smaller islands, which include Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands. But the highly urbanized cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue are independent cities not under provincial supervision, yet are often grouped with the province for geographical and statistical purposes.
The province's land area is 4,944 square kilometres (1,909 sq mi), or when the independent cities are included for geographical purposes, the total area is 5,342 square kilometres (2,063 sq mi).
Cebu's central location, proximity to unusually exotic tourist destination, ready access to a diversity of plant, animal and geological wonders within the island, and remoteness from earthquake and typhoon activity are some of the special attributes of Cebu.
Cebu Island itself is long and narrow, stretching 196 kilometres (122 mi) from north to south and 32 kilometres (20 mi) across at its widest point. It has narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus and coastal plains. It also has rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island.
Cebu's highest mountains are over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) high. Flat tracts of land can be found in the city of Bogo and in the towns of San Remigio, Medellin and Daanbantayan at the northern region of the province.
The island's area is 4,468 square kilometres (1,725 sq mi), making it the 9th largest island in the Philippines. It supports over 3.5 million people, of which 2.3 million live in Metro Cebu.
Beaches, coral atolls, islands and rich fishing grounds surround Cebu.
Coal was first discovered in Cebu about 1837. There were 15 localities over the whole island, on both coast; some desultory mining had been carried out Naga near Mount Uling, but most serious operations were at Licos and Camansi west of Compostela and Danao. Active work ceased about 1895 with insurrections, and no production worked for more than ten years. A topographic and geologic survey of Compostela, Danao and Carmen took place in 1906. The Compostela-Danao coalfield contained about six million workable tons. The tramroads, one from Danao to Camansi, one from Compostela to Mount Licos, were undertaken in 1895, together with a wagon road built in 1877, from Cotcot to Dapdap.
The climate of Cebu is tropical. There are 2 seasons in Cebu − the dry and wet season. It is dry and sunny most of the year with some occasional rains during the months of June to December. The province of Cebu normally gets typhoons once a year or none.
Northern Cebu gets more rainfall and typhoons than southern Cebu because it has a different climate. Typhoon Yolanda hit Northern Cebu in 2013 killing 73 people and injuring 348 others. Though most typhoons hit only the northern part of Cebu, the urban areas in central Cebu are sometimes hit, such as when Typhoon Ruping, one of the worst to hit Cebu, lashed the central Cebu area in 1990.
Cebu's temperatures can reach a high of 36 °C (97 °F) from March to May, and as low as 18 °C (64 °F) in the mountains during the wet season. The average temperature is around 24 to 34 °C (75 to 93 °F), and does not fluctuate much except during the month of May, which is the hottest month. Cebu averages 70–80% humidity.
Cebu is subdivided into 6 component cities and 44 municipalities. The cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue are often grouped with the province for geographical and statistical purposes, but are independent cities that are not under provincial supervision.
"Ceboom", a portmanteau of Cebu and Boom, has been used to describe the province's economic development. With many beautiful islands, white sand beaches, luxury hotel and resorts, diving locations and heritage sites, high domestic and foreign tourist arrivals have fueled the tourism industry of Cebu. Cebu consistently gets a big share of tourist arrivals in the Philippines, and has become the tourist gateway to Central and Southern Philippines due to its central geographic location, accessibility and natural resources. The province also hosts various national and international conferences every year.
About 80% of domestic and international shipping operators and shipbuilders in the Philippines are located in Cebu. Shipbuilding companies in Cebu have manufactured bulk carriers of up to 70,000 tonnes deadweight (DWT) and double-hulled fast crafts as well. This industry made the Philippines the 4th largest shipbuilding country in the world.
Cebu's extensive port facilities and its proximity to intra-Asian shipping and air routes are major factors which led multinational companies to establish offices or factories on the main island, as well as in the island of Mactan, where they are clustered in special economic zones known as the Mactan Economic Processing Zone 1 (MEPZ-1) and the Mactan Economic Processing Zone 2 (MEPZ-2). Due to its burgeoning furniture-making industry, Cebu has been named as the furniture capital of the Philippines. Cebu's other exports include: fashion accessories, guitars, dried mangoes, carageenan, gifts, toys, watches, cameras, electronic components and housewares.
With a revenue growth rate of 18.8 percent in 2012, the real estate industry is the fastest-growing sector in Cebu. With the strong economic indicators and high investors’ confidence level, more condominium projects and hypermarkets are being developed in the locality. An additional 100 commercial and residential buildings would be completed by 2015 and another 170 to 200 buildings are expected to be finished by 2017. 64 new hypermarkets will be developed in Cebu.
In 2013, Cebu ranked 8th worldwide in the "Top 100 BPO Destinations Report" by global advisory firm, Tholons. The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, an organization of Cebu's businesses, is promoting the city's growth and economy on information and communications technology, with the aim of making Cebu the premier ICT, software and e-services investment destination in southeast Asia. Data gathered by the National Economic Development Authority (Neda) 7 showed that of the 98 BPO and IT companies operating in Cebu, 32 offer voice operations while 66 companies offer non-voice operations. Of the 95,000 employed by the industry, more than half or 50,000 are in the non-voice sector. In 2012, the growth in IT-BPO revenues in Cebu grew 26.9 percent at $484 million, while nationally, the industry grew 18.2 percent at $13 billion.
Cebu's economy is also driven by the mining and quarrying areas in Toledo, Naga, Alcoy, and Danao.
Cebu even boasts being a subsidiary of one of the leading ice rink manufacturers in the world. These rinks are engineered and fabricated in Cebu by Ice Rink Supply and shipped worldwide.
Mactan-Cebu International Airport
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Mactan Island serves as the main gateway to domestic and international routes to or from Cebu City and other islands in the Visayas region. In the last 15 years, Mactan–Cebu International Airport’s passenger traffic has grown at an annual average of 21% for international passenger traffic. The airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines in passenger and cargo traffic. The plan for a new terminal expansion of the airport is underway and estimated to cost $240 million under a public-private partnership program of the Philippine government. The new terminal will host international flights while the old terminal will host domestic flights.
In addition, MCIAA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete (who was the project of BRT earlier) also proposed to establish a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line to transport airport passengers to and from MCIAA and different parts of Cebu. This will be integrated into the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) System being planned in Metro Cebu.
The Cebu International Port is the largest shipping hub in the Visayas region.
Cebu Pacific Air is an airline owned by Cebu-based Gokongwei family. On May 28, 2008, Cebu Pacific was named as the world's number one airline in terms of growth. The airline carried a total of almost 5.5 million passengers in 2007, up 57.4% from 2006. On January 6, 2011, Cebu Pacific flew its 50 millionth passenger (from Manila to Beijing). The airline reached the 100 million passengers in 2015. Cebu Pacific commenced international long-haul flights to Middle East and Australia, flight to Guam starting Q1 2016.
Notable business districts are the Cebu Business Park and the Cebu IT Park. This area hosts industries related to the information technology industry such as software development, telecommunications, engineering research and development centers, and business process outsourcing. In 2013, Ayala Corporation's affiliate, Ayala Land Inc., announced that it is looking at introducing another business park development within the Cebu City area to optimize the high performance of real estate investments in Cebu. Cebu Holdings Inc. and the Ayala Corporation created Cebu Park District, an integrated, master-planned, mixed-use economic zones of the Cebu Business Park and Cebu I.T. Park. The district plays a vital role in the city’s economy. It is where many of the region’s corporate headquarters are located. Both parks and the adjoining areas enjoy a critical mass of local and international locators in the spheres of business, banking, finance, IT and tourism services, among others.
The city's 300-hectare (740-acre; 3.0 km2; 3,000,000 m2) reclamation forms South Road Properties – a mixed-use development south of the city which features entertainment, leisure, residential and business-processing industries. Is the site of SM Seaside City Cebu, the eighth largest mall in the world (and 3rd largest shopping mall in the Philippines), Filinvest's Citta di Mare and Il Corso, and the University of the Philippines – Cebu campus.
In Mactan Island, Megaworld Corporation's Mactan Oceantown is a 25–hectare business park near Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa. The project will be home to high-tech offices, a retail center, residential towers and villages, leisure facilities with a beach resort frontage.
Mactan Island is linked to mainland Cebu via Mactan-Mandaue Bridge and Marcelo Fernan Bridge.