Facts and Figures

Geography

Cebu is located 365 miles south of Manila, the capital of Philippines. The province belongs to the country’s Central Visayas Region. It can be reached in an hour by air travel or 22 hours by cruising the sea.

Topography

Cebu is characterized by narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus, coastal plains but with predominant rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island. Although Cebu’s steep mountains reach over 1,000 meters, the island lacks substantial forest cover. In the towns of Bogo, San Remigio, Medellin, and Daanbantayan at the northern tip of the province, considerable tracts of land are found. Of the three biggest islands, Mactan and Bantayan are relatively flat while Camotes is hilly.

Population/Language

Cebu Province has a total population of more than 3.85 million. Cebuano is the native tongue. While Filipino is commonly understood and spoken, the English language is widely used in business transactions and education.

Climate

Cebu’s weather is relatively moderate, having no distinct wet and dry season, the perfect vacation spot for all seasons. One can bask under the sunshine the whole year through since Cebu is blessed with tropical climate with generally fair temperature range of between 23 to 33 degrees Celsius or 73 to 91 degrees Farenheit. Coolest temperature can be felt in January and warmest in May. The rainy season begins in July bringing torrential downpours that would sometimes inhibit movement.

Philippine Time

Philippine standard time is eight hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime.

Dress/What to Bring

Wear natural-fibre, lightweight clothing. You will feel more comfortable. Bring shorts, hat, sunglasses, bathing suit, insect repellant, flashlight, sun block cream, tough shoes for walking, rubber slippers for the beach.

The Barong Tagalog is the acceptable formal wear for men. Shorts or sleeveless shirts should never be worn when visiting churches, mosques or temples.

Money

The Philippine currency is peso, divided into 100 centavos. Next to the peso, the US dollar enjoys wide acceptance. Most foreign currencies can easily be changed at banks, hotels, and authorized dealers. Foreign currency is not readily taken by the establishments in Cebu. Major foreign credit cards may be accepted only at major hotels, resorts, shops, and restaurants. Visitors are advised to bring sufficient amount of change in small bills or coins.

Business Hours

Banks open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays. Government offices accept and process transactions 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Mondays to Fridays. Private firms are operational 9 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday. Shoppers can enjoy establishments 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Mondays to Saturdays. Most department stores stay open on Sundays and holidays.

Tipping

Bellhops expect a tip, as do waiters, taxi drivers, hairdressers, beauticians, and porters. Most hotels and restaurants add 10 percent service charge on top of the government tax. Tipping 5 to 15 percent of the bill appropriate if no service charge is included.

Public Transport

Getting around Cebu, one may take a colorful jeepney or a bus at a minimal fare. Tricycles (motorcycles with sidecars) and multicabs are popular in outlaying areas and in the suburbs, quiet notably within Mactan island. Metered taxicabs are widely available.

Electrical Appliances

Most areas in Cebu are supplied with 220 volts, 60 cycles. A plug with 2 flat parallel prongs is the norm.