It was summer of 2010 when I was given the chance to visit the Queen City of the South, Cebu as one of the participants of our school for the GSP’s 35th National Encampment. Along with my co-campers Meryl, Angel, Brit, Ate Jham, Ate Ella, Ate Kristel and Ate Parola we stayed at Camp Marina, GSP Cebu Headquarters. For nine days, we spent everyday attending the activities scheduled. Until the time comes that we went outside the camp to tour around the town. We stroll around Cebu accompanied by our tour guides from University of San Carlos. They brought us on different well-known tourist spots of the city.
Our first stop is the Taoist Temple, where you can have a peek at ancient China.The temple is one of the very popular tourist attraction of the city. According to our tour guides, it was built by Taoism adherents of Cebu’s Chinese Community. The temple is open for the public but they strictly require visitors to observe silence to respect the worshipers and also the temple.
Our next stop, the tangible symbol of Christianity in the Philippines, the Magellan’s Cross. Arising between Cebu City Hall and Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino is an octagon shaped chapel housing the cross.
Our next stop is the oldest and smallest fort in the Philippines, the Fort San Pedro. Inside the fort you can see a blind musician playing contemporary tune. The fort has a long and history. It was built by the Spanish and Cebuano laborers as a functional military defense structure. That is why canons can be found everywhere in the fort.
Finally, we visited the Mactan Shrine where you can find the Magellan Shrine and Lapu-Lapu Shrine. Around the shrine are tiangge stores selling different delicacies and souvenirs of the city like guitars, shirts, key chains, and my favorite, calamay.
Strolling around Cebu was one of the most unforgettable I have ever experienced during the camp. It is not just a beautiful city. Everywhere you go, everything you see has its own historical story behind. It was like i’m just roaming around but at the same time I’m learning a lot of things from the past.