The Republic of
the Philippines

Tour # 2: Cebu and the Visayas

Cebu and Magellan: Some History

The Philippines boasts some seventy languages though most relate to one another. The Visayas have their own language different from, but related to, Tagalog, the language of Luzon and the "official" language of the Philippines.

The Spanish began their Philippine adventure when Magellan reached the island of Samar in 1519. Undoubtedly, he welcomed the island after crossing the Pacific. Magellan claimed it for Spain. The local rulers recognized Magellan as overlord and asked for his assistance in a conflict with Cebu. Magellan, accordingly, sent his troops.

The Cebuanos converted, and asked for assitance on the island of Mactan. In the ensuing battle, the Mactanese killed Magellan. Meanwhile, quarrels with women led to battles with the Cebuanos, who killed more of Magellan's soldiers. The Spanish sailed off, and Magellan's ship, but not Magellan, reached Spain to definitively prove the world round!

I flew to Cebu from Manila. Cebu doesn't equal the size of Manila by any estimation, making it a smaller, friendlier place. Andy Girardi, a Department of Defense friend, recommended the island as a stop for me for just this reason. Ironically, I arrived on Christmas Eve, a time when reputedly no one can fly anywhere in the Philippines. The Filipinos celebrate Christmas for almost two months.

This tour, also, shows the more scenic side of the Philippines. Outside of Manila, a lot of the Philippines more resembles tropical paradise than modern Asia. Observe, below, the spotless, clean beaches. Beyond the beaches, a lot of the islands consists of sugar plantations owned by a small number of families descended from the original aristocracy mentioned in the first tour.

The Philippines

A map of the island that includes Cebu

The metropolitan Cebu area

This shows a real Visayan house which
contrasts to the model on the previous tour.

I took a jeepney to Mactan Island: Note the hefty Swedish tourists.

Note the moored outriggers.

Look really close and observe the children's "bathing suits."

Note the traffic jam.

The picture from the inside of this jeepney shows the motto. It reads to the effect of "young girls take care of your bodies to please the young men." On that note, let's leave the Philippines or go back to sprawling Manila where one can pursue that theme in, let's just say, more depth.

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