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Cebu

Cebu is an island province in the Philippines, consisting of the main island itself and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, the oldest city in the Philippines, which forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with four neighboring cities (which comprise 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. Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region in 2007,8th best Asian-Pacific island destination in 2005, 7th in 2004 and in 2009, with popular tourist destinations such as Mactan Island and Moalboal. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for furniture making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry.

QUICK FACTS

Population/Language
Cebu Province has a total population of more than 3 million. Cebuano is the native tongue.
While Filipino is commonly understood and spoken, the English language is widely used in business transactions and education.

Weather
Cebu is best from December to May when the weather turns dry. It is coolest from December to February, hottest from March to May. Temperature can rise as high as 37°C in the summer. The rainy season begins in July bringing torrential downpours that would sometimes inhibit movement.

Philippine Time
Philippine standard time is eight hours ahead of Greenwhich Meantime.

Dress/What to Bring
Wear natural-fibre, lightweight clothing. You’ll feel more comfortable. Bring shorts, hat, sun-glasses, bathing suit, insect repellent, 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.

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

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 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 – 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday; Government agencies and offices – 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday; Private firms – 9am to 12nn Saturday; Shops – 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday. 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% service charge on top of the government tax. Tipping 5-15% 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 terminal fare. Tricycles (motorcycles with sidecars) are popular in outlaying areas and in the suburbs, quiet notably within Mactan Island. Taxicabs are widely available.

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