CEBU CITY DIY HERITAGE WALK TOUR

Summary: This blog covers 14 of the heritage spots at the downtown area of Cebu City. It is a DIY walk tour since all of these tourist attractions are within a 2-kilometer walk, estimated budget is P540 which covers for entrance fee and food only. All needed details for each attraction are laid out in the post including operating hours, entrance fee, location and information on how to get there. The blog is intended for DIY budget travelers, either solo or traveling in group.

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CEBU HERITAGE WALK AT A GLANCE

OLD CEBU was home to people with Malay origin that observed pagan and Muslim beliefs until the conquest of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. Through him, Cebu was made the first capital and the birthplace of Christianity in the Philippines. In the same effect, by him the influence of Spain started to show in the local communities, from their religion practices down to their choice of settlement. Some of these early fortifications can still be found today.

Cebu City Walk Tour aims for visitors to go down memory lane by wandering through Cebu city’s 300-year old houses and other old structures like its churches, monuments, streets, plazas; and discover what makes Cebu a rich cultural and historical heritage. The tour is a 2-kilometer stretch of walking which can either be arranged on a tour package or a do-it-yourself style. Whichever the case, here is a good way to do it.

The fourteen (14) heritage stops of Cebu City from Fort San Pedro to Museo Sugbo, as shown in the map, can be covered in half to one day tour depending on your pace.

1st stop: FORT SAN PEDRO

FORT SAN PEDRO
  • Description: Fort San Pedro, the oldest and smallest triangular fort in the Philippines is an 18th century structure which served as an army garrison to repel aggressors during the Spanish regime. In the later years, through the advent of colonization, the fort was turned into a barracks (during American reign), a school, an emergency hospital, a prison (during Japanese reign), and a zoo before it became a historical park as it is seen today. Notable items inside the fort include paintings, real cannons, old photographs, and the triangular roof deck.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 8:00AM-08:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P30
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
  • To get there:  You may take a cab which will cost for about P70 from Ayala shopping mall or uptown area. You may also take a jeepney for P8. Look for jeepneys with Pier 2 or Plaza signboards in their windshields.
  • Rating:  2.5/5

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2nd stop: PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA

PLAZA INDEPENDENCIA
  • Description: The plaza signifies independence of Cebu from the colony of the Spaniards and Americans. It has an obelisk at the center which honors the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
  • To get there:  The plaza is just outside Fort San Pedro.
  • Rating: 2/5

3rd stop: MALACAÑANG SA SUGBO

MALACAÑANG SA SUGBO
  • Description: The structure was built in 1910 and used to be the Bureau of Customs building until 2004 when former Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo converted the place as the official residence of the President of the Philippines in the Visayas. As of December 2017, the place looks inaccessible and can only be enjoyed from outside.
  • Location: A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
  • To get there:  Fronting Fort San Pedro, Malacañang sa Sugbo is on the right. Walk some meters and find the exit of Plaza Independencia. It should be a glance away.
  • Rating: 1/5

4th stop: MAGELLAN’S CROSS

MAGELLAN’S CROSS
  • Description: Magellan’s cross was planted by the explorers in 1521 as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan to mark the start of Christianity in the Philippines. To preserve its form, it is encased in a bigger wooden cross and housed in an octagonal kiosk which has a ceiling decorated with murals that depict Cebu’s conversion to Christianity.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 8:00AM-6:00PM
  • Entrance fee: none
  • Location:  Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there:  Cross the road to the right facing Malacañang sa Sugbo. Straight ahead, take a short walk to find the kiosk. It is between the City Hall and Basilica del Santo Niño.
  • Rating: 3/5

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5th stop: BASILICA MINORE DEL SANTO NIÑO DE CEBU

BASILICA MINORE DEL SANTO NIÑO DE CEBU
  • Description: The Basilica was founded in 1565 which keeps the oldest image of Sto. Niño (the child Jesus Christ) that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana, the chief consort of Rajah Humabon during her christening on April 14, 1521. Over the years, the image has acquired an increasing number of devotees which could easily fill the Basilica. To accommodate the devotees, a pilgrim center was built in the same compound. The devotion to the child Jesus is mostly celebrated during the Sinulog festival which happens every 3rd Sunday of January.
  • Operating Hours (for the museum):  Mondays to Sundays (except Wednesdays), 9:00AM–11:00AM, 1:00PM–5:00PM
  • Entrance fee (for the museum): P30.00
  • Location:  Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, Cebu
  • Note: Cameras are not allowed inside the museum.
  • To get there:  The Basilica is beside Magellan’s cross. You may enter through Colegio del Santo Niño gate just a few feet away from the kiosk. Upon entering, the Basilica can be found on the left side while the museum and the pilgrim center are on the right.
  • Rating: 3/5

6th stop: CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL

CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL
  • Description: The cathedral is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu. Its architecture is typical of a Spanish colonial church which has thick walls to withstand natural calamities.
  • Location: Legazpi St. corner P. Burgos St, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: Leave the Basilica from its main gate which is to the right when facing its front wall. Walk to the street with a Chowking fast food chain. It will lead directly to the side entrance of the cathedral in less than a hundred meters.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

7th stop: CEBU CATHEDRAL MUSEUM

CEBU CATHEDRAL MUSEUM
  • Description: The museum is an old colonial house which deposits various, old religious handiworks of the province of Cebu. Most notable are the carved portion of the floor in the lobby, the silver-etched altar at the chapel and the Mercedez Benz that Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Vidal used when the Pope visited Cebu.
  • Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00AM -12:00PM, 2:00PM-5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P50 (local), P100 (foreigner)
  • Location: F. Urdaneta St. corner P. Burgos St., Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: The museum is the old brown house that can be seen across the street from the parking area of the cathedral.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

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8th Stop: RAJAH HUMABON MONUMENT

RAJAH HUMABON MONUMENT
  • Description: The monument honors Rajah Humabon, the first Filipino chieftain to have been converted to Christianity by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. He was baptized and given the name of Don Carlos.
  • Location: P. Burgos St., Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: The tattooed image of Rajah Humabon is on the opposite side of the cathedral and museum separated only by the narrow P. Burgos St.
  • Rating: 1/5

9th stop: COLON OBELISK

COLON OBELISK
  • Description: The obelisk marks the start of Colon Street, the oldest street in the Philippines established in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Colon is derived from Cristobal Colon, the Spanish name of the explorer known in English as Christopher Columbus.
  • Location: Colon St, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there: The obelisk is two blocks away from the Cathedral. Facing the Cathedral museum, walk for a few minutes to the right until you see the obelisk in the middle of an intersection.
  • Rating: 2/5

10th stop: HERITAGE OF CEBU MONUMENT

HERITAGE OF CEBU MONUMENT
  • Description: The monument is a tableau of cement, iron and steel which portrays the major events of Cebu’s history. It was completed in year 2000 by Edgardo Castillo after 3 years of construction. The monument stands at the heart of the Old Parian district which believed to be the place of wealthy Filipino businessmen and Chinese merchants in the early years.
  • Location: Lopez Jaena, Parian, Cebu City
  • To get there: The monument is only a few minutes away from Colon Obelisk. Walk through the P. Burgos street still until it branches to two streets.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

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11th stop: JESUIT HOUSE OF 1730

JESUIT HOUSE OF 1730
  • Description: The latest addition to Cebu’s heritage houses and believed to be the oldest in the Philippines, the Jesuit House of 1730 was the house of the Jesuit Superior of Cebu until they were banished by the Spaniards. The structure is inside a warehouse and is well-preserved with the architectural details of its time. Some notable items that can be found in the old house include a telephone, jukebox, cash register, pottery pieces, the red clay tiles on its ceiling, a ceramic wall photo that turns on its color when photographed and the  year “1730” marker.
  • Operating Hours: 8:30AM–12:00PM, 1:00–5:00PM
  • Entrance Fee: P50
  • Location: 26 Zulueta St, Cebu City, Cebu
  • To get there:  The house is a short walk from the Heritage monument. Take the right branch of Mabini Street to find the entry point of Zulueta Street. Walk a few steps until you see a warehouse with the Jesuit House of 1730 posting.
  • Rating: 3/5

12th stop: YAP-SAN DIEGO ANCESTRAL HOUSE

YAP-SAN DIEGO ANCESTRAL HOUSE
  • Description: The house is a 17th century structure made of coral stones and hardwood brick roof tiles and windows ornamented with Capiz shells. It said to be the oldest Chinese house outside China. Antique accessories, furniture, utensils, jars and other artworks are kept in the house
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 9:00AM-6:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P50
  • Location: Lopez Jaena, Parian, Cebu City
  • To get there: Walk back from Zulueta street and turn right to Mabini street. Walk past the Heritage monument to a corner where the old house is situated.
  • Rating: 3/5

13th stop: CASA GORORDO MUSEUM

CASA GORORDO MUSEUM
  • Description: A 19th-century house which serves as a museum with a shop and a café. The place was notable for being the residence of Juan Gorordo, the first native bishop of Cebu. Some items displayed in the house include wooden carvings, kitchen utensils, household items, art collections and clothes.
  • Operating Hours: Everyday, 10:00AM-6:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P100
  • Location: Lopez Jaena, Parian, Cebu City
  • To get there: From Yap-San Diego ancestral house, turn right to Lopez Jaena street. The old house should only be a 2-minute walk away.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

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14th stop: MUSEO SUGBO

MUSEO SUGBO
  • Description: The last stop of the heritage walk. This museum was once a Spanish jailhouse which now houses artifacts excavated in 2006 at Plaza Independencia when a tunnel was being constructed.
  • Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 9:00AM-6:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P30 (local), P75 (Foreigner)
  • Location: M. J. Cuenco Ave, Cebu City
  • To get there: From Casa Gorordo, continue to walk until the end of Lopez Jaena where it merges with MJ Cuenco avenue. Turn left and follow the avenue to R. Mercado St. found on the right side.
  • Rating: 3/5

TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

  1. Bring a bottle of water. A full tour might take half to entire day and can be exhausting when walking under the heat of the sun.
  2. The area is near downtown where pickpockets are possible. Keep your gadgets and wallets well attended. It is advisable to walk with a partner.
  3. Don’t hesitate to ask questions from the locals. We are warm people who are ready to entertain visitors.
  4. Keep that smile and enjoy the artifacts!

WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU CITY

Except during Sinulog festival, Cebu City is walk-in ready when it comes to accommodation. But, it is highly suggested to book your stay ahead of time. Below are top-reviewed budget to mid-range accommodations from the key areas around Cebu City. Click the photo for the rate and availability of each suggested accommodation.

Horizons 101 by Versteeg Vacations, with an exceptional 9.4 rating in Agoda. The place is located 5 minutes away from Ayala and SM mall. Click the photo for the rate and availability.
RedDoorz Plus @ Mabolo Cebu, rated an exceptional 9.1 out of 46 guest reviews. The place is also located within 5 minutes from Ayala and SM mall. Click the photo for the rate and availability.
ZEN Rooms M. Velez Street, one of the top-rated budget hotels at downtown Cebu. The property offers free Wi-Fi access, 24-hour security, and flat tv. Click on the photo for the rate and availability.

SEARCH FOR MORE DISCOUNTED KLOOK ACTIVITIES IN CEBU.

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Go on a hassle-free 3-Day Cebu Highlights Tour from KLOOK. Click the link for details.

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