The Visayas, a collection of islands situated between Luzon and Mindanao are considered to be the cradle of the country. Cebu city is the gateway to the Visayas and is home to an international airport, making it an attractive arrival point from Asia.
Island hopping makes for a fun holiday using the good inter-island ferry network or failing this, a short flight. The established beach resorts on Borocay, Bohol, Cebu, Negros and Siquijor can be journeyed between.
About The Visayas
It was here in 1521 that Ferdinand Magellan laid a sovereign hand on the archipelago for Spain and began the process of colonization and Catholicization that shaped so much of the nation’s history. The islands were also the scene of some of the bloodiest battles fought against the Japanese during World War II, and where General Douglas MacArthur waded ashore to liberate the country after his famous promise, “I shall return”. Even before the Spaniards came, trade with the Chinese already flourished in the province and prosperity has continued since.
Today the islands surrounding Cebu are fast becoming top travel destinations. Rich in natural resources with rolling hills, waterfalls, traditional houses, ancient churches and historical sites.
In 2013 the epicentre of a destructive earthquake hit Bohol. The Boholanos’ are the epitome of positivity. Aside from the crumbling 18th century churches you would be unaware of the destruction that has gone before.
- Snorkel the gin clear waters off Apo Island in the company of green sea turtles
- Recharge the batteries on the pristine white beaches of Anda
- Admire the tiniest primates in the world- the bug eyed tarsiers
- Consult with a mangkukulam ( healer) on Siquijor island
- See what all the hype is about on Boracay –for the young at heart
- Swimming with Whale Sharks of Oslob- an unforgettable experience
- Explore Bohols’ bizarre landscape of Chocolate Hills
- Evening kayak to see the shimmering fireflies of the Abatan River
Beyond the Ordinary
Siquijor is still to this day referred to as the island of healing because of the medicinal potions produced here. Siquijor is said to be a mystical island, full of witches and other supernatural phenomena. However, the mystical traditions and the practice of witchcraft, for which the island is famed, is largely Myth and Legend. Healers still work on the island, sceptics dismiss it as trickery, while others swear by it.
Cebu City is the hometown of YouTube’s viral sensations – the Cebu Provincial Detention Centre and Rehabilitation (CPDRC) Dancing Inmates. The video, which was uploaded in July 2007, features hundreds of inmates dancing to the beat of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. The fame went to their heads and the inmates still stage a monthly show for the local residents of Bohol !