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Tropical Experience Travel Services - Tours of the Philippines
Northern Cebu and its islands
When we talk about “Cebu” in the Philippines, we are talking about several different things. Firstly, Cebu is the name of the second city of the country, generally referred as Cebu City. The city gives the name to the big island where it is located: it takes more than 200 kilometers to go from the southernmost to the northernmost tip! For this reason we dedicated two other separate write-ups to Cebu City and the southern part of Cebu.
In this page, we will tell you what you’ll find when visiting the extreme northern side of the Cebu. There is only one road that flows in parallel with the coastline. While passing by, you will notice that urbanization will constantly decrease leaving space to a pleasant rural and maritime landscape. The
coastline is anyway quite populated and you will pass by several towns and smaller cities, some with names that are clearly Spanish-influenced (Consolacion, Compostela, Medellin are some examples). You will also notice colonial traces like small churches, old military buildings and watchtowers. Travellers go to these places especially to reach some small islands of undeniable beauty. Let’s mention some of the more popular
Malapascua is a quite famous small island, a micro-paradise made of white beaches and colourful lively seabeds. The island became internationally famous among scuba diving lovers thanks to the spread presence of the thresher sharks, a sought-after rare species. The island offers a pleasant atmosphere and can be good also for those who just like to snorkel or want to just chill on the beach. To visit Malapascua, you’ll need to reach the northernmost past of Cebu Island, then get a ferry to proceed further up north. Nearby, you can find also another picturesque island of growing fame, the Kalanggaman Island, which is anyway part of the nearby adjacent Leyte Province.
If you’ll instead proceed North-West, you’ll find another known and bigger island: the Bantayan Island. Precisely, Bantayan is a small archipelago of 20 islands and islets scattered around one main bigger island. Bantayan is attractive for its white beaches and for the chance to enjoy an “island hopping” with a boat from one island to another, in a not-so-touristy environment. Its name comes from the word “Bantay” which means
“guard” or “guarding” in the local language. There were indeed many watchtowers and shelters in the past centuries, built to be prepared for the frequent arrivals of Moro pirates (Muslim enemies of the Spanish colonizers). Some of the watchtowers were preserved and can still be visited.
Another small archipelago worth to mention is Camotes Islands, made of 3 islands and 1 islet located in the North-East of Cebu Province. Antonio Pigafetta, the Italian helmsman of the famous explorer Magellan (the first “discoverer” of the Philippines) already noted in his diaries the presence of these islands. Later on, the Spanish conqueror Miguel de Loarca noticed how the place was particularly filled with the local potato “Camote”. The islands were then oddly named after this tuber.
Camotes maybe the lesser known Cebuano group of islands, yet they are a nice option if you have some extra time and you want to have a glimpse of their simple local life. Of course, also Camotes Islands do not lack white sand beaches and transparent waters that everybody loves.
Quando parliamo di Cebu, nelle Filippine, parliamo