On my third day in Cebu City, we finally headed out to see some of the more famous sites in the city. Our first stop was Fort San Pedro.
Fort San Pedro — The First Item On My List of Things To Do In Cebu City
Fort San Pedro was first built in 1565, but the current structure was built during the Spanish occupation in 1738. It was built to defend against Muslim invaders.
There are several places in Cebu Province that names have to do with those raids by Muslims. Daanbantayan and Bantayan Island are two such places. Bantayan means “lookout” and daan means “place.” Lots of towns in the Philippines include the word dan as part of their names.
Fort San Pedro is the smallest triangular bastion fort. It is also the oldest. It is often said to be the oldest fort in the Philippines but I have my doubts on the accuracy of that. The oldest fort of this type perhaps.
In the 1950’s the Cebu City mayor announced his plan to tear down the fort and build a new city hall there. The people of Cebu City were not happy with this idea and luckily it never happened.
The fort has also been used by Americans, likely after the USA helped expel the Spaniards from the Philippines. During WWII, Japanese civilians used the fort during their occupation of the Philippines. It was also used as a hospital during WWII when the US attacked the Japanese in Cebu. It was also used as a school in Cebu City for a time.
The fort had to be restored in the late 60’s or 70’s as the fort was in ruins. Coral stone harvested from nearby coastal towns was used to restore the walls of the fort. The stone had to be cut to fit and took over a year to restore Fort San Pedro.
If you’re in Cebu City visiting the fort, it is worth your time to visit it. I wouldn’t say it was spectacular and exciting but it was not boring for me. It wasn’t as exciting as the places I visited in Palawan though. You’ll see a few paintings and old documents that appeared to be written in Spanish. The hand writing was so bad, I was not sure though.
There are nice gardens in the fort which is now a historical park and operated by the City of Cebu. There are canons too left from the 1700’s as well. The cost to enter the fort is P105. It is close to the downtown area of Cebu City.
It will not take you long to walk the walls of the fort unless you linger around as I did. It had just stopped raining when we left our hotel and it was very hot and sticky from the high humidity. The sun did finally come blaring out while at Fort San Pedro.
There was a Filipino singing and playing his guitar in the park. He had a very sweet sounding voice. Sweet is what it sounded like to me. It was quite pleasant. The blind often setup donation boxes and sing at heavily traveled areas in Cebu City.
There was also an old well and Mother Mary encased in glass. She had a crown that included clear white stones with gold coloring. If the stones were diamonds or glass, I do not know. If the gold was gold paint or real gold, I also do not know.
You could probably increase what you learn on these visit by hiring a tour operator but I like to do it on my own schedule and I’m kuripot (cheap).
More Things To Do In Cebu City
It cost less than P70 to get to Fort San Pedro from our hotel in downtown Cebu City. We never paid that though. Instead, we hired the taxi to take us to several locations. He first wanted P2500 which we quickly knocked down to P2000. P2000 was too much but one of the Filipina with us responded with that price. I believe the correct price would have been P1500. I said no, we can find someone else. I can go all the way to Bogo City for P2000. Then I added a fourth location out in Mactan Island which takes around an hour to get to. He raised the price to P2200. I said no. As we were getting out of the taxis he said, he’d take P2000. 🙂 Since there is no transportation at the Taoist Temple which was also on my list of things to do in Cebu City, we needed to hire a taxi. It would also cost around P800 to go to Mactan Island and back.
For a list of other things to see in Cebu follow this link. I have been to most of those places but not all of them.
Our next stop was to see the Taoist Temple which lies atop a Cebu City mountain. Technically, it may be outside of Cebu City proper. Another article about the Taoist Temple will be coming soon as my sight-seeing tour of Cebu City continues in an upcoming article.
Filed under: Living in Cebu
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