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Cebu history and culture - YouTube
At the time of the global scramble for exotic spices in the East, Portuguese navigator sailing for Spain, Ferdinand Magellan, came upon Zubu (Cebu) on April 7, 1521. The island then already had a flourishing village with "many sailing vessels from Siam (Thailand), China and Arabia docked at the port" as described by Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler. Then began the Spanish era in the Philippines. However, it deteriorated upon the death of Magellan in the hands of the local warrior, Lapu-Lapu, only to resurrect with the arrival 44 years later, in 1565, of Miguel López de Legazpi. That year, the first Spanish settlement was built in Cebu by Mexico's Spanish government to colonize the country.
Its rich and colorful metamorphosis can be traced from 1521 as Zubu, the fishing village and busy trading port, to Villa San Miguel, later to Villa del Santissimo Nombre de Jesus in 1575, then as the municipality of Cebu in 1905 up to its being a chartered city on February 24, 1937.
In the 19th century, Cebu started to exercise a dominant role in Southern Philippines' economic limelight. Agriculture, especially sugar cane cultivation and sugar manufacturing, pushed Cebu into playing an important role in this part of the country. But even more crucial than the agricultural products was her participation in trade and commerce. Cebu City has seen many 'firsts' in the nation's history. Established by Legazpi in 1571, it became the first city in the Philippines, ante-dating Manila by seven (7) years. In point of fact, it is the oldest city in the country, having the oldest and smallest fort (Fort San Pedro), with the oldest church (Basilica of Santo Niño), the oldest school (University of San Carlos) and the oldest street (Colon Street). Referred to as the "Queen City of the South" and the seat of early Filipino Christianization, Cebu is also famous for its musical stringed instruments like banduria, guitar and piccolo.