As the oldest national road in the Philippines, Colon Street is an essential landmark in Cebu. This kilometer-long street is considered a center for commerce because of its abundance of small and large-scale businesses.
It is a haven for those shopping on a budget, with the preservation of several retail stores, supermarkets, department stores, and repair shops that are much cheaper than those in malls.
It is highly accessible due to the many jeepney routes around the city and the familiarity of the place among taxi and transport network vehicle service (Grab, Angkas) drivers.
This cultural landmark has remained relevant throughout the millennia since its inception during the Spanish colonization.
HISTORY OF COLON STREET
Colon Street got its name from the famous explorer Cristobal Colon, more commonly called Christopher Columbus.
Constructed under the leadership of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the street became a center for business and commercialization in the city.
Many of the first establishments in Cebu were opened in Colon, giving rise to the bustling business center we all know and love.
An obelisk was placed at the end of the road to commemorate its construction in 1565.
Colon Street has had its fair share of the city’s brightest and darkest days, but it continues to thrive as a historical landmark that is frequented by locals and tourists on a daily basis.
It continues to become a center of trade and commerce, giving businesses a bigger market.
THINGS TO DO IN COLON
- Shopping Sprees
You cannot go wrong with budget shopping in Colon, with several shopping centers around the area that cater to the masses due to their wildly affordable prices.
One of these is the 138 Mall, which sells cheap items like jewelry, clothes, accessories, and gadgets that customers can haggle for a lower price when purchasing them wholesale.
Colonnade, located next to 138, offers affordable retail items and has since been a go-to grocery shopping location.
You can also visit the main branch of the Gaisano Mall, one of the most popular mall chains in the Philippines. It has hundreds of stores nationwide, offering budget-friendly items and reasonable discounts.
The main branch in Colon is much bigger, offering more options for products like clothing and accessories.
There are smaller establishments specializing in everything – from jewelry to media equipment. There are also a few repair shops for watches, smartphones, and cameras.
- Food Trips
Colon Street is also a great place for food trips, with a long list of eateries available at every corner. From street food to several fast food chains – there is an array of options for you to choose from.
Some of the malls mentioned above also have branches of popular fast food chains like Jollibee and Mcdonald’s, while the Metro Gaisano across from 138 has a Starbucks and a Pizza Hut.
If you want a more versatile set of food options, you can also visit the newly opened Iconique Mall, as they have a food park on the roof deck. It makes for a great al fresco dining experience, with various choices of food and beverages that are both affordable and satisfying.
Colon Street also has a couple of mobile eateries, where vendors use push carts to sell budget-friendly meals and snacks. This is an ideal option for those who are looking to grab a quick bite or snack after a long day at work.
- Visit the Oldest Cinema in Cebu
The Cine Oriente, the first ever cinema in the city, was founded in 1895 along Colon Street. This budget-friendly theater has shown some of the best blockbusters in the world at a much lower price, but with the same amenities and services as other mall cinemas.
The theater has not been the most popular place to watch movies among the youth due to its controversial history of being part of the red light district. However, the theater underwent renovation so it could go digital, and it has since become a more enjoyable place for people to watch movies.
As of 2022, the cinema is still temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In due time, however, many customers who frequent Colon Street look forward to visiting the cinema once it resumes operations.
Ask any Cebuano about this booming business sector, and they will surely be familiar with the famous Colon Street, thanks to its numerous budget shops, hangout spots, and heritage sites.
Colon Street continues to be one of the most accessible areas in the city, with a number of businesses and shopping centers operating within the area. Despite the many changes it has gone through, it remains a beacon of Cebuano culture that will live on for years.