High-end accommodation and a rich cultural heritage have given the city of Lapu-Lapu the moniker of Historic Resort City.
Thousands of tourists visit this highly-urbanized city every year to either learn about the history of Cebu or experience luxury stays at some of the best beaches in the Philippines.
This tourist haven is ideal for travel-loving locals and foreigners looking to settle down in Cebu.
A QUICK HISTORY OF LAPU-LAPU CITY
Lapu-Lapu City got its name from the first Filipino hero, Datu LapuLapu. A resident of Mactan, he led a group of Filipino warriors armed with spears and swords to defeat Ferdinand Magellan and his men.
This pivotal moment in the island’s history is referred to as the Battle of Mactan, and it is one of the first Filipino victories against foreign invaders.
Comprising 30 barangays between Mactan Island and Olango, the town formerly known as Opon was declared a city in 1961 and proclaimed a highly urbanized one in 2007.
To give commuters on the island better access to other parts of the province of Cebu, the First Mactan-Mandaue bridge and the Marcelo B. Fernan bridge were built to connect Lapu-Lapu City and mainland Cebu.
In 2022, the Cebu Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) was inaugurated as the third bridge to connect Cebu to Mactan Island, particularly in the nearby town of Cordova.
Throughout the years, many resorts and hotels have opened to take advantage of the clear blue waters of the Mactan Channel and its fine white sand beaches.
Neighboring towns like Maribago and Punta Engaño have several beachfront hotels and tourist attractions that allure both locals and tourists all year round.
It is also a sector for commerce, with several shopping malls and business centers operating in different parts of the city.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FORWARD TO IN MACTAN?
One of the most important tourist spots in the city is the Mactan Shrine, located in Punta Engaño. Alternately called the Liberty Shrine, this is where the triumphant Battle of Mactan took place.
Inside are several historical monuments that pay homage to the first Filipino hero, Datu LapuLapu, and the man that brought Christianity to the Philippines, Ferdinand Magellan.
Today, the Liberty Shrine is a large, spacious park where you can hang out and relax with family and friends.
There are several stalls near the shrine where you can buy local souvenirs, including world-renowned guitars that are famous for their build and sound quality.
The Lapu-Lapu Shrine is also the venue for the Kadaugan sa Mactan event – a local festival that is celebrated every 27th of April to commemorate the historical battle.
It features a short presentation depicting the fight between Magellan and LapuLapu through a mix of dancing and acting.
Viewers from all around Cebu have visited the Mactan Shrine to watch this yearly event, especially since local celebrities portray the starring roles of LapuLapu, Magellan, and Reyna Bulakna.
Also, there are several Sutukil restaurants nearby. Sutukil is the terminology used to refer to the main cooking techniques in Cebu. Restaurants like Manna offer delicious seafood dishes made from the freshest fish from the ocean.
Mactan is the perfect summer getaway, with its white sand beaches offering luxurious accommodation.
Soft, fine white sand covers the shore, and the crystal clear blue waters are a joy to swim in.
They also offer high-end amenities with a cozy atmosphere that you can enjoy any time of the day.
Now, there may be too many of these resorts to choose from, so where do you start?
You can start in the neighborhood of Maribago, which has two well known resorts, the Bluewater Maribago and the Cebu White Sands Resort.
If you want to go on a day trip, you can visit the Mactan Newtown Beach, where you can take part in exciting recreational activities like jet skiing and taking a ride on a banana boat.
The resort is easy to find and has several shopping centers and hotels nearby, as it is part of the Mactan Newtown.
Be aware that the place is often packed with people, so this may not be the most ideal venue if you want some privacy.
Mactan Island is the crown jewel of relaxing accommodation in Cebu, but it is more crucial in its history than its recreational offerings.
The history behind Lapu-Lapu City has made it a go-to place where locals and tourists can learn how the island came to be. Cebuanos, on the other hand, will most likely remember this place as the location of their first celebrated victory.
With a number of mesmerizing tourist destinations, hotels, and beaches, not to mention its relevant culture and history, it’s no wonder that people call this city the famous Historic Resort City of Cebu.