Practical Information in Cebu

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Cebu is a province in the Philippines. Central to the Visayas region, Cebu is located east of Negros and west of Leyte and Bohol Islands. It consists of Cebu Island and 167 neighboring islands, including Bantayan, Mactan, Olango, Malapascua and Camotes Islands. The capital and the oldest city in the country, Cebu City, forms part of the Cebu Metropolitan Area together with Lapu-lapu, Danao, Mandaue, Talisay, Toledo and other municipalities.  Here's some practical information to help visitors know more about the "Queen City of the South."

Country Code:  63

Time Zone:
  GMT +8

Region:  Central Visayas (Region VII)

Founded:  April 27, 1565

Area:  4,932.79 km² (including independent cities: 5,331.07 km²)

Population

According to the Philippines National Statistics Office, Cebu had a population of approximately 2,439,005 in 2007.

Language

The official language is Cebuano. There are about 20,000,000 Cebuano speakers. Other Philippine languages, like Tagalog, Hiligaynon and Waray-Waray, are also spoken. Spanish is spoken by mestizo communities. English is used in media, education, commerce and the government.

Currency

The Philippines' currency is the peso, locally called "piso," with PHP as currency code. The official symbol is P (i.e., P50, P100). Banknotes in circulation include: 1,000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 pesos.

Electricity

220 volts, 60 Hz. Plugs with two flat parallel prongs are normally used.

Visa Information

Visitors from most countries need only a passport to stay up to 21 days. To extend one's stay by 59 days, a tourist visa must be obtained. Holders of Hong Kong and Taiwan passports are required to obtain in advance a special permit to visit the Philippines.

Business Hours

Banks: 09:00 to 15:00, Monday to Friday
Government Offices: 08:00 to 17:00, Monday to Friday
Department Stores and Shops: 09:00 to 19:00, daily
Business Offices: 09:30 to 16:30, Monday to Friday; 09:00 to 12:00, Saturday

Health

There are no specific vaccinations required for entering the Philippines. However, visitors coming from places infected with yellow fever must be vaccinated. Drinking tap water is not recommended; either purify the water first or purchase bottled water. There are several privately owned hospitals in Cebu City that meet international standards.

Safety

Although rare, kidnappings in Cebu have risen in recent years. Pick-pocketing and petty theft tend to happen in popular tourist areas and crowded places. Visitors should protect their valuables, avoid remote places and inform relatives or friends of their itinerary. Most hotels offer in-room safes or safe boxes at the reception, so visitors could take advantage of this service.

Contributors
December 23, 2009 new by rootee

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