Lapu Lapu : The Sunny Side of Mactan, Cebu

Lapu Lapu City and Mactan Island have risen over the years as a unique blend of beach gateways, tourist and recreation enclaves, light industries and suburban living.

The Island is comprised of Lapu Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. The city comprises most parts of Mactan and several islands. It is connected to mainland Cebu by two bridges, known as the Mactan-Cebu-Mandaue Bridge and the Marcelo Fernan Bridge which span the Cebu Strait.

Lapu Lapu
Lapu Lapu : The Sunny Side of Mactan, Cebu

The presence of the two bridges has greatly improved the accessibility between Lapu-Lapu City and other areas in Cebu by reducing transportation cost and travel time.

The city of Lapu Lapu was formerly the swampy town of Opon until June 17, 1961 when R.A. No. 3134, the charter of Lapu-Lapu was finally passed. The city got its name from Datu Lapu-Lapu who, on April 27, 1521 fought the invading Spanish conquistadores led by Ferdinand Magellan, and successfully repelled the assault on the shores of Mactan. An old shrine still stands as a testament to the battle.

The historic encounter, now known as “Kadaungan sa Mactan”, is still celebrated yearly as a week-long affair featuring musical plays and cultural events culminating with a re-enactment of the battle at the shores where it actually happened.

The vibrant tourism industry, the upbeat and supportive business sector, sun, sand, sea and music make up the core of Lapu-Lapu as being the “Sunny Side of Mactan.”

Arturo Radaza, mayor of Lapu-Lapu has been steadily implementing projects and programs geared towards developing the City of Lapu-Lapu as an internationally competitive city in the Philippines.

“I have envisioned a Lapu-Lapu City as a world-class Gateway of the Philippines to the world,” said Adaza.

Owing to its long stretch of white sand beaches, sparkling blue water and coral formations, Mactan Island of which Lapu Lapu is the main city, is home to some of the most sought-after beach resorts in the world. Plantation Bay Resort & Spa, set on seven-hectares of secluded grounds, offers one of the largest privately-owned waterways in the world; Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort & Spa, only 15 minutes away from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, on a beautifully-landscaped 13-hectare site; Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Maribago Bluewater Resort and Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel.

For those who want simpler and less expensive accommodations, there is an equally long stretch of budget resorts along the eastern beachfront to choose from. The neighboring Cordova town has Cordova Reef Village Resort, which has one of the country’s best dive heavens.

An emerging tourist attraction is the Olango group of islands across Mactan which becomes the temporary habitat of migratory birds from northeast Asia to escape from the cool winter months.

An eco-tourism and coastal resource management program has been put in place in Olango to encourage bird watching and other nature-oriented activities. During summer, the island is ideal for snorkeling, sea-kayaking, sailing and island-hopping.

History buffs should not miss the Magellan marker and the towering monument of his vanquisher, Lapu Lapu. There is also the Spanish-era Muelle Osmena which was once the major port of Opon. One can also visit the Virgen de la Regla Shrine, the only Catholic Church in the city.

World-class guitars have given music to some internationally famed musicians. Many products like wood carvings and shell crafts have been made important pieces in homes the world over.

Golfers can satisfy their insatiable longing for the fairways at the Ebuen Air Base Golf Course located just a few minutes from the airport. The sprawling greens, and the scenic seascape can surely make for a perfect swing.

The bounty of surrounding seas make Lapu Lapu City’s cuisine incomparably fresh. Sumptuous seafood delights are available at hotel outlets or seaside sutukil eateries. Various restaurants also offer American, European or Asian culinary specialties. Don’t forget to bring home “lechon”, roasted pig, because Cebu is known to have the best!

Investing in the city is always a winning proposition. It will be noted that Lapu Lapu City emerged as 2nd place in the overall ranking in the area of “Starting a Business” with Taguig City getting the top spot in the research study entitled “Doing Business in the Philippines 2008”. The study was made by the Asian Institute of Management in partnership with the Governments of Canada and Australia, together with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank, the Investment Climate Service of the WB, the National Competitiveness Council, the Board of Investments and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Radaza said the research involves the look at the different factors and programs that affects the overall business atmosphere of the top 21 cities in the Philippines under three categories: Starting a Business, Dealing with Licenses and Registering of Property.

In 2004, the City received recognition as the cleanest and greenest city in Region VII and its public market as the Cleanest Public Market in the entire region.

Most recently, Lapu Lapu City has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Mactan North Reclamation and Development Project, that will transform the northern part into a bustling mega-port town in the Pacific.

”We have already prepared the road map to our 2020 vision of a world-class city, and we have started to implement, phase by phase, projects that will lead us to the road of success. We will maintain our major roads and highways and widen the road from Mactan to Punta Engano, as well as the implementation of the Mactan Expressway,” Radaza said.

Meanwhile, Paz Radaza, barangay chairwoman and wife of the mayor said, that some of the new investments that speak overwhelming in support of the Lapu Lapu business sector include the Eton Group, the largest real estate development of the Lucio Tan group; the multi-million expansion of the hotel chain Shangri-La and the Gaisano Mall of Joseph Gaisano.

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