Blogging from A to Z
Theme: Languages of the World
Cebuano is the major language of Visayan islands (Negros Oriental, Cebu, Bohol), and parts of Mindanao in the Philippines.
The name comes from the name of the Philippine island of Cebu + the Spanish suffix –ano meaning ‘native of’. It is a member of the Malayo-Polynesian group of languages within the Austronesian language family.
It is estimated that there are 15.8 million people in the Philippines who speak Cebuano as their first language, and is the second most spoken language in the Philippines after Tagalog.
Fascinating facts about Cebu
Museo Sugbo, Cebu’s official museum, was a former provincial jail known then as Cárcel de Cebú. Built during 1870s, the prison was intended to house criminals from the whole Visayas district, which explains its large size when it was constructed.
The “cursed” monument in Lapu-Lapu City (formerly called Opon) looks harmless today, but it actually has an intriguing past which soon started a local urban legend. After the construction was completed, Rito de la Serna, then chief executive of Opon, died. Soon, his two successors followed suit and died even before they completed their term. This tragic incident made several residents superstitious and it didn’t take long before they started to blame the statue for the three deaths.
Although Cebu is a province rich in flora and fauna, there were still some unfortunate creatures that Cebuanos failed to save from extinction. Examples of animals that have been wiped out are the Cebu warty pig and the Cebu hanging parrot.
Malapascua Island in Cebu is the only place in the world where you can dive with the elusive thresher sharks. Malapascua (literally means “Bad Christmas” or “Bad Easter”) is an island just off the northern tip of Cebu. It is a popular diving site because of its reputation as the only place in the world where you can regularly see thresher sharks before sunrise.
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