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Wednesday, 14 July 2010 10:26

Food

Written by Chris
Wednesday, 14 July 2010 10:26

Language

Written by Chris

Cebuano

 The Official Language for the Philippines is Pilipino or Filipino. Majority of the words though comes from the Tagalog dialect, which is widely spoken in the Luzon area. Though there have been instances of integrating Cebuano, the second most spoken dialect in the Philippines, to the official language, most of the Cebuanos still prefer to speak the Visiyan/Cebuano dialect.

Brief Background

Cebuano is of Austronesian language in origin. Around 20 million people speak the dialect. Most people in the Visayan Region speak the dialect- from Cebu, Bohol, to Leyte and some parts of Negros Oriental. Around Mindanao as well, people have given up their native dialects to speak Cebuano. Interesting to note in the language is its structure of verb subject object, which is quite unusual when you're coming from the western world.

English

Contrary to popular belief that most Cebuanos speak fluent English, it is important to take note that this has some half-truth in it. Yes, majority of the people in Cebu will understand you when you speak to them in English, However, not everyone may speak good English. With exception to Call center agents, elite students, and the "educated ones"(even then, its still not guaranteed that there will be fluency), Most of the time, Cebuanos when spoken to will reply in broken English with phrases and incomplete sentences. Usually this becomes frustrating to listen to, especially for Westerners, when expression from the Visayan language are also being mixed with English(i.e. man, ba, diay) - though i must say that the Japanese, Koreans and Chinese prefer this way since they too don't understand much English in the first place especially when spoken at a fast pace.

Most of the signages around the city is English based unlike in other South East Asian countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand where signs are often in their respective language. So if you're a foreigner you don't have to worry about getting lost in Cebu. Nevertheless, it is still useful to learn a few Cebuano phrases along the way(Refer to Speaking Cebuano Section). Aside from the fact that finding your way around will be a lot easier, building rapport with the locals is also an added plus- new friends, and maybe some freebies along the way.

Some Phrases

English Cebuano
How much? Tag pila?
Where is the Comfort Room? Asa ang CR?
What’s that? Unsa na?
What’s this? Unsa ni?
You’re very pretty Gwapa kaau{ka-a-you} ka
Too expensive Mahal ra kaau{ka-a-you}
Very Fun Lingaw kaau{ka-a-you}
You’re very annoying Samok kaau{ka-a-you} ka


Refer to the Speaking Cebuano section for more details

* For those wanting to know certain words that i have not covered yet, email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 10:25

Weather

Written by Chris

Cebu Weather

Cebu Climate

Cebuanos are blessed to be living in a tropical climate and well protected island like Cebu. No worries to buy extra clothes and stock up for Winter. No traumatic experience of a tornado ripping through their houses, and no huge tsunamis to be frantic about. This is so, because if one looks up the map of the Philippines, Cebu is located at the heart of the country.

Surrounded by islands around, Cebu does not get that many Typhoons hitting their way.Apart from the devastation that was brought about by Typhoon Frank last 2008, only Typhoon Ruping came close to what one can call a direct hit in Cebu from a Typhoon- to think this was way back in 1990. Earthquakes are not of a big problem either, as Cebu is far from a major fault line. Volcanoes erupting? not a chance since Cebu also far away from the "Ring of Fire"

Rainfall

Clearly, without need to worry about major natural calamities hitting, It is no wonder then why so many tourist flock to Cebu to enjoy the warm weather all year round. Though Cebu has been classified officially to have two climates- Dry and Wet, Rainfall is usually not that high in the Region, with average rainfall hitting around 100mm per month. Rains usually come in June to Dec, while the dry season comes in January until May. Rainfall is highest in June and July. Though most of the time when it rains in Cebu, it is usually fast and is accompanied by bright and warm sunlight after- making Cebu a perfect place for that sunny and warm vacation you always wanted.

Temperature

Cebu's tropical climate can be both a blessing and a curse with temperatures reaching a high of 36 degree Celsius during the summer time, from March to May, to as low as 18 degrees at the hills during the cooler season from October to January. Summer can get pretty hot, and it is advise that people wear light clothes. The average temperature in Cebu is around 24-32 degree Celsius, and does not fluctuate much with the exception of Summer when it hits all year highs.

Humidity

Cebu has a very humid environment with averages of 70-80 percent.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010 10:22

Safety

Written by Chris

General Safety

Cebu is a relatively safe place to be in, killings are quite rare-probably because of the mandatory death penalty associated with it. The most common of crimes that a foreigner might encounter would be theft, which is is not surprising considering that this happens in most third world countries. Theft can happen in a lot of ways. Be sure to watch out for this. 

1. While walking in the downtown area, don't wear expensive jewelry and watches. Thieves prey on these people and will often distract you to something with another one snatching your jewelery away from you.

2. When eating at fast food restaurants, don't put your cellphone or wallet on the table. Remember theives work in teams here. One of them will try to engage in a conversation with you while the other will slowly walk pass by and grab your belongings without you even noticing it. I had friends who experienced this and they're were locals, imagine more for a foreigner.

3. Don't talk with your cellphone while walking in the downtown area.

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