Cebuano people

This article is about the ethnic group in the Philippines. For the language, see Cebuano language.
Cebuano people
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Cebu and overseas communities
Philippine languages (Cebuano, Filipino), English, Spanish and others
Predominantly Roman Catholicism.
Minority others, Aglipayan, Protestantism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism
Related ethnic groups
other Filipinos (Boholano, Hiligaynon, Waray, other Visayans)
other Austronesian peoples

The Cebuano people (Cebuano: Sugbuanon) The Cebuano people reside in the Cebu Province in the Central Visayas (Region VII) of the Philippines. The main population of Cebuano people are concentrated at Metro Cebu.


Provinces where "Cebuanos" are living are highlighted in dark blue.

Oceanic or Austronesian people called Malayo-Polynesians settled Cebu island and the rest of the Philippines around 30,000 years ago. Most Cebuanos today have Malayo-Polynesian ancestry. The early Cebuanos developed similar seafaring cultures to the Micronesian people; however, being closer to mainland Asia, the Cebuanos also engaged in trade with Japan and Okinawa, India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. The ancient Cebuanos developed a culture with significant influence from mainly Japan, China, India and Borneo.[2] They traded pearls and coral for silk, gold, weapons and spices. The early Cebuanos held animist beliefs and worshiped anitos (spirits) until the introduction of Roman Catholicism.

The famous encounter between explorer Magellan and the local chieftain Lapu-Lapu ended in the death of Magellan at the Battle of Mactan. The Cebuanos held off colonization for a while until a Spanish explorer colonized Cebu and the Cebuanos came under Spanish rule.

Culture and festivities

Along with the rest of the Philippines, Cebu was governed from Spain and Mexico, and as a result received heavy Spanish and Mexican influence. There are thousands of Mexican Spanish loanwords in Cebuano. Mexican and Spanish influence is evident in the cuisine, traditional costumes, dances, music, festivals, traditions and crafts.

Cebuano culture is traditionally characterized as a blend of Malay[3] and Hispanic traditions with influences from Asia and the United States. The majority of Cebuanos are Roman Catholic.[4]

Among the island's notable festivities are the Sinulog[5] festival, which is a mixture of Christian and native cultural elements, celebrated annually every third week of January. (ToT)


Distribution of the Cebuano language in the Philippines.

The Cebuano language is spoken by about 25,000,000 people in the Philippines and is the most widely spoken of the Visayan languages. Most speakers of Cebuano are found in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Biliran, Western and Southern Leyte, eastern Negros and most of northern and southeastern Mindanao.

See also


  1. "Facts and Figures". Cebu Province Official Website.
  2. "Ancient Japanese pottery in Boljoon town | Inquirer News". Inquirer News. 2011-05-30. Retrieved 2013-02-08.
  3. "Countries and their Cultures". Countries and Their Cultures. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
  4. "Culture and Lifestyle". Cebu Province official website.
  5. "Cebu Philippines Festivals, Fiestas and Cultural Event". eTravel Pilipinas-Discover the Wonders of Island Paradise.

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