Cebu City: Your Guide to Work-Life Balance

Date of publishing: 09/06/2016 00:00


Fuente Osmeña Rotonda, Cebu City


Situated in the Central Visayas and designated as the Philippines’ Queen City of the South, Cebu offers an alternative to Metro Manila’s restless urban hustle and bustle. In this Visayan capital city, expect a laid-back atmosphere that reflects its lush island surroundings. Cebu offers a concentration of tourism destinations, heritage sites, pristine shores, sweeping city views, as well as a booming economic industry. Aside from its idyllic scenery, Cebu City is second only to Manila in terms of business and investment potential, ranked 7th in Tholons’ 2016 Top Outsourcing Destinations, identified in 2014 as one of 5 Future Eco-Cities in Asia by the United National Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and previously declared as a Top 10 Asian City of the Future by Finance Direct Investment Magazine.



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The Developing Metropolis


An emerging economic powerhouse, Metro Cebu, comprised of 7 urban townships and 6 municipalities, boasts 80% of the country’s domestic shipping companies. In recent years, major property developers have been investing in mixed-use projects such as Megaworld’s Mactan Newtown, Filinvest’s South Road Properties, Ayala Land’s Cebu Business Park, the new Central Bloc, and Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corporation’s (CPVDC) Cebu IT Park. Moreover, the commencing plans for Cebu’s Mass Transit Project, the very first operational bus rapid transit initiative in the Philippines, promises to bring progressive change to the city.

CPVDC’s Cebu IT Park

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With Cebu’s interconnected and centralized business districts, there are plenty of opportunities for serviced spaces, from retail and concessionaire space to fully-equipped conventional office spaces at the hub of multiple BPO/KPOs, corporate towers, malls, and dining options. At Cebu IT Park, for example, locals often stroll around on bikes, go jogging under the breezy shade, or have weekend picnics to unwind.


The professional work environments and urbane attitudes of Cebu’s citizens will keep you motivated. At the same time, options for productive appointments, outdoor activities, or indoor shopping are endless.


Fort San Pedro

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At the Heart of Culture and History


Another aspect of Cebu is its richly integrated cultural heritage. Even those who are already familiar with the city can still dig through volumes of wisdom at the Rizal Memorial Library or discover inspiration at the various museums, monuments, or temples. Perhaps a leisurely walk through Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Mactan or the Plaza Independencia will suffice.


Exploring Cebu is like weaving through pages of history, unraveling treasures of tradition and culture at every turn. Beyond the city, there are dozens of cathedrals and basilicas dotting the other municipalities. The city of Carcar has attracted admiration for its Spanish and American period structures and the preserved colonial architecture. There are ornate religious sculptures in Argao or Dalaguete, and stunning rock formations in Boljoon. Anywhere in Cebu is a feast for the senses and an opportunity for meaningful journeys.

Circa 1900

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Casual Cuisine and Street Eats


Yuppies and trendsetting urbanites will definitely enjoy the diverse range of establishments in Cebu City. From quaint artisanal cafés to quirky guest houses. Seasoned foodies will have a lot on their plate with places like Handuraw Pizza, Big Tom’s Burgers, or The Abaca Group’s various casual eateries (Abaca Baking Company, Luncheonette, Phat Pho, Hala Paella) congregated at Robinsons Cybergate.


Cebu offers fine dining (Circa 1900, Brique, Anzani, The Gustavian) on the same block as more informal but equally scrumptious barbeque food courts like Larsian or Mama’s. Unique restaurants like Lantaw or Mactan’s fresh seafood “sutokil” favorites should not be missed. And, of course, there’s always the wide array of Cebu’s renowned lechon venues, from Alejo’s, Rico’s, and CnT to ZubuChon. Clearly, working and living in Cebu is a full course paradise.


StarTechUp, Lahug, Cebu


Entertainment Central


Aside from culinary havens and cultural experiences, Cebu City has a thriving night life, mostly converging at Mango Square. Under the sun, the area is a busy district where important meetings can be held, brunches, lunches, and meriendas happen throughout the day, and cappuccinos are abundantly frothy. But at night, this is where young locals drink their fill, mingle, and meet new connections. It’s also popular for transient visitors and expats, with its variety of attractions—comedy shows, pumping night clubs, hip-hop lounges, and laser-lit dance floors.


It’s but a small indication of the lively sights and sounds of Cebu at night, with hip boutique bars, wine taverns, and live music gigs happening all around the city. The vibrant energy of Cebu can be felt everywhere, from eccentric decor and sleek design to flavorful fare and colorful personalities.


The Henry Hotel, Cebu


Action-Packed Opportunity


In 2015, Cebu was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards as the 19th Best Island in the World. With its centralized location in the Philippines, it’s not difficult to imagine why. Cebu is a waypoint to many other paradise islands, with regular boats and ferries to and from Dumaguete, Bohol, Palawan, Boracay, Negros, and Siquijor. Just a short drive out of the city brings you to Mactan, with five-star resorts and a suite of water sports. Take a group of friends on a boat for a lazy day off or travel to the northern group of islets—Camotes, Bantayan, Malapascua—which house world-class dive spots, sunken ships, grand reefs, and shark sanctuaries.


In the west is Moalboal, a globe-trotter’s dream, with dolphins, sea turtles, and mesmerizing shoals of sardines just meters from the white sand beaches. Moalboal also acts as the access point to the adrenaline-filled attractions of southern Cebu. A weekend vacation could take you jumping into clear turquoise rivers, traversing canyons and waterfalls in Badian, trekking rugged Osmeña Peak, floating down Bojo River, resting in seclusion up in Alegria’s mountain ranges, or swaying in a hammock at Hermit’s Cove.


Kawasan Falls, Badian, Cebu

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Work-life balance in Cebu almost seems as natural as the flowing waters of Kawasan Falls, and achieving that balance can be just as refreshing.


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