Cebu- is a long,
thin island pointing north-south, approximately 200km long and about 40 km across at it's
widest point. When the Spaniards came it was named Sugbu. The capital, Cebu City, is about
half way down on the East side. Opposite Cebu city is Mactan island, on which the biggest
town is Lapu-Lapu. This is named after the Filipino who killed Ferdinand Magellan when he
arrived in the Philippines. Cebu is a very hilly island. There are still a few remote
areas where some of the original forest cover remains, but they are getting sadly fewer.
Mining is one of the main industries, with copper, iron, gold and silver all mined on the
island. Most settlements are on the coast. Not surprisingly, fishing is very important.
Also, there are big plantations of maize, sugar, mangoes and the ubiquitous coconuts. Some
coral has managed to survive the pollution, dynamite fishing and the dredging effect of
boats' anchors, and is well worth seeing.