MANDAUE CITY is known as the “Industrial Heartland of the Island” and 1st class city in the province of Cebu, Philippines. Currently the place is bustling with 10,000 business establishments though most are small scale and family run businesses. The land is also a highly urbanized city next to the provincial capital Cebu City. Mandaue is situated right across Mactan Island.


In history archives, the famous expeditionary Ferdinand E. Magellan was the first one who actually sighted “Mandawe” on April 7, 1521. Mandaue is a fertile land and variety of thick “Mantawi” vines grew abundantly. The island is said to be the “Cove of Cebu” or the “merchant’s paradise” even during the Spanish occupation.

Mandaue was the first drydock complex established in the Philippines during 1571. The drydock facility was used in servicing the Galleons of Legazpi during the Acapulco Trade.

The “Cove of Cebu” was formally changed into “pueblo” in the year 1580 to 1700, and later on was officially known as the town of Mandaue in 1899. The city prospered as an industrial city and later on through Republic Act 5519 on June 21, 1969, Mandaue became a chartered city and considered highly-urbanized in 1991.

Mandauehanons take pride in their heritage and historic role, through “Mantawi Festival” the city reconnects to its roots as the merchant’s paradise of Cebu during the time of Ferdinand Magellan and over centuries as a center for trade and commerce.

Mantawi Festival a showcase of the citys rich cultural and historical heritage and identity promoting the city as an industrial and tourist hub, that involves the Spanish regime through street dancing, dioranas, floats, food festival trade fair and sports event.

This is an annual festival that falls on every May 7 in Mandaue where they celebrates the foundation of Mandaue since 1521. Mantawi word means a vine that grows abundantly into the shores in Spaniards time.”

Recently, the townsfolk showcased Mantawi Festival to the delegates of the ASEAN Summit with all its unique and exotic dance steps. Usually the colorful Mantawi Festival is celebrated in the month of May annually, and with the dancers using native delicacies such as bibingka, budbud and tagaktak as props for their dances.


This is celebrated ever May 8 annually. This is the Patron Saint of Mandaue City. According to history archives the Spaniards exampled St. Joseph to the natives of Mandaue who were hardworking and responsible people.

“Some record shows that the Jesuits started constructing the church in 1601 and some said it was in 1638. St. Joseph the Patriarch was installed as the patron saint and it is one of the oldest publicly venerated image of the saint in our country. The work was slow and hard that it was fully finished in 1848 during the term of Fr. Gregorio de San Antonio de Padua as parish priest. In mid 1700’s, the Jesuits abandoned the parish which the Augustinians took over later.

In 1922, a strong earthquake damaged the church. The parish priest Fr. Francisco Blanco, hastily repaired the church. It was during the time of the Rev. Fr. Manuel Yap in 1935 that the church undergone a major reconstruction. After that, the church no longer possessed the original aura of antiquity and old ambiance of a Spanish building.

In 1936, a bell tower was added on top of the church façade. However, during the closing phase of the Second World War, an American bomb blew her roof open and severely damaged the bell tower which they believed sheltered Japanese Imperial forces. After the war, the church was repaired and there was a new façade and two bell tower at both sides. In reply to the municipal council’s request, the bell tower at the center was toppled down to prevent accident that the damaged bell tower would go down anytime. Cement walls replaced the old thick stones of the church.

When the Most Reverend Antonio Rañola was installed as the parish priest in 1990, another major reconstruction took place. He envision of transforming the parish church into a beautiful place of adoration. In 1996, again, the church went in another major renovation. The ceiling and the 50 year old roof were demolished. The church was closed for four years. The mass was said at the side of the church in the Parish Social Hall and it took 6 years to fully complete the reconstruction.

In August 6, 2001, his Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal, the Cardinal of Cebu, declared the yet unfinished reconstructed church of Mandaue a National Shrine. On January 30, 2002, a fire that started in the Mandaue Public Market damaged its altar but was repaired months after due to the support from the people of Mandaue. ”

A throwback photo of mine with my aunt, when I was having a project in 6th grade.



The Bantayan sa Hari (translated to “King’s watchtower”) in Mandaue City sits rather awkwardly at its location overlooking the Mactan Channel in Brgy. Looc surrounded by unrelated structures and almost choked out of existence. In the early 19th century, when it was probably built, it was forlorn yet majestic, guarding the mouth of a key crossing between Cebu and the island of Mactan and whose presence alerted the inhabitants of the coming moro slave raiders and thus had time to head for the safety of the church.

Today, the entire surface had been cemented, the surrounding base, shown in an archival image from 1912, is gone. It’s presence almost indeterminate unless one goes up the Cebu-Mactan Bridge. It’s almost lost in a see of houses and other structures.


Mandaue-Mactan Bridge

This is a bridge connecting Cebu Island or Mandaue City to tiny Mactan Island. The bridge spans the Cebu North Channel. There is another such bridge connecting the two islands but the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge,Cebu is the older of the two and this is also regarded as an important landmark of Cebu.
The Mandaue-Mactan Bridge, Cebu- a major attraction of the place and is also fondly referred to as the Old Mactan Bridge by the locals. This is 846 meters long and 9 meters wide bridge. The design and construction of the bridge are all credited to Filipino engineers of the times. The Mandaue-Mactan Bridge,Cebu had been built during the term of the Late President Ferdinand Macros. Mandaue had been declared as a chartered city in 1969 and in 1970 the construction of the bridge began. Construction of the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge,Cebu had cost Php 65 million and it was completed in the year 1972. This has been regarded as a marvelous feat of engineering as accomplished in the central Philippines.
There is, however, no visitor viewing point for this historic landmark and riding on a car and taking a snap of the bridge while crossing over it is the only option. If not in a hurry then, however, visitors may also walk the distance over the bridge using the side walk provided on it and take a proper picture from some desired angle. This will ensure that the photograph taken is not affected owing to the shaky grip commonly experienced in a moving car. Snaps taken of the bridge and the channel over which it spans can be stunning and it is worth giving it a try albeit from a moving car.
The Cebu North Channel over which the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge,Cebu has been constructed has a commercial and historical significance. The Mactan Island and the Mandaue City and Cebu City that the bridge connects have been important cities ever since the beginning of recorded history of the Philippines. All this ascribes an even greater significance to the Mandaue-Mactan Bridge,Cebu.

A throwback photo of mine when I was having a project in 6th grade.


Mandaue City has local delectable home-made cuisines which all tourists can enjoy such as bibingka (rice cakes), masareal (ground sugared peanuts), tagaktak (fried ground rice), and budbud (sticky rice rapped in banana leaves). The native delicacy OTAP is also produced here.

  • bibingka (rice cakes)
  • masareal (ground sugared peanuts)masareal_1
  •  tagaktak (fried ground rice)3967493394_8f91ab1f61
  •  budbud (sticky rice rapped in banana leaves)4-budbod-kabog_orig
  • otapotap


The city is just a few minutes away from Mactan International Airport. Manila-Cebu is accessible with daily flights.

Ferry boats of Trans Asia Shipping Lines and Lite Shipping Company takes the route to Cebu on daily schedules. It will take approximately 22 hours by boat.

From Cebu mini-buses, taxi cabs, public utility jeepneys, tricycles and trisikads are widely available. Roads are generally in good condition.