Ever wondered what is the Philippines’ oldest street? It Cebu’s Colon Street.
Colon Street, a 2 kilometers stretch of road at the heart of downtown Cebu City, holds the distinction of being the Philippines oldest street. Calle Colon was named after Christopher Columbus and it is now 446 years old. Imagine that!
Old Colon Street as depicted in a mural
At the end of this street, you will find the obelisk marking the end or beginning (depends on where you started) of the street of Colon. We took this picture around 9am on a Saturday and traffic was very light then. But come noon this street is going to be super busy. Sundays are a good time to be a tourist in Colon too.
End and Beginning: Colon Street, Philippines’ Oldest Street
Colon Street Marker Inscription
What to watch out for in Colon Street?
It’s easy to miss these heritage markers that were placed randomly along the stretch of Colon St; many people including Cebuanos just ignore these history – post markers. But if you try to look for them and actually read the inscriptions, you will learn so much about the history of Old Cebu especially its bustling downtown area.
One of Colon Street Heritage Markers
Advisory: When in Colon just like in any busy downtown areas of cities anywhere in the world, it’s usually crowded. Unfortunately when there is a crowd, bad elements who preys on locals and yes tourists are also present. So be cautious and watch out for your belongings, don’t wear jewelries when you go to Colon and downtown Cebu City. Dressing down is a good move too.
Direction from Ayala Mall to Colon Obelisk – If you are in Ayala, go to the terminal and just ride a 14D jeepney, this will pass exactly beside the Obelisk marker =)
Where to go next on your Cebu Heritage Walk Tour?
Please read my other entry for this series on Cebu Heritage Walk Tour. I’m recommending making Colon Street your first stop on your walking tour of downtown Cebu. At the end of the road in the Colon obelisk marker, three Cebu heritage sites are abot–tanaw: Cebu Heritage Monument, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House and Museum, Casa Gorordo Museum. Updated March , 2012 – Make Museo Parian sa Sugbo part of your tour too! A few steps away from the Heritage Monument, enter Zuluete St, you’ll right away see Ho Tong Hardware – that’s the back entrance to the Jesuit Museum.
Check out this Penfires proposed Cebu Heritage Walking Tour:
You can really just walk from one point to another if you want to have a cheap Cebu City tour.
Please click on each heritage site listed below to go to the blog post dedicated to it:
1. Colon Street Obelisk Marker
2. Cebu Heritage Monument
Additional: 1730 Jesuit House in Zulueta St in between 2 and 3 landmarks.
4. Casa Gorordo Museum
5. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
6. Basilica Minore del Sto Nino
7. Magellan’s Cross
8. Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia
The Cebu Heritage Monument is about 70 meters from the obelisk, the Yap-San Diego ancestral house and museum is about 30 meters from the Cebu Heritage Monument and the Casa Gorordo Museum is about 50 meters away from the Yap-San Diego place.
From Casa Gorordo you can walk back to reach the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral (maybe 20 minutes). Then about 10 minutes walk from the Cathedral you will reach the Sto Nino Church. A few steps from Sto Nino and you are already looking at the Magellan’s Cross.
From Magellan’s Cross, head to Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia. Fort San Pedro and the Plaza is maybe around 15 to 20 minutes walk from the Magellan’s Cross. (If you want to proceed to Museo Sugbo, I’m suggesting take a jeepney as it’s a bit far from the center of this walking tour).
Hope this makes sense hehehe.. walking on a tour to check out these popular Cebu tourists sites can be fun but you got to expect Cebu weather to be always hot and humid. Thus, the money you will save from this Cebu cheap tour will probably go to snacks and ice cold beverages lol. But then again it feels like such a waste of money if you will take a cab or jeepneys to go from site to site as they are really close to each other.
Please say you’ll walk. Walking is good for you after all. Enjoy your walk tour of Cebu downtown!
Additional read: Cebu City One Day Tour Itinerary: A Visitor’s Guide