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The Cebuano language is the most common native language spoken in the Visayas region. Spanish, English, Chinese, Chabacano (in Zamboanga Region), and Tagalog are the other languages spoken in Cebu. 15 to 20 million is the estimated range of Cebuano speakers.


Spanish culture and indigenous Philippine traditions has been an influence to majority of the Cebuano culture. Majority of the Cebuanos religion is Roman Catholic. However, Chinese religion has slowly seeped in and formed part of the growing religious groups in Cebu. Proof of this is the large number of Chinese temples found in the region.

The people of Cebu are called Cebuanos. Spanish and Chinese communities perform an important economic and political role in Cebu. Cebuano culture is laid back and has conserved strong Hispanic traditions in its native culture. American influence is prevailing in existing music, movies, fast foods, and the wide use of English. Foreign ethnic groups includes Koreans, currently estimated to be the biggest group, followed by the Americans, Japanese, British, Germans, Australians, and other smaller groups of Asians and Western Europeans.


Cebu is largely Roman Catholic. Other religious minorities include Protestant churches of Iglesia ni Cristo, Jesus Miracle Crusade, Jehovah’s Witnesses, God’s Kingdom, the Baptists, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Taoists, some Muslims, etc.

Santo Niño de Cebu, the Holy Child Jesus is the patron of Cebu. The statue is located in Basilica Minore del Santo Niño which is known as the Philippine country’s oldest church. The Santo Niño was given by the Portuguese sea captain and explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of the chief of Cebu. That act is shown in Cebu’s largest, most popular cultural event, the Sinulog where street-dancing and loud drum beats headed by a holy Mass.

Cebu is a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and has numerous major churches, including the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, the San Carlos Church, the Sto. Rosario Parish Church, San Jose-Recoletos Church, Sacred Heart Church, etc. as well as some other non-Catholic churches and temples.