10 Cebu News that Shocked the World

No matter how sad, heart-breaking, or wonderful, the past will remain in the past. It can neither be changed nor brought back. It can, however, be used to make our future better. It can make the sad and heart-breaking happy and the wonderful even more exciting.

Let’s revisit ten of the most important Cebu news that made international headlines — the sad, the heart-breaking, and most importantly, the wonderful — that helped make Cebu what it is today.

10. The Cordova Oil Spill


On August 16, 2013, passenger ship M/V Thomas Aquinas collided with cargo ship Sulpicio Express 7 off the coast of Talisay City, Cebu. The ferry, which was carrying bunker fuel, diesel fuel, and lube oil, sank just thirty minutes after the impact. Oil and fuel started leaking from the shipwreck and several nearby fishing communities were greatly affected by the spill. Numerous barangays in Cordova were directly hit and millions worth of mangroves were destroyed.

9.  The Best Pig Ever is Cebu’s Lechon


Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain of hit travel-food show No Reservations has called Cebu’s Lechon the “Best Pig Ever!” According to Bourdain, “Of all the whole roasted pigs I’ve had all over the world, the slow-roasted lechon I had on Cebu was the best.” An article about Bourdain’s declaration also appeared on the Best of Asia 2009 list of Time Magazine. Bourdain also referred to Cebu’s Lechon in his blog entry titled “The Hierarchy of Pork” as “the best in the world.”

8. Cebu is the 9th Selfiest City

On March 20, 2014, Time Magazine released the list of the world’s Selfiest Cities. The list features the top cities that produce the most selfies per capita. Out of 459 cities all over the world, Cebu City was on the 9th spot with 99 selfie-takers per 100,000 people. Makati City was named the Selfie Capital of the World with 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people.

7. Mantayupan Falls is Dead

Via Inquirer

On July 11, 2012, an unusual Cebu news item took place in the town of Barili. Locals were surprised to find that the Mantayupan Falls had dried up. According to reports, a sinkhole drained off the water in the river which feeds Mantayupan Falls. The waterfall remained dry for four days affecting numerous rice fields, fish ponds, and a mini power plant. The problem was remedied when locals bypassed the sinkhole by creating a temporary diversion canal.

6. Cebu Inmates Fascinate the World

On July 17, 2007, Byron Garcia, the prison head of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, uploaded on Youtube a video of the inmates’ Thriller dance routine. The video shows the inmates performing a dance routine as part of their daily exercise program. News of the Cebu inmates quickly went viral and was later included in Time Magazine’s 10 Most Popular Viral Videos list. In 2008, the inmates started performing for special guests and visiting fans.

5. The Basilica’s Belfry Falls

On October 15, 2013, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Tagbilaran, Bohol. The earthquake was felt throughout the Visayan islands and destroyed numerous heritage structures in the region. In Cebu, the quake destroyed the facade and the belfry of the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. Today, although restoration efforts are currently being done, the main church remains off-limits to visitors and devotees.

UPDATE: The belfry has been fully restored and the church has been opened to the public.

4. Monching ng Masa Dies


On March 17, 1957, at around 1:40 am, a Douglas C-47 plane called Mt. Pinatubo which was bound for Manila crashed on the slopes of Mt. Manunggal in Balamban, Cebu. The plane was carrying high-ranking government and military officials and journalists. The crash killed 25 people including then Philippine President Ramon ‘Monching’ Magsaysay. Nestor Mata, a reporter for the Philippine Herald, was the crash’s sole survivor.

3. Yolanda Ravages North Cebu


On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) pulverized the northern towns of Cebu. Considered the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, Yolanda struck Eastern Visayas with so much fury and intensity. The typhoon, which caused storm surges and landslides, destroyed everything in its path and left thousands homeless. For weeks, the city of Bogo and the northern towns of Medellin, Daanbantayan, Bantayan Island, Camotes and Malapascua relied on relief goods and medical supplies from neighboring towns and islands.

2. Tsunami and Chona Mae


On February 6, 2012, a magnitude 6.8 quake rocked the island of Negros. The force of the quake, which was also felt in Cebu City, forced people out of their offices, schools, and homes. Two hours after the quake, total chaos filled the streets of Cebu. People were scampering towards the hills of Capitol and the mountains of Busay as news spread that a tsunami would soon hit the city. Two versions of the story have come out. According to the first one, two habal-habal drivers swear that they heard a radio block-time host shouting that a tsunami was coming. The host, however, said that he was simply telling his son over the phone to flee to higher ground to avoid a tsunami. The second version is even crazier. According to this version, a man who got separated from his daughter during the quake was running around shouting his daughter’s name (Chona Mae.) The man must have mispronounced his child’s name and the people around him thought that he was actually warning them of an incoming tsunami.

1. Ruping and the Ceboom


On November 13, 1990, Supertyphoon Ruping (International Name: Mike) battered the Philippine islands and left billions worth of damages in its wake. Considered one of the worst typhoons to hit the Philippines, Ruping destroyed almost all houses in Cordova, sank at least a dozen passenger ships in Cebu harbor, rendered the Mactan Bridge unsafe for use, and basically brought Metro Cebu to its knees. Ruping left Cebuanos helpless as Cebu had no electricity and drinking water for weeks. Despite getting very little help, the Cebuanos pulled together and local leaders came up with quick measures to rebuild, recover, and succeed.  According to industry experts, the devastating effects of Typhoon Ruping triggered Cebu’s rapid economic development in the early 1990’s. After the typhoon, several giant mall chains opened in Cebu, Cebu’s infrastructure was updated, and numerous big-ticket projects were started. This boom in Cebu’s local economy is now referred to as Ceboom.

Other Important Cebu News:

Chiong Sisters Case –  Taped Babies – Cansomoroy Bus Tragedy – The Canister Case – The Ecleo Case – The Olango Filming

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