Cebu City Charter Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: February 24, 2024

Cebu City Charter Day in the Philippines Cebu City Charter Day (Araw ng Pribilehiyo ng Lungsod ng Cebu) is a special non-working holiday in the Philippine city of Cebu. It is celebrated annually on February 24 to commemorate the day in 1937 when Cebu was officially granted cityhood.

Cebu City is a highly urbanized city and the capital of the Province of Cebu in the Philippines. With a population of about 964,000 (as of 2020), it is the sixth-most populated city in the country after Quezon City, Manila, Davao City, Caloocan, and Zamboanga City, as well as the most populous city in the Visayan Islands.

Modern-day Cebu City is located where the ancient city of Singhapala once stood. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, it was the capital of the Rajahnate of Cebu and a major trade center. The name “Cebu” is a shortened form of the old Cebuano expression sinibuayng hingpit, which means “the place of trading”.

Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was the first European to land in Cebu on April 7, 1521. Twenty days later, he was killed in the Battle of Mactan between the Spaniards and Lapulapu, the chieftan of Mactan, and his men. Spanish conquistadors conquered Cebu four decades later. In the summer of 1565, Miguel López de Legazpi, representing King Philip II of Spain, and Rajah Tupas of Cebu signed the Treaty of Cebu that gave the Spanish control over Cebu.

The King of Spain granted Cebu the city status in 1594, and the diocese of Cebu was created the next year by Pope Clement VIII. However, it was stripped of its city status following the signing of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 at the end of the Spanish–American War that resulted in the cession of the Philippines to the United States.

In 1934, the neighboring municipalities of Banilad, El Bardo, Mabolo, San Nicolas, and Talaman were merged into Cebu. It became a chartered city on February 24, 1937. During World War II, Cebu City was occupied by Japan and was virtually razed to the ground. However, it was relatively quickly rebuilt when the war ended.

During the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, Cebu was an important center of resistance. It played a key role in the days leading up to the People Power Revolution and the removal of Marcos from power. In 1990, the infrastructure of Cebu was considerably damaged by Typhoon Ruping, but the city once again recovered and underwent rapid economic development. Its economic growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s was dubbed “Ceboom”.

Today, Cebu is the main domestic shipping port in the Philippines and one of the country’s key trading centers. Due to its importance, it is often referred to as the Queen City of the South, a sobriquet previously given to Iloilo City.

Cebu City Charter Day was established in 1992 by President Corazon Aquino and celebrated for the first time on February 24, 1993. Since the first celebration, February 24 has been declared as a special non-working holiday every year. It is celebrated only in Cebu City. Special events held on Cebu City Charter Day include a mass, wreath-laying ceremony, awards ceremonies, contests, concerts, and official dinners.

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Cebu City Charter Day, holidays in the Philippines, local observances, special non-working holidays, Cebu City holidays