Cebu City is the capital of the Province of Cebu and is the oldest city in the Philippines. Its boundaries are the Mandaue City and the Munacipality of Consolacion in the north, Toledo City and the Munacipality of Balamban in the west, Talisay City in the south and the Mactan Strait in the east. Known as the Queen City of the South, Cebu City is an important center for commerce, trade and industry in the Visays and Mindanao.
How the city and the province got its name remains a puzzle for most historians. In fact there are a lot of theories how Cebu came to be known as Cebu.
One such theory is that Pigafetta, the scribe of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, wrote the name of the island as Zugbu or Zubuth. When Miguel Lopez de Legazpi came to the island, a companion, Miguel de Loarca, called the island Cubu. A more popular theory is the one used by local historian Gervasio Lavilles, which goes that a group of Spaniards chanced uplon locals melting animal fat, locally known as sibu. One of the Spaniards then asked what the name of the place was and the locals, who probably did not understand any Spanish, thought they were being asked about what they were doing, answered sibu. Thus the place came to be known as Cebu. Another theory stems from the trade relations of the area with neighboring countries. Jovito Abellana, a lexicographer, in a historical manuscript written in the 1960s wrote that Cebu comes from the Visayan word for barter, sibu, which referred to the Port of Cebu, famous for its barter trade even in the pre-Spanish times.
Aside from being an important center for trade, commerce and industry, Cebu is also an important center for culture and the arts.