Cebuano people
The Cebuano people are a Visayan ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 in Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

 and form the second largest cultural-linguistic group in the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...



The early people on the island were Austronesians
Austronesian people
The Austronesian-speaking peoples are various populations in Oceania and Southeast Asia that speak languages of the Austronesian family. They include Taiwanese aborigines; the majority ethnic groups of East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Madagascar, Micronesia, and Polynesia,...

 who settled in Cebu around 30,000 years ago. They introduced a sea-faring ocean-sailing culture throughout Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, the Polynesian islands and Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

. Like the rest of the population in the Philippine Islands, the Austronesian tribal groups, which became the Malay people
Malay race
The concept of a Malay race was proposed by the German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach , and classified as the brown race. Since Blumenbach, many anthropologists have rejected his theory of five races, citing the enormous complexity of classifying races...

 encountered the Negrito
The Negrito are a class of several ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia.Their current populations include 12 Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, six Semang peoples of Malaysia, the Mani of Thailand, and the Aeta, Agta, Ati, and 30 other peoples of the Philippines....

 population on the islands (Negros and Zambales).

The early Cebuanos held animist beliefs and worshiped anito
Anito is the collective name for Pre-Hispanic belief system that exists in the Philippines. It is also the name for spirits, which may include deceased ancestors and nature-spirits or diwatas. Native Filipinos usually keep statues to represent these spirits and to ask guidance and even magical...

(spirits) until the introduction of Roman Catholicism. Muslim traders from the Malay Archipelago
Malay Archipelago
The Malay Archipelago refers to the archipelago between mainland Southeastern Asia and Australia. The name was derived from the anachronistic concept of a Malay race....

 i.e. present-dayMalaysia and Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 established trade relations with the islands between the 13th and 16th centuries, at the same time introducing Islam and being organized into a variety of tribal groups governed by chieftains called datu
Datu is the title for tribal chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions of the Philippines. Together with Lakan , Apo in Central and Northern Luzon, Sultan and Rajah, they are titles used for native royalty, and are still currently used in the Philippines...

and rajahs. Both Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 colonized the island between the 16th and 20th century, achieving its independence from colonial rule in 1946. Today, the population of the island of Cebu stands at around 3,850,000 people. A number of Cebuanos also have ancestries from other local ethnic groups in the Philippines
Ethnic groups in the Philippines
The Philippine islands are inhabited by number of different ethnic groups. The majority of the population is composed of ethnolinguistic groups whose languages are Austronesian in origin. Many of these groups converted to Christianity, and adopted many foreign elements of culture...

; as well as foreign ancestries from Japanese, Chinese and among others.

Culture and festivities

Cebuano culture is traditionally characterized as a blend of Malay and tradition with influences from Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n culture, Spain, and the United States.The majority of its population are Roman Catholic and there are also some followers of Islam
Islam in the Philippines
Islam is the oldest recorded monotheistic religion in the Philippines. Islam reached the Philippines between the 12th and 14th century with the arrival of Muslim traders from Persian Gulf and the Malabar Coast in Southern India, and their followers from several sultanate governments in the Malay...

, Buddhism
Buddhism in the Philippines
Buddhism is a relatively minor religion in the Philippines. It is largely confined to the Filipino Chinese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, and Vietnamese communities. There are temples in Manila, Davao, and Cebu, and other places. Estimates at the Buddhist population of the Philippines varies...

, Hinduism
Hinduism in the Philippines
Hinduism has been a major cultural, economic, political and religious influence in the archipelago that now comprise the Philippines. At present, however, it is limited to a small recent immigrant Indian community, though traditional religious beliefs in most parts of the country have strong Hindu...

 and among others.

Among the island's notable festivities are the Sinulog festival, which is a mixture of Christian and animist elements, celebrated annually every third week of January.


The Cebuano language
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

 is spoken by about 20,000,000 people in the country and forms the largest of the Visayan languages
Visayan languages
The Visayan languages of the Philippines, along with Tagalog and Bikol, are part of the Central Philippine languages...

. It is the largest native language population. Most speakers of Cebuano are found in the Central Visayas
Central Visayas
Central Visayas, designated as Region VII, is a region of the Philippines located in the central part of the Visayas island group. It consists of four provinces—Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor— and the highly urbanized cities of Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Mandaue City....

 and in certain parts of Mindanao
Mindanao is the second largest and easternmost island in the Philippines. It is also the name of one of the three island groups in the country, which consists of the island of Mindanao and smaller surrounding islands. The other two are Luzon and the Visayas. The island of Mindanao is called The...

. Other notable foreign languages spoken include Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

, which is spoken by its community, and among others.

External links

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