Colon Street in Cebu City was built by the Spaniards in 1565 and is known to be the oldest street in the Philippines. For years, this historical landmark served as the commercial and financial center in Cebu where we can find a mixture of old and new buildings, banks, department stores, boutique shops, theaters, fast food restaurants and top schools and universities.
Great for Bargain Hunters
This place is great for bargain hunters, especially if you are on a tight budget. If you are the adventurous type who doesn’t mind the urban jungle life or the crowded corridors, then this is the place for you. The street is situated in downtown Cebu so sidewalk vendors, peddlers, ID makers, watch repairmen and cell phone shops line up both sides. You can also bargain with the boutique shop owners, especially if you’ll buy more than one item or in bulk. One thing that I like most is the availability of fashionable dresses that are much cheaper compared to those found in the stores in the major malls of SM and Ayala.
There are several department stores and small shopping malls along Colon Street. One of the biggest is the Gaisano Metro Colon, whose prices are much lower than in the malls. Don’t miss the food court located on the top floor of this department store, as they serve a variety of Filipino dishes and desserts. If you like fast food, Mac Donald’s is just right across the street to Gaisano Metro. There are also plenty of taxis and jeepneys in the area that can help you find your way around the city.
Old Building Structures and Cinemas
You can explore some of the historic building structures and movie theaters located in Colon Street. The Vision Theater is one of my favorite building designs, as it shows an intriguing facade of naked women, sculptured by Italian artist Dante Guidetti in the 1930’s. Vision Theater now operates as a ticketing office.
Colon Street was once the center of movie entertainment in Cebu with numerous movie theaters such as the King Theater, Star Theater, Seven Arts, Victor Theater, Lane Cinema, Majestic Theater, Venus Theater, Premier, President, Cinema, Eden, Superama, Cinerama and Ultra Vistarama.
Teatro Junquera (now called Oriente Cinema) was built in 1895 and is known as the oldest theater in Cebu. In the early 1900’s it served as a live theater entertainment venue showing Spanish musical comedies, operas and dance numbers. Today, the newly reconfigured Oriente Cinema is now operating in digital format.
Peak Season & Reminders
Besides begin recognized as the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street is known as one of the most crowded areas in Cebu, especially during the Christmas season and the Sinulog Festival so watch out for pickpockets who take advantage of the situation. To prevent any loss of belongings, it is advisable not to wear any gold jewelry. Colon Street is still a safe place to explore and visit as there are plenty of people, traffic enforcers and security guards in the area.
Have you been to Colon Street? What did you think? Share you experience in the comments below.
Planning to visit Cebu? Be sure to schedule some time for shopping at this historical landmark. If you need a place to stay, we recommend you visit Hotels Combined to read customer reviews and compare Cebu hotel rates.