Colon Street: The Oldest Street in the Philippines

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Colon Street Cebu is the oldest street in the Philippines.
Colon Street is the oldest street in the Philippines.

Colon Street in Cebu City was built by the Spaniards in 1565. It is the oldest street in the Philippines. For years, this historical landmark served as the commercial and financial center in Cebu. You can find a charming mixture of old and new buildings. Banks and department stores stand alongside historical landmarks and centuries-old churches.

Great for Bargain Hunters

Colon Street Boutique Stores
One of the boutique shops in Colon Street that offers cheap prices.

This place is great for bargain hunters, especially if you are on a tight budget. If you are the adventurous and don’t mind the urban jungle life, this is the place for you. The street is in downtown Cebu where sidewalk businesses abound. You can 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. They are much cheaper compared to those found in the stores in the major malls like SM and Ayala.

There are several department stores and shopping malls along Colon Street. One of the biggest is Gaisano Metro Colon where prices are much lower than in other malls. Don’t miss the food court located on the top floor of this department store. They serve a variety of Filipino dishes and desserts. If you like fast food, McDonald’s is just right across the street. Taxis and jeepneys help you find your way around the city.

Old Building Structures and Cinemas

Vision Theater
The fascinating facade of the historic Vision Theater

You can explore some of the historic structures and movie theaters located on Colon Street. The Vision Theater is one of my favorite building designs. For one thing, its facade features a sculpture of naked women by Italian artist Dante Guidetti. For another, the building was erected in the 1930s. The Vision Theater now operates as a ticketing office.

Colon Street was once the center of movie entertainment in Cebu. Numerous movie theaters such as the King Theater, Star Theater, Seven Arts and Victor Theater made the old street their home. At least 10 other theatres entertained the public along Colon.

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 being the oldest street in the Philippines, Colon Street is also one of the most crowded areas in Cebu. It is especially so during the Christmas season and the Sinulog Festival. 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. There are plenty of people, traffic enforcers, and security guards in the area but it pays to take precautions.

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.


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