mga awit ug yawit sa kasingkasing bisaya

Cebu: laid-back and idly urban

You are asked to list down a few good things about Cebu. What will you say aside from mangoes, hanging rice, ampao, danggit, and vigilante killings? Is there anything else? To guide you, here are these words that you can use: “laid-back” and “idly urban.” And I swear I’ve read the phrase “rurally urban” to describe this confused feeling of rushing forward to economic progress while holding on to the old and familiar.

Let’s take “idly urban” because it sounds so… ‘Cebuish’ (sorry, I just read that word in one Cebuano young socialite’s blog and it sounds so Kris Aquino). The image is that of a local metropolis in a hurry to become a global city, and yet aware that there are some things about its identity that should not be changed.

The following scene is cliché, but there’s just no better example to explain “idly urban”. Imagine: A CEO of an international telecommunications firm is on a business trip to Cebu. After castigating subordinates and firing local executives (let’s say for being laid-back), he decides to blow off some steam.

To his amazement, he finds himself in a posh resort in an island just 30 minutes from his hotel. Where he came from (in a super smoggy jungle called Metro Manila), he would need at least a weekend to be close to anything that resembles a beach. “Oh, I love Cebu,” he says.

That’s “idly urban” for you. That’s Cebu to most people who have been here on money-making ventures and felt like they were not working at all. In Cebu, the line that divides work and leisure is blurred. In Cebu, crucial business decisions are made over bottles of red wine while a pseudo-live band is playing “Macarena”.

And let’s also discuss “laid-back,” because it’s the word non-Cebuanos dining in Larsian often use when they couldn’t find the Visayan for “paig ang barbecue,” or “naay ok-ok ilawom sa lamisa.”

The dictionary describes “laid-back” as “very relaxed, easy-going, and unworried.” Have you noticed how Cebuanos “amble” on their way to work while in other large cities people “rush” to avoid being late? A Cebuano doesn’t have qualms stopping for beer even if dinner is waiting at home. What’s the rush? After a “very relaxed, easy-going and unworried” day in the office, our Cebuano is tired and he deserves a drink.

It’s not the mangoes. It’s not even the Sto. Niño (God bless my cursed soul). It’s the Cebuanos themselves who have perfected a way of life that balances a crazy drive to succeed with a fierce love for the good old fun at the tubaan down the corner.


8 Responses to “Cebu: laid-back and idly urban”

  1. sir, nkoy migo nga payter nga namaligya ug handmade journals and paintings para ang proceeds idonate sa tsinelas. 🙂

  2. ” sir, nkoy migo nga payter nga namaligya ug handmade journals and paintings para ang proceeds idonate sa tsinelas. 🙂 ”

    — bitaw rain? nindota paminawon ana oi. sige, mag-estorya unya mi niya. please emai me at if naa kay time. thanks for dropping by. 🙂

  3. mao nang lab au nko ang cebu ug d na nko nah ipagpalit jud.. hahahaah…
    btaw, samok au sa manila.. tinuod jud na.. paspas au ang kinabuhi..
    mamatay jud ko daun did2! hahaha…

    proud to be bisdak na baia ko! hhahahaha…

  4. shet i miss cebu.

  5. reminds me of the sinulog song by dandin ranillo — “cebu, di gyud ko mobiya nimo, cebu…” — then he left. hehehe.

    of course, ang cebu anaa sa kasingkasing bisan asa ka mapunta. char. (lusot gyud)

    bai jek, learn a lot from that freakin jungle called manila and use it here ig-uli nimo. but please leave behind traysi-kel, baysi-kel ug papsi-kel. 🙂

  6. waaaaaaaaaaaah!
    in.ana baia ko katong mga first few months nko dri!
    “pabili nga po ng spar-kel.”
    hahahah.. hasula.. 🙂

  7. I made all those songs about Cebu beacuse I love the place. Though I may be far away, I wont forget the place and can’t wait to visit.

  8. hi sir dandin. nagtubo ko nga kanunayng makadungog sa imong ngalan, bisan sa among layo nga lungsod sa pinamungajan. i love cebu too and am doing my best to contribute to its growth, bahala’g unsa kagamay. thanks for dropping by.

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