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A WALK TO REMEMBER AT FORT SAN PEDRO
If you want a quiet walk into Cebu’s profound history, head on to a landmark offering historical chronicles of several countries such as Spain, America, Japan, and the native Philippines, all tied to a heavy stone wall.
Welcome to Fort San Pedro!
Fort San Pedro is a captivating historical sight to visit in Cebu. It is the oldest and smallest fort in the Philippines.
In 1565, the fort was built using logs, mud, stones, and mortar by Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and his men to serve as hub of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.
It was named after Legazpi’s ship “San Pedro” which sailed the Pacific Ocean in 1565.
It was nigh on unfamiliar until around 1738 when its construction was finally finished as a bastion against hostile natives and Muslim raiders. An official report about the construction of the fort was also mentioned to King Phillip II of Spain in 1739. It mentioned what was inside the fort such as the “Cuerpor de Guardia,” the
large building which accommodated personnel that manned the fort and a “Vivende del Teniente,” which was the sleeping quarter of the fort lieutenant. What was also indicated in the report was the well and a powder magazine.
The fort, Fuerza San Pedro, is triangular in shape and houses three bastions namely La Concepcion at the southwest side
Ignacio de Loyola at the southeast
and San Miguel at the northeast
It has a total area of 2, 025 square meters with walls that are as high as 20 feet and eight feet thick and towers that rise 30 feet from the ground. Its riveting records show its different purposes for several years. It became a watch tower to counter attacks, a refuge for Filipino revolutionaries, a US army barracks, and as hideout for Japanese revolutionaries. It also became a place of education for the Cebuanos, and it also served as office for the Department of Tourism and Philippine Tourism Authority.
By 1950, the Garden Cebu Club took over and transformed the fort into a beautiful garden. It was open to garden weddings, family picnics, and site for model photography. In 1957, the fort was used as a zoo.
In 1960, the fort was renovated to uphold the original design coral stones. Today, its remainder still holds significance for it has become a museum-park providing visitors with a glimpse of history. It has a lush garden with tropical foliage that will enthrall you. There are also old ruins and Spanish artifacts.
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Its museum holds antiques, remnants, and Spanish items like paintings, old coins, documents, sculptures, sword fragments, and other valuables. Fort San Pedro
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is in the area of Plaza Independencia and Central Post office near Pier 1. It is located at Barangay San
Roque, Legaspi corner Osmeńa Street.
If you are visiting Basilica Minore del Santo Nińo, you can head on to Fort San Pedro afterwards. It is just a ten-minute walk from Santo Nińo Church going to the fort. If you are traveling by plane from Manila, travel time is about an hour. From the airport, it will take approximately a 45-minute taxi-drive and PhP150-180 fare to get to the fort. Entrance fee is around PhP30. It is open from 8 am to 6 pm. As soon as you walk in at the fort,
you will be welcomed by a history board at the entrance which depicts Fort San Pedro in the past.
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From the board, you will see an artist’s depiction of the old and original structure of the fort.
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Among the framed illustrations is the Christianization of the natives and the first procession with the image of the Sto. Nińo.
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Also framed is an artist sketch of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who founded the first Spanish settlement in Cebu, Philippines in 1565.
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This is the view of the fuerza from the watchtower.
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Copyright Notice: All content on this web-page is the property of PhilippinesTravelWiki.com and should not be used without the express written consent of PhilippinesTravelWiki.com. This review is written by Ms.Stephanie Rose Abellon, resident of Cebu, Philippines.