Why Living in the Visayas Region is the Best Decision You’ll Make
One of the best places to live in the Philippines is right at the heart of the archipelago—the Visayas region.
Visayas’ geographical structure consists of different islands with different people speaking different languages. No place in this region ever feels the same. Visayan culture is pretty much laid back, independent, full of merrymaking, and always ready to sweep sorrows and problems away with perseverance and a carefree attitude.
Do you want to escape the hectic and fast-paced lifestyle? The Visayas region is the perfect address because of the numerous residential communities in the region. Visayas is also one of the best places to invest as the economy continues to recover and infrastructure projects are continuously rolling out. Aside from all that, the region offers a unique culture, flavorful food, and a relaxing lifestyle that allows you to live life leisurely.
Places to see and things to do in the Visayas Region
When you settle down in the Visayas, you will never be bored. The different provinces always have something new to offer that will surely bring you delight and awe. To whet your excitement, here are the Visayas tourist spots, festivals, food, and natural wonders you can only find in the Visayas region.
Churches and places of worship
Beautiful historical places of worship await when visiting the Visayas. As the region that was first Christianized, there’s a long history of Christendom in its many cities and towns. Evidence of these is the majestic churches and cathedrals that one can catch a glimpse of.
1. Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño
Considered the oldest Catholic Church in Cebu—dating back to Magellan’s time—, this place of prayer houses the image of the Sto. Niño, the city’s patron saint represents Jesus as a black Holy Child.
First established in 1565, its three earlier structures were destroyed by fire but rebuilt in 1737. In 2013, an earthquake badly damaged its facade and belfry but has since been repaired to its former glory for residents and tourists alike to be in awe of its beauty.
2. Jaro Cathedral
Also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Candles and Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral, this church was proclaimed a historical landmark in 1976 by the National Historical Institute.
During his visit in 1981, St. Pope John Paul II was the one to declare Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Jaro as the Patroness of Western Visayas. This Romanesque Revival architectural designed cathedral is known to heal devotees with dengue at that time. Now this place is visited regularly by devotees and parishioners alike.
3. San Sebastian Cathedral
This church is one of the known infrastructures in Bacolod City, sitting across the city’s plaza. The construction of this church began in 1825. Afterward, it received a donation of two bigger bells. Fr. Mauricio Ferrero took over the cathedral and made it even bigger. In the morning, this church is a place for prayer, worship, and meditation. At night it becomes an architectural marvel with its amazing illumination.
4. Baclayon Church
Also known as the La Purísima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, the Baclayon Church is one of the iconic landmarks in the Visayas region because it was considered the oldest church in Bohol built in 1596. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) declared this church as a historical value.
In 2010, the National Museum considered it a national treasure. When you become a resident of PrimaryHomes’ Royal Oceancrest in Panglao, you can reach this church in less than an hour!
5. St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral
This church is also known to locals as the Dumaguete Cathedral. Outside, this church features four stone pillars with intricate statues of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John standing on top. On its veneer, you can also find Saint Paul and Peter’s status.
It boasts itself as the “Oldest Stone Church in Negros” originally built in 1754 to 1776. In 1885, it was reconstructed, and in 1936, its present facade was extended.
Festivals and Celebrations
Held every January, the Ati-atihan Festival is celebrated in honor of the Santo Niño in different towns of Aklan. The highlight of the celebration is often held on the third Sunday of January in Kalibo. The name of the festival means “to imitate Ati,” the local name of the Aeta people who were the first settlers of Panay Island.
Originally, Ati-atihan Festival was a pagan celebration commemorating the Barter of Panay. Later, this Visayan festival was given a different meaning by the church as a celebration accepting Christianity by carrying an image of Infant Jesus during the procession.
Sinulog is one of the most celebrated festivals in the Visayas as it celebrates the country’s famous historic relic, the Santo Niño de Cebu. Every January, this festival is one of the main reasons why there are a lot of tourists in Cebu, especially every third Sunday of January.
This festival is done through a dance ritual telling the story of the Filipino people’s pagan past and their acceptance of Christianity. When you become a resident of different PrimaryHomes properties, you can witness and participate in this Visayas festival without the need to travel far.
Another known festival in the Visayas is the Pintados Festival, celebrated in Tacloban. Pintados is the term used by Spaniards to describe the tattooed indigenous Visayan people. Tattoos or ‘pintados’ at that time served as a status symbol for bravery as tattoo making was a rather painful process and it was warriors who were often tattooed from head to foot at that time.
Pintados tattoos, colorful clothes, a lively atmosphere, and parties are the highlight of this festival. It is often held on June 29. During the celebration, the tales and legends about the brave warriors are told through dance numbers and musical performances.
This festival commemorating the Treaty of Friendship between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi is an annual celebration in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. This peace treaty between the chieftain of Bohol and the Spanish conquistador occurred in March 1565 through a blood compact or “sandugo.”
During this festival, a street parade, street dancing competition, and a re-enactment of the Blood Compact are done as part of the celebration.
Sandurot and Buglasan Festivals
These two festivals are celebrated in Dumaguete City and the Province of Negros Oriental. These Visayas festivals are both joyous celebrations that showcase the unity of people despite their differences in race, religion, and cultural beliefs.
Sandurot Festival commemorates Dumaguete’s rich history; while Buglasan Festival or “The Festival of Festivals” is a unique festival because it gathers almost all the people in Negros Province. This festival is participated in by the Negros Province’s six cities and 19 municipalities showcasing the province’s best achievements.
Iconic and appetizing local food and dishes
Humba is a Filipino braised pork dish from the Visayas region. This dish uses pork belly that is slow-cooked in soy sauce, vinegar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, tausi, and muscovado sugar.
It is also often served with banana blossom and boiled egg. With its similarity with adobo, this dish is dubbed as the “Visayan version of adobo.”
La Paz Batchoy
The province of Iloilo in Visayas region is known for this noodle soup with miki noodles, pork organs, and beef loins dunked in simmering broth made from shrimp and chicken stocks, sprinkled with crushed pork cracklings.
Chicken inasal originated in Bacolod. This dish is a variant of lechon manok or roasted chicken. The chicken is marinated in calamansi, pepper, coconut vinegar, and annatto before grilling over hot coals. This tasty dish is served with rice, chicken oil, and dipping sauces made out of calamansi, soy sauce, and vinegar.
Lechon is the main course offered especially during big events and special occasions. Cebu lechon is often made with native and organic pigs. Before being roasted, it is stuffed with different herbs, spices, spring onions, and garlic. The pig is slowly rotated for eight hours straight over coal to achieve its golden-red, crispy skin on the outside and juicy, tender meat on the inside. The Visayan version comes with the region’s version of dinuguan made from the pig’s own offals.
Another popular dish from Cebu is ginabot, the Queen City of the South’s take on chicharon bulaklak. This delicacy is made out of pig intestines that are fried until crispy and golden brown. Ginabot is often served with puso, a woven-leaf pouches of hanging rice and spiced vinegar.
Kalamay is a sticky and sweet delicacy made from glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and at times peanuts for flavor and texture. When you live in Richwood Homes in Bohol, Royal Oceancrest Panglao, and Royal Palms Quatro, you can enjoy Kalamay any time of the day.
Sans Rival and Sylvanas
Sans Rival is a Filipino dessert cake made of French buttercream, meringue, and chopped cashews. On the other hand, sylvanas or silvanas is a buttery cream sandwiched between two cashew-meringhe wafers that is coated with crumbs of cashews. Both of these sweet desserts are famous in the Visayas region.
This natural tourist attraction located in Bohol is composed of around 1,260 to 1,776 symmetrical, domed-shaped hills in an area of over 50 square kilometers. These hills are covered in green grass that turns brown especially during the dry season. Aside from the hills, the other attractions offered by the Chocolate Hills Adventure Park include bike zipline, surf zipline, tree top rope challenges, butterfly garden, serpentarium, and more!
Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu is known for its clear, turquoise waters. This falls sits at the foot of the Mantalongon Mountain Range. Aside from swimming, other fun things you can do at Kawasan Falls include canyoneering, swinging, and of course, relaxing.
Inside the vicinity of Siquijor, you will find Cambugahay Falls--a breathtaking and popular tourist attraction in the Visayas region. This falls is a three-tiered waterfall with clean, warm water from natural springs flowing down three kilometers downstream to numerous swimming lagoons before it discharges into the Lazi Bay.
Boracay Island in Aklan is a small island in the Philippines, known worldwide for its white beaches and clear blue waters. Boracay is hailed as one of the world’s greatest places of 2022; and is a perfect destination if you are after the beach, thrilling water activities,and great dining and nightlife experiences.
There’s no need to spend money and travel far to Maldives because you can visit the “Maldives of the Philippines,” the Manjuyod sandbar located in the Municipality of Manjuyod but mostly accessed via Bais City, Negros Oriental. This tourist attraction is famous for its spotless white sand that can stretch up to seven kilometers during the low tide. While you’re there, make sure to take advantage of the dolphin watching experience in Bais.
Why retire in the Visayas?
With all the provinces the Visayas has to offer, from food, festivals, to tourist attractions, it is no wonder that the Visayas region is one of the most ideal places to retire in the Philippines. If these are not yet convincing enough for you, here are other reasons why you should retire in the Visayas:
- It has the perfect mix of urban and rural places. You can live next to a commercial center and the beach.
- Save for Metro Cebu, life in the Visayas region is more laidback and less hectic because there is less traffic, pollution, and crime.
- You will never be bored with all the beautiful things to see and exciting activities to do.
- There are numerous residential developments where you can find your dream home such as the ones developed by PrimaryHomes Inc. These communities are not only safe but also highly accessible and aesthetically pleasing.
Some of the best places to settle down in the Visayas region include Cebu City, Bohol, Bacolod City, Iloilo City, and Dumaguete City. As strategic and favored locations in the region, expect that there are PrimaryHomes developments in these areas.
If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the metro, you can always experience the best of urbanization and natural wonders in the provinces of the Visayas. Why is it ideal to live in Visayas? Here are some points to remember:
- There’s always something new to discover. The Visayas region is composed of different islands where people speak various languages; because of this diversity, Visayas always has something new to offer.
- You’ll never be bored. The region has numerous natural and manmade tourist attractions to visit. Each province in Visayas also has its own delicacies you should try.
- You can find ideal residential communities. As a prime region in the country, there are numerous subdivisions and condominium projects in the Visayas region. You can find PrimaryHomes Inc. projects in highly sought after addresses in the region such as Cebu and Bohol.
If you are interested in settling down in Visayas and owning a home there, get in touch with PrimaryHomes, Inc. and in no time, you will find the perfect home and address in Visayas.