By MALUM NALU
Cebu City, where Air Niugini is commencing twice weekly flights, is the oldest city in the Philippines.
|Filipino dancers welcoming the PNG delegation to Cebu on Monday night|
It is part of Cebu, a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands.
Cebu is one of the most-developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main centre of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas.
|IT Park, Cebu City, a place of great shopping, cafes and restaurants|
Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region in 2007, 8th best Asian-Pacific island destination in 2005, 7th in 2004 and in 2009.
|A colourful jeepney along the streets of Cebu City|
It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands. Cebu is a long narrow island stretching 225 kilometers from north to south, surrounded by 167 neighbouring, smaller islands, which include Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and the Camotes Islands.
Mactan-Cebu International Airport, where Air Niugini is flying to, is located in Mactan Island, and is the second busiest airport in the Philippines after Manila.
|The Air Niugini Boeing 737 being welcomed at Cebu City Mactan International Airport on Monday night|
Cebu businessman Mel Oplimo, who has business links with PNG, said Air Niugini could not go wrong as Cebu was the business and tourism hub of the Phillipines.
|Ayala Centre, one of the biggest shopping malls in the Philippines|
“We enjoy the splendor and beauty of Cebu,”he told The National in Cebu.
“Cebu is known for its semi-conductor industry, furniture industry, shipping, travel and tourism.
|Oplimo (right), me and video cameraman Tapusi Kone outside the Ayala Centre mall|
“Cebu is known as a rest and recreation area and most entrepreneurs and Chinese tycoons come from Cebu.
“Cebu is known as a tourism hub.
“It has been declared as one of the best destinations for tourism in Asia because of its pristine white beaches and hotel services.”