Take a Stroll at Plaza Independencia

Plaza Independencia is probably Cebu's most popular public park. But more than just a meeting place, it is also of great historical value to Cebu having been built during the Spanish colonial era within the main district of the oldest city in the Philippines.

Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Philippines
Plaza Independencia in Cebu City, Philippines
Tourist attractions in the vicinity:
  1. Fort San Pedro
  2. Aduana Building
  3. Compania Maritima Building
  4. Cebu City Hall
  5. Gotiaoco Building
  6. Plaza Sugbu
  7. Magellan's Cross
  8. Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño
  9. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
  10. Plaza Hamabar
  11. Cebu Archdiocesan Museum
  12. Don Sergio Osmeña Birthplace Marker

Plaza Independencia: A Park With Many Names

Plaza Independencia has evolved through the centuries and so has its name. In the 1600's, it was called the Plaza de Armas, a public square used for military training and parade grounds. Then it was known as the Plaza Mayor when it was expanded to reach nearby properties of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Cebu. It was also once known as the Plaza Maria Cristina in honor of the Spanish queen. During the American colonial era, it was known as the Plaza Libertad, acknowledging the liberation of the islands from Spanish colonial rule. After the Philippines gained independence from the Americans, it was finally known as the Plaza Independencia.


Within Plaza Independencia are several monuments in honor of Filipino heroes and the Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. An obelisk in the center of the plaza is dedicated to Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Legazpi also has a statue dedicated to his honor right outside the nearby Fort San Pedro.

Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Philippines
Legazpi Obelisk

Also found within the public space is the Cebu War Veterans Memorial in honor of World War II veterans.

Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Philippines
Cebu War Veterans Memorial

Other monuments are those of Andres Bonifacio, the founder of the Katipunan revolutionary movement and Ramon Magsaysay, the well-loved former Philippine president who died in a plane crash at Mount Manunggal, Balamban, Cebu, Philippines.

Plaza Independencia Playground

Part of the park is a playground behind Fort San Pedro, the smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the country. The spacious playground features a children's playground, a beach volleyball court, and several traditional Pinoy games such as takyan and sungka. This part is known as the Plaza Recoletos and could be regarded as either an extension of Plaza Independencia or a totally different park on its own.

Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Philippines
SVD Beach Volleyball Court

Under the big tree are customized takyan courts. Instructions on how to play this team play variation of takyan are placed near the big tree in the middle of the field.

Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Philippines
Takyan play area

On the far end are custom-made sungka boards. Instructions on how to play the traditional Pinoy game are posted near the play area.

Plaza Independencia in Cebu City Philippines

Popular Public Park

Plaza Independencia is popular among locals as there are no fees charged for visitors. On Sundays, the park turns into a popular dating place. On weekdays, it is a popular hangout for students, most of whom do rehearsals for their school activities. Joggers also frequent the place specially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Most tourists pass by the public plaza when they visit Fort San Pedro. The park's popularity experienced an even bigger resurgence after renovations were made in the early 2000s. It now has a neater look, better lighting at night, and made more secure with roving patrols.

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