Downtown Cebu is home to the country's oldest street, Colon. Named after Christopher Columbus by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565, Colon used to be the financial and commercial hub of Cebu for the last four hundred years until the introduction of mall cum entertainment centers in the early nineties in the uptown district.
I don't deny the antiquitated lifestyle I have now but I still find downtown an easy hunt for binging on new wears or to look around for quick bargains on just about anything.
But a more specific liking for downtown is not only on its rich sense of history but also its industry. It was downtown Cebu that popularized some of the best brands in food, retail and wearables Cebuanos can easily relate to. If you like dimsum, Ding How was the first to introduce to the Cebuano tastebuds the irresistable Steam Rice Topping, Siomai, Lumpia and other Chinese dumplings. Harbor Dimsum and Dimsum Break are a few of the most successful brands Ding How has produced for both the diner and the fastfood lover.
In case you haven't known, the Gaisanos were first to introduce all-in-one retail lifestyle to the Cebuano shopper who want to look for everything in one place that it once became a cliche that to go shopping or buying groceries means "mo-gaisano." They are known across the country in brands like Metro Gaisano, Gaisano South and Gaisano Inc.
Another popular retail brand, Rose Pharmacy, now with over a hundred outlets nationwide, also owes its success to downtown when it opened on Colon and Juan Luna Streets sometime in the seventies.
The glamour of this bustling district may have lost its glitter but it is still bustling anyhow - and that is the most important thing. When some of us no longer find fashionable or simply find it unglamorous and disconcerting to be found shopping in the area, think again -- shopping isn't always about social identification it is about how much you can buy for less money. This is what downtown Cebu has been known for, practical -- a virtue also the Sugbuanon is known for as well.
Above all, the reason why we need to revisit the place because Cebu will never come to where it is now without it. Downtown is a place where we can look back to for us to learn how many of our homegrown businesses found their names in the minds of the consumers nationwide.
If you get the chance, try downtown. It's really worth it.
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