Freeman Cebu Business

Mandaue City: Cebu’s new epicenter

TRADE FORUM - Chris Malazarte - The Freeman

When I was a little kid, Dad used to take us to Birhen sa Regla in erstwhile Opon now Lapu-Lapu City. To get to the church, you take either the barge or pass through Mactan Bridge. I always insisted that we take the bridge because I was always fascinated by the “gigantic beer” right on top of the San Miguel Brewery building. It was perhaps the tallest, not to mention the hugest structure at that time awing any onlooker from below. 

I always asked Dad how they were able to put up the oversized bottle and why they put it up there. I remember Dad, a good story teller, simply said “Well…you know, there’s a giant in there who makes beer in the morning and comes out at night to take a drink so he could sleep.”

 And now that Dad has left, I can only wish that he saw this new giant emerging from a long slumber – the city of Mandaue. He would have been proud to see where we also came from. Part of us is actually a Mandauehanon and many of our relatives still live and work there. 

 I used to say that I will never live in this city surrounded by the burble of churning machines and smoke stacks. But I was wrong. The way things are going in here, you will discover that Mandaue is the place where work and play converge. Mandaue has the potential to become the new or even the next hub of Cebu being naturally the most proximate to vital infrastructure like the airport and seaport. 

It is not only bustling with industry but also with life that will equally compete with Cebu city in terms of trade, leisure, and entertainment. As it is now, it is teeming with shopping malls, places to unwind, fine hotels, state of the art hospitals, top universities, and many other places to move around. Something to look forward to is the Waterworld Cebu, which is another tourist come-on for the city.

 I had the privilege to visit an upcoming restobar located at the 19th floor of the Toyoko Hotel on A.S. Fortuna called The Industry and I would like to thank, by the way, Mr. Justin Uy and Mr. Art Lo, for showing me around to this new chill-out place where you get to see a bird’s eye view of the seaside and the mountainside of the metropolis. What is so especially interesting is the magnificent and sparkling view of Mandaue by night, which speaks of the city’s strength not only as a seat of labor and production but her accomplishment as a commercial and tourist destination.

No wonder, posh real estate developments are a hit as Mandaue can now offer the creature comforts in urban dwelling and lifestyle.

 What makes Mandaue so different now compared to some two decades back is that it is more organized and well planned. Of course, traffic is still tight in some parts of the city but it is nothing compared to Los Angeles which means there is always a price to progress. But I am also just as excited as anyone to see the third bridge done. Traffic will considerably ease up in Mandaue as motorists from the south will be happier to take the South Road Properties via the Cordova-Cebu Bridge to get them to the airport or any part of Mactan.

 If you’re from Cebu city and thinking of moving to Mandaue to live or work for the long term, you are not alone. I have been seriously thinking about it too because Mandaue will eventually be as progressive as Cebu city and way better in terms of access to key cities to north, south, east and west side of the province.

Thus, I would like to say that Mandaue will be “The New Economic Epicenter of Cebu” owing to its industrial, commercial, tourist attractions, as well as being the point of exit and entry to anywhere in the province. 

 Maybe we should also thank the local government officials of the city, both the past and present leadership for paving the way to make Mandaue a better place to do business and a tourist-friendly city.

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