Why is Cebu City called the Queen City of the South?

For the longest time, I’ve always proudly called Cebu City as the Queen City of the South. Most attribute it to Cebu being a rising city in the Philippines. This is true in many aspects, but many point to the city’s economic growth. This explanation never sat well with me. There has to be a story on how we got decreed Queen City.

As many of you may know, Iloilo was allegedly the original title holder of Queen City of the South. Here’s an excerpt of the Wikipedia entry on Iloilo City:

Moved by the Ilonggos’s loyalty [to Spain], the Queen Regent Maria Cristina honored the city of Iloilo (in the name of her son King Alfonso III) with the title Muy Noble. The Royal Decree granting the perpetual title Muy Noble was signed on 1 March 1898 by the Queen Regent.Over time, this title earned for Iloilo City the reputation of it being “The Queen’s Favored City in the South” or simply “Queen’s City in the South” (a title Iloilo City still claims, but is now more attributed to Cebu City for reason of economic progress, after that city eclipsed the economy of Iloilo during the aftermath of its economic decline).

It’s likely true that Iloilo was the original bearer of the name Queen City of the South, but I’m more interested with how Cebu City got that name.

queen city of the south.jpg

There are so many questions to ask.

What’s the story in the name? It has to be more than just being an economic powerhouse in the Philippines. There has to be someone who popularized it not only to Cebuanos, but to the rest of the Philippines. I’m guessing a good place to start would be to try to find the earliest mention of Queen City of the South referring to Cebu City. Many people smarter than me would know where to look.  If you have any insight, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

In the meantime, Queen City of the South just sounds plain cool. We’re happy to claim it as our own. A few years ago, we did just that with a favorite Zerothreetwo tee, the Queen City Tee. Since many of you loved the shirt, we decided to make cap versions of the famous phrase.

Be the first to get the Queen City 5 Panel Snapback Cap by pre-ordering at the Assembly Online. We deliver anywhere JRS delivers, so basically the whole Philippines. Oh… did we mention? Free delivery.

By November 9, 2015, pre-order price ends. Soon after, these caps will be available in all Zerothreetwo stockists.

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