Cebu has always been known as the ‘Queen City of the South’. It is a source of the Cebuano people’s pride. To be called as such means that Cebu is recognized as one of the finest cities not just in Visayas but in the whole country.
But Cebu did not hold this title at first. More than a hundred years ago, it was the city of Iloilo who held this prestige for being the center of trade, history and culture.
Why should Cebu be called the Queen City of the South?
Should Iloilo take it back since it’s legally theirs?
Iloilo first held the title when Queen Regent Maria Cristina of Spain formally granted Iloilo the title ‘La muy noble’ (the noble) on March 1, 1898 in appreciation of the Ilonggos’ noble virtue of chivalry. Through the years, Iloilo earned the reputation of being “The Queen’s Favored City in the South” or simply “Queen’s City in the South”.
Overtime, Iloilo’s growth has been in moderate, stagnant pace while its neighbor, Cebu, with its fierce economic progress, slowly overtook Iloilo to become the South’s leading province after the World War II.
Cebu eclipsed Iloilo and from then on, people started calling the province the ‘Queen City of the South’, seemingly oblivious to the fact that it was Iloilo who legally holds the title.
Does Cebu deserve the title? Obviously, yes.
But should the title ‘Queen City of the South’ be legally declared?
Currently, it’s just how people call Cebu. There are no legal titles to legitimize the name, like how Kathryn Bernardo is hailed as the Philippine Drama Princess which was held by some other ex-popular actress in the past.
Should another Visayan city surpass Cebu’s progress, the title would certainly be transferred again though it’s still Iloilo that holds the legal title.
The pride of our own city’s identity is something that has been part of the Filipinos’ culture since our country is fragmented by seas and divided by different regions and languages. Cebu deserves the title, but at the cost of another province’s prestige. Is it justified?
Should we just create another name just for Cebu? Surely, the ‘Queen City’ title has stuck in the Filipinos’ minds for a long time that it’s hard to erase but maybe it’s worth the try?