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Plaza Independencia plays a significant role in the history of Cebu. The site symbolizes the
independence and freedom of the province against its conquerors. Today, it was reflected to the
people visiting the place for sightseeing, picture taking, and leisure time.
Strategically located in downtown Cebu City right beside Fort San Pedro and near the
Magellan’s Cross and the Cebu City Port, it is easy to spot for every travellers.
From the course of the years, Plaza Independencia plays different functions to the rich history of
Cebu and was renamed many times. Originally called Plaza de Armas in 1600 when the plaza
was used as a military training and parade ground. It later had its expansion to reach nearby
properties of the Cathedral of Cebu and was called Plaza Mayor. During the Spanish era, its
name was changed to Plaza Maria Cristina in honor of the prevailing queen in 1855. Its name
was changed again to Plaza Libertad during the American colonial period and became a symbol
of Cebuano liberation from the Spanish rule. When all colonizers left the country, the plaza
became the well known Plaza Independencia to acknowledge its true freedom
There came a time when the plaza suffered from security and environmental management
issues which the government solved in 2007. It reopened in 2011 and became a haven for local
and foreign tourists. The plaza was revamped with a modern design that responds to the
transformative and economically competitive Cebu.
Located at the heart of the plaza is an obelisk built as a tribute to Spanish conqueror Miguel
Lopez de Legazpi, founder of the first Spanish settlement on Cebu in April 1565. A bronze
statue of the seventh President Ramon Magsaysay also stand at the plaza. The Plaza
Independencia also reminisces and commemorates the heroism of every Filipino who fought in
World War II in its Veteran’s Memorial monument. Another cultural site is the Fort San Pedro
enclosed within Plaza Independencia ground.
Plaza Independencia Today
The oldest and largest civic space of Cebu has also changed since 1600. Today, the century-
old site has been refurbished with a modern design alligned to the jovial and care-free spirit of
Cebuanos mirrored in the daily gatherings in the park.
Tourists can partake fun-filled activities like early morning jogging, daytime picnic, sunset
viewing, sightseeing, and evening leisure. The plaza is a popular hangout place filled with
acacia trees, ornamental plants and flowers.