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Roads of Antiquity – Colon Street
Colon Street is a very busy and crowded street in downtown Cebu City. It is proudly known as the oldest street in the Philippines. It was named after Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus). Colon Street was built during the time of the Spanish colonization. It was developed by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the Spanish explorer who arrived in the Philippines in 1565.
Colon Street, a bit run-down now, used to be the heart of Cebu’s shopping and business district. It was the central site of fashionable shops, boutiques, restaurants, offices and movie houses. In recent years though, with the American mall culture arriving in the Philippines in the 1990s, there was a significant shift of activity to the uptown malls and business establishments. Still, Colon is presently a huge and vital site of economic activity as shoppers of all walks of life still flock to Colon to search for cheap, economical goods to get more value for their money.
Colon Street became the center for commercial activities in downtown Cebu. Over the years, it continued as the lifeline of trade and commerce in colonial Cebu. It was also the place where numerous significant social and cultural events took place.
Through the years, Colon has seen the varying phases of the economic and political atmosphere of Cebu. Many universities such as the University of San Carlos, University of Cebu, University of the Visayas, and the University of San Jose-Recoletos were built near or along Colon Street, as it was identified as the center of commerce and trade.
It was in Colon that many businesses were first established and had grown to enormous success. Many businessmen still believe in the profitability and business potential of investing in Colon.
Presently, Colon is lined with numerous food and business establishments. A busy and active place during day and night, Colon is filled with shopping malls, fast food and commonplace restaurants, fashion boutiques, surplus shops, bargain stores and movie houses. It is even said that almost anything can be found in Colon, and you can have it for a much, much cheaper price, too.
There is an annual tiangge (open-air market) held in Colon since 2000. This definitely attracts crowds of shoppers, which double in numbers. Christmastime is also a great place to visit Colon, with the many shopping and dining choices available. People can shop for clothes, bags, jewelry, school supplies, electronic supplies, hardware, groceries, and much more. Colon is the very economical choice for shopping for various items, as you can get more and pay less.An obelisk detailing Colon Street’s historical significance was constructed on its northern end. In the hearts of most Cebuanos, past and present, are memories of this street. Especially for today’s elders, they have many memories of how Colon Street used to be when they were younger. Indeed, Colon seems to be a witness of many worlds of time. For Cebu, Colon Street is familiar to the mind and close to the heart.