I grew up in Cebu, and when I talk about my city, I usually take pride in its warm and friendly people, although this describes us Filipinos in general. I could list thousands of reasons why I am a proud Cebuana. However, among those thousands, I am most proud of my city’s colorful history. Cebu is the first Catholic city in the Philippines and in Asia. When the Spaniards planted its Catholic cross in my island in 1521, it gave birth to a culture very distinctly and uniquely Cebuano evident in our food, language, religious practices and grand architecture.
Hence, it didn’t surprise me when I felt very comfortable walking around Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. It felt like Fort San Pedro in Plaza Indepedencia, only on a more massive scale! The structure, built of coquina which is a type of limestone made from seashells, is impressively well-preserved. The castillo’s walls were enormous and looking down, re-enactors and historians in period dress roam around the grounds.
The fort was packed with kids on a school tour the day we visited. While most people found that annoying, I thought it was incredible. It is always hopeful to see kids visiting museums and invest their interests in learning history and culture. Their excitement over the scheduled cannon firing was contagious.
Castillo de San Marcos is said to be the oldest masonry fort in the United States. It was constructed by the Spanish to fortify the garrison town from English attacks. It is now more than 300 years old and is listed as a National Museum.
Traveller’s Note: What made this trip stood out from the rest was our barbecue lunch at Mojo BBQ. Hubby and I both agree that the barbecue tips we had was our absolute favorite and nothing yet had top that culinary experience.