Cebu (sebu Cebuano: Sugbu) is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas (Region VII) region, and consists of a main island and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, "the Queen City of the South", the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government. The Cebu Metropolitan Area or Metro Cebu is formed by 7 neighboring cities (Carcar City, Cebu City, Danao City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Naga City, and Talisay City) and 6 municipalities (Compostela, Consolacion, Cordova, Liloan, Minglanilla, and San Fernando). Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines with Metro Cebu being the second largest metropolitan area in the Philippines (after Metro Manila) and Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for business processing services, tourism, shipping, furniture-making, and heavy industry.
Cebu Island is the 126th largest island in the world. Cebu Island itself is long and narrow, stretching 196 kilometres (122 mi) from north to south and 32 kilometres (20 mi) across at its widest point. It has narrow coastlines, limestone plateaus and coastal plains. It also has rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges traversing the northern and southern lengths of the island. Cebu's highest mountains are over 1,000 metres (3,300 ft) high. Flat tracts of land can be found in the city of Bogo and in the towns of San Remigio, Medellin and Daanbantayan at the northern region of the province. The island's area is 4,468 square kilometres (1,725 sq mi), making it the 9th largest island in the Philippines. It supports over 3.5 million people, of which 2.3 million live in Metro Cebu. Beaches, coral atolls, islands, and rich fishing grounds surround Cebu. Coal was first discovered in Cebu about 1837. There were 15 localities over the whole island, on both coast; some desultory mining had been carried out Naga near Mount Uling, but most serious operations were at Licos and Camansi west of Compostela and Danao. Active work ceased about 1895 with insurrections, and no production worked for more than ten years. A topographic and geologic survey of Compostela, Danao and Carmen took place in 1906. The Compostela-Danao coalfield contained about six million workable tons. The tramroads, one from Danao to Camansi, one from Compostela to Mount Licos, were undertaken in 1895, together with a wagon road built in 1877, from Cotcot to Dapdap.