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In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi came back to the Philippine archipelago after almost 5 decades from the death of Ferdinand Magellan. Under the direct order via New Spain (Mexico) by the Spanish King Philip II to colonize and christianized the islands, Legaspi, brought with him Fray Andres de Urdaneta to convert the natives to Christianity, landed in Cebu to establish Spain’s dominion over the archipelago. Upon reaching the Philippines, he established the country’s first dry-dock complex in the shorelines along barangay Tipolo, about a few meters from the current location of the San Miguel Brewery Complex. This facility repaired the armada of Legaspi notably the San Pedro (Capitanes or the flag ship) about 5 tons, the San Pablo (Almirante) about 400 tons, the San Juan about 5 tons and the San Lucas (a patache or advance boat weighing 40 tons.) The San Lucas, however, according to Fray Gaspar de San Agustin’s – “Conquestas de las Islas Filipinas” never arrived with the rest of the group of Legaspi’s armada in the Philippines after being dispatched as a advanced ship and failed to return back to the armada.

In the hills of Jagobiao, a 27 hectare government medical institution was constructed in 1930. This is not an ordinary medical center, but intended for people who suffered from Hansen’s disease (kitong or sangla in local dialect). During the American colonial years in the Philippines, this kind of disease was everywhere and considered to be perilous. There’s a need to monitor, control and contain this disease to prevent it from spreading to an alarming rate. Only one institution designated to handle this problem especially those with serious cases, and this was located in Culion, Palawan. Government officials find it necessary to create a regional center assigned to take charge of these problems regionally. Before the construction of the center in 1930, a small medical center near the present Carreta’s cemetery was responsible of tackling this problem in Cebu. It could not fully functioned well due to the
size of the facility was to small to cater the patients and the center was inside a populated area of the city which is in danger of exposing the people to this dangerous Hansen disease. The need to construct a sanitarium has then resulted a campaign in the U.S. to fund the project. Mr. Eversley Childs of New York donated the funds for the sanitarium thus bringing the name Eversley Childs Sanitarium. The complex was developed beautifully that you could not expect it as a sanitarium. The buildings were constructed by U.S. military engineers which until now shows no sign of deterioration. The complex can accommodate of up to 1,000 patients where they were housed in a well secluded dormitories. The area is so clean that it was even voted second most cleanest hospital in the Philippines and found admiration in and outside the country. The staff was composed of a Director, health aids, social workers, doctors and nurses about 47 – 50 in all.

Presently, Hansen’s disease are becoming so rare that out of almost 1,000 patients in the past, there are only about more or less 200 left including those old cured patients who no longer want to go outside for fear of being mocked by the public due to their displeasing appearances. The number of patients in Eversley Childs Sanitarium continued to decline.

San Miguel Brewery, Incorporated, now San Miguel Corporation established its first soft drink plant outside Manila in Cebu City. The Cebu Royal Plant was established in 1940 and it became operational on November of 1941 under the management of Mr. J.B. Preysler. Main product of this plant was soft drinks – Coca-Cola and Royal and distributor of beer in Visayas and Mindanao.

When World War II came, it fell to the hands of the Japanese Military Government. A new line of soft drink was bottled, using vinegar extract for carbonation and a new management was formed under Mr. Jose Corrales.

The rehabilitation of the Cebu Plant was effected after the liberation in 1945 and reopened in 1946. In 1949, it bought the franchise for ice production and distribution and named it the Visayan Ice and Cold Storage Plant besides the old Cebu Royal Plant along Martires Street. It did not last long because Magnolia sales office was opened in 1954 and produced ice cream, frozen delights and Anchor butter. Due to the economic growth at that time and increase of demand of their products, San Miguel expanded its operations still in Cebu due to its center of economic activities in Central and Southern Philippines. Mandaue was then selected as the site of the new modern complex. The year 1964 was the start of the construction and eventually inaugurated in February 8, 1968. From that year on, SMC became a landmark, not only in Mandaue but in the entire province. The industrial complex, about 27.1 hectares was like a village of its own. It is self-supporting. It occupies of what use to be farmlands in Tipolo. It has its own automotive repairs and maintenance shop and training center, warehouses for materials and ingredients used in the products of the different plants, glass plant, engineering building, a fire station and security office, sports facilities such as pelota, basketball and tennis courts, training center for the physical and intellectual upliftment of its 3,000 or so employees, staff houses for key official who are on call, a water treatment plant, a fuel treatment plant, gasoline station, LPG tank farm, fuel tanks, paint vault and storage building, BMD sales office and bodega, industrial gas storage shed, a cullet crushing shed, a GSD central stores, medical clinic, guest house, a metal closure plant, plastic case plant, power plant and a wharf which is about 2.5 kilometers from the complex.

The channel has a depth of 8 to 9 fathoms. It is the principal shipping route of the north south inter-island shipping. The channel opens into the Camotes Sea which forms the channel’s northern boundary and a mute witness of the historic spectacle at dawn of Saturday, April 27, 1521. Before the construction of the old bridge begun, when one goes to the coast of Mandaue especially near the area of the present two bridges, one’s eyes would feast on vessels of different colors and sizes powered by outboard motors or sails or both that ply between Mandaue and Opon, Camotes, Leyte and Masbate. Mactan Channel’s boundary is shared by the cities of Mandaue and Lapulapu.