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The original inhabitants of Cebu were native people in the area who have not been introduced thoroughly in to the recorded history of the area. Cebu (originally called Zubu and then Sugbo) was first conquered by European settlers when the Spaniards reached the island in the beginning of the sixteenth century. This took place first when the famous explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, under direction of King Charles of Aragon, reached the area at the end of a sixteen month period of travel. Landing in Cebu, the settlers established the site as a point on their international trade route.
At that time, the Spaniards attempted to conquer the native people. Although many were converted to the religion of the Spaniards, as is reflected in the historic religious architecture of the area, the natives were able to drive out the Spaniards at that time. However, by the end of the sixteenth century, Spain had conquered the natives and completely taken over Cebu. Cebu was ruled by Spain until the end of the nineteenth century when it was taken over by America. Its importance to the history of America lies primarily in its use during World War II.