Many Cebuanos, especially those that are less westernized or those who live in the rural areas are firm believers in the existence of evil spirits. Despite the fact that Catholicism and Islam has penetrated into the region, most Cebuanos still hold firmly to their traditional beliefs and customs. They believe that evil spirits can appear in physical form and cast a spell on someone so that the person falls sick. The Cebuanos believe that the evil spirits can only be driven away by the recitation of prayers in Spanish and Latin and use of holy water and the crucifix. Cebuano comes from the Spanish word Sugbo, which means to walk in water. Most travelers who arrived at the Cebu port would walk through the shallow waters to the sea shore. Cebuano refers to any person who speaks the language, regardless of where they are from.
Cebuano is most popularly referred to as Binisaya by its speakers and Visayan in English. Cebuano or Binisaya refers to languages that are spoken in Cebu, Mindinao, Negros, Oriental, Bohol and some parts of Samar and Leyte. Cebuano is an Austronesian language that is spoken in the Philippines by approximately 20 million people. The language is also spoken in the USA. It is closely elated to other Filipino languages. Even though the language is not taught in schools, a large percentage of the population speak the language. It is one of the main 3 languages spoken in the Philippines in addition to Filipino and Tagalog. Different dialects have different names for the language. Ethnic groups from Bohol refer to the language as Bol-anon while the Leyte refer to the language as Kana. Cebuano has loan words from English, Arabic, Islamic and Spanish. Two different systems of spellings are used when writing the langauge. These are the Bisaya Standard, which was mainly used in the past and the Tamdanan Standard, which is more modern.
Cebuano is one among the 75 languages that can be found in the Philippines. Ethnic languages in the Philippines fall under two main categories: Central or Mesophilippine and northern or Cordilleran. Cebuano falls under the central category.