"There is more in Mactan Island than chilling at the beach."
If you're heading to Mactan Island from Cebu City, it's either you pass this bridge from Metro Cebu or the other bridge from Mandaue. Both bridges were built to connect Cebu and Mactan Island. I consider Marcelo Fernan Bridge as Cebu's San Francisco bridge.
A 20 meter bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu is located in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City. Lapu-Lapu was the native chieftain of Mactan Island and was believed to be the first Filipino hero because of his resistance against Spanish Colonization led by Ferdinand Magellan. On the same place where his monument is located was where the battle between Magellan's soldiers and Lapu Lapu's people happened. It lies beside the seashores and just around the place are souvenir shops. There are no entrance fees and there are tour guides waiting at the entrance of the park willing to explain to you the history of Mactan and of course, they offer umbrellas for rent worth P20 in case you'll need it.
There are multiple souvenir shops in Mactan Island . There is one in resorts, ports, beside the streets/roads, airport and beside the Lapu-Lapu shrine. You don't want to leave without buying one as your proof of travel or a gift for your family and friends. Make sure you get magnets for your fridge!
The handmade guitars in Mactan Island is very popular that you'll be seeing plenty of guitar stores within its city. The famous guitar store or factory in the island is the Alegre Guitar Factory which is located in Looc-Basak Road, Lapu-Lapu City. The unique thing about this place is that they don't just display or sell guitars. They have someone to welcome you when you enter the place and they'll be explaining the facts about the guitars they build. Music instruments found within the factory are handmade and they also accept customized orders. You'll be able to see the work in processed guitars displayed outside and if you're lucky, you'll be able to see some men working on them. When we entered their store, we were welcomed with a live play of Rondalla from the salesmen which was indeed entertaining! Instruments here come with quite a big price but the quality is worth it. No wonder they they sell their products to outside countries too.
The popular thing to do in Mactan Island is visiting the beach. That is the first thing that comes out from the minds of the people I asked. It's probably because the island has beautiful white sand beaches, numbers of beach resorts and is known for its diving spots as marine sanctuaries are close by. So far, I have visited three resorts in Mactan already. (I have no picture of the 3rd resort I visited: Alta Cebu Resort.) There are numbers of resorts in Mactan Island that you could check out online.
If you are in to island hopping, you can start from Angasil Port or Hilton Port in Punta Engaño. From there, you can rent a boat from some men who are willing to negotiate with you or get a ticket for a ride to Olango Island or Bohol. The last time I went to Hilton Port was when I traveled with my buddies to Olango Island just for a day trip. The tickets going to the island were as low as P20/ person! But the prices may vary depending on the place you'll be going. They don't have big ships here to go to some places so better go to the main port at Cebu City if you're planning to travel very far.