Cebu... B?

Cebu Travel Blog

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Lapu-Lapu Monument

 

The Holy Week break is definitely a great opportunity for Filipinos to travel. Since it always falls during summer season, popular destinations are always waterfronts. And my country is lucky enough to be blessed with thousands of islands home to beautiful beaches.

 

Days flew so fast that I just woke up one day realizing it's just four days before the vacation, and nothing has been planned yet. Immediately I checked on the flight availability to Boracay, Palawan and Davao, hoping that they were still open. But as expected, they were overly overbooked. My last choice was a destination with the most number of flights in a day (which follows that there were still seats available), Cebu.

The Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills
I had been to this island about five years ago and i felt like I've had it, and there are just no reasons to come back anymore. Left with no choice, fully aware that it's a mortal sin not to travel on Holy Week, I called it a go.

 

If it's for any consolation, seven friends called me up and expressed their willingness to join this trip. Luckily, one of them came up with a brilliant idea of hopping to the island of Bohol via a ferry. Now everything was getting better! And so flight tickets and hotel rooms were booked, phoned a Cebu-based friend, and arranged a day tour with a local guide in Bohol, we were all set for a more exciting Holy Week trip.


 

March 20, Thurdays. We took the earliest flight out of Manila at 430AM, and arrived in Cebu after an hour.

Sea Foods at Sutukil
The sun has not even risen yet and we were already in our destination. I was impressed at how tourist-friendly Mactan-Cebu airport is. Just a few steps from the exit of the terminal, we found this metered-taxi counter, something which cannot be found in Manila airport. Here, tourists are protected as plate numbers of cabs overpricing their passengers are written on a board in the loading area. Good start for an impression!


 

Diplomat Hotel was just 30-minute ride from the airport. The taxi driver explained that our hotel has the perfect location. It was seconded when we found out from the hotel receptionist that a handful of restaurants, bars, supermarkets and banks are just walking-distance from where we were. More to our delight, our room had three single beds which is not usual to Filipino hotels, or at least to those abroad that I have seen. Hungry and drained, we just dropped our back packs in our rooms and decided to eat breakfast at a nearby Mc Donald's.

Taoist Temple
After the meal, we went for a walk in Osmena Road (one of the main roads in Cebu) and checked on what to the area has to offer. After a few minutes of walking and sightseeing, we discovered a mini street that led us back to our hotel, a short-cut in fact.


 

Wow, Cebuanos are really friendly! You could see smiling faces everywhere. Perhaps these people know we were not locals from our Tagalog conversations (Manilenos speak Tagalog while Cebuanos communicate with Bisaya).


 

After a couple of hours of “power nap”, we all met in the hotel lobby at 1030AM. Our service van, which was generously accorded to us by a friend, was already waiting outside the hotel. We met our driver Renjie who cannot speak fluently, but understands Tagalog.

Taoist Temple
But good thing we complemented each other for I can speak little but completely comprehend Bisaya. I communicated with Renjie in Bisaya but my friends were laughing at my accent so I decided to just speak in Tagalog. After all, Renjie didn't need an interpreter anyway.


 

He drove us to Beverly Hills where one famous landmark is located- The Cebu Taoist Temple. I have always admired the richness of Chinese cultures and religion. Attractions here consist of huge, colorful dragon, a replica of the Great Wall of China, spacious balconies offering scenic views, souvenir shops, mini library with instructional materials, and dozens of escalating steps. The temple was so solemn that we were not allowed to take pictures of most parts.


 

From Beverly Hills, we went to Mactan Island to visit the historic Lapu-Lapu Shrine.

My group
It is an open-air park that was built to commemorate the heroism of Lapu-Lapu against the Spanish invaders led by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521. There were pictures that depicted the battle that Lapu- Lapu and his men triumphed in the very area where the shrine is located. There was also a bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu erected in the early 40's. What a good way reminisce the greatness of Philippine's first heroes!


 

Not so far from the shrine is one of Cebu's most popular place for dining- the Sutukil! It is home to chain of restaurants that will let you choose whatever you want cooked from stalls of fresh fish, prawns, crabs, seaweeds, shells, clams and even lobsters. These seafood are as fresh as seafood can be and the crabs and lobsters on display are still alive as you pick which ones you want cooked.


 

After we ordered garlic prawns, sizzling squid, clam soup, seaweeds salad, red eggs and tomatoes, and friend crabs, we chose the best spot of the resto.

colorful starfish
The eatery was open-air where one will dine in full view of the Mactan seawaters and rows upon rows of mangroves. After 15 minutes, our orders were all served. I will not elaborate further as I will make a review on Cebu Sutukil, but I will have to say the view from your table can somehow compensate for expectations from food that were not met.


 

Since we were already in Mactan Island, it was but a must to visit Cebu City's prime resorts. Not so far from Sutukil are Shangri-La Mactan Island Resort and the Hilton Cebu Resort and Spa. These two are the most popular resorts here. Why not? Both offer world-class facilities and beach resorts for people who are up to complete R and R, and exclusivity. But I I were to choose between the two, Shangri-La is undoubtedly the winner!


 

We went back to our hotel for a wash-up as our Cebu-based friend (who owns our service van) had called and invited us for dinner.

being serenaded at sutukil
We met him at The Cebu Country Club where he treated us for a sumptuous dinner. He introduced us to some native dish which we all found a hit. With a cozy dining set up of the country club, and good view of the golf course, it was one dinner we wished could be done nightly.


 

After the dinner, we went back to the hotel and called it a night. We had to rest early as another day packed of activities is waiting for us. But so far, Cebu proves to be an absolute destination of choice.






cax says:
I love Cebu...the taxi counter at the airport must be new, I never noticed it last winter. My friend escorted me through the pirates and into a metered taxi....so maybe I just didn't notice it. But then again, the airport is not that big :)

Acctually I had no problems with taxi drivers trying to overprise or being unable to change notes, none what so ever. Which unfortunately I can not say about Manila....so yes Cebuano's just are that bit more friendly...and I'm looking forward to rejoining my nice bed at the Mariott Cebu 3 weeks from now..and exploreing the city once again :)
Posted on: Apr 01, 2008
the_bloodsucker says:
thanks, ate! =D
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
Isabetlog says:
"What a good way reminisce the greatness of Philippine's first heroes!" - what a far cry from the leaders we've had the past 2 decades :(

Congratulations on this pala Kuya! I can't believe I missed it! :D
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
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Lapu-Lapu Monument
Lapu-Lapu Monument
The Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills
The Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills
Sea Foods at Sutukil
Sea Foods at Sutukil
Taoist Temple
Taoist Temple
Taoist Temple
Taoist Temple
My group
My group
colorful starfish
colorful starfish
being serenaded at sutukil
being serenaded at sutukil
the very pink hilton resort
the very pink hilton resort
hiltons easter bunny
hilton's easter bunny
easter bunny
easter bunny
hiltons pink jeepney
hilton's pink jeepney
shari-la cebu
shari-la cebu
shari-la cebu
shari-la cebu
hiltons
hilton's
Cebu Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Sea Food Galore at Sutukil
Sutukil is Cebu’s version of Manila’s Dampa or Seaside (my review- http://www.travbuddy.com/Seaside-v192204). Located just right beside the Lapu-… read entire review
72 km (45 miles) traveled
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photo by: TravellinChic