From Singapore, our city adventure continues here at Cebu. After 3 hours and 50 mins., we finally landed at Mactan International Airport. We were a bit confused because Cebu is so similar to Manila. However, the traffic here was not bad. It only took 30 mins. from Mactan City to our hotel in Cebu City via taxi.
For our 2-night stay, we checked-in at Summit Circle Cebu. It is conveniently located on top of Robinsons Fuente Mall and is within short driving distance to Cebu’s key attractions: Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Sto. Nino, Taboan Market, and Cebu’s pristine white beaches, just to name a few.
We got an air-conditioned room (3 single-type beds) with cabled TV, small fridge (I wasn’t able to get a good picture because the room was too long and spacious), and free buffet breakfast for the entire stay! We only paid P2,800 (total for 3pax)
very late lunch at Zubuchon, One Mango Mall
Your Cebu trip will not be complete if you haven’t tried Zubuchon’s “the best pig… ever”. Luckily, there is a branch near our hotel.
We ordered a kilo of lechon (P490 – during that time) and it is good for 3 hungry people or 2 very hungry version of myself.
Zubuchon’s lechon, compared to the usual lechon in Manila, is juicy and succulent; its skin is golden-brown and crispy.
[Time check: 4pm] We officially started our 2-day Cebu City tour at Magallanes area. This is where the famous landmarks of Cebu are located. We took a jeepney going to Plaza Sugbo – the fare is cheaper compared to Manila.
Magellan’s Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese, and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu on March 15 , 1521.
Basílica Minore del Santo Niño, commonly known as the Santo Niño Basilica, is founded in the 1565.
It is the oldest Roman Catholic church established in the country on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú, a statue depicting the Child Jesus was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
The present building, which was completed from 1739-1740, has housed the oldest religious image in the country ever since.
Inside the Basilica
We went to Cebu’s Business district (looks like a BGC in the making). Also, the people in Ayala Center are so posh. They dress better than the shoppers at Greenbelt (sorry for comparing). We had dinner at Army Navy and bought a lot of junkfood for our HBO movie fest in our hotel – because we were so deprived in our Singapore trip. HAHA!
Our (semi) second day wasn’t that good. We did some research on what to do or where to go in Cebu City, unfortunately, all we saw were “Magellan’s Cross” “light a candle at The Basillica” and “buy pasalubong at Taboan market”.
However, we saw some posts that there’s an island hopping tour in Mactan area. So, we rode a jeep going to Mactan City(ShangriLa area). There were tricycles with “Island Hopping & Snorkeling” signage and a kuya offered us a complete island hopping tour with an exclusive boat for 5,000php (for 3 pax). Of course we didn’t agreed with the price as we only had 1000php per pax island hopping tour in Puerto Princesa. After minutes of haggling, we agreed to pay 3000php as long as they tour us on the said areas/islands. So we were brought to the port (it was already 10am) and our tour started with snorkeling. The water was a bit lurky but there were plenty of fishes and coral reefs -Puerto Princesa’s snorkeling site was way better.
Since we finished at around 11am, we were brought to a floating restaurant.
We had Lapu-Lapu Sinigang , Sweet & Sour Lapu-Lapu and steamed crab. Our total bill reached 1,200php, well, it was delicious so it was worth it. After an hour, we were brought to a different snorkeling spot but we couldn’t see the fishes.
Then, the kuya told us that it was already high tide (really, at 2pm?!) so he couldn’t bring us to the other islands and we were brought to this public beach (which is an inclusion to the tour) – SERIOUSLY?
Since this is the last destination, the kuya already asked for the payment. We were so disappointed and we told him that we will only pay half of the price (since we had an agreement that we will pay him 3,000php, given that we will be toured in the spots that he mentioned). After 30 minutes of talking (and almost shouting), we agreed to pay him 2,000php. His boss explained that this is the cost of gas and snorkeling equipment – OKAY. Move on, let go.
Lapu-Lapu shrine is a 20 metres (66 ft) bronze statue ( in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines, erected in honor of Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who defeated Spanish soldiers led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 1521 Battle of Mactan.
From the public beach, we rode a jeepney going to Mactan Park complex. There’s an area full of stalls which sell souvenirs. We bought shirts and magnets (the pasalubong tradition of course).
The Magellan shrine is a large memorial tower erected in 1866 in honor of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The spot is believed to be the area where Magellan was killed in the Battle of Mactan on 1521, Philippines.
Tired and disappointed, we returned to our hotel after eating at a near fastfood chain. We just enjoyed the pool in our hotel and made a bunch of videos to survive our last night.
Summit Circle’s pool is open until 10pm
After having our breakfast, we decided to buy some pasalubong at Taboan Market.
Oh, the sweet smell of dried fish!
Taboan Market is really famous for are the dried fish stores that abound the area with the sought after pasalubong, danggit. There are also stores which sells delicacies ranging from otap,rosquillos, chicharon, bottled bagoong of different kinds, dried mangoes and anythig you can think of when you think of Cebu.
Price range per kilo:
Danggit – (unsalted) P730; (salted) P700
Pusit – (medium sized) P780; (large) P830
Spada – P580
Fish Tapa -P380
Don’t worry, you could buy it per gram (guhit) and you could also haggle for a lower price. Also, the plastic bags are vacuum sealed.
Right after we took a bath (goodbye, danggit smell) we packed our bags and proceed to the Sky Observatory at the 38th floor of Crown Regency Hotel & Towers – just a walking distance from our hotel.
There’s an entrance fee of 250php, the rides and other amenities are charged separately. For the complete list & details of their amenities, kindly visit Sky Experience Adventure’s website.
Afterwards, we had lunch at Razon’s before checking out form our hotel.
It’s still early to go to the airport so we decided to hang-out at a cafe. We went to Sprockets Cafe located at J. Block Apitong St. Escario, Cebu City (for the whole story, kindly click this link).
Tips: Cebu & Mactan City tour could be done in one day. Suggested beach site in Cebu is Malapascua island, but you must make arrangements beforehand since this is 5-6 hrs. away from the city proper. If you would like to see a picturesque waterfall and see some friendly whalesharks, book a tour in Oslob. For a relaxing stay at Cebu, why not try having a staycation at Shangri La Mactan or Movenpick.
Overall, our Cebu trip wasn’t that bad since we discovered ways on how to enjoy ourselves. Also, do plan ahead and do a lot of research to save money and time.