This is the capital city of Cebu and known as the oldest city established by the Spaniards in the country. Tagged as “The Gateway To A Thousand Journeys”, Cebu also holds the second largest international flights in the country. Thus, considered as one of the most enterprising cities in the Philippines.
Cebu happens to be our ancestral province. It feels great to come home and to reunite with relatives I haven’t seen in ages! Staying in our relatives’ houses make our Cebu trips less expensive. Although, I still look forward to visiting Cebu the next time around and staying in a hotel… For a change.
Whenever I’m in Cebu, I make sure to visit “Basilica Minore del Santo Nino” located in the old downtown area of Cebu City to thank the Lord for a safe travel and for the blessings. If you’re fond of going to museums, there’s one inside the Basilica that showcases the history of Christianity in Cebu.
Getting around Cebu City is no sweat! Do as the locals do and ride a jeepney. For the North-South route, take the bus. Or if you want a little comfort, hail a cab! But be forewarned, cab drivers here are no different from Manila cab drivers. They will try to bargain if they notice that you are a tourist. You can opt to get the metered ones instead.
There are a number of shopping centers sprawled in the city as well. The most popular of which are the Gaisano Malls, SM City, Robinsons Place and Ayala Center. Carbon Market on the other hand (which is the largest public market), offer a huge variety of fish, fruits, vegetables, flowers, sweets, handicraft items and dried fishes! And lots of it!
Cebu is known for it’s delicious “Lechon” (Roasted suckling pig). Believed to be the best of its kind in the Philippines, it can be eaten without it’s traditional sauce!They are also known for the “Puso Rice” (rice wrapped in young coconut leaves) which you hold (and eat) like a small bun in your hands. It’s the perfect partner for fried or grilled dishes. It’s not so much the taste of “Puso” that entices you (because it’s basically just your regular rice)… Rather, it’s the entirely unique eating experience!
Every 3rd Sunday of January, the “Sinulog Festival” is celebrated. It is the local way of honoring the Child Jesus. Main thoroughfares around the city are blocked for an all-day and all-night colorful street party.
Now we all know why Cebu has been loved and revisited by many…
“Adto ‘ta sa Cebu”!
Must See (To name a few):
Basilica of Santo Niño (Basilica del Santo Niño (Basilica of the Holy Child), Osmeña Boulevard
Basilica del Santo Niño Museum (open Tue-Sun 08:00-11:45, 13:30-16:45)
Magellan’s Cross – walking distance from the Basilica of Santo Niño
Colon Street – oldest city in the Philippines and enjoy some wonderful worn-out classical buildings dating back to the American Era.
What To Do:
See the scenic view of Cebu City’s skyline, Swim, Shop, Drink, Eat, Laugh, Party
Ostrich Farm inside the Bigfoot Compound
Cebu I.T. Park
Cebu is best from December to May when the weather turns dry. Coolest from December to February, hottest from March to May. The rainy season begins in July bringing torrential downpours that would sometimes inhibit movement.
Wear lightweight clothing. Bring bathing suit, insect repellent, flashlight, sunblock cream, comfortable shoes for walking, rubber slippers for the beach.
Most areas in Cebu are supplied with 220 volts, 60 cycles. A plug with 2 flat parallel prongs is the norm.
The Philippine currency is peso, divided into 100 centavos. Most foreign currencies can easily be changed at banks, hotels and authorized dealers. Major foreign credit cards may be accepted only at major hotels, resorts, shops and restaurants. Visitors are advised to bring sufficient amount of change in small bills or coins.
Banks: 9am to 3pm – Monday to Friday
Government agencies and offices: 8am to 5pm – Monday to Friday
Bellhops expect a tip, as do waiters, taxi drivers, hairdressers, beauticians and porters. Tipping 5-15% of the bill is appropriate if no service charge is included.
Getting around Cebu , one may take a colorful jeepney or a bus at a minimal fare. Taxicabs are widely available.
Department stores: 10am to 8pm – Monday to Sunday.
(Quick Facts: http://www.cebucitytourism.com/aboutcebucity.html)
How to get there:
AIR an hour flight via Mactan-Cebu International Airport daily
SEA about 22 hours trip from Manila
Trivia: Cebu has been ranked 3rd best island in Asia by New York based travel magazine Travel+Leisure (http://www.cebucitytourism.com/)