I have a lot of nice things to say about Cebu, but I don’t really have the whole day to write about it. You see, i’m trying to update this site on a daily basis, yet i’m not so sure if I really want to be a travel blogger. For a fact, I love to travel, yes. I love to write, yes. I love to share experiences, yes. I love travel and food photography, yes. BUT to be a part of a “seasonal hype” that’s usually called travel blogging… Hmmmm… Not so sure. But then again, if that’s what it takes to be able to share sample itineraries to my friends without having to go through the nitty gritty of doing it piece by piece, I’d probably just have to write it all down. Just so… you know… “maximize technology” and stuff with the copy and paste button. So here goes another journey to somewhere… somewhere called CEBU.
Budget traveling to Cebu is feasible, as long as you get a good hold of travel expo schedules just around your vicinity, oh and of course, how could I forget, AIRLINE SEAT SALES. So I booked a flight by chance, without the idea of knowing where to go. Cebu just suddenly popped on my screen and I found myself booking. I have no idea at all of what Cebu has in store for me. I only see it in pictures, so the least I could do was google for potential itineraries. Surprise surprise! Everything was out of my budget! So scratch that! I have to attend the travel expo which took place three months after I booked the flights. Thankfully, I found the perfect travel agency which was based on Cebu and offered us great deals. The itinerary went this way:
DAY 1: Exploring the City
I arrived early in the morning, needless to say I was sleepless the night before. Too excited perhaps? Or too busy trying to put all my stuff in a tiny backpack (considering 3 pairs of swimsuits, camera gear, daily clothes, toiletries, gadgets, and the list goes on and on). After an hour flight, I went straight to the hotel, left my luggage at the concierge, ate “free” breakfast, went to explore the city while waiting for check-in time. Again, I was there too early since I booked an early morning flight.
It was my first time to see a city very much like Manila. I never thought there was a place like Manila’s replica, and talk about the traffic in particular. It’s Metropolitan written all over it, but about a little “milder” than Manila-traffic. There were malls, so many commercial establishments, and modern structures in Cebu City. If I would close my eyes, it gives me the feels that I’m still in Manila, except that I was riding a plane earlier. I explored the malls and the transportation system. When it was finally time to go back to our hotel, I asked my friends for great dinner spots. They mentioned a couple of nice restaurants, but what stood out for me was this place called Larsian.
Larsian was one of the highlights. Not because I love to eat, but because the place is uniquely different from the usual food bazaars that I encounter in Manila. It has a huge grilling place in the middle where sellers grill their items as you order. They gave me hand gloves and native plates with banana leaves, which gave me the thought that there were no utensils… and I was right! I ate using my hands which made the experience a lot more enjoyable. Here’s a price list of some of the items which we tried during our stay:
Larsian Price List:
Pork Barbecue | P5.00
Grilled Squid | P100.00
Seaweed Salad | P50.00
Rice | P4.00/cup
Grilled Chorizo | P20.00
So that was my first day. It flew by really fast. I ended the night with a great experience at Larsian.
DAY 2: Exploring the Sites, featuring Oslob
I booked a travel agent to pick me up from the hotel and bring me to one of the most famous spots in Cebu, the town of Oslob. It’s a 4-hr drive by land, but the best part about it is meeting fellow travelers who were also in the voyage of exploring Oslob.
I headed out at 4:00 AM. It wasn’t a smooth ride I must say honestly. There were curves, uphills and downhills, but since I’m not that of a morning person, I slept my way to Oslob. So goodbye beautiful photos of the sceneries along the way. My apologies.
So I woke up exactly a few minutes when we got there. Judy, our tour guide, brought us at a mini shack where we were served native Filipino breakfast. It was a plate of suman (sticky coconut rice), fresh ripe mangoes, and a cup of hot cocoa made from tablea. It was a feast alright! Well, at least to my new found friends from Australia. After breakfast, we had our orientation for our much-awaited whaleshark encounter.
It was an hour of adrenaline rush. It was a first for me to come close to such gigantic sea creatures, and the thought of swimming beside them made it a little too daunting at first. But I got the hang of it and I actually enjoyed the experience.
DISCLAIMER: Whalesharks are protected species, and I haven’t thought about the fact that it was dangerous for them to be doing these activities as it affects their natural way of survival until I got to experience it first hand. Another location for whaleshark watching is in Donsol, Sorsogon where whalesharks are much more protected.
The encounter was a blast and we couldn’t wait for the next attraction. It was a trip going to the beautiful Tumalog Falls, also located in the same town.
The road to Tumalog Falls is steep. It’s a 15 minute land travel by van from the whaleshark attraction. We can actually walk our way to the falls from the van’s parking, but it’s about 15 minutes walk from the motorbike dock. So, I had to experience the motorbike no doubt! It was fast. I got there in about 5 minutes. The road was curvy and slippery and I was praying the whole time I was riding the motorbike. Hubby took a video of the ride, and I was too scared for us because there were no helmets or any protective gear whatsoever. Moving on…
It’s not my first time to see a waterfall, but there’s something about Tumalog Falls that gave it that grand appeal. I don’t know if it’s the mossy rocks, or the green backdrop that envelopes the beauty of this gem, or the blue waters that invites the visitors for a quick dip. After about an hour of breathing in the beauty of Tumalog Falls we were then brought by our tour guide to our next attraction. LUNCH.
We were served with so many Filipino dishes, and my Australian friends were tad curious of what it was on the plates. I took the deed of explaining the dishes to them and finally, my dear friends sucked up enough courage to take a bite. They liked it! Or shall I say, LOVED it. Kinilaw na Tanigue, Grilled Liempo, Tinolang Tuna, Chicken and Pork Adobo, and fresh fruits were served to us to name a few. (I forgot the rest as I was too hungry to take a photo.)
After lunch, we had a mini-tour of the quiet town and the country side. We set foot on places that made it to history. Churches, arcs, battle-remains of the world war, and a whole lot of stories and culture that came with them.
It was another 4-hrs drive back to the city and again, I snoozed my way back to the hotel. Back in the city, I was trying to maximize my last night in Cebu. Of course, I had to try authentic Cebuano dinner to cap off the highlights of my stay. Dinner was another experience itself. I chose Rico’s Lechon and got the indulgence of sinking my teeth in authentic Cebu lechon and fresh seafoods on the menu (just writing about it makes me drool).
I checked out Ayala Town Center Cebu after dinner, in search for an extra bag and to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings. I was pretty sure that even if I have practiced my packing prowess well enough, all of the things I bought from Cebu would definitely not fit in my tiny backpack.
So that was my last night, DAY 2, all maxed out.
DAY 3: Pasalubong Day & Market Day
It’s my flight back to Manila later in the day, so I definitely had to grab everything that my family requested just before check-out time. I initiated an early morning trip to Taboan Market, so I woke up at 5:00 in the morning to take a hold of what I need from there. I took a cab, and to my luck upon arrival, stores were still closed! Too much of being an early bird. (Minsan na lang maging morning person, malas pa! LOL) So I told myself, I will never wake up early to buy pasalubongs again… in Cebu, that is. So I went back to the hotel and waited for breakfast time. My accommodation comes with free breakfast buffet, so I gathered all my morning energy to make it to the dining hall. It also made me realize that the previous day was tiring after all.
So I went back to Taboan to grab the finest packs of danggit (dried fish, a Filipino favorite, usually served for breakfast with fried eggs and garlic rice), dried squid, dried mangoes, mango-tamarind balls, and the rare foods that could only be found in Cebu. I enjoyed that trip to the market, though it was “Market Trip Take 2” for that day. However, I smelled like dried fish afterwards. Everything I bought were vacuum packed and packaged in a box, so definitely it wasn’t the goods but me, I was hellah stinky right after! The cab driver I hailed was kind enough to drop me off back to my hotel despite the stinky smell of my bags and shirt. So I decided to take a plunge in the hotel pool to rid off the stench.
It was my last day after all. So I had to take a full advantage of what I paid for. I packed my stuff in my backpack and extra bag and thank God, everything went in there like it belonged in those bags. My land-transfer picked me up a few hours after check-out time and I really appreciated the gesture that he took me to places I never saw during my stay before he drove me to the airport. I even had the chance to buy boxed lechon from Zubuchon.
TIP: They have a stall for last-minute pasalubongs inside the airport, but make sure to buy your Lechon outside the airport, it’s waaayyy cheaper!
So that was how I maximized my 3 Day stay in Cebu. I would definitely come back in a heartbeat to experience the other destinations that Cebu has to offer. 🙂
For your reference:
Asia Travel PH – email [email protected]
Anna and Judy of Cebu Trip Tours
Crown Regency Hotel Fuente
Leny’s at Taboan Market