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Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Wonderful Cebu City tour 2011

Cebu City is blessed with abundant cultural heritage, rich history, resilient people, deep spiritual values and best food. As a vast province, Cebu offers interesting places as there is Bantayan & Malapascua Island on the North, Kawasan falls on the South and just within the City itself you will never run out of sightseeing places. The way I see it, 4 days may not be enough to explore the beauty of the province and hence people keep coming back to optimize every tourist attractions in Cebu. Just like thousands of tourists who fall in love with the province, we are one of those who keep coming back to this wonderful place that’s why as a birthday present to myself  last September 2011, I’ve included Cebu City as one of our itineraries when Honey and I visited its neighboring province, Bohol.

We started our journey with an hour and half flight from Manila to Mactan International Airport through Cebu Pacific Air carrier. We arrived at Cebu City around 3 in the afternoon and checked-in at Pacific Pensionne. We chose Pacific Pensionne as our crib for an overnight stay because it is located in the heart of the city and accessible to different Cebu City’s attractions. Their available rooms are Premiere Double Matrimonial Room for Php850/night and Standard Double Matrimonial Room for Php800/night. The room we stayed has an aircon, bathroom, shower, and cable tv that is so basic but very clean. My only concern is their wifi connection which is only available if you avail it for 50pesos a day which I think is so pricey. Nevertheless, Honey and I enjoyed our stay here and will definitely recommend this place to travelers on a budget with assurance of safety and clean place to stay despite of its simple amenities. 

Pacific Pensionne sala

(For more hotel recommendation in Cebu, please refer to our previous blog link.)

during the mass
After having a good night’s sleep, we started exploring the city of Cebu the following day. Since it’s Sunday we decided to pay a visit and attend an early Holy Mass in Basilica Minore de Sto. Niño.  We never got a chance to enter this church the last time (2010) we’re in Cebu because of time restrictions. The Holy Mass we attended was in Cebuano dialect but anyone can easily grasp. The church was a brilliant cathedral with antique chandeliers, painted ceilings and old statues. In the middle of church’s altar is the image of child Jesus (Sto. Niño) and amidst of it are statues of saints that placed in a golden box of glass. This popular icon of the little child Jesus is a gift from Ferdinand Magellan to the queen of Cebu - Queen Juana after her conversion to Catholicism. This event marks the acceptance of Christianity in the Philippines. After the Holy Mass, Honey and I stayed for a while and kneel down to say a silent prayer for guidance and blessings from the Holy Child Señor Sto. Niño. After praying, we roamed around a bit to explore the church and joined the queue just to have a glimpse of the Sto. Niño image in a separate room near the basilica. 


The image of Señor Sto. Niño on a separate room

Next to our destination is the Magellan’s Cross. Just beside the Basilica after exiting from the altar of candles, you will arrive in the hall of Magellan's Cross. From here you will see candle vendors wearing colorful clothes in yellow and red executing prayer dance before offering colorful candles from devotees. Magellan’s Cross is the most famous relic in Cebu City that Magellan erected to propagate Christianity.

Candle vendor offering a prayer

Magellan's Cross from the outside

Afterwards, we continued our exploration to Fort San Pedro which is just minutes walking distance from the Cross. It is located near the seaside and you need to pay 20php for the entrance fee. Fort San Pedro is the smallest and oldest Spanish fort in the country which was built in 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi and served as the core of Spanish settlement in the Philippines. There are information walls inside, mostly old photos describing the development and history of Cebu and the Fort. It has a relaxed and cool atmosphere, a perfect way to end our City tour. Yes, there’s nothing much to see but garden, museum, old canons and historical facts. But for me it’s worth it especially if you love history. Exploring this place is like taking a quick trip to the past which is a wonderful learning experience for us. 

We finished touring the City around 10 in the morning and decided to take our early lunch at our all-time favorite barbecue haven Larsian, since we needed to catch the 1pm schedule of SuperCat Ferry from Cebu port to Tagbilaran Bohol. We also dropped by the famous pasalubong store in Cebu - Shamrock, to buy their best seller otap and many other Cebu  delicacies.  

Puso (Rice)

Isaw and longganisa

grilled fish and squid

Shamrock pasalubong
Despite having limited time exploring Cebu City for the 2nd time we really had a great time. It was so much fun especially if you’re with your special someone. Truly “It’s more fun in Cebu,” so many things to do and for sure we will never get tired going back. The next time we come back to Cebu, we will make sure to visit Malapascua Island, Kawasan falls, Sky Adventure at Crown Regency Hotel and to witness the sun to set in Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge. For sure it will be a romantic and majestic moment. So what are you waiting for? See for yourself! Come with us and let us enjoy the beauty of the “Queen City of the South!” 

For more info about Cebu's tourism please check their site at:

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