Date: August 30-September 1, 2009
Destination: Cebu and Bohol
Travel via: Air (Philippine Airlines), Land (jeepneys, van, coaster), Water (fastcraft)
Lapu-Lapu, the pride of Cebuanos
We were excited to roam around Cebu. To be honest, we would like to know what were the things that Cebu will offer to us. We wanted to explore Cebu and learn about their cultures. After we left Tuxedo Business Suites, our hotel for three days, we did not know where do we go first. :)
First Stop: SuTuKil
Since we were hungry that time, we started our "laag" (travel in Cebuano) to SuTuKil restaurant in Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan Island. SuTuKil is a term that coined from combining the letters from the word "Sugba - means grilled, Tula - means soup/broth and Kilaw - means eating raw". It is famous here in Cebu and you cannot leave this province without trying it. We were surprised about the people since the restaurant was full. Before we eat, we have to purchase fish and seafoods at the small market nearer to the restaurant. After that, we ask the staff to cook depend on our preferences. While waiting, we took our snapshots with help of my sister who virtuously took many of our photos of our whole trip. :)
buying our food
picture while waiting
look at the huge lobster!
The lobster up close
waiting for our meal
Trivia: Price was a bit expensive. If you travel by group, the lesser the expenses. Food was okay. We ordered shrimps, fish and squid in order to make buttered shrimps, calamares, grilled tuna and fish sinigang. Another interesting scenario was one of us asked for a patis (fish sauce) and the crew served him a soy sauce. He even asked the crew that he was asked for a fish sauce but the crew insisted that it was their "patis" in Cebu. We just laughed and learned about it.
Next Stop: Magellan's Shrine
Do not confuse with Magellan's Cross since it was located in Cebu City. The shrine of Magellan located just across SuTuKil restaurants. According to home locals, this is the place where Lapu-Lapu and Magellan battled. Monument was built in memory of him of course.
the other side
our photo with Magellan's Shrine
Next Stop: Lapu-Lapu Shrine
Just walk across the Magellan's Shrine and you will easily find the statue of Lapu-Lapu. History shows the victory of Lapu-Lapu, the leader of the tribe over the invaders. Monument was also built in memory of his bravery.
a walk from Magellan's Shrine
and you will see him
courtesy call to the first Philippine hero
one more time! :)
me and my sister
Next Stop: Battle of Mactan Shrine
This site was nearer to the two shrines. This was situated at the right side where you will find the history mark of their battle. You will also see the paintings of their battle.
and the paintings at the back
me and the marker
Next Stop: Plantation Bay Resort
Hhhmmmm... We did not checked-in here. This was not supposed to be included in our itinerary but our driver/tour guide (Mang Rudy) brought us to this resort and it was so amazing. The place was very nice and luxurious. Went at the balcony and you will see arrays of flowers and plants with good landscaping designs. What a great way of pictures. We checked the price of staying overnight... as it was expensive and in dollar rates... Whhheewww!! :)
but we only went here to take photos. Hehehe! :)
Next Stop: Marcelo Fernan Bridge
We proceed to the main island of Cebu and my sister requested to stop at the first arch of the bridge to took some photos. And since it's Sunday, Mang Rudy allowed us but only few minutes. The moment he stopped the van, we hurriedly went out of it and took some photos. Before I show those pictures, let me inform you the history of this bridge:
Marcelo Fernan Bridge is an extradosed cable-stayed bridge located in Metro Cebu, Cebu in the Philippines. It spans across Mactan Channel connecting Cebu Island to Mactan Island. The bridge is one of the widest and longest bridge spans in the Philippines. It was named after Senator Marcelo Fernan, a political figure from Cebu City. (Source: Marcelo Fernan Bridge)
we hurriedly took photo here
...but my sister did not stopped posing like this
...also also me! hehehehe! :)
Next Stop: Cebu Taoist Temple
We reached Cebu City in less than 20 minutes. We went to Cebu Taoist Temple which was located at Beverly Hills. It was located above the hills with overlooking Cebu and its nearby islands such as Bohol. The place was really great and you could imagine that you were in China. This was open to the public.
Trivia: According to some locals in Cebu, if Manila has Chinatown in Binondo, Cebu has also Chinatown, but the whole city. You could see Chinese scattered around the city. It is a mixed cultural heritage of both Filipinos and Chinese.
Travel to Taoist Temple is a bit expensive if you do by commute. Remember, travel by groups and rent a van or car and include this into your itineraries while in Cebu will be less expensive than you've thought. :)
More photos here:
the main entrance
looks like you're in China!
Welcome to Taoist Temple
me overlooking Cebu and Mactan Island
Next Stop: Magellan's Cross / Cebu City Hall
We went to Cebu's main attraction, the Magellan's Cross. We thought that this site was as large as the basketball court but it was look like a cottage with a cross inside. But nevertheless, this place was worth visit especially to first timers in Cebu. Why there was a cross planted on that site? Here's the reason:
Magellan's Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese, and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines. A sign below the cross describes the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of the chapel. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for souvenir purposes or in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers. (source: History of Magellan's Cross)
Welcome to Cebu's landmark
Magellan's Cross up close
the main attraction
this cross believed to be more than 500 years old!
pictures with the cross
As you noticed in some of the pictures, there were uniformed women along the site. Actually, these were women who offered prayer and they do that by dancing. It was quite interesting and I watched some women performed that ritual.
Anyway, just across Magellan's Cross was the Cebu City Hall. The structure was nice and it was the mayor's office. We took some photos and here it is:
the City Hall
just across Magellan's Cross
Next Stop: Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
Just few meters from the Magellan's Cross was the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The Minor Basilica of the Santo Niño or Basilica Minore del Santo Niño is a 16th century church in Cebu City in the Philippines. It was built purportedly on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño, a sculpture depicting the Holy Child Jesus found by Spanish explorers in 1565 preserved in a burned wooden box which was left behind during the 1521 Magellan expedition. (source: Basilica Minore del Santo Niño)
We went to church and we were amazed how Cebuanos expressed their strong faith to Santo Niño. Some of us heard mass and it was celebrated outside the basilica since the venue was too small for a huge crowd. According to some locals, mass was either in Cebuano or English.
too many church goers by that time
the church entrance
that across was the way to Magellan's Cross
entrance to the basilica
inside the basilica
picture with the basilica
another picture with the basilica
this place for celebrating mass
picture at the ground
At the end of mass, people waved their hands to the "Poon" (Santo Niño) before they sign of the cross. This was observed and really show their strong faith. It was indeed a great experience. We waited some of them since they went to the "Poon" and heard mass as well.
Next Stop: SM City Cebu
It was already passed 7PM and we headed back to the hotel for a short rest. After that we decided to go SM City Cebu. It was the 4th biggest mall of the country right after SM North Edsa, Mall of Asia and Megamall in Metro Manila. It was very huge and it was extended to what they called Northwing. Many shops and establishments were there.
me and my sister at SM City Cebu Northwing
I only took one photo by that time. I and my sister met our cousin who was in Cebu for more than 6 months due to his station assignments in Cebu. We had some small talks at the mall. I asked my cousin to join but he declined since he has other things to do. So we bid goodbye to him inside the mall. After that, my sister met her friends there and she handed his pasalubong (2 boxes of Krispy Kreme). By the way, Krispy Kreme was not yet open during that time. Some of the people asked us where did we bought Krispy Kreme since we were walking along the mall carrying those boxes. They were interested and wanted to avail those donuts. We politely informed them that those were bought from Manila.
Update: Krispy Kreme opened its stores to Cebu last 2011 and currently has three branches: Ayala Center Terraces, Asiatown IT Park and SM City Cebu which opened first quarter of 2012.
Next Stop: Larsian
We were hungry by that time since we traveled from one site to another. They asked what was the best place to eat at low price. I immediately answered Larsian!
If you have not heard of the word Larsian, then you probably haven't been around Cebu. Larsian is one of Cebu's most prominent eating havens, one of the few that passed the test of time. Located at the uptown area near Fuente Osmeña and Chong Hua Hospital.
Larsian was an eatery in the early 70's that derived its name from the owner's (Col. Alvino Mondarez) mother named Pilar and her twin sister, Siana. Put Pilar and Siana together and you get Larsian.
Today Larsian is a place lined with a number of barbecue stands offering similar barbecue selections. Among the selections are: chicken - wings, thigh, skin, breast, feet or intestine; pork – pork liver, chorizo, tocino; seafood like squid and fish and a lot more. You get to select any of those and hand them over to the one in charge to be cooked. You are then asked how many puso (hanging rice) you want. The waiting usually takes 10 – 15 minutes. (source: Cebu Central)
Update: This place currently on a major upgrade due to strong demand and to promote as one of the attractions in Cebu. So you expect some changes once you visit this place in the future. :)
Once we entered the place, people were chanting and calling us to come to their stalls. We were just like celebrities who asked to be with their guests, seriously! :) We found one place which served delicious barbeque meals and the famous siomai sa Tisa (from a district in Cebu City). After we chose our food to be barbequed, we started to take some photos.
lined up for barbeque
Puso (hanging rice), unique Cebu rice
time to eat!
Kaon ta! (Let's eat!) :)
Tip: Price was lower and me and sister ended up less than PHP100 inclusive of soda. By the way, there were no spoon and fork here, they will give you a clear plastic and you will use in your hands. Don't worry, there were many faucets for you to wash your hands if you will not use plastics.
We went back to hotel at 10PM. We thanked Mang Rudy for his excellent service on our day tour to Cebu. It was really a pleasure to have with him on our "laag" moments. He also thanked me and we decided to took him on September 1 since we will be going to Bohol the next day.
Speaking of Bohol, we were so excited on our Day 2 of exploring Visayas. We went to our hotel rooms and have a pleasant sleep since we will be heading to Bohol for more adventures.
Continue to Part 3! :)