A Day in Cebu City

We decided to tour on a relaxed pace for our last day in Cebu. We were in so much hurry to get in time for all the tours that we were surviving on little sleep. It was a treat to wake up a few hours before noon for a change. 🙂 Since we missed the time for breakfast, I dragged everyone along to try Casa Verde. We were hungry and even ordered a salad for appetizer. I have never had watermelon in my salad before.. it tasted okay.

Kim had sisig.

I ordered Brian’s Ribs again.

The little sister devoured a whole order of Excalibur. She’s the thinnest person I know, but she eats enough for three people. I don’t like it lol.

The brother even ate less than my sister and had the Casa Verde burger.

We were all so full to the seams that I suggested that we go to Fort San Pedro to walk around.. and burn a few calories.

Fort San Pedro was a defense structure. Some of its bastions face the sea since it is walking distance from the port.

It’s a historical site where one can learn more about Cebu.

You can ask for the free 15-minute guided tour of the place. They have knowledgeable English speaking volunteers (I was mistaken for a foreigner).

They found a small image of the Virgin Mary in this well which was why many people believed that the water contains healing qualities. No, you cannot get water from this well now.

The place was closing early because a wedding was going to be held there. I asked for their rental prices and it’s pretty cheap (I can’t remember the exact figure) for this huge place. I think you can fit 400 guests here (why one would need that many people in their wedding though is beyond me).

We walked under the scorching sun to go to the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño. The museum was closed though because of the holiday. I still do not have photos of the church because I honestly do not like taking photos of church interiors.

Magellan’s Cross – all the times I’ve been here, it’s always under construction.

Our last stop was the Taoist Temple. These three got so tired after the first set of stairs.

The golden hour is the best!

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We had a late night flight back to Manila.. which once again got super delayed. But fortunately, we were a few hours early for our flight so we got bumped to the earlier flight which was also delayed. Damn, Cebu Pacific Airlines suck. Thank you Cebu for being so awesome. And thank you self, for splurging on experience and making your loved ones happy. 🙂 I hope the three of us gets to travel with C soon!

Sorry it took a while to get this post out. It’s actually the last one for this trip and I had it sitting in my Drafts for a few days now. I got a little caught up between socializing and adult responsibilities that I totally forgot all about it. 😦 But the good news is that I’ll be going out of town again next month. So yay for more blog content! 🙂

Travel Vlog || #ProjectSursuroy: Tumalog Falls + Oslob Whale shark Watching + Sumilon Island + Osmeña Peak || #ProjectSursuroy: Canyoneering at Badian + Kawasan Falls + Pescador Island || Bohol Countryside Tour || A Day in Cebu City

Cebu 2014 || Last meal in Cebu!

Everyone who have gone to this city before me all told me to try the ribs at Casa Verde. Hence, right after my trip to the Taoist Temple, I headed straight to the IT park to find out why these ribs are so famous! This Cebu trip has had me sipping mango shakes every single day. The serving was huge! The ribs are good but not as amazing as the size of the serving (I know that’s an unpopular opinion but whatevs). Also, the staff is pretty accommodating which I loved!

Since my tummy was full, I headed to Banilad Town Center again and started looking for a coffee shop. In my search for a coffee shop, I arrived at this quaint little nail salon inside a swimwear boutique. The name of the swimwear shop is Cabana and the nail salon is Nail Island. Nice theme, right? I want to bring their chairs home with me! Honestly, it was so relaxing, I fell asleep ¾ the time I was there.

No additional charge for regular nail polish. Pamper time came just as well because my nail polish is already chipped. I remembered Ms. O (Olen Juarez-Lim, who did our Professional Presence training) saying that there should only be two states your nails are in: clean and without polish, or with unchipped polish. Mine was neither.

I went back to the hotel to get my things, and if there was something I would miss about Cebu, it’s The Henry Hotel.

But then again, all good things come to an end. Before I knew it, I was in the airport at the wee hours of the morning, napping once again in one of the airport chairs (with my arms wrapped around the box of Lechon hahaha). Writing about the last part of my Cebu trip just made me crave traveling solo more. The photo below includes my newly manicured hands.

If I can’t travel solo, I would rather go with my favorite travel buddy (who in this case, my airport drop off and pick up crew)! I live a privileged life. Aside from having the means to travel quite comfortably (not luxurious, but comfortable), I have been blessed with a supportive life partner. Even though I know that there is nothing C wants more than to be with me (and he worries about me a lot), he never fails to give his 110% support for me. I cannot help but love this guy.

One of the saddest posts I always have to write are the last ones from a travel series. But looking over to the bright side, there will always be a next one. 🙂

Cebu 2014 || CnT Lechon + Philippine Taoist Temple

What to do on Sunday mornings? Go for a morning swim! I wish I can do it today (while I’m writing this post which is a Sunday) as well. My memories in The Henry Hotel (and throughout this trip) are one of the things that motivate me to work just so I can do it again (somewhere else of course). After swimming, I had another set of crazy big breakfast.

I put on makeup after eating breakfast and brushing my teeth, and here’s how I check if it’s even… and yeah, a couple more bed shots (which is pretty conservative, mind you).

After putting on my makeup, I went to CnT Lechon to finally get a taste of Lechon. It’s a bit salty for my taste though, you really have to eat it with rice. I bought 1.5 kilos to bring home. 🙂

After buying Lechon, I went to the Taoist Temple. Unfortunately, I felt ripped off by the taxi driver who billed me Php 400 for the entire trip and waited for me to finish and brought me to IT Park. Oh well, I just have to charge it to experience and learn how to exert more assertiveness when haggling. The Taoist Temple had A LOT of stairs. Good thing I was in a comfortable pair of sandals.

People are not allowed to take photos of the altar. Everywhere I go, I ask if I can take photos (when there are no signs) because you never know if it’s disrespectful especially in religious places.

Temples usually have amazing details, especially the ones where the altars are placed. Even though I did not take photos, I spent some time just looking at each of the decorations.

Well-manicured gardens are such a nice view! A miniature pagoda (it is one, right?) is placed in the garden.

Cebu 2014 || Zubuchon + La Marea

I realized the other night that since I queued this posts, and edited them after it got published. All the texts are halfheartedly written. It’s kind of sad that my blog has been reduced to that quality so here I am trying to muster some energy into writing something when my head is already at capacity with all the things I have had to and should be doing. Writing about this is making me miss my Cebu trip more. It is a time and place in my life I have been looking back to whenever times get hard. In Cebu, I had the liberty to be free from stress and not stick to whatever plans I had made. Such as promising myself to head to the Taoist Temple after the Old Cebu City tour. Instead, I went to the IT Park in Lahug to try the famous Zubuchon. Cebu is well-known for their lechon. So what is lechon anyway (for the few people who follow my blog who are not familiar with this)? It’s an entire pig, filled with herbs which is tied to a pole while being slow roasted. The outcome is crunchy skin roasted to perfection (if done correctly) and succulent meat inside. Anthony Bourdain agrees. Wherever I go, I search for a list of places to eat. While other people like to immerse themselves in a culture via sightseeing and shopping. I like to do it by eating (I know, no surprise there haha). So imagine my disappointment when I found out Zubuchon did not have their famous lechon at the time. I think my face said it all because the waiter promptly presented other items to try and appease me. So I settled with Pritchon (fried lechon). I tell you, settling does not suit me. Hmp!

I headed to La Marea next for some comfort food to wash off the disappointment from the lack of proper lechon. I guess it’s pretty obvious I am a huge fan of pastry shops by now. Haha! My priorities when traveling: go to places I’ve never been to before and get out of my comfort zone, eat EVERYTHING, and find a reason to go back (which is mostly because of the food). If you go through my “travel” posts, I tend to eat a lot more whenever I’m traveling. I had their best seller which was warm brownie in a cup and a cup of coffee. I savored every minute of eating this and sipping my coffee while reading something on my phone that I did not realize it was already dark outside so I headed back to the hotel (to take selfies). 😛

Since I still had some energy left, I went out to go swimming in the hotel pool. It’s a small pool but it’s usually empty whenever I go swimming. I want my own pool at home! I could get used to night swimming. 🙂

Cebu 2014 || Basilica Minore del Sto Nino + Magellan’s Cross + Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral + Cathedral Museum of Cebu

To pick up from where I left off from the Old Cebu Walking Tour, I started walking towards the next attraction. Within its’ vicinity was an Islands Souvenir branch! I bought my mom tons of guyabano juice because apparently, it helps in her chemotherapy.

Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino is hard to miss. Just look for a LOT of people walking towards a gate. It was damaged by natural calamities that the country experienced the past year, hence, it was under restoration and the mass was being held outside.

Adjacent to the church is Magellan’s Cross, and across that is the City Hall. “Public office is a public trust.” I have always imagined this as bigger, for some strange reason. That is why it really came as a surprise to find out that that was not the case. The candles are being sold for Php 10 each as “offering”. Nobody lights it though and just leaves it beneath the cross, so… I don’t why people bother paying for this unless something got lost in translation.

The next stop was a bit further than the gaps of the attractions so far which is Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Honestly, I found it much more peaceful because it wasn’t crowded as the Basilica Minore del Sto Nino. I also had a better opportunity at taking in everything into detail because there weren’t a lot of people.

Beside the church is the Cathedral Museum of Cebu. There is an entrance fee of Php 50. Since I’m alone, the chatty tour guide described the history of everything I laid eyes on. This structure used to house the priests who preside over the church beside it. Now it houses church artifacts from all over Cebu.

 

The item on the left is used during Holy Week (for sorrow) while the bells are used for glory.

 

How priests used to travel to houses for the anointing of the sick.

 

Papal chairs and candleholders made of bronze.

 

300-year old molave wood and not a single termite.

 

The robes Pope John Paul II wore when he went to Manila.

 

Photography was not allowed in this exhibit, except photos taken by the tour guide, Baby. And those photos are mostly of me. Haha!

Here I am with Baby! She took a lot of photos of me because I was alone and “sayang naman ang outfit mo!”. Hihi!

 

Cebu 2014 || Plaza Independencia + Fort San Pedro

UPDATE: My life has been too hectic I keep forgetting to update this posts before it gets published. Huhuhu. To start off this post if a photo of my room after a nice long sleep. 🙂

The free breakfast that comes with my accommodation is a buffet breakfast at Rica’s. To keep up with the theme of the hotel, the restaurant is kept as quirky! I honestly wanted to try out the high chairs, but I was all alone and it was a big table.

So I settled for a booth instead. The staff here is very helpful also. I requested for an omelet and orange juice (they only had mango juice on display), and got the first and declined the offer to get the latter because nakakahiya naman!

After an hour and a half of hoarding on portions of bacon, I did a selfie to check my makeup which led to more selfies. Haha!

Since I was alone, I used Pinay Solo Backpacker’s  A Guide to Old Cebu Walking Tour which kicked off at Plaza Independencia.

Fort San Pedro is adjacent to the plaza. The entrance fee is at Php 30.

There were a lot of ongoing photo shoots when I was there. Can you imagine posing in that heat?!

Cebu 2014 || Banilad Town Center + Larsian’s

My official first day in Cebu City started the moment I got back from Bantayan Island. After checking in at the hotel, I decided to walk around the vicinity.

The hotel is walking distance from Banilad Town Center. I made the mistake of crossing the street without using an elevated walkway and for the love of me, I don’t know why it’s much scarier to cross the street there than in Manila. Maybe because I am more confident in Manila and I am pretty sure I won’t get hit accidentally because the streets are basically one huge parking lot. Haha! Once I crossed, I chanced upon this cute little store though! Trust me that the first shop I will enter is for pastries! I like taking photos of fondant cakes. I don’t like making one nor eating one, but I enjoy looking at it.

So the second store that made me stop (to buy things) was Macaron Tang Cafe. Sweets never fail to catch my eye! Aside from macarons, they have a variety of cakes as well. Their macarons are at Php 45/pc. And I bought one for every flavor! Haha! The taste was good but nothing extraordinary to be honest.

There was this quirky home stuff store, Hutch. I passed it by but this cupcake stand caught my eye! I wanted to buy both of the cupcake stands but it, unfortunately, cannot be disassembled. Sigh. (They also have it in gold.)

After roaming around at BTC, I asked around on how to get to Larsian’s BBQ. This guy was a traffic enforcer at BTC and he gave me instructions and tried to hail me a jeepney to get there. After 20 minutes of trying to do so, he offered to bring me there via his motorcycle. I know riding on a stranger’s motorcycle (and a female solo traveler at that) is risky, but there were two other traffic enforcers who saw us and I did it (I was sending C messages while in the back of his motorcycle haha).

Finally! Apparently, how to do this was grab a plate and put on all the food you want to be grilled. The waitress was asking me if I wanted puso (heart) and I kept saying no until she showed me a sample.. which was leaf-wrapped rice. Haha! I had chorizo, chicken wings, pork barbecue and liempo. Everything in the photo below cost me Php 98. Not bad.

Beside the hotel is Cable Car. Since the hotel bar is closed for renovation, I went in for one glass of Tequila Sunrise to cap off the night.

Playing around in my bed while watching TV – the perks of being on my own. Good night Cebu, you have been so good to me. 😉

Cebu 2014 || The Henry Hotel

From Bantayan Island, I was going to spend a couple more days in Cebu City because.. lechon. As usual, I became all too dependent on Trip Advisor in finding an accommodation which led me to The Henry Hotel. Since I was travelling alone, I found it a bit more expensive (as you can see, even though I am not a luxurious traveler, I’m not exactly a budget traveler either) but since my accommodations are where 75% of my travel budget went, I made sure I was going somewhere well worth every single cent. I don’t think a lot of taxi drivers are aware of the hotel. It’s not quite near from the North Bus Terminal as it cost me Php 125 to get there. If they are not familiar with the area, inform them it’s near Banilad Town Center (BTC). From BTC, just look for a black building near the flyover and intersection.

The Henry Hotel is a boutique hotel, which isn’t one of the generic fancy looking hotels. I would go as far as say it’s hipster paradise. Every spot is picturesque! It had an “unfinished” vibe overall and it’s very quirky. All the hotel staff wore hipster glasses and bow ties. This red statue was the same photo I kept seeing when I researched on the hotel. Also, I took this photo while sipping on my welcome drink. I wonder where I could buy that dalandan juice..

Since this is my best attempt at a hotel review (something I rarely ever do because I usually do not go on staycations), my only gripe about this place was with reservations. I reserved the room through email (I do not plan on getting a credit card, I don’t trust my self-control when it comes to impulsive buying), and they take too long to respond. I tried calling their mobile number, but when the line got cut they did not even make an attempt to call me back. Also, I was told that I just needed to pre-arrange a late checkout (up to 2 PM), so I did but was denied that on the day itself.

Graffiti art. I took the stairs half the time since I was only staying on the third floor.

I may work in an IT company but this was the first time I encountered an elevator button that looked like this. I literally just stared at it for 5 seconds before realizing it was the elevator buttons. Haha!

I did not get the chance to check out the Qube Gallery on the 1st floor and the entire second floor (Scrapyard Bar was closed for renovations, I wanted a drink okay). The Reading Room on the third floor is something you can use for a fee (it had a computer, couches, etc), but whenever I take a peek, a group of foreigners was there.

This chair is actually big! I wanted to sit on it and have a photo taken but I rarely chance upon other people on my floor.

If I ever buy a condo, I would probably use this room as inspiration! The room I got was so spacious! The smallest room in the hotel is called ‘Big Room’ and for good reason. It is at 36 sqm which was spacious even if I had C with me.

Some of the rooms do not have bathroom doors and I’m glad I have one. I hate taking a bath in a cold bathroom. See that brown door on the right? It’s locked because it connects my room to the adjacent one. Unfortunately for me, the family that booked that room had noisy kids. I had half a mind to call the reception to ask if I could transfer, but decided to do it later if they still were noisy when I am trying to sleep. Luckily, it seemed that the kids slept earlier than I did so I had no problems in that area.

Even the bathroom is spacious!

No single detail left untouched in this hotel. This hotel is so keen on details!

Sleeping in this bed is one of the most memorable experiences I have in Cebu. Haha! I know that sounds lame but I have a sleeping problem and I get so restless at night. When I was in Cebu, I slept soundly. Whenever I’m out the whole day, I get back in the evening with a made up room.

Even the escape route did not seem impersonal!

If you follow me on instagram (@teeshue), you’d find out just how much I was raving about their attentive hotel staff. When one of the staff saw me head to the pool in my swimsuit, he followed me to ask if he could get me anything to which I thanked him and declined. While sitting in a pool chair, browsing through Facebook, the same guy asked again. 15 minutes later, he went out with a fresh towel for me (even if I had one with me). The day after, I asked if I could go swimming anytime I wanted to but was informed that the pool was only open from 6 AM-10 PM. It was perfectly fine by me until someone from the reception called the room to tell me that I can go use the pool anytime I wanted, I just need to inform the reception whenever I do (obviously for safety purposes). Nice!

They also have a boutique in the hotel which I did not check out. I now regret it.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay here! C and I have even agreed to stay here if we ever find ourselves in Cebu again. 🙂

The Henry Hotel

One Paseo Compound, Ma. Luisa Entrance Road, Banilad, Cebu City 6000

+63 32 520 8877