Hurray! I managed to finish my travel diary earlier than expected. So here’s the second part of my Cebu getaway last weekend:
We didn’t swim anymore on our second day at the resort since we had to go back to the city proper by lunch time. We left the resort at 8:30 am and then dropped by Sharmrock in the town of Barili for a quick breakfast. We arrived in the city proper at around 11:30 AM and then proceeded to Taboan market to buy pasalubong.
The market has every imaginable dried fish and pasalubong from Cebu. Price for a kilo of danggit or pusit ranges from PhP 450 – 650 depending on your bargaining skills. One can also buy dried mangoes, otap and rosquillos in Taboan. From Taboan, we dropped off Tena and Sanch somewhere in the city proper and agreed to meet at around 2 PM at SM Cebu. Thea and Lukas also parted ways with us (I, Shei, Sab and Io).
The four us then proceeded to SM traveler’s lounge to deposit our bags and settled to eat at Chikaan sa Cebu. The restaurant serves mainly Filipino food with a Cebuano twist. Food was great and surprisingly, prices were very reasonable. We just a paid about Php 1000 for an order of unlimited rice, pork sinigang, camaron rebosado, grilled squid, kinilaw and fruit shakes.
While waiting for Tena and Sanch, we toured around SM Cebu. I was quite surprised to see that the Forever 21 there is larger than the Forever 21 in Makati. Their department store is even larger and better than the one in SM Bicutan. Not bad Cebu, not bad.
At Around 2:40 PM, Tena and Sanch arrived and guided the way to the tourists spot in the city proper. Our first stop was the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. The front of the church was being restored when we visited so I wasn’t able to fully appreciate its glory. It also saddened me that because of the restoration, I will never know how rustic the church could have been. Nonetheless, its architecture was impressive.
Our next destination was the Sto. Nino Church. There were a lot of people when we visited and the weather was also very arid so I wasn’t able to enjoy the experience of being there. However, the convent beside it is a different story. Every inch of the building screamed Spanish and it was amazing seeing something that has been a significant part of Philippine’s history.
Just beside the Sto. Nino Church was the Magellan’s Cross. Anyone who’s familiar with Philippine history knows this is the site where Magellan ordered a cross to be planted upon his arrival in Cebu. There were a lot of people in the area—a mix of local citizens, tourists, vendors and beggars. I gave a used bag to an old lady who sold candles. She said something in return but I didn’t understand it because it was in Bisaya. Another kid kept asking me for a coin and when I didn’t give him one, he called me “hangol”. According to Tena, it means “selfish”. Ouch.
From the Magellan’s Cross, we walked for a bit to Plaza Independencia. I encountered the name several times in my history classes so I was, again, expecting a rustic place. To my surprise, the plaza has been largely improved and surrounded by modern structures. One would not know its place in history unless you actually read a history book.
Behind the plaza is Fort San Pedro, another important historical landmark. Thankfully, the place still looks how I imagined it too be—stones, dark, molds, mysterious. There have been additions within the fortress but the old cannyos and other structures remained untouched.
We finished touring at around 5 pm and we still have a lot of time to kill since our flight was at 3 AM. Sanch suggested we play Kinect at Song Hits Karaoke in Mango Square Avenue. It was my first time trying the stuff and it was a lot of fun following the dance moves of the cartoon characters on the TV screen! I’m so tempted to buy a DVD and just dance in front of the TV for my daily exercise! After dancing to five songs, we were already so tired so we just settled to sing. Sab went to belt out Maroon 5 songs while I forgot the lyrics to 2NE1’s I don’t care. Bow.
Kinect tired us out so we ate dinner afterwards at very unique restaurant called Dong Juan. Their burger was humongous and superb and they had the cutest juice and water bottles.
At around 8 pm, we headed back to SM Cebu, parted ways with Tena and Sanch, claimed our baggage and proceeded to Lukas’ family house in Consolacion. We stayed there until 11 PM then decided to go the airport already and just sleep there.
At around 3:00 AM, we boarded the plane, headed back to Manila and wondered when we will be coming back to the gracious province of Cebu.
My Cebu experience was great and thanks to Thea, I was able to meet three awesome people. Thank you Lukas, Tena and Sanch for making our stay so memorable! Despite the language barrier, dealing with Cebuanos is such a breeze. Though Cebu is hardly different from Manila now in terms of urbanity, the people are so different. They are more polite, easier to ask and more honest, especially the taxi drivers. Thank you Cebu. Apart from your stunning sceneries, I will definitely remember your hospitality.
I’ve said this before when I went to Pangasinan and I will say this again, I can’t put in words the feelings I have every time I go into a new place. Unlike some people, I don’t have an “after experience”—that sort of feeling that you’re reeling from the wonder and experiences you’ve had. But I always have this “in the moment feeling”: The awe of seeing something for the first time, the idea of being part of something historic and the discovery that people can be similar yet so different. It’s not the place I miss. It’s always the feeling of being in that place. I still don’t understand why I like to travel and maybe this why I want to go to new places—to understand what it is I’m looking for and to dwell in the experience of discovering something new.