I think it was just too late – too late for us to visit the once ever proverbial province of Cebu.
Wednesday at 4AM when we headed to NAIA terminal – quite early I know; blame it on the zing-inducing overly sweet white chocolate mocha from Starbucks. It was just too icky.
Surely none of us doesn’t want a tale about 2-hour delayed flights and overpriced Jollibee meals on airports so I’ll skip that part and go straight ahead to how unbelievably hot Cebu is. It is. I was being cooked under the sun. Yes, roll your eyes because duh? It’s summer, what did I expect? Anywhere in this country is scorching during this time of the year. I felt very uncomfortable nonetheless.
We first went to the Mactan Shrine as it is the nearest tourist spot from the airport. We took a few pictures and decided to check-in at the hotel already because we were dead tired and we were sweating profusely. We rode a taxi going to our hotel for three days and it took us an hour! I did not expect heavy traffic to the point of unmoving which is almost similar with everyday EDSA. I did not bring enough patience for this trip. I went there to unwind, to take a short break from work yet a traffic jam ushered me into the insides of Cebu City.
Nonetheless, I shrugged it off because the hotel was beautiful and clean. I have always fancied minimal high-end designs. Above that, of course, nothing beats a facility with awesome services, and friendly staff. I can deal with elbow rooms, limited TV channels, and mediocre room designs but never hostile people.
We took our baths, enjoyed the comfort of our beds, and slept it off. I and France decided to go to the Tops Lookout since we had nothing to do for the night and we can’t waste precious time here. We found out, though, that it cost too expensive. We could have not afford it.
But here’s what’s funny: We fell in line at one of the taxi bays in Ayala Mall. It was quite a long line but we patiently waited for our turn. The taxi driver told us that we have to rent the taxi if we wanted to go to the Tops Lookout. We asked him how much; I was gunning for around 500 pesos and he said, “1,200.” We were aghast! It sure ain’t that far, right? A taxi during a heavy traffic in Manila won’t even reach 800 pesos let alone 1200. So we did not take the offer and got off the taxi. I was furious. I took note of his plate number and said I will definitely call customer service when I get to the hotel. We were so sure that we were being taken advantage of. Later on, we asked a number of drivers how much does it cost if we go to the Tops Lookout and it turned out it was really 1200-1500. Later on, during the third day, my friend Ariane and her Cebuano friends (with a car lol) tugged us into going to dinner. We were just sitting there in the car listening to Secret Love Song by The Little Mix – a heartbreaking song – when we noticed we were going uphill. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 45 minutes and we were still going uphill. We’re going to the top!
We took our dinner at Lantaw Native Restaurant at the Busay Hilltop. It was amazing. The view was food for my eyes. Something finally good was happening for us in Cebu.
We later realized that the place was really far. We laughed about our previous outburst on the car rental. We would have sounded stupid if we went through with the report. We had a good laugh. Lol. :D
Earlier that day, we woke up early and went to visit other tourist spots in Cebu. We went to the Fort San Pedro, Sto. Nino Church, the Magellan’s Cross, and the Taoist Temple.
It was okay except for the kids who pushes the keychains they’re selling in your face. They won’t budge that easily. They’ll follow you to wherever you go. They even asked for our bottled waters. I hated it not because they were dirty, but because I felt harassed. We tried to ignore them, walking straight and it worked after a few streets.
There is a certain feel to their church. I am not a Roman Catholic but the church gave me the feeling of being closer to a greater being. It calmed me. My friends know calm ain’t something you see in my dictionary. It did though. The people, the church, the song playing during that moment – it all worked and I would feel grateful for anything that tenders me a calming soul regardless of religious conflicts.
At the Magellan’s cross, you can buy candles of differing colors. Each color stands for something – it could be for your travel, family, your career, etc. You buy one colored candle and a native there will pray for you depending on the candle you chose. Is that a norm for the Catholic people? I don’t know. I just had to say it ’cause I haven’t heard of such from before. Haha.
I swear I took more pictures. I was just too lazy to upload everything. It was already late in the afternoon when we arrived at the Taoist Temple. We were very lucky to beat the closing of the place. We stayed there for 20-30 minutes and went back to the hotel after.
12 midnight when I and Frances decided to go back to Cebu IT Park (our rendezvous from awhile ago before going to Lantaw Native Restaurant) and buy Chatime Milktea – our favorite milktea shop. Haha. We passed through the Sugbo Mercado – their food market inside the IT park. It would have been quite awesome to sit there, eat your food, and listen to the acoustic band but there were just too many people – given the day was Friday.
It was a tiring day. We slept through the night and attended our seminar in the morning. We had to, of course, take our breakfast first which was inclusive of our hotel accommodation. The people there were really accommodating and nice. You can’t help but also smile and feel happy when you’re at the hotel.
We left Cebu in the afternoon and went to the port going to Tagbilaran, Bohol!
I can’t recommend the place. If you want to rest during your vacation, I don’t think Cebu is really the choice. It’s almost as busy as Manila. It’s even quite hard to hire taxis. The people were quite hostile. It felt like they don’t want us there. It was kind of disheartening but I am not going to generalize the whole of Cebuanos because the hotel staff was extra nice and very accommodating.