Tag Archives: Queen City of the South

Cebu City | Philippines ~ Part III

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Our last full day is pasalubong and city tour day! 🙂

1st stop of the day would be the Lapu-lapu monument since it’s very near our hotel and is also situated beside the rows of restaurant that offers Sutukilsugba (ihaw), tula (tinola), kil (kilawin).  Since it’s already lunch time, the sun is scorching hot!  I suggest you bring your own umbrella for protection and to do away with those people who offer umbrellas for a fee.  After several pictures, we picked the best sutukil restaurant that offers the freshest seafood around the area.  Glad we found an air-conditioned one, what a relief!

Lapu-lapu Monument

Choose the freshest seafood around Sutukil

I know the picture below isn’t really photogenic, we were dead-hungry that we forgot to take a picture of our very own seafood fiesta. 🙂  Ordered the raw ingredients and asked them to cook the following for us —sinigang na hipon, sweet and sour lapu-lapu, chili crab and buttered shrimp.  You may ask from mineral water, fruit juices, soda or even fresh coconut for drinks.

Seafood galore!

After the gastronomical treat, we headed to the Taoist temple.  This one is quite far from Lapu-lapu city, atop Beverly Hills.  It feels like we were in China!   A short walkway that is patterned to the Great Wall of China awaits you at the entrance.  The temple is open to visitors but always observe silence. Picture taking is not allowed inside the temple or if you are taking photos against their religious images.

Am I in China?

Facade of the temple

Taoist Temple

View from Beverly Hills, Cebu

The huge gate of the Taoist temple

I’m not sure if this would be accessible to commuters, cabs can take you here but it would be best to rent or bring your own vehicle.

Off we went to the city after this.  We passed by the Heritage Park, this is not a big park.  It’s actually more of a mural or a gated monument.  A few walks away is the Yap-San Diego ancestral house, dating back to the 17th century.  One can enter the house for P50 and see the antique pieces that they preserved overtime.  The structure itself is not in its glorious condition anymore.

Heritage Park

Yap-San Diego Ancestral House

Along the way, we spotted several architectures that is still intact despite their age.  The University of San Carlos is still operating at this time and has been lined up among the tourists spots of Cebu.  We stopped by Cebu Cathedral, the church is in its mint condition and they have a museum too.

Old buildings are still standing despite their age

Old buildings are still standing despite their age

One of the oldest universities in the Philippines

Facade of the Cebu Cathedral

After the sight seeing, we went to Tabo-an Market.  This market has a wide array of stores selling dried fish and squid.  They also sell dried mangoes and otap.  Prepare to smell like the sea here, it won’t matter though once you taste the fried danggit.  I recommend you buy otap at Shamrock store (near Fuente Osmena circle), they have the best otap and is relatively cheaper.  We bought our dried mangoes (small packs are sold around P40-50) at the mall since we were reluctant to buy from Tabo-an.  Do not forget to drop by CNT for their sumptuous lechon or roast pig.  They have a branch inside the mall and another one which is a short walk from SM Cebu.  Fret not if you forgot to since Zubuchon is now available at Mactan airport.

Prepare to smell salty

Dried mangoes are available at the malls

So that wraps up our Cebu trip, went home the next day.  Explore the Queen City of the South ~Cebu, explore the Philippines! 🙂

 

 

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Cebu City | Philippines ~ Part II – Plantation Bay Resort & Spa

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The 2nd installment of my Cebu blog will mainly focus on Plantation Bay.  Since we wanted to go to Bantayan Islands for swimming, we’ve decided to celebrate my son’s birthday here.  We were budget-conscious travelers so we availed the Day Trip Package and picked Goldberry Suites as our main accommodation.  For P2000 per head, you’ll get to utilize the following amenities from 9AM-5PM –lagoons & pools, wall climbing, bicycles, nip floaters or kayaks, access to their game room, children’s center and shower rooms.  You are also entitled to a set lunch with a choice of drink, courtesy of Kilimanjaro Cafe.

We went straight to the registration area and were immediately attended by their staff.  The receptionist was talking in straight English even though we were obviously Pinoys, their resort’s policy maybe.  Payment settled, off we went to the pools!

We need to squeeze everything from 9AM-5PM

View from the reception area

Plantation Bay has man-made lagoons

Plantation Bay has several swimming areas –man-made lagoons, freshwater pools and beach.  We chose our best spot and went for a swim.  A friendly reminder, the man-made lagoon has decorative rocks that might cause injuries because they are not that obvious.  There are parts too that leads you to deeper areas of the lagoon, so it pays to keep an eye on your kids.  Kayaks are included in the package but for 15-minute use only.

Free 15-minute use of kayaks

Natural beach

They have a small beach, the natural one.  They prohibit swimming that time because there’s no lifeguard on duty.  The beach is clean and we easily spotted several kinds of fishes near the dock.  We took advantage of the jet ski and took pictures of the guys aboard it! 🙂

There are fishes all around

After several hours of swimming and exploring the different areas of the resort, we went to Kilimanjaro Cafe to claim our free set lunch.  Excited we were since we already researched about it and we already have our choices in mind.  We ordered different sets of lunches so we will be able to share and taste a variety.  So to start with the appetizers, bread and butter were served plus we had a choice of the following –mushroom soup, mixed green salad and chicken & beef satay.  I recommend the latter if you are a heavy eater, very tasty!

Appetizer ~ Bread & butter

Appetizer choice #1 ~ Mushroom soup

Appetizer choice #2 ~ Mixed green salad

Appetizer choice #3 ~ Chicken and beef satay

For the main course, they only offer two choices from –Lechon Kawali and Roasted lemon chicken.  The potato wedges are given in place of rice but since I wasn’t informed, I got both.  Thank you very much for the consideration! 🙂

Main course choice #1 ~ Lechon Kawali

Main course choice #2 ~ Roasted lemon chicken

They offer ice cream (strawberry, mango, chocolate) for dessert, we had ours but my husband ordered coffee instead.  No problem with them anyway.  For drinks you can choose from –ice tea, mineral water, soda, local beer and fruit juices.

Dessert ~ Ice cream (strawberry, mango, chocolate)

We were so full and we can’t hardly breathe after eating lunch.  So we rest a bit and went for a walk around the resort.  We spotted an E-jeepney and was thrilled to try it out.  The driver also took our group picture aboard the vehicle.  After our round trip, the boys tried wall climbing and we brought the kids to the children’s center.  The children’s center is air-conditioned, packed with toys and amenities that would cater the needs of the toddlers, babies and moms.  They also have a washroom and diaper changing rooms inside.

Riding the E-jeepney

Free wall climbing

Children’s center – has fully loaded amenities

Archery and shooting areas are available but for a fee, so we skipped them.  They also have a tennis court and mini golf area.  We resumed swimming at the freshwater pool and opt to spend the last hour in the game room.  Game room offers –billiards, darts, arcades and Wii area.

We really enjoyed our stay but everything has to end.  To conclude, their service and amenities serve your money’s worth.  So drop by Plantation Bay some time when you go to Cebu!:)

For inquiries, contact:

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines
http://plantationbay.com

Cebu City | Philippines ~ Part I

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Cebu City | Philippines ~ Part I

July 2011 – We have decided to celebrate our youngest’s first birthday in the Queen City of the South, Cebu.  After grabbing a good deal from Air Philippines two months ago, the long wait is finally over!  Off we go the first of July!

The original itinerary includes Bantayan Islands, but we fear that it’ll be a wet season so we took it off our to-go list.  So our flight was scheduled at around 5AM.  It’s our first time to fly that early and the sun has not risen yet.  I’m glad we did and I’m going to share the view from our plane window.

Riding the plane to Cebu

We arrived past 6AM.  And how prompt can our hotel driver be?!  Glad we were to see him with a well-maintained van, a Mercedes-Benz.  We headed to our hotel, Goldberry Suites which is situated in Pusok, Lapu-Lapu.  The hotel is just 10-minutes away from the airport and 5KM away from the city proper.  Doubt came first, but was dissolved immediately after we entered our suites.  Whoa!  A king-sized bed, mini bar, working table, high-speed internet and LCD TV await us.  But what makes them unique was their glass-walled T&B, IMO.  The cleanliness of the room is commendable, since their rate is very affordable (let me repeat that, as in very affordable) we were not expecting something as good as this.  Customer service is also top-notch!  Hubby and kids were already enjoying the bed and I am loving my (temporary) workstation! 🙂

Glass-walled T&B

Loving my temporary workstation!

 After lunch, we headed to the town proper cantered by a rented van from Cebu Executive Rent-a-Car.  I’ve been to Cebu before but since most of my trips were work-related, I was not able to explore its famous landmarks.  Cebu is actually known for its buildings and monuments dating back to the Spanish era.  So first stop, the legendary Magellan’s Cross.

Magellan's Cross ~ Built 1834

Magellan's Cross

The Basilica del Sto Nino is just beside it, so we walked through the crowd and saw the huge area where you can light candles and offer a prayer.  We aren’t really Catholics but there’s no harm doing so, that’s why I lighted two candles for my two kids.  It was actually a common thing with Catholic churches but this one’s really huge.  We went inside the church and there are lots of images of Jesus and other saints.  Lots of people go to the Basilica thus the need for them to conduct the service inside and outside the church itself.  There’s a small museum which is free to the public, but taking photos is not allowed.

Light up a candle and offer a simple prayer

Free candles are provided for devotees

The church's facade

A few steps away the Magellan’s Cross lies one of the oldest BPI branch.  A proclaimed tourist landmark and was built 1940’s, we persuade our cousin who works for BPI to pose in the facade and beside their history badge. 🙂

One of the oldest BPI branch

About several minutes away is Fort San Pedro.  Stepping here is like stepping in Intramuros.  We only took pictures of the facade, there’s a minimal fee for those who wanted to wander around the fort.  While a mini gallery of antique stuff and pictures are free for public viewing.

Fort San Pedro

The facade of Fort San Pedro

We were already tired and it’s dinner time!  Hence we went to the popular Larsian BBQ joint.  Prepare to smell all smokey as a circle of BBQ stands and vendors await hungry travelers.  Since there are many to choose from, take your time and choose the best and freshest BBQs around.  The food is relatively cheap –pork BBQ is sold for about P5, rice “puso” is sold for P3 and the soup is free.  The thrilling part here is that they provide plastics for your hand, since there are no visible washroom around.  You can also request for utensils if you are not comfortable with that.

Lots of BBQ stands to choose from

Rice or "puso" sold for P3 per piece

Prepare to smell like BBQs

We went back to the hotel at around 8PM and prepared for the next day.  And that ends day 1 in Cebu.  🙂