After a glorious short holiday, I thought it would be useful to share a list of things you could possibly get up to if and when you decide to head on over to Cebu! It took forever for us to plan this trip because there wasn’t much information available online. This is my “help a friend out” moment.
- Take them jeepneys! And, take them every day! They will only set you back 7 pesos a trip. Seriously, that’s nothing. Everyone we encountered spoke English so it’s easy to just tell the driver where you’re going. You would have to learn some jeepney etiquette too; tap the metal bar in the jeepney with a coin or ring to signal that you are getting off at your stop. Or, you make a smooching sound (mwah?). We got chatting to a helpful gentleman on one of the trips and he said that it’s better to just shout out “please stop” as the former gestures are not as polite. I mean, when in Rome? Right?
- If you are going to be in Cebu on a weekend, I would 1000% suggest that you make a fuel stop at the Sugbo Mercado Food Market! You can fill up on mouthwatering food and drink while people watching! So you know, people watching is my favourite past time! There is also a craft beer bar in the vicinity! The market is in Cebu City; it is a night market so make sure you explore the city by day and eat to your heart’s content by night. Lechon is a local favourite!
- Of course, before you gorge in all that goodness, you have to earn it! So, why not take a tour of the city – walk! We designed our own walking tour so we can cover the most important city sites in a day. Well, to be honest, you need a couple of hours to do that! We started off at the SM City Mall for breakfast (sidenote: I don’t think the island is big on breakfast – most shops and cafes were still closed at 08:30am) followed by a short taxi ride to Fort San Pedro. This is the perfect place to start as you learn the history of Cebu and the Philippines, and it only cost a measly 30 pesos. It’s a fantastic place to get an education and have a mini photoshoot! Then, use maps.me to find Colon Street. This is where we bought souvenirs from street vendors. You will not see many tourists in this area so you won’t get the inflated prices. Also, keep an eye out for butt naked men? Haha! The strangest thing happened when we were casually minding our own business, walking in single file, taking photos of the surroundings when a stark naked man caught us off-guard! People thought the sight of three girls running across the road looking horrified was a joke! Okay…yes, a little funny!
- Then, while you’re on this walkabout, find Anthill Fabric Gallery! Yaaas! I love all things fairtrade, green, cruelty-free, and this place speaks my language. This is a unique workshop and gallery of crafts made locally. The items are woven in and around the city by locals and they work closely with indigenous communities. I had been looking forward to spending all of my money here but the pauper within said, “no.” I do love the passport cover and piece of cloth that we are going to frame! (This is what happens when 3 nerds go on a trip, they buy pieces of cloth to frame…matching, of course) Bonus: a warm, helpful and welcoming crew! Lookout for a future post about the fabric gallery. I’ll have you know that the last image is of a top entirely made out of leftover scrap material! The ingenuity!
- I am not sure if we would have gone to the Tops Lookout point if we weren’t already at Chateau de Busay for lunch. Let me not discourage you, if you would like to see the Cebu and the surrounding islands from a cool toposcope, definitely make a trek! You only need about 30 minutes here unless you want to stay for sundowners and a braai! Take some insect repellant as there were some mozzies buzzing around! The mission going back down to the city centre was the highlight! It was a hilarious moment! In short, we caught mopeds down! I had never been on a scooter before, I didn’t know how to get on, where to hold the guy, etc! Zero moped etiquette. I was holding on to a stranger for dear life as we descended down the winding road! What a thrilling experience!
- Island hopping has got to be the highlight! Everything worked out perfectly! The weather was stunning, the wine was chilled and I had the best company around me, including the boatmen! You can easily book for a Mactan Island Hopping Tour and enjoy a day in the sun! Snorkelling in the middle of the ocean and seeing beautiful coral and rainbow coloured fish! Oh, My!! It was a good thing that I had forgotten my underwater camera because I got to fully appreciate the splendour! It’s a whole new, precious world under the sea! Just do it! Also, having an entire boat to ourselves made us feel like millionaires!
- You cannot go on an island vacation and not go to the beach. We went to the White Sands resort – “at the back”! I am not a resort kind of traveller but this was a great shout! They offered a delicious buffet lunch, too! Word of warning: getting cat-called is a thing.
- Lastly, on one of the nights we didn’t really have evening plans we decided to take a jeepney to a place called Mactan Newtown where you’ll find the best local cuisine for a decent price. They also had Korean, Indonesian and Mexican cuisine! So, we played a game! Each of us had to order 2 dishes and surprise each other at our large dining table. We had heaps of fun and enjoyed a magnificent smorgasbord! This is a must!
I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I am almost certain that it was the company! I had the most wonderful friends with me and I was laughing 90% of the time! I am still on a high from this spectacular vacation and I could do this all over again in a flash!
Happy travels! x