This lovely city had been becoming as close as what Manila is, the Capital of the Republic of the Philippines.
There was never a time where I haven’t seen any tourist nor any foreigner whenever I’m there. It had always been on the list of every foreign person who would want to travel to the Philippines. Foreigners even love it there to the point that they would decide to just move there indefinitely. Some can even talk fluently in Bisaya, the native dialect in Cebu, or at least understand and/or speak a few words, even more than I can.
I may have been flying back and forth to Cebu City but this time, I made sure to visit a few tourist spots, which is a must for every tourist coming to Cebu.
The north and south of Cebu may have the best areas to visit due to the multiple activities you can do, but what some people don’t know is there are a few that you can visit within the city without spending so much. All you need is just a few hours of your time.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is located in Mactan Island, which means you have to travel from one island to another to reach Cebu City.
Most of the tourists would take the cab going to the city which would give you with an expensive rate especially if it’s during the rush hours. Traffic in Cebu can get really bad.
What most people don’t know, there’s a bus, MyBus, that you can take to get to SM City Cebu at a way cheaper fixed price, so no matter how heavy the traffic is, there’s no meter that will keep on ticking charging you more and more. From SM City Cebu, you can just then take a cab going to where you’ll be staying or you can just leave your luggages there at the Traveller’s lounge and explore the city.
What to Visit
Fort San Pedro – This place was built by the Spaniards as a military defense structure starting at 1565 and was restored with its historical look built with coral stones which were hauled from under the sea along Cebu coastal towns.
It is located next to Plaza Independecia, where most locals would hangout, and the Cebu Postal office. Not only that it’s being visited by foreign tourists, but also by Filipinos from other parts of the country.
Across Fort San Pedro, you can also visit The Original AA BBQ for an authentic Filipino Cuisine. The food there is good and very affordable. They have multiple branches around Cebu.
Magellan’s Cross – This place houses the original cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan on 1521, located across the Cebu City Hall and next to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño.
Most people go here and light candles as an offering.
Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño – The oldest Roman Catholic Church in the country, founded in 1565. Not only Roman Catholics would visit this place but tons of tourists as well because of its historical structure.
Entering the church, you’ll see different statues of saints and a one of a kind altar made of gold.
A Pilgrim Center was built within the church compound where a mass is sometimes being held in its open-air, theater-like structure.
Take note, they’ve become strict in prohibiting people from taking photos around the church compound and inside the church especially if the mass is ongoing. Although, I do still have a few old photos from there with my family.
These are just a few of those tourist spots you’d want to visit. Aside from those, the city is filled with tons of places to go to and activities to experience.
Whenever I go to Cebu, I always make sure to go visit:
- Sugbo Mercado in IT Park, which is filled with different kiosks selling different kinds of food that everyone would love. You can just eat there while listening to the live band or get it to go and enjoy eating while strolling around IT Park. Sugbo Mercado is only open every Thursday to Sunday from late afternoon to late evening.
- Joed’s Lutong Hapon in Mabolo, which I think have the best Chicken Curry in town. The sushi in Joed’s are also really good at a very affordable price. You should try their specialties including the Crunchy California Maki. I wasn’t a big fan of sushi at all until I ate at Joed’s.
- Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu Business Park. This place is a combination of mall and a park. They have almost everything. To some tourists, this may not be necessary but being near to Ayala while staying in the city can be a big advantage. Like during my recent trip, my iPhone charger decided to give up on me. Being near to Ayala, I get to buy a new one easily. Plus, the restaurants there are a must try, giving you an experience of worldwide varied cuisines.
My recent trips to Cebu had never been complete without staying at an Airbnb. So what is it that I like so much about it? Well, I got to experience the comfort of home in a hotel like experience. On my recent stay, I chose Anna’s Estate, which I totally loved. The view from her corner unit at the 23rd floor is freaking awesome! Check-in and check-out was hassle free, I love how everything was set in to place, and the kitchen is also fully equipped. Not only that the unit is perfect, but it’s also the center of everything. It’s just more/less than 1km away from Ayala, SM, and IT Park. I never got to meet Anna, the owner, but she had always been one message away.
A part of me had considered Cebu as a home and I could never get tired of going back here.
The next time you’re planning to go to the Philippines, put Cebu in your list. 😉