I’ve been to Cebu a few times before for the beach, visit friends, attend a wedding, Sinulog, and of course to scuba dive. But last year, my sisters all voted to go to Cebu for our family New Year holiday as none of them have been there before. I’m fine with it because I love Cebu and secretly plan to dive Moalboal. ;-)
Because we’ll be saving by traveling locally (past trips: Shanghai, Macau, Hong Kong, Japan & Brunei), we thought of booking into Shangrila Mactan. But wow the price was so outrageous it’s almost a crime! So I went looking for better deal and finally we decided on Hilton Cebu Resort which is also 5-star but cost about half. It was overall a good stay except for the guy at the reception failed to store the baby food in their freezer thus spoiling our supply. But they were able to amend by providing gourmet cooked food for Jin! We really appreciate this effort.
Punta Engaño used to be an unassuming fishing village with rocky beaches. Well, I believe it still is in some part, but the demand for Cebu beach resorts brought in a lot of the big names like Shangrila and Hilton, even if they have to bring in their own white sand. It’s in Mactan Island, 15 minutes from the Cebu International Airport, so we dropped our luggages first before meeting up with our tour guide for lunch in Cebu City.
Casa Verde comes highly recommended by our tour guide, Ka Bino. He said that it serves the best baby back ribs in town. Obviously a popular with locals, it was fully packed at 1 past noon. The ambiance was cozy using the old family house. The service was good and the serving is huge! And the ribs? It was tender and very good. The price is surprisingly very cheap.
Our city tour began at the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home in Parian Street. It was built in the early 1600s and is now preserved to be a museum of antiques. The artifacts in the house are recent acquisitions of the same period as the house. You’re encouraged to make a modest contribution of 50 pesos to help its maintenance as it doesn’t get any funding from the local government. The house can also be rented for private parties accommodating up to 40 guests.
Magellan Cross and Basilica Minore del Santo Niño are probably the most important attraction in Cebu City. It is believed to be the actual cross planted by Magellan when he came. And the church was built in 1565 on the location where the image of Sto Nino was found inside a burnt wooden box. This is the same Sto. Nino image inside. This is where the procession begins and ends during the Sinulog Festival.
Finally, the tour ended at TOP-The Osmeña Place or locals fondly call “tops” is located on top of the Busay Hills 2,000 ft above sea level. It showcases a great panoramic view of Cebu City, Mactan, and Olango Island. It’s a cool (literally) hang out place faraway from the hussle and bussle of the city. It has an entrance of 100 pesos.
Ka Bino Guerrero Bino is a tour guide based in Cebu City. He specializes on Heritage Tours (Churches and Towns), Museums, as well as Walking Tours.
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Thank you for all the useful information and fabulous photos you’ve given me in this blog. I’ve got to say that you inspire me to travel more and more. I love the way you’ve styled your blog and your angle – of – view in photography. It’s amazing! I just want to be there right away
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how much ka bino charge for the city tour?
i have heard so much about Magellan Cross i was told its very beautiful
I was thinking the same as James, this feels like it came straight out of a travel magazine! I’m going to have to study your style and start practicing myself for my upcoming Europe trip.
Last year I decided to go to Hilton Cebu and was impressed with the view and facilities but deeply unimpressed with the services. I felt as if I was in a 5 star location receiving 2-3 star services.
It’s so cool that you go on big family trips :) My family would do that once a year but they tend to stick to what they know so every year we’d go to the same place, Adventureland and Iowa State Fair!! haha
Great post and it seems like you are using a film camera? Or is that post editing?
thanks, josh.. my family caught my travel bug and so we do this whole family trip twice a year. and every time we try to go to a different location either abroad or locally. And what fun too because it’s always all expenses paid and we get to stay in nicer places than what i usually would book for myself when i travel alone. haha.
the photos are taken with iphone4 using various photography apps. ;)
Looks like such a great place!!!
thanks, andi :)
pang travel mag itong post na ito lil.
you think? thanks James. ;-)
I like the cross-processed shot of the Yap-San Diego Central house during Pasko, with the colorful parols and all. shocks! kakahiya, never pa ako nakapunta ng Cebu! l can’t wait to finally see Cebu soon! :)
thanks, girl. =) well, i’ve never been to Sagada at mas malapit yun! haha..
great that you liked casa verde! they have the best ribs in town. :)
on a different note, it’s an abomination that those resorts are getting sand by mining islands between cebu and bohol. a few of those white sand islands disappeared from the map due to massive hauling of those sands that made up the island.
i know what you mean diva. :S
Kasama pala si Jin, lucky baby, gourmet-cooked good ang kanya:)
Jin loves to travel! His first airplane trip is at 3months old. =)