Indulging in the cultures and places the world has to offer are some of my greatest joys. It is where I find serenity, self-discoveries and the introduction of change in one’s psyche, which I won’t be able to find in my daily life living in my comfort zone.
Join me as I go around in the most luxurious City in the Philippines. Cebu City is a province of the Philippines in the Central Visayas Region. It’s an island consisting of more or less than 150 smaller surroundings islands and islets. The City is well-known to be the “Queen City of the South” since then, because of its vast potential in terms of tourism, economy, infrastructures, and history. The City is situated on the mid-eastern side of Cebu Island. In the history, it is the first Spanish settlement and considered the Philippines’ oldest city, which made it the first capital of the Philippines, long enough before it was changed to “Manila”. There language is known as “Bisaya, Binisaya or Sugbuanon”, Cebuano speakers are so-called “Cebuano”
Fasten your seat belts because we are leaving faster than Indiana Jones just to see the top tourist spots in Cebu City.
I booked my ticket four months before my travel date. I got it for only 1,800 Php back and forth, quite a good deal, traveling from Kalibo – Cebu – Iloilo. My greatest tool is the internet; it’s very convenient and easy to follow, plus you can search anywhere as long as you have mobile data. Google has everything and it’s my best friend because why not? Got my ticket, tried the self – service check in to get my boarding pass and paid my terminal fee then proceeded to the lounge area. There are several ways to get into Cebu City. If you’re coming from different countries, you can drop by Manila, the capital of the Philippines and fly to Cebu City. Just check and arrange with your chosen airlines.
Luckily my sister got me a transient room in her apartment so I paid for less than I expected. With so much happiness I treated her in Dessert Factory, Ayala Center Cebu, the food was tasty and delicious.
Top Tourist Spots in Cebu City
1. Crown Regency Hotel and Towers
On my first night, I headed to Crown Regency Hotel to try the most talked about “Sky Walk Adventure”. Overlooking Cebu from 430 feet up (the highest tower in the city) was a different kind of thrill. It was really scary at first, but I had a really great first night in the city. I had to pose like a pro though.
Skywalk cost 400 Php per person, 100 Php deposit for the wristband, they will be refunded after use. Hard copy of the photo cost 150 Php per photo (yes, you gotta pay for it for a remembrance)
2. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Formerly Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish of Saint Vitalis and of the Guardian Angels. The church was one of the first churches in the Philippine history, built in April 1565.
I started my first new day by attending a mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, lit candles and prayed to the Holy Guardian Angels which is their titular and patron Immaculate Conception. Always a good start to my every travel is to drop by and give thanks to the Almighty Father.
3. Fort San Pedro
Known as Fuerte de San Pedro, a military defense structure in Cebu built by the Spanish under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. Located at the Pigafetta Street, I entered the premises to feed my hungry mind about the history of the City. The place will definitely make you feel nostalgic about the Philippine history and I’m honored that I got to see the whole place and made a memory for a little while. Entrance fee: Regular 30Php, Senior 24Php, Students, and Children 20Php
4. Magellan’s Cross
One of the most historical landmarks that are a must see when in the City. The Cross of Magellan is a popular tourist attraction in the middle of the busy Magellan Street. The paintings on the ceilings with a scene depicting the landing of Magellan in Cebu, the vibrant colors, the structure and the devotees who would drop coins or put lighted candles at the foot of the cross. Seeing all those things made me really happy.
5. Basilica Minore del Santo Nino
Commonly known as Basilica del Sto Nino, the mother, and head of all churches in the Philippines. It was founded in the1565, located at Osmena Boulevard. The moment I stepped on inside I felt goosebumps and security. It is a very nice place to be when in Cebu. I lit a candle, offered a prayer for my petitions and made a wish.
6. Tops Lookout
My sister and I decided to have a late night adventure, so we went to see Tops Lookout; the beautiful scenery during the night in Cebu. This relaxing spot is found in Barangay Malubog, Busay, Cebu City. This is one of the most overrated tourist spots in the City. We rode a habal-habal (motorcycle) from the center of the City going to Tops which took us 45 minutes travel. The route can be just as fun as riding a roller coaster. The moment you feel your ride is starting to go uphill then you know you’re going the right way.
The main ground is decorated by concretes in hexagon form and withered Bermuda grasses. The covered resting place and eating area are wonderfully made by big concrete stones and designed in curves and circles.
They also have a bar, snack bar, and souvenir shops. From Tops you can witness the breathtaking view of the whole City, you can even see the Crown Regency Hotel and Towers. There’s not much fun to do but take photos of the City lights, but a really good place to reflect, plan or simply think about life and how lovely it is in Cebu. This place made my heart melt like hundred times and the reason why I want to go back. Entrance 100 Php, Habal-habal 250 Php
Tip: Bring some gum along with you. As you go higher, you’ll need something to pop your ears.
7. Tuslob Buwa
The next morning, I went to Coner of Katambisan Village, Central Nautical Highway, Catmon, Cebu to try out the Restaurant named Tuslob Buwa in Azul. “Tuslob Buwa” means to dip in bubbles. It is one of Cebu’s exotic street treats. The local dip is made of pig brain, oil, fish sauce, onions, shrimp paste and all other assorted flavorings.
I got to enjoy this experience because you’ll cook your own Tuslob Buwa, they serve it straight from the wok paired with Puso (cooked rice wrapped in coconut leaves). After you cooked your own Tuslob Buwa, you gotta dip your Puso and start digging in.
8. Taoist Temple
Looking for some quiet time I headed to Taoist Temple located in the wealthy Beverly Hills residential enclave in the suburb of Lahug. It is said to the home of many Filipino-Chinese millionaires and the Taoist Temple was built by them and some donations. This cultural center of the Chinese with its dragon paintings, altars, and statues of the Buddha harmonizes with beautiful pagoda roofs.
There is also a beautiful view of the city from this mesmerizing place. For me, the Taoist Temple is one of the highlights of my Cebu travel because I had the time to meditate and pray.
Cebu City has been my favorite travel destination. I honestly haven’t explored the whole City at all but that would be a reason to always come back, in the Queen City of the South.
If you’re looking for a magical adventure, Siquijor is the place to be!
Siquijor is a Province located in the Central Visayas Region of the Philippines. It is mostly labeled as, the Island of Fire due to the glow it shows off during sunset as a multitude of fireflies gathers on the Molave trees surrounding the island. For the older generation, it has been said that Siquijor is a place of mystery, mystics, and magic; for they believe in witchcrafts, sorcery, and black arts. In a matter of fact, it is indeed practiced until today, but on a less prevalent than before.
Honestly, people find it very odd when they found out that I’m traveling to Siquijor Island. I know I’m going to like this place because it’s pretty bare, there’s not a lot of things to do, no noise, more trees trees trees and beach beach beach. It’s such a nice hideaway! But who would have thought that this island people used to be scared of going into, will turn out to be a perfect tourist destination? Apparently, this island is known to have witches and mythical creatures which are why for a while even the locals wouldn’t come here. But I think that was just an urban legend or something like that. I don’t know but maybe some people still believe it, maybe it’s true, or yeah hopefully it’s not.
More than that, Siquijor island is unexplored in terms of its tourist destinations, it isn’t the top destination people have in mind when travel popped in. That’s why we’re here because it’s honestly a hidden gem.
Basically, when you arrive at the port, you can buy your tickets there. There’s no need to buy your tickets in advance because there’s a lot of room, no worries needed. You show up at the Dumaguete, Port, buy your tickets for around 130.00Php, a terminal fee of 15.00Php, and you’re good to go. Of course, there’s a lot of choices, you could go fast craft for around 200.00Php or more. The travel time ranges from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your chosen boat.
Getting around the island is quite easy especially when there’s a lot of tricycles available for tour, their rate is 1000.00php per day which is around $20USD. Usually, you could split that with 3 to 4 people depending on your preference. Each tour guide has actually a specific route to follow depending on where your starting point. But since I’m going to explore Siquijor for a day with my siblings, I made some arrangements with our tour guide. Cos, of course, I’m gonna take you to places that are must visit.
Sites to Explore in the Province of Siquijor
1. St. Francis of Assisi Church
In just a hop away from the seaport, this church is considered to be a warm opening feature of the province. This church was built in 1793 and was made of coral stone. Like most colonial churches, its belfry is separated from the church.
2. Lazi Church
Known as San Isidro Labrador Parish Church, a Roman Catholic founded and became an independent parish in 1857.
3. Lazi Convent
Lazi Convent is the biggest and the oldest convent in the Philippines and all of Asia. It is constructed around 1871 and declared a National Cultural Treasure by the National Museum of the Philippines. It is also nominated for UNESCO World Heritage. What a goosebumps! Amazing isn’t it?
4. Capilay Spring Park
A public natural spring pool located at the heart of San Juan town. Capilay Spring Park provides a refreshing plunge to everyone as it has no entrance fee.
The pool has three chambers which are the spring area, the swimming, and the laundry pool. The flowing waters stream down to the nearby bay.
5. Old Enchanted Balete Tree
In the Philippines, Balete tree has been known to be a dwelling place for supernatural beings. This Balete tree in Lazi, Siquijor is centuries old and believed to be over 400+ years old; the most popular landmark in Siquijor is. Right under the tree, there’s a fish pond that is very popular for its “fish spa”.
6. Cambugahay Waterfalls
This multi-tiered waterfalls can be reached 135 steps down from Lazi main road. Enjoy the clean, refreshing, and cold waters that cascade all the way from natural springs. You will have the chance to jump using a swing, which is popularly known as the Tarzan jump. The water is so turquoise, no filter needed.
7. Salagdoong Beach
A very nice and secluded beach on the far side of Siquijor. This beach is popular because of its blue waters and endless skies. Salagdoong Beach is famous for its twin beach separated by the boulder rock. You can cliff jump, eat, party, and everything you want to do. It is quite a scenery!
8. Cantabon Cave
This is a must adventure in Siquijor, the cave is fascinating and extraordinary. There are plenty stalagmites and stalactites formations which will make you stare in awe. Exploring the cave, you will have to coordinate with the Barangay officials to get a tour guide and rent a flashlight.
Siquijor is a place that would amaze you with its natural and pristine beaches, astonishing waterfalls, lush hiking trails, serene environment, centuries-old churches, and the friendliest people. If you guys have the chance to visit this magical island, I so so so recommend it. Go to Siquijor and experience what I did or better yet, have more fun than I did. Let me know in the comment section below about your adventure friends, safe travels!
You wanna know what the white beach in the world looks like? Let me take you to the Philippines, where Boracay Beach stands out.
Summer never truly ends in the Philippines which brings the locals and tourist to a perfect haven. By witnessing its beautiful white sand beaches, blue crystal clear waters, sunrise and sunset, serene atmosphere, and fresh salty air; you know that you’re in the ultimate vacation island of the Philippines, Boracay! This has been always my summer go-to beach or anytime I feel stressed out.
Boracay Island is part of Aklan Province, located specifically in Caticlan. According to the local tourism of Aklan, in the year 2015, it was visited by 1.5 million tourists coming from different parts of the world.
Boracay is one tiny island but there are more reasons for millions of people to cross an ocean and visit the Philippines.
It has become the face of tourism in the country since then. Boracay is considered one of the astonishing hotspots in the Philippines and one of the top islands in the world. This piece of beach paradise is always on the must-visit list of every tourist. People go here to unwind and take a time off from the busy zone of the city. It has been popularly known as the top destination for relaxation, tranquility, and nightlife.
This place is seriously an all-in-one packed with everything.
It is a home of hundreds of beach resorts, hotels, restaurants, bars, activity area, and businesses; that will suit every taste and budget of any traveler. The island is adorned with several white sand beaches; the most famous of which is the one known as “White Beach”, as the name implies, this beach is the fairest of them all. This is also the commercial center of the island and also never miss the amazing sunset this beach is famous for.
What composes the Island?
This island is divided into three stations; Station 1 is a 3.5-kilometer white beach, it has the finest white sand in the entire island. This is where the most luxurious resorts, restaurants, and bars are found. Station 2 is considered the busiest area, where you can find the most famous mall on the island (D’mall). Many varieties of shops and restaurants are found here. Station 3 is the most peaceful and less crowded part the island, where you can find cheaper deals in the southern end.
If you find White Beach very busy and you’re looking for something low key and just want a relaxing trip, the next island suits your taste; it is known as “Bulabog Beach”. When you suddenly crave for peace and serenity with fewer people going around, head on to the next island popularly known as “Puka Shell Beach”. Whatever it is that you prefer as a traveler, Boracay got a place for you.
How to get on the Island?
There are two ways to get to this island. If you’re coming from Hongkong, Singapore, or Seoul; you can fly directly to Kalibo, Philippines. Or if you’re coming to everywhere else, you can drop by Manila, the capital of the Philippines and fly to Caticlan, the airport that is much closer to the island. When you get there, you can take the Southwest Bus from Kalibo Airport to Boracay, it is more convenient compared to the vans, They can also facilitate your boat transfer from Caticlan to Boracay. Upon arriving in Boracay Island, a tricycle can take you to your booked hotel.
Every time I travel here, I see to it that I can try new things or be in a new station for my accommodation. This time, I checked in with the Bambooze Hauz, located in Station 3 of the White Beach. The hotel is affordable and offers a very good accommodation.
What to Eat and Where to Chill?
Dining on the island is diverse. This party island has the most popular restaurants to date, flaunting their sumptuous and delicious meals. Few of these are; Real Coffee & Tea Café offering the most talked about Calamansi Muffins and every breakfast craving you have had. They serve different breakfast meals, and yes this place will convince you that Breakfast doesn’t only deserve a coffee. (Cos I don’t normally eat breakfast, Coffee is my everyday breakfast) I find myself in awe and I will probably start eating every morning.
The Banana Peanut Shake at Jonah’s is something I always have when I’m on the island. Jonah’s is an icon of fruit shakes in Boracay, which means everything in their list is worth a try.
D’Talipapa offering their very own Dampa-style wet market wherein you can have your food cooked and watch them as they do it, and Merly’s BBQ offering a home of the original chori burger made of Filipino longaniza.
You will never starve!
My favorite dining place is always I ❤ Backyard BBQ located nearly D’mall at Station 2, it is labeled as the “KING OF THE GRILL”. They have the best tastiest baby back ribs, BBQ, Chicken, and a lot more. You have to arrive really early before every meal time to avoid waiting for your table. (People usually fall-in-line just to dine)
When you get hungry, thirsty, and a bit tired in the afternoon, there’s a nice place to chill. Spider House is located at Tambisaan Jetty Port Road, just a bit farther from station 3. The Bamboo built Resort/Restaurant has a lot to offer; from a unique accommodation, a spectacular sunset straight from the best view on the island, very relaxing and inviting couches, and the food are outstanding!
Gypsea Shack formerly Hoy Panga is a must visit Bar and Restaurant on the island. it is the home of the best-grilled tuna and all festive food in the Philippines.
Fine dining right at the beach with French-Mediterranean food when you dine in Degustacion at Sandbar Beach Club. For Pizza and Pasta, Caruso at The District hotel is a winner. For Japanese, there’s Sushi Shi-ro at Bulabog Beach, where your Sushi and Sashimi are made right in front of you.
Boredom has no place in the Island
Not to mention this island has a lot of water and land activities to offer. Just like Parasailing, Paddle Boat Riding, Flyfish, Banana Boat Ride, Cliff Diving, Atv, and etc.
No one thought this small island can have it all. It blooms every single day, not knowing it has been a fun part of every single person’s life who indulged in it. Usually, people who came to this island tend to visit the place for a few days, but for some, they chose to stay and make a living. The memories of Boracay experiences are too fast at night time but seems like fast approaching at daylight.
The white beach is full of dreamy paraws (outrigger sailboat) giving rides, colorful parasails fly through the air, perfect scenery, many food choices, the live music breaks out, fire dancers twirl their batons while spinning fire, and the party goes on all night until dawn.
Boracay is a place where you can find everything that you have been looking for in a vacation destination, everything is considered. It’s going to be worth a try to visit it if you haven’t yet. Then, grab that cocktail by the beach, sit on the bean bag and see what the paradise has to offer.