Anyone can Travel the World but, there’s always this One place that will make you feel you’re HOME…
My second home away from home is the Queen City of the South, Cebu City. Cebu is located in the island of the Philippines and is the second largest city.
At an early age of 7, I was a transplant from the capital city, Manila. My Papa was relocated by San Miguel Corporation to start-up the Plastic Case division of the company. I learned the Cebuano dialect naturally from school. I can honestly say that I’m a proud Cebuana by heart.
2010: I revisited Cebu City after 22 years of living in the United States. Unfortunately, I stayed for only 5 days. Bummer! I promised myself that I will be back and will divulge more time to explore the island.
2014: And so I did! I explored the island and was once again a local Cebuana. I know this is a super late post, but I thought I would share my experience, and hopefully you guys can make it and live with the beauty of the South just like I did.
As I traveled the island- expectations were met more than an existent dream. This time – to check my Bucket List and more so to explore the island as a local- as I opened my options and my eyes to discover the treasures and beauty of the island. I was able to cope with the local lifestyle instantly – just like the good old days. A lifestyle that I consider as the true Island Life.
Cebu City has so much to offer, the luxury of nature to the uptown’s wine bars, restaurants, and clubs. Cebu has the lavishness of island living. To top it all- Cebuanos are in nature extremely hospitable and friendly.
Bluewater Resort: Sumilon Island
Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort is a two-hour ride from Cebu City. It offers free scheduled 2-way transportation between Oslob and Sumilon Island, and is in close proximity to Dumaguete. It is the first marine protected area in the Philippines and was made a fish sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of Siliman University Marine Reserve. During dives, one will find varied marine species and even occasional sightings of black tip sharks. It’s like having your own private island. Fortunately, these descriptions were right on the mark. And if you’re lucky, you might find yourselves the only ones on the island. Sumilon is a beautiful tranquil island.
Lazing around on the moving sandbar on the other side of the island was another must.Its sandbar is well-known for its changing shapes and shifting locations around the island, depending on the season.
The cottages are very spacious. All the rooms are sea view, and definitely a 5-star accommodation.
The infinity pool was so surreal.
Playtime with the Oslob Whale Sharks:Oslob, Cebu
It’s whale-sharks or “butanding”. Oslob is a municipality located in the southeastern part of Cebu Province, which is around 71 miles away from the busy city of Cebu.
The local fishermen will guide you through. I was in the last batch to conquer the friendly species. The waves were tremendously uncontrollable at that time and I was unable to enjoy swimming with my new-found ocean friends. So the next day, I excitedly went back and wow! They are such amazing playmates. The playground of the sea is how I will describe the very moment I played with them underwater. This is a Must on your list to visit and a Must on your Bucket List.
Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon:Poblacion Liloan, Cebu
Papa Kit’s is the second Wakeboarding Park in Cebu. There are various outdoor activities available. Wakeboarding, Ziplining, Aqua Sports,ATV, Jungle Obstacle to name a few.If you are an Outdoorsy person, this is the place to be. Another affordable fun thing to do and experience.
Movenpick Hotel: Mactan,Cebu
If you are going to be in Cebu for a sexy weekend getaway! This is the place! The hotel is a great kinda – sort of a boutique Miami hotel. We were overwhelmed with the customer service we received from all the employees. Everyone from the desk clerk, valet, bellhop, housekeepers, restaurant staff, cabana staff up to the Manager, were very gracious and accommodating throughout our stay. This hotel has an exceptional service. They made our stay marvelous. This upbeat, tranquil hotel offers affordable rates and a friendly modern chic atmosphere in a convenient location. I can’t wait to revisit Movenpick and feel the stillness of the island.
The modern setting of Movenpick’s Ibiza Beach Club. Ibiza offers Mediterranean and Asian fusion menu. To top it all, they have nightly entertainment that varies from a guest DJ to Latin shows.
Cebu’s Restaurants and Bars
La Vie Parisienne:371 Gorordo Ave, Cebu City
Excellent Euro-Parisian with a dash of Napa Valley, CA ambiance.This place caters from a romantic couple to girls’ little hideaway in the city. They serve pizza and French cuisine and not so Frenchie cuisine.Nice place to chit-chat and savor a bottle of wine.
Larsian: Don Pedro Rodriguez Don Mariano Cui St., Cebu City
Yes! Larsian aka Street Food. This place has grown through the years. Larsian is famous for its variety of BBQs with hanging rice (puso). You will have a choice of chicken or pork bbq. Most of the time, you can ask for free soup (sabaw). The prices are of course street affordable. Be ready to eat with your hands.
Sunburst Fried Chicken: One Mango Avenue, Gen. Maxilom Avenue, Cebu City
This is the gastronomical place to go for the best-fried chicken in town. This restaurant brings back childhood memories. I love fried chicken! Sunburst will satisfy your cravings of comfort food. Literally Gastronomical! My favorites – Siempre! the fried chicken and the chicken skin chicharon. Oh my! oh my!
Pino Restaurant: Wilson St, Cebu City
This place offers the most tasteful old-time Filipino cuisine. The restaurant has a Spanish setting and the dinner buffet had a wide range of choices, my fave was the baked oysters. May I mention the desserts were outrageously delish. We had the privileged to sit in their private event area, and the wine cellar was remarkable with wide choices of vino. My special thanks to my dear friends Richard and Sherry Ann Solon.
Manna SuTuKil (STK): Mactan Shrine, Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu
This is the place where Leia went to market. The one place you get to pick and buy fresh seafood, then have them cook/grill it the way you want and yes ANY way you want.
Kusina Uno:F Cabahug St, Cebu City
This is to-go to restaurant during wee hours. This place is famous for their pochero (beef soup), Caldereta, sizzling Pochero. I would rate the pochero a 10.There’s no other place to stop and let me say always the Last Stop for the night out in town. I highly recommend Kusina Uno; it is indeed the Uno amongst the wee hours dining.
Check out my Blog on Bucket Shrimps
11 Orchid St, Capitol Site, Cebu City
Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City
Opening Soon: Bucket Shrimps Yacht Club, Mactan
It’s one of a kind to make slightly barbaric, finger-licking, bib-wearing table manners absolutely acceptable.The restaurant is hype, with an all white ambiance and a stroke of house, pop, and lounge music. The Main Menu consists of 8 selections: All food is served in a bucket.
My personal favorite is the Cajun Shrimp served with corn, and the mussels with garlic butter sauce. To top it all, I recommend ordering the signature drink – CALMA.
So here you go– Your choice My choice. Visit Cebu and you will open your eyes to the magnificent city of paradise.Big Huge THANK YOU to my wonderful friends – special thanks to REGNER !- that made this trip possible, exciting, and priceless.
The question is – Do I want to relocate and be a migrant of Cebu once again? Being an Island Girl for 3 1/2 weeks wasn’t bad at all, actually it was pretty Awesome!