40 Philippine Provinces Project : Cebu
Queen City of the South
Being Philippine's first city, cradle of Roman Catholicism, the Pinoy lakwatsero* shouldn't miss this city on his list. Not only is it teeming with history but with beauty as well.
We took the plane from Manila to Cebu. Travel time on air is 1-2 hours. And since the airport is located at Mactan Island, one has to take the cab to get to Cebu City proper. We planned on spending at our first night at Bantayan Island. So when we arrived at Cebu City, we rode a bus again for a 4 hour land travel to the port. Although there were available ordinary buses (without aircon), we waited for the airconditioned one. It was a good choice since the road was a bit bumpy, the airconditioned bus's seats were more cushioned and comfortable. Upon arriving at the port, we waited for 30 minutes for the RoRo (a small cargo ship for transporting vehicles, goods and people) to Bantayan Island. Some RoRos offer an airconditioned area, ours had none which was okay because it had a windy deck. I always get sea sick and my instant cure is wind on my face. After thirty minutes, we were on the island. Finally. We took the pedicab to one of the resorts listed in Lonely Planet Philippines. For this trip, we took the risk of not booking any lodging in advance. When we got there, we were surprised that there were no TV sets available. Turns out that electricity is a luxury in the island and is only available at night. This saddened my boyfriend (he's a TV junkie) so instead on checking in there, we just ate lunch and looked for another resort. Upon locating the one beach side resort with a TV set in their rooms, we finally settled in.
Yeaaaa, we rode on all basic modes of transportation all in one day.
*one who loves to travel
The Guardian's Beauty
Bantayan (Tagalog for "to guard") Island is aptly named since during the Spanish era, this island served as a guard post for invaders from the Visayan Sea. We stayed at Sta. Fe and enjoyed the peaceful beach. We went strolling early the next day. The beachfront was so wide, water from the ocean has settled in some parts of the shore and created little cold lakes.
While wading, we saw what seemed like a twig but looking closer, it is a snake. Daring my boyfriend to touch it, he did and said it felt like a fish. When we went home, we found out through the net that all saltwater snakes are poisonous *insert horror sound effect* so we vowed never to do that again.
In the afternoon, we rented a bike because we wanted to explore the northern tip of Bantayan Island. It was a cool day and the ride was exhilarating. There were many chicken farms along the way and at the tip, there was a small town. There we saw the actual fortress and the lighthouse. After a small meal, we rushed back in time to catch our RoRo back to Cebu City
History and the City
We dedicated our last day for touring the city. We went to Fort San Pedro which looked a lot like Intramuros in Manila, only smaller and less modern, walked to Magellan's Cross Shrine, tried Sky Experience Adventure atop Crown Regency Cebu, bought dried fish for pasalubong and stuffed our faces with Cebu's original CNT Lechon. It was the best tasting lechon yet - I didn't need to add sawsawan. I just ate it with rice and tasted pork heaven.
There were lots to do without being lost. No wonder many adore the Queen City of the South.