*This is an article we published for the February 2013 issue of Zee Lifestyle. Go get one in all the major news stands!
For many locals, the experience of living in Cebu is why we are here. We’ll talk about the mixture of rural and urban living, the proximity of the white powdery beaches, the drive through breezy mountains and even about the chill pace. But what happens when a tourist asks the question, “What should I do in Cebu?” This question stumps many locals. How can you summarize everything to do in Cebu? Visiting Cebu isn’t about a checking off a list of must do items. It’s about the overall experience.
That being said, it would be good to have decent answers to that question. Here’s our little contribution.
Downtown Walking Tours – Ka Bino
If Cebu history and culture is what you are after, you won’t find anyone better for the job than Ka Bino. Known for his quick wit and exhaustive knowledge, he will gladly show you around the oldest Spanish settlement in the Philippines. Who knows where you’ll end up? Maybe you’ll find yourself admiring an old building in the middle of the busy streets of Colon or staring at the Magellan’s cross as Ka Bino tells you it isn’t aptly named. According to him, the original cross planted by Magellan was chopped off by the natives at the time. The new cross was brought by Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi.
Contact: 0916 790 4611
There aren’t many places where you can swim alongside the largest species of fish in the world. Granted, the whale sharks in Oslob aren’t fully matured yet and are still considered babies. At about 15 feet long, that’s the size of a legit car. Oslob is typically a 3 hour drive from the city. Most people leave the city in the wee hours of the night or look for an overnight stay in a nearby resort to catch the whale sharks in the morning.
Contact Destination Specialists
Everyone knows what a church in the traditional sense is supposed to look like; Curves, arches and a few paintings in the ceiling for good measure. If that’s what you are after, you’d be better off visiting the many other churches all over the city. The Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod answers the question, “What is a church supposed to look like in the modern 21st century?” The architecture is characterized with simple straight lines and edges. The complexity is brought about by the square shaped pillars surrounding the rest of the church in a maze like manner. These clear differences between traditional and modern make a trip to the church a worthwhile endeavour.
Location: South Road Project (SRP) in Cebu
One of the many advantages of living in a tropical city paradise is the close proximity of white sandy islands. A favorite destination for many locals is the island of Pandanon. Although technically not in Cebu, it is located in Getafe Bohol, it is close enough for many locals to brave a boat ride into the sea. Anything for white sandy beaches and barbecued food.
Contact Bohol Gateway
Edge Coaster, Sky Walk Extreme and Zipline
Admit it. Sometimes, we just want to do the touristy thing. If it means going up 40 stories just to try all sorts of crazy vertigo inducing rides, then so be it. That’s exactly what you’ll get at the Sky Experience Adventure on top of the Crown Regency Hotel. They’ve got a zipline between two buildings, another ride aptly called the Edge Coaster and the Sky Walk Extreme wherein you walk around a translucent glass on the edge of the building. If heights aren’t your thing, brace yourself. This will be scary.
Contact: (032)418- 8888
There are many places in the city for native Filipino food, but there’s only one place that can boast an ambience like the Lantaw Floating Restaurant. Here’s the Lantaw experience. Walk on to the floating restaurant. Find a table in the midst of the crowd. Enjoy the affordably priced Filipino dishes as you smell the sea air mixing with the aroma of the food. Then admire the horizon and notice the unparalleled view of the Cebu city skyline. Sounds like a good dinner, yes?
Contact: (032) 514-2959
A list about Cebu isn’t complete till you include a little shopping. But let’s not talk about the usual outlets in the usual malls. Chillage is a boutique where you never know what you are going to find… kind of like a box of chocolates. Inside were wooden watches, bamboo long boards, artisan chocolates, organic beauty products, t-shirts, swimwear and shoes. Most of the items come from Filipino entrepreneurs. No need to brave the malls and fight the crowd. Just hang at Chillage.
Located at the ground floor of Adnama Bldg, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City