Cebu – Queen of the South


Cebu – Queen of the South

Much to my surprise, visiting Cebu more than 5x in less than a year had not allowed me to comb this little island in the Visayas. Specifically the beaches which Cebu has been famous for. On top of other things like their sweetest mangoes, dried fish, factories of guitar, heritage sites and their famous lechon (without the liver sauce) paired with “puso” (steam rice wrapped in dried, woven coconut leaves). Did I say more?

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Ayala Cebu…
cebu
La Tegola..Cebu..

Cebu is such a small island and yet, upon touchdown, it felt grand. It’s as if it’ll take you forever to extensively explore it due to its’ endless beauty. The people there are kinder and simpler. They will smile at you naturally as if they’ve known you all their lives. It was declared a city years ago, so it felt like being laid back in a city where everything is easy, including smiling itself. Means of transportation is easy too, cabs will give you your change, the drivers I’ve encountered are so courteous, jeepneys are coded and they offer the widest choice of hotels. We once stayed at GV Hotel, an affordable hotel at the heart of the city where it is adjacent to the must see places like The Magellan cross,

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Monument of Magellan’s cross.

Old churches, the street long queue of “Cook while you wait” eating destiny known as “Larsian” that if you’re planning to go to Cebu, people who have been there will never miss telling you to include going to “Larsian” as part of your things to do in Cebu. It’s very Filipino. I guess this is where Bancheto’s idea was taken and the Night Cafe in Cagayan de Oro. There’s so much native dishes to choose from, you’ll have a hard time choosing like when you’re in food courts in the malls.

Fronting the “Larsian” is the Crown Regency hotel at Fuente Osmena. It is one hotel which boasts their “Edge coaster ride” located on it’s roof top.

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Crown Regency hotel – it took me several shots to capture this combination of red and violet lights! Such a lovely sight!

Though this isn’t my cup of tea, instead I opted climbing (by foot) this Chinese temple located at Beverly hills, Yes!!! WE have our own Beverly hills (Subdivision) in the Philippines! (–,)

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Chinese temple…

We didn’t miss hoarding danggit and banig (dried fish) in this popular market in Taboan where we brought with us kilos of  dried fish to be brought back home for loved ones and friends. It is in Cebu where I discovered the “Fish tocino”. A sweeter version of dried fish shaped into a a small round and marinated and sun dried. Do not dare to stay long enough as your clothes will absorb the scent of all the different kinds of dried fish. Back in our hotel, mostly everyone knew that we came from Taboan, because of our smell! ahaha! We immediately took a quick shower, changed our clothes, and without snoozing, we head back to the city and went straight to a spa and had our feet massaged and painted too. After which we shop till we drop and headed back in our hotel with our shopping bags loaded with “pasalubong”. It means goodies brought back home, a Filipino tradition of thoughtfulness, that even a small thing brought to a loved one meant a lot and the recipient normally treasures it all of his life. I had almost a dozen shirt for my papa, for my son, for my friends and for myself. Shirts from Cebu were very pretty and it took me long to choose as most designs were really adorable. My friend had her shirts personalized with this DIY corner where you can choose available designs in your own color combination. I also bought myself a huge swarovski pendant from Ayala Cebu,

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My swarovksi necklace…

Also an Indigo dress and a set of mother pearl earrings and bracelet for my mom. I bought it because of its’ color, its’ the lightest pinkish pearl I’ve ever seen. I’m so happy because my mom has always been passionate with pearls, more so, with jewelry. That typical trait of oldies. In our generations, we make do with “blings”. We shop like we’re not going back to Cebu anymore. We’re like panic buying not thinking of the cost of excess baggage allowed should we exceeded. And we’re pretty sure, we did.

I also found this bake shop – “Angelica’s Bake shop” and found a cute serving of my favorite blueberry cheesecake. Of course, I brought myself one for me to binge in my hotel.

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All time favorite blueberry cheesecake!<3

In another occasion, I visited Cebu because my job calls for it. I am full of excitement going back home from Tacloban, I even bought a very rare orchid for my mom, without knowing that the night before my flight, I got a call from my boss that I had to go to Cebu before I go back home. Oh well. =( The orchids literally traveled with me, inspected and was given a pass as well. ahaha!

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My hotel keys! As if I’m goin’ out. I stayed there for the longest as long as I’m in front of the tv watching Lifestyle Network. (–,)
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And if with food delivered at my doorsteps! pasta and bruschetta!
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Oh I went out for a while and stayed at the poolside of the hotel, with its panoramic view of the Metro Cebu with the Cebu-Mactan bridge behind…
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You wouldn’t believe, those are plastic spoon and forks created as chandeliers of the lobby!

My favorite part of it is the free breakfast – Eat all you can – smorgasbord type of breakfast provided by most hotels. Mine was a combination of Filipino and American breakfast. I guess I went back 3x to refill my cup of hot chocolate, I so love it, and I assume it was made of tableas (natural cocoa). These are export products just like the dried mangoes. During times like this, I’ve always wish that my parents and son and loved ones are with me. Oh by the way, while having my hefty breakfast, I picked-up some newspapers from the stand only to find out that the language was written in Visayan, I just pretended to be reading them. ehehe

cebu pix
Long hallway heading to the breakfast hall of Hotel Bella vista…

It’s bye bye time Gwapa Cebu for now, I’ll be back soon along with my loved ones. That’s a promise! (–,)

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Mactan Intl. Airport

PS

“Gwapa” means “beautiful” in Cebuano. (–,)

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beautsantua

-An only daughter. A mother of an 18 year old son. Passionate with so many things. A lover of life itself. First of which is to write. Then, sing (I specifically love the stage), read, cook, travel & take beautiful pictures (photography) and scrap booking, all of which are my own way of coping with life's challenges. Friends usually associate me with the color violet. I love this color so much! Though, I love pink, red, teal, orange, yellow, blue as well! Coffee is my water and my happy food is cheesecake topped w/ blueberries, yogurt, sansrival and cream puff. I mastered fettuccine carbonara because that is one of my favorite food as well, along w/ broccoli, prawns and mushrooms. Secretly, I love "Stitch" - that grinning indigo pup. =) Seriously, I dream to become a philanthropist (starting off by providing shelter to street children in our country) and a famous author someday. I'm just waiting for God's time for my first book to be published.- It took me years to decide to blog, more so to write and have it out in the open. As I used to write even when I was a teenager, and I just keep them on file. It was my outlet. Approaching the year they say where life begins, or If I may say, the sweeter life. It was a year full of emotions. As I lost my father a year before and I guess in one way or another, the unfathomable sadness prompted me to pour them out in my writings and share them to the world, hoping it might lighten the heaviness of my heart. I live now with my son and mother, as a mother and as a daughter (as a friend and a sister), this has made me be ready to finally do what I am meant to do. Even If there's a lot that I wanted to do. This came first, like a first love that occupied a special place in my heart. It's a looong process, tiring, frustrating, exciting. The best part? is the happiness it brings. Even if things around seems all so wrong. It's like having my own place under the sun. My own safe and happy rainbowed world. At times, there's guilt as well, for I strongly believe, writing (like singing) is a talent God has gifted us. We ought to use it and maximize it, in our littlest way, share it to mankind, for His glory. I just had a few distractions over the years and to realize that it is never too late to be who we ought to be, I have this very strong feeling, now is the time. All my life, I have decided on things that made me happy, this is one of those. I may never be a winner of those best blogs that have been awarded to talented writers/ bloggers and I don't mind, there are strikes of being envious, but according to my father, there are two kinds of being envy. There's envy that is so negative, it'll hamper you from doing good and there's an envy that makes you happy for them, or seeing yourself in their shoes, I think, the kind of envy in me, is the latter. Like celebrities who missed an Oscar, while the film was watched by the whole world, she/he did not mind, it's like knowing what counts best, and it's the capacity to share your talents to anyone who wants to receive it, without asking anything in return. Expressing what's in my heart and mind on every occasion (which happens to be daily) and being happy about it is like a prize already. Happy reading!(--,)

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