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biya67 Cebu City - A travel report by Mr Biya
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Cebu City,  Philippines - flag Philippines -  Cebu
4880 readers

biya67's travel reports

Cebu City- Queen City of the South

  14 votes
Discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, Cebu City has grown to become second only to Manila in size and importance. Cebu is the largest island in the Visayan region of the Philippines.

Tricycles in Cebu
Tricycles in Cebu
International travellers can easily reach Cebu directly from Honk Kong, Tokyo and several other major cities, as well as ample number of daily domestic flights from Manila. Cebu also boasts the country's busiest port with everything from crusie ships to, cargo ferries and fast craft. Whether you fly into Mactan International Airport or arrive by ship you're only a few minutes drive to the beautiful and historic city of Cebu. Many historic landmarks, large malls and colorful fiestas are all part of the Cebu experience. In addition to the all the site seeing that is available you will also enjoy the warm hospitality of the Cebuanos wherever you are likely to stay and visit. Once you arrive, there are plenty of taxi's both at the airport and the pier to take you wherever you need to go. The majority of the taxis are metered. Be sure the driver is using the meter and not trying to negotiate a flate rate- you will be much better off and more likely not to be overcharged. In addition to the taxis they are the uniquely Philippine Jeepneys- originally converted from left over ww II jeeps and made into mini buses, these are a cheap and efficient way to see and experience the Philippines. There are also tricycles- motorcycles with side cars that can hold more passengers than what you could ever imagine, or the pedicab- a bicycle with a side car. Both very cheap forms of transportation for a short or close trip

Favourite spots:
Magellan's Cross
Magellan's Cross
One of my favorite spots is the downtown area of Cebu- home to the historic Fort San Pedro, Magellan's Cross, and the Basilica of Santo Nino- the Patron Saint of the Philippines.

What's really great:
A Sinulog Dancer carrying a statute of the Santo Nino
A Sinulog Dancer carrying a statute of the Santo Nino
My favorite time of the year to visit Cebu is in January. Not only is the weather cooler, but the third Sunday of January is the Sinulog Festival in honor of the Santo Nino- drum and bugles, colorful dancers and a parade through the city with representation the schools and universities in Cebu and from many of the surrounding islands.

Exterior of the Basilica of Santo Nino
Exterior of the Basilica of Santo Nino
Fort San Pedro- the oldest and most well preserved Spanish era fort in the Phillipines. A nominal entrance fee is charged and a small museum is located on the second floor.

Magellan's Cross-the cross planted by Magellan when he discpvered Cebu. It is now encased in protective wood, and housed in a small building near the Santo Nino Basilica which is the oldest church in the Philippines and home to the miraculous statue of the holy child of Cebu (Santo Nino).

One of the accomodations of the many homeless and orphaned children in Cebu
One of the accomodations of the many homeless and orphaned children in Cebu
Cebu Has accomodations to accomodate those on a tight budget or those who demand a five star hotel or resort. Two of the nicest resorts i've visitedare the Plantation Bay and Shangrila Resort. Both have very nice rooms, friendly staff and all the ammenities you would expect from a nice resort.
Two of the finer hotels are the Cebu City Marriott and the Waterfront City Hotel. They are also your more upscale full service hotels. Boasting swimming pools, spas, and fitness centers.
For those on a tighter budget there many hotels and pension houses, which can be a little less secure and safe. I have stayed in a pension house, and been fine. The rooms are small, and there are no ammenities- but if you only need a place to sleep for a cheap rate, you will not find a less expensive way to stay.

If a quiet conversation over coffee is how you would like you end your evening, I would recommend stopping at one of the many Bo's Coffee locations. The coffee and snacks are delicious and 1/3 the cost of starbucks ;)

If you prefer a western style pub- you won't be disappointed. there are several owned by Australian and Eurpoeans serving western food, music and entertainment.

If you enjoy shopping then you've come to the right place in Cebu City. SM (Super Mall) and Ayala- are two of the largest malls in Cebu, offering everything from clothing to foreign exchanges. I prefer to exchange money at Ayala. he rate is slightly better, you do not need to write down your serial numbers for the money are exchanging and there is not a $300 usd maximum as there is at SM.

Cebu City offers the international traveller a wide selection of cuisines as well as local delicacies. For a nice dining experience and good prices, try the Cafe Laguna at Ayala.
If you are missing a good European or western Bar or Pub, there are several owned by Europeans with western food and music.
If you're adventorous, maybe you would like to sample Balut- a fertilized duck egg. The higher the number the more developed the embryo- I haven't been that adventurous- yet... :)

Other recommendations:
One of the many street vendors selling bottled water to support their families
One of the many street vendors selling bottled water to support their families
As the Philippines are quite poor, I would say the most rewarding experience you will take away is by helping one of the many needy children or families. There are many charities, and Catholic Churches that would eagerly accept your donation of clothes, or bags of rice. The elementary schools have many students who cannot afford pencils or paper- consider bringing some extra with you and dropping them off at one of the hundreds of schools. And of course there are always children and people selling their wares on the streets- considering buying a couple bottles of bottle water, or oranges they are dependent on your purchases to feed their families. You can't save the world- but maybe you can save 1 person for 1 day.

The photo to the right is of Christian. He's 14 and his family can't afford to send him to school, he has to work selling water 12 hours a day. A bottle of water is 15 pesos, he will make a profit of 3-5 pesos per bottle of water.

Published on Thursday March 22th, 2007

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Sat, Mar 24 2007 - 01:04 PM rating by eirekay

Mr. Biya, nicely done! You just keep getting better!

Thu, Mar 22 2007 - 11:23 PM rating by rangutan

A long and boring report with borrowed pitures? Great- some useful information and tips..

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