Cebu City, Philippines

Day 1

After my travel day from Manila to Cebu, I was looking forward to seeing what Cebu City was like. I have a couple of full days here, so I was hoping to make the most of my time before my next destination. Honestly though, if you come here, just do one full day and hop off to someplace more interesting. There is a lot of hustle here (not as bad as Manila), so if you need a place to just chill out, you should leave the city quickly.

I got a late start as usual and headed to a few of the main attractions in Cebu City. I pretty much walked about a mile down one of the main roads from my hostel to get there. It was hot! People wonder why I don’t always take the public transportation. Three reasons… The first is that I like getting a little exercise that I normally lack in my daily life. When I travel I’m easily putting on 20,000 steps or more (according to Apple). Second, it allows me to essentially stop and smell the coffee (and believe me the smells are far from anything resembling coffee) and feel the buzz in the air. Third, I like to avoid scams and sometimes can’t be bothered if I’m unsure how to do something.

As I made my way through the crowded sidewalks of people trying to sell me something or beg for money, I came to Basilica Minore del Santo Nino de Cebu. There was a mass going on that had people flooding out into the streets. I recalled thinking to myself that if us American Catholics showed that kind of devotion to our faith, I perhaps could see myself finding religion again… or maybe not. Either way, it is interesting to smell a strong Catholic essence in the air. Reminds me of Catholic school growing up.

Just around the corner there was the Magellan’s Cross and another block away the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. After viewing these places, I then made my way a couple more blocks down to Fort San Pedro. From there, the Heritage of Cebu Monument. This was really all there was to see in the area, other than a couple of museums. I was pretty tired of walking and the heat, so I headed back to the hostel for the night.

Day 2

Today I planned to go to Tops Lookout, the Temple of Leah, and Taoist Temple Cebu. First, this involved taking a walk for about a mile to JY-Square where I could pick up a motorbike taxi. This is a much cheaper option and cost me 300 pesos ($6.35) round trip (Lonely Planet said it would be 200 pesos). Also, it’s always fun taking a bike ride up and down a mountain road.

I should have started my day a little bit earlier because Tops Lookout was just fog. I even ended up paying the admission fee, which was stupid. Next down to the Temple of Leah. This place was pretty cool and there was a much better view over the city. This place was only partially constructed, but it looks like it will be pretty nice when it is completed.

Lastly, the motor bike dude took me to the Taoist Temple and then stranded me there. Not happy about that. I was only about a mile from my hostel anyways, so I decided just to huff it back.


Taoist Temple of Cebu

That’s pretty much my two days in Cebu City. I found it pretty boring, partly because I had no interaction with other travelers. My hostel lounge was just dead, except for the twenty Korean teenagers that stayed there night number two. I head to Bohol Island by ferry tomorrow, so I hope to finally find a beach and meet some new people to drink and cruise around with.

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