My sister wants her birthday to be memorable for all of us that’s why she planned for an out of town trip for the whole family. But since Mama was not comfortable on long trips and she don’t want to be the “kill joy” for those days, she just suggested why don’t we invite our two cousins.
Luckily, my sister agreed on that since she was the one who sponsored the 3 days 2 nights stay on Cebu City.
So here it goes.
A week before the flight, I already packed my luggage because I know I’ll be busy on the week prior to our departure to Cebu. We are all excited (especially me) since it was all our first time to ride a plane.
January 22, 2016, 3:00PM was our flight from Manila to Cebu. Once again, I experienced how worst our airport was. From the traffic to the parking on the airport, everything really requires a lot of patience. We thought that we will be on Terminal 3 but the guard told us that all domestic flights of AirAsia is on Terminal 4 so we transferred from one terminal to another (thanks to the shuttle service) Though we thought we will be late for the flight, they announced that our flight was delayed for two long hours.
At exactly 5:00PM we boarded to the plane. It was like a huge bus with a lot of seats. Unfortunately, I was not able to be seated near the window. But I still had the chance to see the view (though I really had a hard time adjusting on my fear of heights). While taking off, I plugged my earphones, turn to the maximum volume (Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol was on my track) and enjoyed the not-so-pleasurable feeling going up on the air.
One a half flight was really long and boring since I was not able to do something productive except soundtripping. I can’t imagine how others are able to endure a 8-12 hours flight from one place to another. That was really exhausting.
At almost 7pm we arrived at Mactan Cebu International Airport. It was like a usual airport too but obviously smaller that ours here in Manila. We waited for our baggages and a clerk from Waterfront hotel already there holding a placard with my sister’s name, waiting for us and assisted us to the service where we will ride on the way to Waterfront Hotel and Casino at Lahug.
Another one hour of travel from airport to hotel. But it was fine for us since we got the chance to see the streets and residences of Cebu. It was just like Manila too, but much more organized.
When we arrived on the hotel, we booked two rooms for a 2 nights stay. Then took our dinner on UNO Buffet (just a buffet resto downstairs where we also had our breakfasts).
We planned to take a short swim on their pool but unluckily, it was already closed so we just decided to take rest already in preparation for our first day tour on Cebu.
Day 1: Island Hopping at Mactan, Experienced CNT Lechon, Cafe Laguna at Ayala Mall Cebu
We availed first our free breakfast on the buffet before we texted our service. Although there was no clear itinerary for this day, our driver just gave us an idea on where we can go and what are the must-see places on Cebu. First is an old but elegant hotel, the Marco Polo. We didn’t stayed that long on that place since we know that it’s just a hotel and we are expecting for a more historical places to visit.
So Manong Driver, headed us to the Temple of Leah. It was on the top on the cities and still under construction. Getting up there was really thrilling because of the overlooking view of the downhill. Then when we arrived, we just payed 50 pesos for the entrance fee and took a picture on the Temple of Leah. She was the Matron Queen of the University of Southern Philippines. The view of the city was really breathtaking. We took a lot photo and enjoyed the cold air from the temple.
It was already 10am and we decided to get back to the hotel to prepare our things for the island hopping (it’s an unexpected itinerary since my sister don’t want to go Canyoneering cause it will cost 3 hours of our trip from Mactan).
We also had a quick shopping at Cebu City since my sister and cousins don’t have swimsuits/ rashguard, toiletries and sunblock. For lunch, we just ordered at CNT Lechon and brought with us on the islands.
We arrived at the Mactan proper at almost 10am then proceeded to the boats where we will be transported to the different islands near the shore of Mactan. It was all our first time to ride a boat so we are all ecstatic and we took a lot of pictures while enjoying the waves of the sea.
Our first island, though not basically an island because they just drop us on a part of the sea and let us swim and snorkel seeing the views under water with the fishes and coral reefs. Yun palang nakakapagod na agad grabe, considering that I’m not used in snorkels and life vests, I was a bit irritated and I can’t move freely but I have no choice since I don’t or can’t swim on deep part of the sea. My sister and my cousins enjoyed it more since they almost reached the other boat just following the fishes underwater.
The shape of the coral reefs are creepy for me haha lupet ng imagination ko ee (thinking that they might bite or sting on my skin) and I don’t like the feeling of them on my feet so I just stayed near our boat.
It’s almost lunch time so we decided to proceed to the next island. Me and my brother was not comfortable eating on the boat (we feel that we are about to puke if we force ourselves to eat) so our tour guide suggested that we can walk to the shore of the second island and rent a kubo where we can eat our baons.
And that was my favorite part. It is the true island that I want to be in, where I can walk to the shore and enjoy the sand while sight seeing the sea. We also had the chance to see a lot of starfish. I didn’t miss the chance to take a lot of photos of that island because I really loved it.
Then after our lunch (almost merienda), we proceeded to our last island. It was near the shore but we still enjoyed it since the water was not that deep and there are less slimy leaves/ reefs on our feet haha. We got the chance to swim and walk on the water and climb on rock formations although it was a bit dangerous since the rocks has sharp edges. Just took some group photos then we decided to go back to our boat we tried to dive on some part of the sea from the boat haha. Snorkel some little more then we headed back to the shore before the sun set.
All in all, we got tired but it was worth it. Once in a lifetime experience for (not so/ no more) teenagers like us.
We waited for our driver then return to the hotel to wash up and take a rest before we proceed to our dinner. Our first plan is to take a short nap since all of us are exhausted but once we finished cleaning ourselves, we all decided to take a dinner while we still have energy left.
Our driver took us on an Ayala Mall near our hotel, my sister suggested that we can take our dinner at Cafe Laguna, one of the best restaurants in Cebu offering good meals and it was true. We enjoyed the food. Plus the ambiance was relaxing and not so crowded just like the usual restos on Ayala Malls. We tried some seafoods and usual Filipino dishes. One I tried was their Sinigang and it was great especially for a cold evening and a sabaw person like me haha.
Then after our dinner, we just took a little chill on Starbucks, I really wanted a coffee jelly but that time all I need is a hot coffee. So there, we had a small cousin bonding and conversations, catching up for years that we never had something like this.
After buying coffee for our driver, we gone back to our hotel and took a rest for the following day’s activity.
Day 2: Sham Rock and Daingan Market for Pasalubongs, Rico’s Lechon and Plantation Bay at Mactan
We all woke up early since this will be our last day and we already planned something for this day. After getting and fixing up our things, we took a short breakfast at the buffet then proceed to Sham Rock to buy pasalubong like (a lot
of) dried mangoes, otap, turones, barquillos and the likes. It was just my ate who keep on getting foods, all I wanted was dried mango haha.
Then next pasalubong shop is the Daingan market (which is really smelly haha) It was my turn to get some pasalubongs for my co-teachers since I also had my own budget for that. We bought their must-try dangit, pusit and chorizo plus mangoes with chocolate and pastel.
For our lunch, we ordered at Rico’s Lechon, another good resto who offer a great Lechon (though I’m really not into Lechons, I still tried and it was really good) and brought it to Plantation Bay.
According to my sister, it was the new and must-see attraction here in Cebu although it was a bit expensive but the experience was worth it since it looks like a paradise and not that crowded pa. It was composed of a two large manmade saltwater lagoon and two freshwater lagoon plus you can also swim on the sea area of Mactan (where we island hopped yesterday). There are also leisure activities to choose from like biking, kayaking, wall climbing, some water activities like banana boat, jetski and parasailing plus they also have a shooting range. Almost all the tourist are foreigners so you will also enjoy skinny dipping on your two-piece swim suits without being insecure of your figure haha.
On that manmade paradise is where we spend our last day in Cebu. Realizing how lucky we are to experience these things on our early age. So many “firsts” for all of us: travel alone without our parents, flying on an airplane, riding on boat, island hopping, snorkeling, seeing coral reefs and swimming with the fishes underwater, bonding, late night stay and chlling out and living on a city as a tourist with just the 5 of us. Also considering that we never had a chance to see each other everyday even though we are cousins. All in all, it was such an unforgettable experience, by this time, we are all motivated to work harder to have more of this precious moments together.
PS. Special thanks to this girl. She made everything in Cebu possible. Thanks sissy and belated Happy Birthday! Hope you enjoyed your celebration in Cebu with us. Thanks for sharing everything to us. You will always be loved! God bless!