January 29, 2008

Cebu.


Sinulog Festival.

Cebu is my hometown but I always see it with new eyes each time I visit. Cebu is never out of surprises. There’s always something new, something yummy, something different.

I was in Cebu recently for the Sinulog Festival. It was fun, colorful, and quite inspiring. I found new wonderful places to eat and visited old favorites. What makes Cebu really special, for me, is spending time with family and friends.

- - - - -

How to get there: Philippine Airlines travels daily from Manila and from other major cities in the Country. There are direct flights from HongKong and the US, too.

Accomodations in Cebu: Hotels abound in Cebu. If you want a holiday at the beach, try

Shangrila Mactan . Maribago Blue Waters . Plantation Bay . Hilton Cebu

These hotels are ony about 30 minutes away from the City center. But if you wish to stay in the city, try

Marco Polo Hotel . Marriott Hotel . Park Lane Hotel . Waterfront Hotel

For a more comprehensive hotel list, please visit this site.

Transportation: It’s not a problem going around Cebu. There are cabs, jeepneys, tricycles, cars for rent, and buses.

Things to do: Dive. Snorkel. Dine. Meet friends. Go bar-hopping. Shop. And when you visit Cebu during the Sinulog festival, do not miss the street parade! Visit Magellan’s Cross, TOPs (and enjoy the view), and white-sand beaches in Mactan.


Diving in Cebu: There are many dive spots in Cebu. Here’s a list!

Hilutungan Island. It is a marine and fish sanctuary, so fin softly.

Malapascua. If you want to see thresher sharks and ship wrecks, this is the place to dive.

Moalboal. It is here in Moalboal where the Sunken Island could be found. Be prepared to meet big schools of jacks, tuna, and if you get lucky, you get to see sharks, too.

Santander. If you are an experienced diver, visit the Wall of Death. Now, that doesn’t sound so inviting, right? =D Between March and June, you may find whalesharks and manta rays.
Cebu is a jump off point to nearby islands with amazing diving sites. Bohol and Dumaguete is just about an hour away through fast craft. For diving information and other inquiries, please contact Daniel.

Places and food to try: These are places I’ve visited and I was pleased.

Harbour City. (Ayala Center, Cebu): For yummy dimsum and chinese cuisine.

Kuya J’s. (Capitol Site): For the freshest sea food and the yummiest soups!

Krua Thai. (Crossroads and Banilad Town Center): For authentic thai cuisine.

Cafe Laguna. (Ayala Center, Cebu): For filipino dishes like no other.

Lemon Grass. (Ayala Center): Asian cuisine fusion.

Zao and Mooon Cafe. (IT Park and Ayala Center): More filipino food.

La Marea. (Crossroads, Banilad and Paseo Arcenas, Banawa): They’ve got the best desserts in town.

CNT lechon. (right across SM City): For your parties and gatherings, order the best cebu lechon here.

Larsian, JunJun and Malou’s, and AA’s. (Banilad): Of course, Cebu has the best barbeque in the country! =D

Danggit, Fish Tocino, Dried squid, and other dried fish. (Tabuan): Go to tabuan to buy these yummy dried products. My personal favorite: fish tocino and dried squid.

Philippine Dried Mangoes, Lola Pureza’s Peanut Broas, Titay’s Masi and Rosquillos. All these are already available in supermarkets. Yummy pasalubong treats.

Ripe Yellow Mangoes. They’re the sweetest.

One more thing: Cebu is quite humid. Bring light clothing. Bring swimsuits, too, because there are a lot of beautiful beaches there. Take lots of pictures especially when you visit during the Sinulog festival. Enjoy the queen city of the south!

For more information about Cebu, visit their official website.

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