What to do in Cebu City, Philippines — City Getaways
It’s been a year and I’m still living in the busy streets of Cebu City. And what better way to celebrate this occasion than to relive the things that I love in this big city.
So, first stop would be McDonald’s in Jones Avenue. I know this restaurant is already the most overrated fast food chain in the world, but who cares, I love their food for breakfast especially their Longganisa with Egg paired with a cup of Super Hot Choco. Aside from the food, McDonald’s was strategically placed in the corner of one of the busiest streets in Cebu – Jones Avenue, and they have this little veranda where you can eat your food together with the morning sun while watching the busy morning people passing by.
After breakfast, I rode a jeep, which is the primary means of transportation in the city, to the oldest church in Cebu, the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. It is located in the heart of Colon Street, which is the oldest street in the Philippines. As I arrived at the gates of this massive stone church, I bought red candles and sincerely thanked God for the fruitful year He had given me. After praying, I also visited Magellan’s Cross, a small chapel adjacent to the church, which is home to the first Christian cross given by the first Spanish explorers in 1521. Cebu City has a lot of old places simply because it’s also the oldest city in the Philippines.
So much for history class, I decided to visit another famous landmark and that’s the Cebu Taoist Temple. This time I got myself a taxi since the path to the temple is quite remote. Less than half an hour later, I already walked down the temple’s own version of the Great Wall of China. Before I lose myself in the picturesque view, I honored their gods first and prayed inside their temple with incense sticks in hand. After all my incense sticks burned down, it was now time to check the commanding view of the city and the nearby island, Mactan. If you’re lucky you can use their telescopes to observe big airplanes landing on and departing from Mactan International Airport. The heat of the sun is already scorching hot signaling me for lunch.
For lunch time, I met up with my friends and I asked them to eat with me at “pungko-pungko”. So where exactly is “pungko-pungko”? Answer: Anywhere on the sidewalk. In Cebuano dialect, “pungko” is to sit or squat, and this is what you do – you eat street foods bare-handed while sitting in the sidewalk with a lot of people and jeeps passing by. Sounds challenging, right? But I bet you’ll be surprised how delicious the hanging rice known as “puso” and the fried “ginabot” (pig’s intestine) are. At 50 pesos your tummy will be so full you will not have any more space to for another bite. And if you’re not convinced, you can try it for yourself next time.
After our sumptuous feast of street foods, we headed to Rainforest Park to shake off our sleeping fats for a jungle adventure. They have this jungle adventure worth 250 pesos per person and you’ll have to do 8 rope-obstacle courses. It is one good way to test your backbone and guts, and to enhance your agility and balance while injecting an adrenaline-filled thrill. And if you’re not ready yet to conquer your fear, you can relax and give yourself some refreshments inside the Oceanarium Restaurant which is encased with aquarium walls.
When the one-hour jungle adventure is over, the Kartzone is our next destination for an 8-lap go-kart session for only 300 pesos. If you don’t know how to operate this thing, no need to fret because a marshall will give you a mini briefing on how to use the kart. But it’s really hard to pay close attention to someone if you’re mind is already excited, so, right after he said we can start, we were already on our way racing against each other. Next thing we knew, the 8 laps was already over.
The sun was about to settle in the horizon so we decided to go to Crown Regency Hotel and Towers for the Extreme Sky Challenge. Edge Coaster and Skywalk would be the best way to spend sulking and watching the sun’s glorious last rays of the day. Just imagine sitting and standing on a ledge outside the 37th and 38th floor, isn’t it stomach-wrenching? But as soon as you see the vast scenery from the top floor all the butterflies in your stomach will be evaporating like steam. At least you get to be like superman with the bright orange jumpsuit hovering outside the building for an hour or so.
After our sky adventure was up, we decided to skip the jeep and we strolled over to our last destination and that would be Larsian, one of the most well-known eating havens in Cebu. Its intentional location is in uptown area close to the famous landmark Fuente Osmeña Circle. This haven has barbecue stands lined up offering barbecue selections ranging from chicken, pork to seafood. And again you’ll get to eat “puso” together with your ordered barbecue. Compared to “pungko-pungko”, Larsian is much more organized and cleaner. Thank God for foods like this, you get to eat a lot without damaging your pockets.
My itinerary could go on and on but one day here would be so short a time. Aside from the places and foods, it’ll be too hard not to love the people here. It’s a neutral ground for the rich and famous, the poor and meek, the young and old, and the like.
And maybe I’ll stay here for a couple of more years. Or maybe, just maybe, forever.