This is not my first time to travel. I had been traversing the long roads towards our home in Davao Occidental. In college, I was able to reach Mati City to represent our school for the school fair and went to Iloilo when I gave a filmmaking seminar-workshop for the youth members of a Redemptorist Church.
But last week’s travel in the Queen City of the South, Cebu City with friends was a blast. It was a travel for… travel’s sake. Not job-related. Just adventure. I then must say, considering this trip “first time” is legit.
As a neophyte in the alluring world of escapades, I do not know what to expect there. But I’d rather choose to be surprised.
Let the veteran travel bloggers judge me, but I would like to share my experiences and the things I learned in my first trip!
It was already dark when we touched down Mactan Cebu International Airport.
We headed directly at the Robe’s Pension House where we stayed for three nights and four days.
NEVER WASTE TIME
As soon as we finished fixing ourselves, one of our friends who have lived in Cebu for quite sometime brought us to Larsian, a barbecue hub. Different stalls sell grilled pork, chicken, chicken intestines (Isaw) and skin, squid, chorizo and many others. It is quite similar to Roxas except that it is not by the street.I was amazed by how they serve the rice. I used to eat rice in a cellophane in places like the Roxas, but in Larsian, they serve rice in a puso or rice cooked inside woven coconut leaves. It is most commonly known as hanging rice.
Even if the night is deep, who cares? We are night owls. After the meal, we immediately went around the city, took selfies in the Fuente Osmena Circle, scoured for places to chill at Cebu I.T. Park and finally savored coffee at our hotel rooms before we slept. It was 2:00 AM.
BE PRACTICAL BECAUSE YOU CAN
The following day was the beginning of the test of financial management. Most of the time we ride taxi due to the fear fo getting lost. But after circumventing the metro, we realized there are spots that can be reached by foot or a jeepney ride.
We woke up at almost 12:00 noon so taking lunch became our first agenda. Our first stop is the huge Ayala Mall Cebu.
After lunch, we climbed up the Beverly Hills Subdivision in Lahug to experience Chinese atmosphere at the Taoist Temple. It is a temple built in 1972 by the Chinese community in the city. It served as their place of worship and because of its architectural magnificence, it is also considered as a tourist spot. Not to mention the exhilarating view of the city from atop. When you visit there, maintaining a solemn ambiance is a must.
After the China feels, we descend to find a motorcycle ride ascending Greece, or at least the Greece feels this time, the Temple of Leah in Brgy. Busay. One of my friends who have lived in Cebu for six years now said habal–habal drivers would declare the fare to be 75 pesos for tourist or foreigners while 50 pesos for the residents of the city. That is one way alone. The entrance fee for the Temple of Leah is 50 pesos.When we reached the place, I became so overwhelmed at the sight of the vast area that I ran on the nearest sculpture to have my picture taken. The excitement was real. It is as if I need another day or two to be able to take photos of everything. (But it is an exaggeration of course).
Its architectural make-up is naturally picturesque, ideal for photoshoots of sorts plus the figures of women posing on top of the balusters.
Unlike the common idea of temples as a religious shrine, the Temple of Leah is said to be the expression of “undying love and devotion” of Teodorico Adarna to his wife, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. Teodorico Adarna is the grandfather of the sexy actress Ellen Adarna.
However, during our visit there, it is undergoing renovation.
We capped the day’s tour with a dinner at Azul and of course, we will not let the day end without the taste of an authentic Cebuano dish, “Tuslob Buwa“. Literally, it means “dip into bubbles”. You dip the hanging rice into a bubbling mixture of alamang or hipon (shrimp paste), pig’s brain, liver, and fat (lard) and pig’s brain broth with sauteed onions and soy sauce among others.
But since we are a friendship of changing and crazy minds, we decided to pass by another famous French restaurant in Cebu, La Vie Parisienne (Parisian Life). A sweet milky aroma of bread and pastries welcomed us the moment we entered the bakery.
It also housed different kinds of wine and a colorful outside resto set-up at the back.
Amazed with the wine, we silently gagged around in the cave-like wine racks.
After savoring the luxurious feeling, we declared to go back to the hotel and recharge for the next adventure.
Read it here: Wandering Cebu-How to Enjoy a Travel Part 2