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Cebu Tourist Spots

One of the craziest things I have ever done in my life is on my 28th birthday I took a flight and traveled solo to a place I have never been before in Cebu for exactly 28 hours.  If you are into heritage and culture please listen to my list of Cebu tourist spots I visited for only a day! Like the movie “The Holiday” starring Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz each of them swapped homes during the holiday season aiming to escape the birthday pressure and yeah, escape someone back home.  Start your day with breakfast in Tablea Chocolate CafĂ© in JY Square Mall, Lahug. Try their puto maya (sticky rice) with fresh mango slices and dark tsokolate (unsweetened tablets from pure cacao beans) for P90 only. These local cacao beans are world – class and made from the purest grains ever! Don’t miss this since they only have cafes in Cebu so far.

Then walk to the corner of Sudlon Street, get a habal-habal (public motorcycle ride that can accommodate up to two riders for P40) and tell the driver to bring you to the Taoist Temple. Visiting here is free and open to all regardless of their religion. Taoist Temple has 81 steps you can climb to light joss sticks and if you’re lucky if there is a monk available who can read your future. Be sure to go there only at daytime as they have a strict time for visitors.

You need to do some extra walk for 10 – 15 minutes from Taoist Temple to the main road. From there take a 04C jeepney for P10 and tell the driver to drop you to the Minor Basilica of Santo Nino church. Believed to be the oldest parish in the Philippines, you can see the miraculous statue of the child Jesus given by Ferdinand Magellan to Rajah Humabon in 1521 protected by a bulletproof glass. Go out of the church and you will see a lot of miniature Santo Nino statues that you can bring home. There is even a group of Tarot card readers a few blocks away from the church if you want to “know” your future. From there, everything else is just a few minute walk away!

To the right of the church is a chapel where the Magellan’s Cross is. In the same year, this cross was planted by the group of Magellan when they first arrived in Cebu signifying they are determined to convert all the people here in Christianity. Take a 5 – 10 minute walk and you will see the Plaza Independencia (park) and Fort San Pedro (it is like a mini – version of ntramuros).

Cebu tourist spots won't be complete without including a “snapshot” of Cebu’s history in the Heritage of Cebu Monument in Colon Street. One of the most beautiful old houses I have ever seen that is overflowing with old things and carefully taken care is the San Diego – Yap ancestral house in the same street. It is a house of wealthy Chinese family in a Spanish era. You can go inside by paying only P50. San Diego – Yap ancestral house is privately owned by the heirs, not registered and under the law of government, so any private individuals can take countless photos. Ask the guardian why.

Another old house is in Lopez Jaena Street, the Casa Gorordo Museum – it is the house of Juan Gorordo the first Filipino bishop of Cebu. One part of the house that I become very, very curious is where a daughter receives her suitor. One chair for her, another for the suitor which is separated by a table and adjacent to the girl is another chair for the chaperon – could be an older woman in the household overlooking the two. Imagine how these two can have some private moments when another eye is watching!

For your lunch go back to JY Square Mall at Lahug, ask any locals for Jo’s Inato in Salinas Drive and try their tanguige steak, or the adobong talong or kangkong and last, the mouth watering buko – halo for dessert! It is a halo – halo (ice cream, sweets, leche flan etc) inside a buko (coconut). The ambiance is very local with furniture mostly made of bamboos and woods. And if you want to see a bit of night life at Cebu go to Mango Avenue. There are a few number of decent dance clubs you may find yourself twirling your body in a small dance floor. You can order their ice cold light beers, sisig or their pork lechon – one of Cebu’s not to miss food! 

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