September 5, 2018

Earlier this year, I took another trip to the Philippines’ Queen City of the South, Cebu City. I was called to go back there because I had to take my IELTS. It was rushed and very last minute because I had to submit my exam results to the university I was applying for in Canada. Yes, your home girl *might be going back to university next year! Anyway, the examination slots were fully booked in Manila, and the nearest examination center was in Cebu. So I have decided to hop on the next flight to Visayas. Of course, it had been such an awesome yet short trip to the city which I call, my second home.

In this post, I will be showing you around the historical spots around Cebu City which we explored in less than 24 hours. So if we can do it, so can you!

Also, I stayed at Hostel 7 and just took an Uber everywhere I had to go since we were on a bit of a rush. But if you have some time in your hands, you can definitely roam around by jeepneys.

I actually hosted a Photowalk in Cebu City that day and our route was Old Cebu. I met with fellow travellers and photographers and our meeting point was at Magellan’s Cross.

I feel like visiting Magellan’s Cross is inevitable when you are in Cebu because it is probably the most popular landmark in the region.

These are candles that Catholic devotees light up and pray for at the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú. I am not a Catholic so I cannot vouch if these work, but there were a lot of candles…so they must be? Mind over matter, I guess?

It was actually Palm Sunday when we went around Cebu City, so there were an abundance of palms throughout the city.

The mass was being held outside to accommodate the multitude of people gathered that Sunday so the interior of the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú was a little bit empty.

I wonder how many wax does the Catholic Church dispose of every single day…

I love this chandelier from the interior of the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebú. I, definitely, am a sucker for really beautiful chandeliers.

This was the road that lead us to another church. It was swarmed by street vendors who sold church items, flowers, candles and palms for the Palm Sunday celebration that day.

I am astounded by the resiliency of my fellow Filipinos who can withstand the heat and the crowd of the Philippines just to sell a couple of items per day so they can be able to take home money to provide for their families. If that isn’t a testament to the Filipino bravery, I simply don’t know what is.

Before heading off to another spot, we found an eatery which the locals refer to as ‘Pungko-Pungko’ which basically translates to, ‘to squat’. In places like Pungko-Pungko, they mostly serve fried dishes like longganisa, lumpia, vegetable balls, some other rolls that I have no idea what is inside, and siomai. Don’t forget the rice!

I got lumpia, longganisa, vegetable balls and siomai. I also had to get rice, of course. The Filipinos cannot live without rice. It is a staple in our homes. So, no meal is ever complete without rice. Ever! The rice in Pungko-Pungko were wrapped in bamboo leaves which gave it an earthy aroma. It tasted great though, I must admit.

After having our lunch, our next stop was the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Oh, I found this little and old doorway as I was entering the main door. I just find these little things fascinating.

We did not get to take a photograph of the interior of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral because there was an ongoing mass, but we did get to take a photograph of the exterior. There were an abundance of street vendors selling palms as well.

Next stop was the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.

You need to pay PHP 50.00 to get inside the house. That is approximately $1.50 USD, which is fairly cheap. The pass includes a tour of the house with your own personal tour guide.

I am half Chinese so I am really fascinated with the culture of the Chinese people who lived and helped mold the Philippines to be what it is today. Also, I am a fan of Chinese aesthetic. I mean, come on.

This was a mirror selfie that I took with my good friend, Zak, whom I just met that day. This was still inside the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.

I love this little lantern that we found inside the house.

Here is another mirror selfie of myself, because, why not?

You can also ask your tour guide to take a photograph of you and your friends on the swing in the garden. They also have these cute little pillows that spells, ‘Cebu’.

Here I am with a couple of my friends: (L-R) Dani, Zak, Brent and Rey.

This monument was basically just in the middle of a street crossing so we have decided to check it out for ourselves because it looked important and interesting.

This monument was called the Pari-an, and it basically depicts the historical events that happened all throughout the years in Cebu.

The next stop on our itinerary was the Casa Gorordo Museum. You have to pay about PHP 150.00, which is about $4.oo USD or PHP 95, which is about $.75 USD if you are a student. I, thankfully, still have my university ID so I had the student discount. Heh! The entrance fee also includes your own personal tour guide and a little token from the museum. The little token was a really nice touch, if I am going to be honest.

If you aren’t keen on paying the entrance and tour fee, you can just sit and eat in their cafe. I have been told that they serve the best Leche Flan in Cebu City. I wanted to try it out for myself, but it was sold out when I visited. Bummer, I know.

I am not entirely sure what this document holds, but I just liked the penmanship of the writer so I took a photograph of it. Ha!

Oh, you know, another mirror selfie inside the Casa Gorordo Museum.

Isn’t there such a mystical feel when we see vintage items?

I also love this bicycle on display which dates back from the 1900s. I am pretty sure it still works. It also has a very pretty colour.

Oh, would you look at that? Another mirror selfie! What’s new?

After a full day of running around churches and museums, we finally checked out the Fort San Pedro. You have to pay PHP 20.00, which is approximately $.25 USD.

This was our crew for the day. The beautiful people of Cebu City. I loved taking photographs with them, and exploring the historical side of Cebu City with them. It was, indeed, a day worth remembering.

Before we all parted, we walked through the Carbon Market in search for the best danggit. If you are in Cebu City, or if you are planning on visiting, do not forget to try out their local danggit or smoked and dried fish. It smells terrible, but it tastes amazing! Take my word for it. Just simply delicious. A true Filipino delicacy.

It was a day spent well with these amazing people.

The route we took was the historical side of Cebu City which I think, you should not miss when visiting the Queen City of the South.

What is your favourite Cebu landmark? Let me know in the comments below!

For the mean time, I can only wish that I am back in Cebu and not stuck in rainy Manila. To be quite honest, if I were to call the Philippines my ‘home base’, I would, definitely, without a doubt, move to Cebu City. I just love the vibrant culture, the people and the food!

Stay tuned for my next Photowalk. We will never know where life may take us but one thing is for sure, we will never stop seeking God and exploring.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 NIV

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