Quick stop in Cebu, Philippines
We got to Cebu with the intention of visiting the neighboring island of Bohol where round mounds called Chocolate Hills are located. The name comes from the phenomenon of the mountains turning brown during dry summer months and looking like, well, chocolate hills. Feeling under the weather and also growing increasingly tired from traveling in various modes of transportation for the past weeks we decided, to skip the long commute of a 2h ferry followed by a 2.5h van ride only to view the hills for 20 minutes. We also tried going to a volcano on another neighboring island but that commute was also very rough and we were not guaranteed to get a permit to hike the volcano. You may think we got lazy towards the end of our trip but the truth is we just learned to control our FOMO. Just because it's in a guidebook doesn't mean we have to see it. We recently realized that sometimes the effort it takes to get to certain places is just not worth the experience.
With that decision, we had three days in Cebu city and had to make sure we got out of there in time before the upcoming Papal visit, during which many flights in the Philippines were suspended. While Cebu city is not the most picturesque destination, we made the best out of our stay; we visited the century Fort San Pedro, rode a Jeepney with the locals, and ate almost all of our meals at the mall. Yes, the mall. Filipinos love malls where, aside from shops and restaurants, you can also see dance shows and masses. Visiting a mall in the Philippines can be a unique experience.
Here's a few photos from our quick stay in Cebu. Stay tuned as we head to the beautiful island of Palawan.
Exploring another island of the Philippine Archipelago.
This was our first stay at Tune Hotel. Our room was small but modern and clean.
Fort San Pedro is one of the main attraction in Cebu city. Gallery inside the fort.
During our visit to Cebu, there was Sinulog festival happening. We spotted people burning candles in a very interesting way.
Sinulog festival is held in the honor of Sto Nino (baby Jesus) and normally lasts 9 days. Not sure if the streets were decorated for the festival or if they look like that normally.
An outdoor mass drew huge crowds. Some people had to stand outside of the church walls. In the small building in the middle of the photo is Magellan's Cross. This christian cross was erected by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu on March 15, 1521
Magellan's Cross and a beautiful ceiling.
Just like the rest of the country, Cebuanos (Filipinos from Cebu region) were very excited about the Papal visit. We saw lots of different merchendise bearing Pope Francis' face. Walking the streets of Cebu we curiously looked at what locals vendors were selling. What's for dinner? Rice and chicken. Jeepney is a traditional mode of public transportation used by locals. Each one is unique and usually very colorful. After figuring out which line to take, we got on and enjoyed the 25 min ride to our hotel. The amazing thing about a jeepney is that it can hold a lot more people than one would expect. Just when I thought no one else could possibly fit, 2 more ladies squeezed in between us. No one minded the tight space. The only thing I could think of was how many fights such practice would result in if it happened on NYC public transportation where men need 3 feet to spread their legs. Ha ha.
Here's another mode of transportation. It's always nice to have locals smile at you when you take a photo. :-)
Till next time! See you in Palawan!
Hah that would not fly in NY. Cursing fits break out in subways anytime there is a right fit by the doors. God forbid there is an accidental shove or elbow. No mall photos??
You have so many mental treasures with all your travel!! How wonderful it will be to look back and think of the beautiful places your traveled with someone you loved and got to experience the world and so many cultures and people!! I think it's just incredible.
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