Monday, March 28, 2011

Cebu Adventure

     Welcome to Cebu City!

     It was raining when I arrived in this city on March 14 in the morning.  The airport metered cab took me to the hotel, where my friends booked it one week ahead.

     I checked in at Casa Rosario Hotel located at 101 F. Ramon Aboitiz St., Cebu City.  For only Php 1,200 a night it can accommodate up to 3 persons.  The room is nice, clean, newly painted, and air-conditioned.  Location is near from the main road Maxilom Avenue where you can ride public jeep to take you where you want to go.  Also, it’s so easy to get a cab in front of the hotel.  There are coffee shops, convenience stores, and restaurants nearby.  Banks are just a few steps away.  Everything is just so close.

     While waiting for my friends to arrive from Davao, I went first to Ayala Center by asking the Cebuano on how to go there the way the locals do.  I was able to save money because of that.

     There are big shopping malls like SM, Gaisano, and Ayala Center. But Ayala Center is the nearest from where we were staying.  So I chose to spend the entire afternoon at Ayala Center.  Then, I went back to the hotel late in the afternoon to take a nap.

Night Adventure

     We went by cab on our way to Crown Regency Hotel and Towers located at Osmena Blvd.  It is the tallest hotel tower in the Philippines and the first hotel to offer adventure facilities.

     They have the 4D Theater with interactive cinema effects, so we watched “Lost Island” and got lost in the virtual world.  The screen was small and nothing to be compared to Disneyland and Universal Studios’ 4D.

     After our 4D experience, we dined at the Sparkz Restobar, with wide array of Chinese food, Western, and Filipino Food.

     We tried the Edge Coaster Ride.  As we sat and locked onto a rail seat, my heart began to beat faster, the coaster went around the edge of the building at 130.84 meters high above the ground.  As it turned left, the coaster tilted down to 55 degrees, it felt like I was going to fall, but I controlled the lever up to get it back to sitting position, then tilt it down in a few degrees to feel the thrill of the ride.

     Sky Walk Extreme gave us that high feeling.  We walked around the building’s edge and stepped on the translucent glass flooring at 126.55 meters high above the street.  Before we end the walk, we were allowed to sit in the edge flooring, swayed our feet above the ground while we chatted with our guide, and saw the breath-taking view of the city.

Historical Landmarks

     The next morning, we went to Magellan’s Cross, one of the most famous historical sites in Cebu City.  It was the Portuguese explorer Fernao Magalhaes or Ferdinand Magellan who planted the cross in April 21, 1951 to commemorate the baptism into Roman Catholic Religion of Rajah Humabon, his wife, and 800 of their subjects.  They were baptized by Father Pedro Valderrama.  Later on, the site where the cross stands was improved in 1735 by Rev. Juan Albarran, prior of San Agustin and in 1834 by Rt. Rev. Santos Gomez Maranon.

     Just beside the Magellan’s Cross is the Basilica Del Sto. Nino.  The first church was destroyed by fire and believed to be built in 1565 on the site where the image of the Holy Child was found. In 1605, Fr. Pedro Torres constructed a new church made of wood and nipa, was finished in 1626 but was burned again in 1628.  Fr. Juan Medina constructed another church in 1628 using stone and bricks, but was stopped because of the structure defects.  In February 29, 1735, Father Bergano, Governor –General Fernando Valdes, Bishop Manuel Antonio Decio y Ocampo of Cebu and Juan de Albarran Prior of Sto. Nino, started the construction of the present church, using stone.  Fr. Antonio Lopez, prior of San Nicolas, also helped together with the people of his district.  The people of Talisay worked for four weeks and Fr. Francisco Aballe also helped with some of his parishioners from Mactan.

     Since our stay in Cebu City was just an overnight, I want to share my trip last November 2008.  My guide drove me to Lapu-lapu Shrine and standing there was the 20-meter bronze statue of Lapu-lapu, a Muslim Datu who fought and defeated the Spanish soldiers during the Battle of Mactan.  Magellan was killed by Lapu-lapu on April 27, 1521.

    We also visited Taoist Temple, located in the posh Beverly Hills Subdivision and considered as one of the most popular tourist destination in Cebu City aside from Magellan’s Cross. It was built in 1972 by Cebu’s Chinese community.  The entrance is a replica of the Great Wall of China and the temples are designed with pagoda roof. Since the location is 300 meters above sea level, you can view the scenic downtown of Cebu City.  The guests are also expected to observe silence, discipline, and respect for the religion while inside the temple’s property.

Where to shop?

     Taboan is one of the most visited markets in Cebu both by tourists and locals. They are famous for their dried fish or “danggit.”  They sell a variety of other dried fish and squids.  Dried fruits and mango concentrate are also available.  The price is reasonable and can be haggled.

Luxury Resort

     One of our travel buddies has vouchers of Imperial Palace Resort and Spa. We went there in day tour on March 15.

     The resort is so big with two towering hotels that stand in L shape.  They have several themed pools and we had a splash on those beautiful pools.  At the back of the resort is the beach zone facing the sea, where you can kayak, skim board and ride a jet ski.  There is also the waterslide that gave us adrenaline rush.

     What I like best is the juice bar in the middle of the pool!  As we sat in the bar, drinking cold coffee and eating halo-halo, our feet were submerged in waters.

     The resort truly exceeds our expectations! Everything is a haven of utmost luxury.  We even booked the resort’s car transfer to take us to Cebu International Airport and we passed the VIP gate.

     Goodbye Cebu!  Till we meet again…

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