Sunday, June 23, 2013

TRAVEL: So... You want to revisit Cebu! (Part 1)

The last time I actually went to Cebu for a vacation was when I was 5 years old. Back then, I only had vague mental pictures of what I saw and what I experienced in that big city in Visayas! 

So allow to me give you a rundown of the the landmarks and historical places that I was able to revisit in Cebu now that I could actually "remember" things (and actually write and document all about my experiences). I recommend these spots to those who are planning to visit Cebu and have a better and deeper appreciation of the city. After visiting these spots, you can actually say to yourself "Yes, I definitely deserve a customized I Heart Cebu shirt!"

1. Fuente Osmena Circle 
One of our friends in Cebu actually said that this area of Cebu City is jam packed with people during the Sinulog Festival. But during our visit, the area was very serene and has a nice view of the Crown Regency Twin Towers. This area is ideal to visit if you want to try out the night life in Cebu because its surrounding establishments is a mixture of gimmick places, local food destinations and hotels! 

2. Taoist Temple 
Entrance Fee: P10.00 per car 
A small yet grand palace with a magnificent view of Cebu City! Over the years, the Taoist Temple at Beverly Hills Subdivision in Lahug, Cebu City has been an attraction for many tourists. It really says a lot about the chinese settlers in Cebu and how they were able to influence the community. It's relatively small compared to the temples I've seen in other countries but it also possess intricate details which I totally love and adore. 

3. Cebu Heritage Monument 
This heritage monument was such a surprise for me because it was located amidst a residence area. Personally, I would expect big structures like this positioned in a national park or a really high-traffic tourist spot. This monument tells so much about the rich history and culture of the Cebuanos which I truly like and appreciate! 

4. Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House 
Entrance Fee: P50.00 per person 
At first, I was actually creeped out by the looks of it (because yes, I'm afraid of mumus/ghosts haha) but then, when we entered the place, the very remarkable antique furniture and household items distracted from all the eeriness . Some items were from the early 1900s but are still surprisingly very functional. It's still very functional that the present generation home owners still sleep in this house every weekend. I was also impressed by how much the care takers / tour guides know about the ancestral house and how they multi-task both entertaining their guests and taking photos all at the same time. 

5. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral 
The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the most serene and grand cathedrals I've seen in Cebu. When you get inside, you can still feel the "antiquity" of the interiors which is mostly made up of wood and big rocks. If you want to meditate and pray, I suggest you do it here instead of Basilica del Sto. Nino. 

6. Magellan's Cross 
No one can say someone visited Cebu if he or she hasn't visited Magellan's Cross! As far as I know, the big cross was planted by the people of Magellan on the day they arrived on the island. What I love about the shrine were the paintings on the ceiling showing the story of how the spaniards landed in the Philippines. You can also soak up so much culture in this small place because of the women around who are selling candles and literally dance their prayers to the cross. 

7.  Basilica del Sto. Nino 
Just a few meters away from Magellan's Cross is the Basilica del Sto. Nino. This basilica houses the "Santo Nino de Cebu" which most Catholic Cebuanos deemed miraculous. I wasn't able to go and see the actual statue since there was a very long queue to it. The main chapel was very grand, though its a bit noisy since the basilica is located amidst the busy streets of Cebu City. Nevertheless, I literally got goosebumps when I approached some of its interiors, most especially the big picture frame with relics of saints located at the side of the church. 

I still have six more amazing places in Cebu to tell about, but this will be good for now! 

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