This is a compilation of my journey -- the daily walks and my countless talks...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

from Cebu...with love...

Hold your breath for this is going to be a looooooooooong blog! Just like what I promised, I’m going to try to be as detailed as I can be so you can get an image of what took place during our trip. It might help you create an idea on how to plot your trip to Cebu, or anywhere else just as long as you’re with the people you love. Alright?

So to begin with, the trip was planned like more than a month ago when Petit excitedly took advantage of the Piso Fair which I could say, the most sought after promo in the Philippines.  Like come to think of this, it only  costs 1700php for a round trip ticket of a Davao-Cebu flight. Some lucky ones were able to get even cheaper than that, all it takes is a keen and proper timing.

The day we landed at Cebu, my adrenalin was sooooooo sky rocketing. I and Petit took a cab to Paragon Suites which was 20-30 mins away from the airport. Thanks to Googlemaps for guiding us and keeping us away from taxi drivers who cheat their passengers by making your trip topsy-turvy, and before you realize, the meter is bloody costly. Upon arriving at the hotel, a charming receptionist recognized me right away. Yeah, they were expecting us. I made a reservation through text three days before the arrival. What was so amazing is that they took our reservation without paying in advanced. Good thing they understood I don’t have a credit card. Haha. And it’s not just because they have nobody in the hotel, it was  actually packed with locals and foreigners.

We stayed at Room 305, where the wi-fi signal was so excellent! haha.

We also have a plasma TV, a dvd player and a mini refrigerator. 

The place really does not look appealing from the outside but I think a little renovation and landscape would make it look perfect.  The facilities were not so fabulous but were definitely clean. They had complete necessities provided in the room – towel, soap, shampoos, toothbrush and toothpaste, even flip-flops! I could say the hotel was simple but great. The place was cozy and the staffs are nice. I will definitely stay at Paragon again if I would have to come back to Cebu.

In addition to that, the suite was near the heart of Cebu City -- Robinsons Fuente and Cybergate, the famous Mango Avenue, Crown Regency, Fuente Osmena, Larsian and Shamrock are just 15-20 mins walk from the suite. If you’re a bookworm, you can raid books at the National Bookstore which was 10mins away, just right at the corner of Mango Ave. I and Petit roamed around the city and it instantly felt like home. 

Our first night was a BOOOO though! I was drooling to eat at Larsians because the place is famous for street barbecues.  Unfortunately, the super heavy rain ruined my mood. I was so pissed and I have to admit, I lost all the energy. Patience is and had always been not my virtue. Grrrr. So instead of barbecue, we bought pizza from Shakeys, went home and hovered over Tanduay Ice and Kill Bill. Before I knew it, I fell asleep and woke up at the wee hour of the morning. Guess what? I’m a call center agent – blame it on my body clock.

Moving forward, the next day was a blast! I and Petit got up early and prepared for the arrival of Dyna and Jericho from Bacolod. We were both so excited! We haven’t seen Dyna for 8months since she left Davao to heal her broken heart. Oopsie, if you want to get an idea what am I talking about, feel free to dig my older posts where I ranted about the douche bags in our lives! Haha

So we took a bath and ate bacon and egg for breakfast.

 Took a morning walk… (the truth is, we had to buy a deo from the nearest store because Petit can’t start a day without that fragrant slimy thing on her armpit!) LOLs

…and welcomed Dyna and Jericho!  Due to overwhelming happiness, we were not able to take a picture of their arrival! =D

Right after they fix their things on our room, we hurried to Basilica del Sto.Nino to begin our  adventure!

Now this is happiness… REUNITED lang ang drama!

First Stop: Basilica del Santo Nino

The place really surprised me with its beauty. I never thought it could be so enchanting! Even foreigners  were captured by its beauty. It felt like I was wandering in a fun yet holy park!

And what made this day extra special? This is where Jericho officially became Dyna’s boyfriend! That was actually the plan – we’ll go to this church on the 14th to give Jericho our blessing and approval. Dyna, on the other hand, gave Jericho a letter that contained all that she wanted to say and of course, the most awaited YES! Hurray! We all believe they are each other’s answered prayer!


This is just right behind the church. A little walk and poof! Your eyes will meet history --  the story of our forefathers.

People around the world visit this place whenever they set foot to Cebu…

 We roamed around the city again and had lunch at a barbecue place where you can choose between their wide array of seafood and marinated meat.  We were so starving that moment so nobody dared to take a picture. We concentrated in picking what to eat and concentrated even more while eating. 

After lunch, we went to Crown Regency to inquire about their Sky Walk Adventure for our itinerary the next day. When we got the info that we needed, we headed back to our hotel , took a nap and prepared for our Valentine dinner. 

I was really drooling to eat at Casa Verde, which was famed for its tender baby back ribs. So we rode a cab and drove to the nearest Casa Verde. To our dismay, the place was overflowing with people! Have you seen people outside a box-office film? Or a rally? That was what we saw at Casa Verde that night! Some are really waiting in line just to get the next vacant seat! Holy cow!  Considering my impatience, we walked away and went to Ayala Mall. The place was just as crowded as Casa Verde! Oh I forgot, it was Valentine’s day! Haha. The restaurants are jam-packed which made us walk and walk and walk to find a decent place where we can have a lovely meal.

We stopped at the very corner of Ayala Mall and found Bistro Ecila. Luckily when we got there, a table had just been emptied. So we rushed to the seats, afraid of being overtaken.  

We ordered this…

Since we were so hungry jumping from one place to another, we did not have so much time to choose what to eat. I picked this and everybody did the same. Uhm, except for Jericho who had a chicken dish. And by the way, I’m not very good in naming names so forgive me if I forgot how they call this menu.

While waiting to be served, someone came rushing in… Voila! It’s Ryan! Petit’s douche bag! Haha. Since they were not able to put a closure to what they had before, Petit was so  eager to meet him. Actually, since he was assigned to work in Cebu, I invited him to join us in our adventure. His response were kinda awkward so I stopped bugging him. I never thought he’d show up on dinner.

We wandered around the mall after eating. However, it started raining so we hurried to find a taxi. Then to my surprise, everybody was falling in line just to get a taxi! Oh my! And it was not just a line, it was a loooooooooooooong line. There were hundreds of us I think! And what’s even more surprising? I was the only one complaining. Everybody was so cool about it. That I guess is one of the many things I noticed to contrast Davao and Cebu. Back home, falling in line is not a good idea and getting a taxi is a matter of survival. If you want to get a cab, you have to be swift  and clever. When I got there, I noticed that the streets and escalators in Cebu are so narrow. Like an average person could not have somebody beside him while taking the escalators. There were a lot of garbage in the streets too, unlike in Davao where street sweepers are everywhere making sure that the place is tidy. However, I found their flyovers cleaner than that of Davao. Oopsie, these are just my observations.  I could be wrong though.

Moving forward, the third day is the most exciting day of the trip. We were supposed to go outskirts and do some sort of nature tripping at Kawasan Falls but due to the weather and time constraint, we chose to do the Sky Day Tour at Crown Regency Hotel.  For as low as 888php, we had one of the best days of our lives.

The tour included a lunch buffet, 4D movie, swimming and the well-famed Sky Walk! Since it was almost lunch time, we used our tickets for the buffet at  Wang Shan Lo Chinese Restaurant located at the 20th floor of Tower 2. Our mouths watered as we laid our eyes at the beautiful restaurant overlooking Cebu City!  

I don’t want to over react but that I think was a feast!  I you happen to go to Crown Regency, you can try this restaurant for as low as 400Php/person at lunch and 450Php/person  for dinner. *drools*

Next we watched a 15 minute 4D film on the 18th floor of Tower 1. That experience was so hilarious, beyond my capacity to describe things! Watching the animated film “The Lost Island” was helluva crazy! There was a scene where a group of elephants showered us with water; a gush of air spurted beneath our chairs making us jump off our seat; and when a helicopter crashed in the forest, it felt like the ground was shaking inside the theatre.  In 3Ds, you’re eyes seemed to see the things as if you are there, but the twist of 4D is that you  feel  things physically like you are really there. At a normal rate,  each view costs 150Php and I think it’s absolutely worth it.

Since we were yet so full, we decided to digest our meal during swimming. At Tower 1’s 9th floor, a generous size of the hotel’s swimming pool was situated.

Honestly, I don’t know how to swim but I surely did enjoy the water. Petit, who had numerous attempts of teaching me how to swim did not bother to waste more of her energy in teaching me this time for she herself had a lot of fun, especially in the Jacuzzi.

Since we are all cam whores, half of the time was spent on swimming and half of it was spent for taking pictures.

At around 3 in the  afternoon, I got off the water and asked them if we can do the Final Thing – the Sky Walk. The thought of it alone had been giving me jitters a week before the plan. I am not a coward nor do I have fear of heights. But I just don’t feel comfortable standing sky-high overlooking the city below my feet. I wanted to get through that day and I swore the butterflies fluttering on my stomach that time were gazillion in counting!

At the 37th floor located at Tower 2, the gears and staffs are all ready for the sky walkers.

We geared up with the sky walk suit and since everybody should wear rubber shoes, the staff prepared shoes in different sizes for walkers that come unprepared. If you don’t have a pair of socks, you can buy them for 20Php. Yes of course you have to buy them. It’ll be gross if you’re going to return it to them and another customer would have to use it. Ugh!

And this is the final look!

And this is me with my poging-poging pose…

The walk went well. Thanks to the guide whom I think was perfectly trained to make the walkers be comfortable standing on a platform hundreds of feet off the ground. We sat for a while and talked random things about Cebu. He said that on a reclamation area, a shopping mall bigger than Mall of Asia in Manila will be constructed and aside from that Crown Regency will be building their 4th Tower. In few years, Cebu will be so much more sophisticated and establishments will be rising from its sturdy grounds. We also asked him about the shocking earthquake that hit the Visayan region just a week ago before our arrival. He was so calm about the situation and according to him, it was a good thing that the earthquake happened just before a walker entered the platform.  The guide really knows how to handle fear and convert it into curiosity so you will dare to explore the beauty that is in front of our very eyes.

And by the way, pictures are exclusively taken by their photographers. For 230Php/copy, you can have a remembrance you can keep for the rest of your lives.

After we finished all the Sky Day Tour activities, we went back to our hotel and dropped dead like a log. We were sooooo tired yet fulfilled, so we slept to regain our energies. At 2 in the morning, we woke up to prepare for Dyna and Jericho’s departure. They had to go back home to Bacolod, but we will surely see each other soon.

At 6 in the morning, I and Petite had our breakfast and at 7, we saw ourselves exploring the streets of Cebu. We went back to the Basilica to look for little souvenirs, luckily there was a stall with cheap finds and we bought a lot of accessories to give to our friends in Davao.  We were yet unsatisfied and went to Cebu’s Freedom Park, which I really thought was a park. I was surprised to find out that it was actually a market. Petite, who had a lot of money that time, bought few more goods. Then there was a line of ukay-ukay in the streets. We were so overwhelmed with the affordable clothes they were selling! We ended up buying a lot! :D Before 9am, we were raiding Shamrock where you can buy the bests of Cebu. They have biscocho, piaya, polvoron, dried mangoes and of course, who would not leave Cebu without otap and danggit? I think I spent over 1000Php on that store and got out with a box full of Cebu delicacies.

After eating an early lunch, we prepared and travelled early to Mactan International Airport.  As far as what I have observed,  Davao  has a cleaner and a more organized airport compared to that of Manila and Cebu. Again I might be wrong – beauty is still in the eye of the beholder. HAHAHA

At 2:45, our plane took off and landed an hour after. Home Sweet Home!

The most amazing part of this trip was being reunited with Dyna and knowing Jericho, to whom I owe a big thanks for taking care of my best friend.  Secondly, it is a step in fulfilling one of my dreams: SEE THE WORLD! I may not have the financial capabilities to travel  round the world in just a moment but little by little I am surely going to fulfill my dream.  So I guess this is a wrap. It is a very late post though. I thought I lost the fire for a moment. Haha.  Hugs and kisses everyone! 

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