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Day 1 in Cebu: Cebu City Tour

26 Mar

It was our first time to try Cebu Pacific. We were told by friends that the flights are usually late so it was a surprise that our flight to Cebu was on time. Bravo! 🙂

view from the plane

The weather was gloomy in Cebu when we landed. With all our lugagge, it was kind of hard for us to go to the main road to get a regular metered taxi since it was raining. There were other regular cabs at the airport, but they were asking for Php350 – Php400 for the fare to the hotel. Rip off!!! So my boyfriend and I decided to take the airport cab instead to take us to Verbena Pension House which only cost us Php278 (to think that the airport cabs’ flag down rate is Php70).

Since the check-in time in Verbena is at 2PM, we were advised by the front desk officer to just come back at 2PM. He informed us that we could leave our things in their storage room so we could tour the city. NOTE: Verbena has no tag number to give you when you leave your bags with them. I hope they would have claim tags in the future to ensure the safety of their guests’ luggage.

Anyway, after leaving our bags, my boyfriend and I took a jeep (minimum jeepney fare is Php7.50) to JY Mall (JY-Apas-Lahug sign board) to get a habal-habal (motorcycle ride) to take us to Tops in Busay Hills. It’s better to take a habal-habal to get to Tops since cabs would charge Php850 or even higher to the said place. Depending on your negotiating skills, a habal-habal ride would cost around Php200 per head (price could be lower or higher) for a two-way ride. Make sure to have an agreed price before going to Tops and don’t forget to ask the driver if they have additional charge for waiting. The entrance fee for Tops is Php100 per head, which we think was REALLY pricey.

Tops in Busay Hills

After getting to Tops, our habal-habal drivers dropped us off at JY Mall and we took a cab to the Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills. It cost us around Php60 – Php65 for the cab ride. The temple has no entrance fee, but you just have to take note of the temple’s rules.

I must admit though, I was not a fan of the temple, mainly because I did not like the smell of the burning incense sticks. We ended up leaving immediately because it was drizzling and also because I felt like I was going to barf, too! 😦 (Sorry, no offense meant to our Chinese brothers and sisters).

Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills

We did not ask for our cab driver to wait for us (wrong move!) so we had to wait for a cab near the temple to drop us off at JY Mall. So for the ride back to JY Mall (or to wherever you’re going to), it’s better that you ask your cab driver to wait for you. Anyhow,  since it was still early for check-in, we decided to go to Ayala Center (just take a jeep with an Ayala sign board) to have lunch. The outside of Ayala Center looked so much like the Ayala malls here in Manila. The inside looked more like the old Glorietta mall though.

Finally, when it was time to check-in, we took a jeep with a Capitol sign board from Ayala to get to our hotel… If you’re on a tight budget, I suggest you stay in Verbena Pension House (they have a newer hotel called Verbena Capitol Suites). This was suggested to me by my friend, Salve, who stayed in the said place last August when she went to Cebu. Well, Verbena Pension House is not really a hotel and the place is not as fancy as real hotels, but Verbena’s staff are friendly and accommodating. They also offer free WIFI for their guests and a free breakfast for 1 person, too (an additional breakfast meal is around Php75 plus Php20 for the drinks, but you can just have their free water from their restaurant’s water dispenser). The room obviously looked kind of (take note: just kind of) old, but it’s clean. We were provided with 1 roll of tissue, 2 towels, and 2 small soaps. The room that we got costs Php850 a night beacuse we wanted a private bath with cold and hot shower. There’s a Php750 room without a hot shower though.

This is the old Verbena. There's a new one called Verbena Capitol Suites.

We decided to rest for around an hour after checking in. We then resumed our tour and took a jeep going to Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño (Magallanes-Church-Jones sign board). Behind the Basilica, you could see Magellan’s Cross. Cebu Cathedral is also a stone’s throw away from the Basilica so we checked out the Cathedral’s schedule for the English anticipated Mass. From the Basilica,  you could walk going to Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro. Fort San Pedro’s entrance fee is Php30 per head. After touring the old fort, we rested for a while. We then walked back to Cebu Cathedral to hear Mass at 5:30PM.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

Thank you, Magellan, for bringing Catholicism to the Philippines 🙂

Fort San Pedro

Plaza Independencia is currently under renovation

Malacañang in Cebu

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Two of my friends from the office (Chyng and Salve) tried Larsian near Robinsons Cybergate Center at Fuente Circle when they went to Cebu. My boyfriend and I love barbeque’s so we decided to try out the grilled food at the famous Larsian. The rates are pretty affodable, too! 🙂

where everything is grilled

For our last stop, we headed to Crown Regency to try out the Sky Adventure. My boyfriend decided not to try the rides out (wuss! :P) because he was so full (nabusog ng sobra sa Larsian) and he also found the price pretty expensive — Php750 for the 2 rides plus 1 free shirt. Since guests are not allowed to take pictures, you wouldn’t have a choice but to buy your souvenir pictures which is Php230 each photo!!! 😦

Sky Adventure at Crown Regency

Crown Regency has a new ride called Vertigo. I did not try it out because it was not part of my budget. Had I known about the new ride, I would have allocated money for that. I think it costs around Php600, if I’m not mistaken (will try that when we get back!). Oh, by the way, if you’re going to try the Sky Walk, bring your own pair of socks (Crown Regency will sell you a pair for Php20) or better, wear sneakers/trainers/rubber shoes so you would not have to wear the sneakers they offer (no rental fee though).

Anyway, here’s our ITIN for DAY 1:

06:35AM     Departure (Cebu Pac’s 2nd flight to Cebu)
07:45AM     Arrival — airport cab (yellow) to Verbena — fare: Php278
08:20AM     Left things in Verbena’s storage area
09:00AM     JY Mall (JY-Apas-Lahug sign board) — fare: Php18 for 2
                           *habal-habal ride to Tops — fare: Php200/head (two way ride)
                           *cab from JY to Taoist Temple — fare: Php60-Php65
12:00NN      Lunch at Ayala Center
01:45PM      Jeep to Verbena (Capitol sign board) — fare: Php15 for 2
02:00PM     Check-in at Verbena
03:00PM     Basilica (Magallanes-Church-Jones sign board) — fare: Php15 for 2
                            *Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño
                            *Magellan’s Cross
                            *Plaza Independencia
                            *Fort San Pedro and Malacanang sa Cebu
05:30PM     Anticipated Mass at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
06:35PM     Took a jeep going to Larsian (Capitol sign board) — fare: Php15 for 2
07:00PM    Dinner at Larsian
08:15PM     Walked going to Crown Regency for the Sky Adventure

Stay tuned for our Day 2 in Cebu (this was our favorite part of our whole Cebu trip!) 🙂