The Queen City Of South – Cebu City.

I had may Cebu City trip few months ago. Doing a DIY (do-it-yourself) tour around Cebu feels like going around in any city in Manila. Cebuanos are friendly and we’re sure you’ll figure out how to jump from one spot to another with their help. Cebu has an incredibly rich history and culture which are preserved in its museums, landmarks, and festivals. Take a trip back to 1521 and visit Magellan’s Cross, or drop by the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the oldest church in the Philippines.

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1. Basilica del Santo Nino – A visit to Cebu is not complete without a visit to the Sto. Niño Cathedral. It is a very old basilica that still fills an important role in the life of the catholic cebuano’s. It is also the place where one finds the ‘Santo Nino’. I have been at the basilica many times and though sometimes it is quiet and peaceful, I also have been there when the place was fully fully packed. (This is especially the case in the onset to the Sinulog festival in January. Before entering the church, there is Magellan’s cross to view. Visitors are approached by women selling candles and who for a fee will do a prayer chant for you before the cross. It is interesting to witness such a ritual, especially if it is done in your name and for your personal intentions. Entering the church, one may appreciate the old wooden church doors and other adornments of such a holy place. One needs to walk to the side of the church where a line of people await their turn to pray before the Sto. Niño.

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2. Taoist Temple – The Taoist Temple is one of the most interesting places in Cebu City. It is set in one of the best neighborhoods in the city, on top of a hill, a quiet setting perfect for meditation, with beautiful gardens and scenic views. Whether you have Chinese heritage or not, it is a must place to visit.

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3. Tops Lookout – Feel the cold breeze while looking at the whole cities of Cebu. Food is also available with a lot of choices. It is a perfect space to unwind and relax because of its laid-back environment. Best time to visit is late afternoon to late night to early hours of the morning.

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4. Fort San Pedro – A visit to the Fort is a must to appreciate the place that the Spanish first built their fortifications back in the 16th century. The fort gives an excellent feeling of the 16th century Spanish culture and protection needs it had when it invaded. The fort is easily toured, very interesting and a great place to explore.

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5. Magellan’s Cross – This was an interesting visit – a review of the history which we normally only know from the books. Seeing it in person is awesome. Great that it’s free for the public to see

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6. Temple of Leah – This new tourist attraction in Cebu is a sight to behold. The architectural design of the building or the temple is an influenced by Greek architectures. After or before you go to top hill Cebu you can pass by this beautiful architecture. Construction is still on going when we went there but some part were already finished. Why it’s called the Taj Mahal of Cebu, is due to the fact that it was built in tribute for a husband’s wife. The “temple” overlooks a huge flat plaza which then overlooks almost the whole of the cebu city. If you are creative enough, you could get a few love and amazing shots down here.

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7. Mountain View Nature s Park – If you are into the scenic view of Cebu from the sky, this is one of the best location that you should visit to appreciate the complete view of Cebu from a bird’s eyeview.
The location is more romantic at night.

17022451_1696252197055271_8354408688230662814_n8. Sirao Flower Garden – There sure were a lot of beautiful flowers that we grown all over the garden. They mostly looked good. There were flowers commonly found in gardens and flowers that are not commonly found elsewhere. However, I was a bit disappointed on how the management maintained the flowers. True, there were plants that were just freshly planted and flowers that are still considered “babies”.

Cebu City Transportation

To get around Cebu City, you can rent a car (with or without driver), hire a cab or take the jeepney. Except for the Taoist Temple, tourist spots above are all located in Downtown Cebu.
The most comfortable way to get to Taoist Temple is to go there by car or hire a cab and let it wait for you. Else, you would have to walk around 400 meters uphill and downhill or ride the habal-habal (single motorcycle) for a minimum fee.

Guide

Kuya  Bino is a tour guide based in Cebu City. He specializes on Heritage Tours (Churches and Towns), Museums, as well as Walking Tours.
Mobile: +63.919.380.5853
Email: binoguidecebu@gmail.com

Where to Eat:

Truth be told, before this, I was not a very big fan of lechon. However, for some people, Lechon will be hard to ignore. In any big gathering of Filipinos anywhere for that matter, the lechon is always there, front and center. It’s a Filipino thing. While having my Cebu City adventure, I need to find the best lechon in Cebu!

I love Zubuchon because it is lechon done in an old-school manner but with a noticeable leap forward in terms of taste. The pig is cooked naturally without any MSG, artificial mixes, and artificial painting of the skin. You can taste the quality of the herbs they use. No doubt, this is the best lechon I’ve tasted in Cebu. 😀

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Try the Siomai sa Tisa! Siomai is a Chinese dimsum similar to a meatball made of shrimp or pork  wrapped in a thin pasta-like wrapper. Siomai sa Tisa has its own distinct flavor.
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Cebu is one of the provinces I’ve been able to visit for several times now. Cebu is the first destination I’ve flown to. I’ll never forget the first time I’ve got to this place. A lot of memories, great memories indeed.

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