Cebu could be tantamount to dried mangoes and an assortment of mango products, classy guitars of all sizes, beach bumming at the Shangri-La Mactan or Plantation Bay and a visit to the famous duo – The Basilica Minore de Sto Nino and Magellan’s cross. On my third visit, I never thought I’ll enjoy Cebu the way I did on my first time I saw the Queen City of the South, but eventhough I have seen some of these attractions and activities before, I have discovered some new ways to perk up my “Revisit Cebu Adventure”.
So my friend Rex and I decided to embark on a 3 day backpackers’ journey to Sugbu! Here are my top 10 things you should try for a memorable Cebu Experience:
10. Experience the Breezy Busay Hills or TOPS.
Going uphill the Busay Hills or Tops (for most locals) aint a new thing anymore, going up there by Habal-Habal might spice up the adventure. I was a bit hesitant at first but the thrilling hilly ride and the cold wind will surmise. Just tell your kuya jeepney to drop you off a JY and there your Habal-Habal ride awaits.
9. Take the “Peribot” from Lapu-Lapu City (LLC) to Cebu City Proper.
Taxis are overrated. Try taking a jeep from the airport to the Ferry Station ( “Peribot” as most locals would say it) and then a Ferry boat ride to Cebu. Total cost: 23 pesos compared to 200 peso taxi fare.
a view from the Peribot
8. For the adventurous palate- Have some Sa-ang
The streets of Cebu City esp near the mercados of Colon and Tabo-an is flocked with a variety of streetfood. This includes the calamari-tasting (according to Rex) Saang or spider shells. The vendor will gladly smash the shells into pieces until what left is for your sumptuous consumption. 15 pesos to 20 pesos only.
7. The Ngohiong, Choriso de Cebu and Siomai sa Tisa Triumvirate
Ngohiong tastes just like Lumpia (10 pesos), Choriso de Cebu (5 pesos) is a variety of sausage (sweet and spiced) and Siomai sa Tisa (5 pesos) is topped with shrimp paste and garlic. What makes this trio amazing is that they are literally almost everywhere. Just add puso (rice) and your meal is complete!
6. Free tour of Fort San Pedro
Yes dearest frugal travelers! It’s for free. Tourism schools in Cebu came up with the idea of exposing students to tour guide activities. Through this, my history lessons were given a little brushing up.
5. Mango Float
Cebu temperature can be really hot,and this dessert cooler can both provide refreshment and happiness! 35 pesos only.
4. The Larsian Barbecue Paradise in Fuente
Just tell the locals you are heading to Larsian and they automatically know where to point you at. Larsian is a grilling haven for meat lovers, sea food and streetfood zealots. A visit there can give you a happy tummy without the aching pockets. PS they do not use spoons and fork there 🙂
3. The Giant Burger of Casa Verde.
Cebu has 4 Casa Verde branches and I wondered why people would flock at them, so got to give it a try myself. Their famous baby back ribs were heavenly and the burger- humongous and impossible for two to finish in one sitting. So if you are in Cebu and they tell you “Good for sharing”, you have been warned-it’s more than what the pictures say.
2. Travel back in time at the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.
A hidden gem of Parian, Cebu that holds so much historical value, this ancestral house is still fully functioning! One more thing, once you’ve paid 50 pesos for entrance, you are free to loiter, sit and even try out some of the antique stuff inside the house (just make sure you don’t break anything :))
1. Leave the bustling city and dip into the cold waters of Mantayupan.
Just about 2 hours of commute from Cebu (70 pesos for the bus, and 50 pesos for the habal-habal) , is a hydroplant that is a home to two falls. The Mantayupan falls which is the highest falls in Cebu provides electric supply within neighboring provinces;moreover, for only 20 pesos, you can enjoy the ice cold water to beat the summer heat! Just take the South Terminal Station and head for the bus to Barili/Shamrock.