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“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

D.I.Y. Cebu City Tour

After the weekend getaway with my friends, where we had the chance to visit Siquijor, Dumaguete and Oslob, my family and I went to another trip in Visayas. This time, we were off to see Cebu and Bohol.

Everyone except my mom has been to Cebu, though my father’s last visit was ages ago. My brother and I told my mom not to expect to see a lot in Cebu City. While there were some pretty sights in the city, I still am in love with its countryside, most especially Bantayan island.

We got the earliest sane flight (I think it was the third flight for the day), but due to the rain the previous night, our one-hour flight was delayed for three hours!

DIY Cebu city tour

No wonder we have one of the world’s worst airports!

Anyway, we arrived in Cebu a little past ten in the morning, and we set off to explore the city. 🙂 First, we headed to the Weesam Express Ferry ticket booth to buy tickets to Tagbilaran for the night (Round-trip ferry costs 800 pesos). Then, we took a taxi to Fort San Pedro.

Fort San Pedro is a Spanish fortress that used to overlook the sea, but whose view now is blocked by a concrete building. Inside, there are mini museums showcasing articles related to the Spanish colonization, including a worn flag of Spain. The building is small, and we were out in no time.

DIY Cebu city tour

Posing in front of Fort San Pedro

DIY Cebu city tour DIY Cebu city tour DIY Cebu city tour DIY Cebu city tour

DIY Cebu city tour

We crossed the street over to Plaza Independencia. It’s quite a polished park in front of the fortress, with a tower commemorating those who fought in the war. We proceeded to walk towards the Basilica of Sto. Nino, which was about two blocks away. First, we paid tribute to Magellan’s Cross. If you studied Philippine history for all your childhood, this little landmark will surely disappoint you! Then, we took a snapshot of the City Hall right across. Finally, we were inside the church complex.

DIY Cebu city tour DIY Cebu city tour

DIY Cebu city tour

Cebu City Hall

DIY Cebu city tour

DIY Cebu city tour

Magellan’s Cross

DIY Cebu city tour

Candles offered at the Magellan’s Cross

DIY Cebu city tour

On our right was a hall were candles and prayers are offered, then you would see the podium where the festivities where made when the statue of the Sto. Nino is brought out during the Sinulog Festival. Afterwards, we found ourselves praying inside the church, thankful for another opportunity to see the Philippines, and to travel together as a family.

DIY Cebu city tour DIY Cebu city tour

DIY Cebu city tour

Where the feast of the Sto. Nino is celebrated

DIY Cebu city tour

DIY Cebu city tour

A pocket garden in Sto. Nino’s Basilica

DIY Cebu city tour

We walked over to the side of the church, where we queued for a chance to touch the Sto. Nino statue. Soon, the line was long and full of devotees. If you’re a foreigner, here is your chance to see how religious we Filipinos can get. The statue is housed in a small room, enclosed in a glass window where you can only touch its feet. Each devotee gets his own time with the statue, it entirely depends on you how long that is. (As those close to me would know, I am deeply terrified of mannequins and dolls and statues, so I just prayed on the side when it was my turn.)

We left the Basilica and headed to another church – the Cebu Cathedral. Though not as ornately decorated as the basilica, the beauty of this church is its solemnity in spite of being nestled in the heart of the city. Beside it was the church museum, which is unfortunately closed at the time we were there.

DIY Cebu city tour

Cebu Cathedral

It was time for a late lunch. We took a taxi to bring us to another attraction of Cebu: the famous lechon. We picked Zubuchon to have our lunch. It was my first time to try it, and I loved it! The skin is very crispy, while the meat is tender and flavorful. We also tried their lechon sisig, as well as the seaweed sampler, and their house iced tea. It was indeed a great meal!

DIY Cebu city tour

Chopping the lechon

We headed to Ayala Cebu to spend the afternoon. Though not much different from Ayala malls in Manila, it was great to see local life going on.

After going around the mall for hours, we hailed a taxi to bring us to the ferry terminal. However, we asked the driver to make little detour for us – to bring us around Cebu city except for the destinations mentioned earlier. He brought us to Colon Street, the oldest street in the country. It resembles the streets in downtown Manila, full of shops with people walking all over the place. Jeepneys are abundant, and traffic is bad. We also passed by Casa Gorordo, but we didn’t go inside the museum anymore. Then, we headed to the ferry terminal, and off we were to see Bohol.

DIY Cebu city tour

Colon Street – the oldest street in the country

DIY Cebu city tour

DIY Cebu city tour

A mall in the oldest street

DIY Cebu city tour

Cebu Heritage Monument

DIY Cebu city tour

Casa Gorordo

DIY Cebu city tour

Say goodbye to Cebu — waiting for the ferry bound for Tagbilaran

Cebu Sightseeing Expenses*

Cebu Sightseeing Expenses (group of 4) PHP
Taxi from the airport to ferry terminal 200
Taxi from the ferry terminal to Fort San Pedro 60
Fort San Pedro entrance fees (2 adults and 2 senior citizens) 108
Taxi from Cebu Cathedral to Zubuchon 100
Taxi from Zubuchon to Ayala Cebu 60
Taxi from Ayala Cebu to ferry terminal (passing by Colon Street) 200
Total Expenses 728
Cost per Head 182

*Our food expenses are excluded here, as I believe that individual preferences vary greatly when it comes to this.

More on this trip on my next post. Happy travels!

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14 comments on “D.I.Y. Cebu City Tour

  1. vastlycurious.com
    August 4, 2013

    Fort San Pedro is just beautiful ! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Chuach
    December 22, 2013

    Hi Karen, nice photo of Cebu. We are a family of 4 and going to Cebu from Malaysia at end of February 2014. What’s your advice if we need to visit some of the attraction, since there was a natural disaster, some historical sights are badly hit ?

    • Karen
      December 22, 2013

      Hi Chuach. As far as I know, the Magellan’s Cross cannot be entered, but you could take a photo from the outside. The Sto. Nino Basilica was also hit, but I’m not sure if you could already go inside.

      I guess you can visit Fort San Pedro as well as Tops (I’ve never been there, but they say you can get a bird’s eye view of the city here). Try the famous lechon – I love Zubuchon, but you can also try the more traditional CnT. If time permits, head out to Malapascua for some time at the beach. Or if you can spare a day or two, go to Oslob for whale shark watching! Don’t forget to bring home some dried mangoes. 🙂

      Hope this helps. Happy travels!

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  9. Rembulan Indira
    March 17, 2014

    Hi Karen, I’m Bulan from Indonesia. 🙂

    I’m planning on a birthday trip to Cebu! Do you know how is it there right now after the hit? Are the Magellan’s Cross and Basilica already open? 🙂

    Thank you..

    • Karen
      March 18, 2014

      Hi Bulan,

      The last I’ve heard (January 2014) is that the basilica is still closed, but the pocket garden leading to the statue of Sto. Nino is open. I’m sorry but I don’t have news about the Magellan’s Cross, but I would assume it’s already open as it’s a smaller structure than the church.

      Hope you have a great vacation in Cebu! Advanced happy birthday! 😀

      • Rembulan Indira
        March 19, 2014

        Turns out, the basilica has a website!! Hihihi.. I’ve asked them now, hopefully will get a ‘Yes, we’re open already’ answer.

        Thanks Karen!! 😀

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This entry was posted on August 3, 2013 by in Cebu, Philippines, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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