The Queen City of the South : Cebu City

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I’m down to the last destination of my Conquering Cebu series! Despite having the time of my life telling you guys about the several attractions I’ve been to, I believe the blog needs a breather. I’ve queued up some recipes for next week after I finish this entry. And, one quick summer destination you guys can go to if you’re a bit tight on budget! More on those on my next posts!

After a tiring adventure in Oslob and Carcar, we were ready to fulfill the last item on our check list. And that is to eat all the Lechon we can while in Cebu City! Of course we did some sight-seeing along the way. I’m a terrible person when it comes to documenting food that I love. I was on a mission to review all the Lechon places we tried, but soon as the meal hits the table, I forget everything I’m supposed to do! And that’s exactly what happened here. I’ll be sharing the places we went to, but unfortunately, no Lechon shots. It was so painful typing that! I felt like I’ve failed the city. Oh, well. Let’s move on to the places you can explore while in Cebu City!

On our last day in Cebu, we spent half of the day getting the much needed rest we’ve been so craving since Oslob. We wanted our last day to be our ‘chill’ day. In the afternoon, we went to Ayala Center Cebu to grab lunch and have a taste of Zubuchon. After which, we had coffee to boost whatever remaining energy we have since we’ll be going around the city with our backpacks and the sweltering heat of the sun. We decided to start our mini tour at about 3PM. Here are the places we were able to visit. 

Fort San Pedro
Fuerte de San Pedro is a military defence structure built by the Spanish under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines. It is located in the area now called Plaza Indepedencia, in the pier area of the city. The original fort was made of wood and built after the arrival of Legazpi and his expedition. In the early 17th century a stone fort was built to repel Muslim raiders. Today's structure dates from 1738 and is the oldest triangular bastion fort in the country. During the Philippine Revolution at the end of the 19th century, it was attacked and taken by Filipino revolutionaries, who used it as a stronghold. (via)

The place was huge and it took us about an hour to get around the whole place. The good thing about Fort San Pedro is it’s not crowded. There’s so much space to move around. I also loved the lighting at the place, that’s why if you notice, most of the photos in this album are from Fort San Pedro, hehe. I also adore the lighting fixture and design of the restroom! Check it out if you get to visit.

Magellan’s Cross
Magellan's Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines on March 15 , 1521. This cross is housed in a chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street (Magalhaes is the Portuguese name of Magellan), just in front of the city center of Cebu City. A sign below the cross describes the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of the chapel. (via)

When we went there, the cross was still under renovation since it was damaged due to the 2013 Bohol earthquake that had a magnitude of 7.2. On our way to the next destination, we asked a cab driver to take us from Fort San Pedro to Magellan’s Cross since our backpacks were heavy and we can’t be bothered to walk due to the heat. He offered to be our tour guide for free since he practically  knows everything about the places we wanted to visit. Such a kind-hearted cab driver!

Basilica del Santo Niño
The Minor Basilica of the Holy Child and commonly known as the Santo Niño Basilica, is a minor basilica in Cebu City in the Philippines that was founded in the 1565. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church established in the country on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú, a statue depicting the Child Jesus was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The Holy See calls the temple the "Mother and Head of all Churches in the Philippines". The image is the same statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a gift over forty years after Humabon's baptism to Christianity on April 14, 1521. (via)

I was wearing shorts during our visit. Fortunately, the guard at the entrance of the church already had pieces of cloth ready for visitors who are not wearing church-appropriate outfits. You just wrap it around your waist like a skirt and you’re allowed entrance to the church. I was in awe of the magnificence of the church. I’m a non-practicing Catholic, but there’s just something solemn about the place that made me thank God about everything I have—one of which is allowing me to enjoy the wonders of Cebu. I am extremely thankful for that.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, also as The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and of St. Vitales or The Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Vitales is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu in Cebu, Philippines. Cebu was established as a diocese on August 14, 1595. Before being raised as a primatial church in Cebu, the temple was one of the first churches in the Philippines (besides the Basilica del Santo Niño) dedicated to St. Vitales and built near the fort in April of 1565 by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fray Andrés de Urdaneta. (via)

Even at the airport, we couldn’t help but have one last bite of Cebu’s Lechon which is why we had it for dinner. We also bought several kilos of frozen Lechon to take home to our friends and families. To be honest, I was only looking forward to the Whaleshark watching activity before heading out to Cebu. But after everything we’ve experienced, every dime we spent was worth so much more than we’ve bargained for. I love how warm the locals are, I love how peaceful the place is, I love how it packs so much wonder, not to mention the blazing fast LTE, lol.

I will definitely be back! 3 days is not enough to explore all the beautiful places Cebu has to offer. I’ve yet to discover Bantayan, Moalboal, Badian and so much more! Thank you Cebu for such a remarkable adventure! And as promised, here’s our DIY itinerary. We didn’t have this prior to the trip. We just went along with whatever we can do given the time and budget that we have. For the whole trip, the boyfriend and I spent roughly P10,000 ($217) for 3D/2N; and that includes the souvenirs and goodies we brought home to our families and friends. I hope the attached itinerary can be useful should you choose to visit Cebu any time soon. I’m thrilled to start my next series : Discover Davao! Feel free to ask me questions if there's anything unclear about the itinerary!

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