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Exploring Cebu City, Philippines like a true Local

Certainly, you’ve heard amazing stories of beautiful spots in Cebu City and you think you’ve
heard enough to make you giddy excited about your own trip. Well, read on. After all, it’s called the
“Queen City of the South” for all the right reasons.

Few minutes before landing, you see the whole wide stretch of Cebu Island. Notable view of lush
green spots from above is dominant while long shores kissing the blue waters will entice you just as
much. Surely it sounds a welcoming treat yet you’ll discover a lot of those later for now just get comfy
until after you see that seatbelt light turned off.

Cebu City Airport

Landing at Cebu City Airport

The Mactan International Airport, displaying its newly built infrastructure exudes a welcoming
ambience with its wide and state-of-the-art infrastructure. It’s the gateway to a lot of adventures
waiting for you in Cebu so leaving a lasting first impression the moment you step down from the plane,
comes easy. Currently, it holds the title of 2019 International Architecture Awards (IAA) for its
eco-friendly and Filipino-themed designs.

At first glance, the airport showcases Cebuano’s creativeness and ingenuity, traits that are evident in a lot of ways as you explore the whole Island.

Cebu island, being strategically located in the centre part of the whole archipelago, serves as the connecting point from whatever part of the country you wish to explore next.

Domestic Flights leaving from Cebu Airport

There is an abundance of domestic flights going back and forth from Luzon, the other neighbouring Visayas islands, and even the
southern islands in the upper parts of Mindanao. Bottom line is, if you’re in Cebu, almost all the rest of
the Philippines are just a flight away.

Most expensive resort in Cebu Philippines

Great Cebu Hotels & Resorts

A few minutes away from the airport, are some of the best Cebu hotels and resorts
the city can offer. You will find a lot of cabs on standby on the terminal for transportation. The white cab
is your go-to when you want to visit places as they are cheaper than the yellow airport cabs. Also make
sure you have enough cash in Pesos, bills, and of course, coins. It will save you less time haggling with
the cab driver for change on your drop off. There is a currency exchange booth inside the airport for
that. A tip, you can just exchange some amount of money just enough to cover you for a day or two as
you will definitely find some currency exchange booths along your adventure which offer varying rates,
your call to decide which one is the best.

Hotels around Mactan Island

These Cebu hotels are being closely situated around the Mactan island, where the airport is, give
you options for unwinding and relaxing after a long flight. Surely you will agree to dine while
overlooking the clear waters of the island is a good way to set your mood for the whole trip. From
Shangri La Mactan boasting it’s modern Filipino-styled rooms, the private beach cove. The
six-hectare marine life sanctuary to the neighbouring Movenpick with its luxury hotel and the Ibiza beach
club, you won’t run out of choices. Be ready to make up your mind where to stay tho, as you would have
a hard time deciding on the spot. Also, you can definitely stay at each of them on separate days, if you

Skyline of Cebu City

Sightseeing in Cebu

After a day or two of being nestled in your accommodation, then you’re ready to start
wandering and see the beauty outside your hotel or resort accommodation. The mostly sunny fair Cebu
weather allows you to go around and sightseeing. All you just need is yourself, enough cash to get you
around, your mobile phone, and maps app to guide you around. You can easily get around the city
through a cab as they are everywhere.

Save your coins for Taxi’s

If you feel adventurous you can try the jeepney as most of them are stopping in the main parts
of the city. Don’t tell us we didn’t mention bringing your coins everywhere, they’ll come in handy for
fares. Don’t forget to say Paliho and Salamat (please and thank you) when handing the fare. Almost all of
the jeepneys stop at mall terminals, it gives you a chance to check your next stop, and if in doubt you
can always ask around, everywhere.

You will be glad almost everyone you meet can carry a conversation with you in English with
smiles. A friendly word tho, you can count on Cebuanos or Filipinos, in general, answering your
questions but don’t take it too literally when we say that the place you’re looking for is just somewhere
there on the next block. Chances are it could be a lot farther than the next block or we are not even

7 Sites You must Visit in Cebu City

We often point directions using elaborate gestures with our hands and it couldn’t get more
Filipino than when we point directions with our mouths. 🙂 We’re good with almost anything but giving
directions for a location.
On a sunny Cebu day, some famous historical landmarks you can check while you are on
Mactan island is as follows.

Mactan Shrine Cebu City

  1.  The Mactan Shrine, a 20-meter bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu (the Chieftain who was
    said to defeat the Megallan, during the first Mactan Battle opposing the Spaniards).
  2. Magellan Shrine was the tribute to the Spaniard expedition who first brought Christianity to the island.
  3. Other than that, you can spend your day diving, swimming, or enjoying seafood feast almost anywhere.
    Crossing the Serio Osmena Bridge, aka Mactan-Mandaue Bridge, leads you to the bigger chunk
    of the whole province, Cebu City. It is as charming as the Mactan, yet in a totally different way. Think of
    it like this, if you envision resorts and beaches from the former, the latter is where you see the real
    hustle and bustle of city life.
  4. Colon Street is the oldest and shortest street in the central part of the city. In downtown Cebu,
    all sorts of commercial activities take place. You can go thrift shopping in all of the retails stores, you can
    even get a pair of slippers or a pair of fancy aviator shades from the side of the street for a dollar or less
    than a Euro. Here, you’ll see fried bananas on sticks, big peeled green mangoes in plastics on wooden
    stalls, small carts with some and puso (hanging rice) dangling in the display. Here you see locals and how
    they thrive daily.
  5. Few blocks away is the Sto. Nino Church or known as the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, an old
    church visited by both locals and foreigners alike especially during the whole month of January
    celebrating the vivid, both historical and religious Sinulog festival. If you happen to visit in the same
    month, expect crowded streets, more people, more street foods, and more activities both religious and
    commercial on parade. The highlight of the celebration is the third Sunday of the month when everyone
    wears colourful tribal costumes dancing tribal ritual routines gracefully and exclaiming “viva Senor Sto.
    Nino” on the main streets.
  6. Across the known church is Plaza Independencia and next to the plaza is
    Fort San Pedro, a military defence structure in Cebu, built by the Spanish way back in 1565.
    Perhaps, at midday after some trips here and there you start to feel your growling belly, this is
    when you’ll appreciate the Cebu restaurants right next to each other. We aren’t kidding when we say
    every kilometre or so, you’ll have at least two restaurants competing for your attention.
  7. Cebu Lechon: The main streets of Osmena, Escario, and Mango Avenue are where you can see yourself feasting in no time.
    The enticing part is, all of the Cebu restaurants you visit take pride in serving the renowned
    Cebu City Lechon or roasted pig. It comes in two flavours, the regular and spicy and though each of the places
    may have their own secret recipe for it, you can count on Cebu lechon to be a tasty treat- a marriage of
    the crackling and popping crispy skin and the savoury juicy pork meat. You’ll be saying in no time “Lami
    kaayo!”. More than that, we also have different dishes to choose from yet certainly we like anything
    pork. Yes, including the equally known Chicharon or pork rinds.

Cebu City after Sunset

When the dusk occupies the sky, and the street lights are on, you can find yourself making your
way into some pubs or bars in the main streets as well. The same streets are as lively when evening
comes. Friendly people in groups will be more than happy to invite you to have a drink with them.
Maybe, a band or two performs your favourite songs so you can sing along. By this time, you probably
have picked up some more Cebuano words along the way. So you can sit there, enjoy a bottle of beer or
a shot or two of your favourite spirit or liquor. You’re watching the city life slowly succumbing to the
relaxing vibe of the evening- agreeing that indeed it’s the “Queen City of the South” for all the right

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Exploring Cebu City, Philippines like a true Local


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