We took the earliest flight and arrived in Mactan at around five in the morning so basically this is our first stop for our day trip in the city.
Since this is an independent private trip, we are undecided where to go first and the only lifeline is to ask the locals. For spontaneous travelers like me, it is absolutely necessary to build connections with the locals most esp when its your first time traveling the place. They are surely much willing to help and give you more convenient suggestions. So when traveling, rule #1: learn how to communicate; learning their native tongue is essential.
(Luckily Im a Bisaya and I know few Bisaya words. Interacting with Cebuanos can be a lot easier for me. Tho I am not fluent in speaking, I can understand and keep trying to response thru basic words I frequently hear from my mom when they talk native at home- they would appreciate if you try, and would actually laugh esp when you look a lot like a tourist. But most of them speaks Tagalog and English well so no need to worry)
In front of the airport, there are cabs and jeeps passing through which may take you to the highway where you can ride a jeep bound to Mactan Shrine (nearest tourist attraction from the airport) while on the other side, bound to downtown Cebu in which you have to cross over the iconic Marcelo Fernan bridge to reach the city.
For jeepney ride, short trip costs P7. For long trips, it depends on the proximity, but going to Mactan Shrine costs P14. For those who will head straight to South, taking a taxi from the airport to South City Bus Terminal is more convenient, it will only cost you around P200, instead of taking three jeepney rides.
Passing through this bridge makes me feel the city vibes already. Reaching the other end will give you the let’s do this!-feels for more landmarks in the city await.
BASILICA MENOR DEL SANTO NIÑO
“Mother and Head of all the Churches in the Philippines”
It was fulfilling and totally refreshing having celebrated a Holy Sunday mass in one of the National Historical Landmarks in the country just before heading to an entire day of exploration. Thanking God for all the endless surprises and guidance all throughout should be above and beyond, always.
Just a few meters away from the Basilica del Santo Niño, you can see a small chapel where the historical cross can be found. This has become one of the favorite tourist attractions in Cebu because of its rich historical value. A lot of pilgrims are visiting the spot and it has been a tradition of the devotees to leave a stack of different colored-candles; each has their corresponding meaning (family, good health, career, etc.) on the base of the cross. The candle vendors may sometimes lead the prayer ritual or you can just simply pray on your own. Due to the number of pilgrims and devotees, it is definitely a steal if you are able to take a snap without photobombers hahaha we had a hard time taking photos, but yup.. Cebu city trip will definitely not be completed without dropping by this historical landmark and offering a prayer.
SIRAO FLOWER FARM; THE LITTLE AMSTERDAM
Nothing but a huge garden with a beautiful vibrant flowers and hanging umbrellas. No wonder it was dubbed as The Little Amsterdam for it gives the vibes as if you visited the pristine garden of Amsterdam and the streets with hanging umbrellas that you only see on post cards and on the internet. This is roughly 30 minutes away from the city. It is more convenient on your part if you bring your own car or you may just take a habal-habal (motorcycle) ride; the driver will also take you to other tourist attraction so it is more like a set package for all the attractions near the area- Sirao Flower Farm, Temple of Leah and Taoist Temple and would just wait for you for no limited time for P600/pax roundtrip. You will have to pay P20 for the entrance and enjoy the abundant alluring flowers by yourself- no guide needed. Outside, you can see a line of vendors beside the road selling Buko juice, Banana que, Turon and a lot more..
TEMPLE OF LEAH
A Roman architecture; a love made temple located in Brgy. Busay which signifies the endless love and constant devotion of a man to his Queen. I didn’t know it was owned by the family of one of the ABS-CBN actress, Ellen Adarna. Its good for those who are fond of the Roman architecture and for those Insta junkie- perfect for photoshoot. Entrance fee is P50 and you can stroll around the place , take as much photos as you can. We even witnessed a pre-nup pictorial; but as of the time we visited, the museum is not open for public yet.
It was just a rush stroll in the city since we were trying to catch the sunset at the beach where we camped in for a night. We had to head straight to South City Bus Terminal so we decided to visit the Taoist Temple next time; but unfortunately due to the traffic in the city, we were not able to witness the colorful down south sunset. Usually, it takes three hours traveling down to the south but since it was traffic, we traveled for about four hours. At South City Bus Terminal, you can see huge yellow Ceres Buses. If you are going to Badian, take a bus with a Bato via Barili placard; going to Oslob, take Bato via Oslob. Be very mindful of the routes cos you seriously don’t want to go for a longer ride and miss activities on your itinerary.
LAMBUG BEACH, BADIAN
We arrived at around 7pm and reached Lambug in roughly 30 minutes from the drop off point via habal-habal ride which costs P50 per head. There are rooms and apartments for rent in the area but if you are a budget traveler and want to breathe in nature, just bring and set up a tent in the shore line close to the waves. We looked for a more deserted site where we can set up our tent and luckily, there was one spot there where it was more peaceful, away from the loud sound of karaoke (there are accommodations which also offer karaoke for rent). The owners will charge you for setting up on their area and for using their bathroom and water for P200 to P300, depends on how good you are on negotiating- kung magaling kang tumawad, pak! You can also ask them to charge all your gadgets. There are sari-sari stores in the area where you can buy your food and drinks but expect a higher price since it is a tourist spot.
Isn’t it more captivating? Just the waves’ noise and the moonlight. It was indeed a perfectly calm night I’m always dreaming of..
(camera is on night mode)
Our tent was actually that far from the water when we decided to sleep. I was surprised when I woke up and the water was approximately one step away from our tent. Yup, most probably the high tide and low tide thingy haha lol I was just amazed.
Waking up to this perfectly refreshing paradise is all worth the backaches from the whole night of lying in the sand with just a thin sheet in between. White sand, crystal clear water, waves’ noise and fresh air, it was just so perfect drinking a hot coffee to cap off a beautiful morning.
The man of the moment having his morning dip. Indeed a great way to start his special day. Who will dare miss the crystal clear water of Lambug? It is more inviting when the water is just right in front of you, its like the waves are dragging you to dip in. This beach is definitely a must visit.
There is another beach in Moalboal, it is called the White Beach, you may also try it there. But if you are planning to go canyoneering, Lambug is nearer to Matutinao where the starting point is. It may take just half an hour to get there via habal-habal ride.
(total expenses for this day is less than P1800; all-inclusive)
Craving for extreme adventure? Check out my blog; Canyoneering to Kawasan Falls