Whether or not it’s your first time in Cebu, this post is for you!
Cebu is a province comprising islands and islets in the Central Visayas region in the Philippines. If you’re planning to visit it, and you still have no idea about what to do, or where to go, read on. Here are some spots and activities you might want to consider.
THE TEMPLE OF LEAH
The Temple of Leah is called the “Taj Mahal” of the Philippines. Constructed in 2012 as a symbol of Teodorico Adarna’s undying love for his late wife, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna, the temple is now famous among tourists and locals alike.
At the temple, you will only need to pay PHP15 for the entrance.
It can get crowded in summer, so make sure to look for a good spot to have your photo taken.
SIRAO FLOWER GARDEN
Drive for an hour from the city and you will reach the little Amsterdam of Cebu, Sirao Flower Garden. It captures the hearts of people seeking peace and break from the hustle. The garden offers a relaxing mountain view.
The flowers are in full bloom on sunny days. Plan your trip well, so you can see the colorful flowers under the bright beautiful sky.
Entrance fee is PHP50 ($1). A parking space is available.
If you want some refreshment, fresh coconuts are being sold outside the vicinity.
One of the most historical attractions that one can’t truly miss.
In his search of the Spice Islands, Ferdinand Magellan, a naturalized Spaniard, together with his men chanced upon Cebu instead. That’s where they planted the first Christian cross in the Philippines.
This is one of the most prominent parts of the history of the Philippines.
The murals on the ceiling of Magellan’s Cross are interesting, although, scores of tourists flock to this site. It’s best to visit it in the late afternoon.
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WHERE TO EAT
HOUSE OF LECHON
Never miss the chance to pig out on the famous Cebu lechon! Lechon or a roasted suckling pig originally came from Spain. It has long since been a favorite at every occasion in the Philippines. It can also be a regular dish on an ordinary day.
House of Lechon can be your one-stop restaurant serving lechon. From the grilling station to your stomach, lechon might be your next favorite Filipino food! One kilo is good for 3 people.
Other great Filipino dishes are also in the menu.
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If you want to try some local barbecue, this is for you! Try Larsian Grill. Chicken intestine and chicken or pork barbecue are the most popular here. Grilled seafood selections such as fish, squid, and shrimp are also available.
Everything’s affordable, but don’t expect top notch service. Vendors can also be loud, but if you’re not picky, give it a try and experience the local food scene.
For rice lovers, don’t be surprised if the rice is wrapped in bamboo leaves. Also, try the siomai with tisa, a Bisayan take on the Chinese dish.
NOW, IF YOU’RE SEARCHING FOR BEACHES AND WATER ACTIVITIES
Kawasan Falls is one of the most loved spots offering exciting activities south of Cebu City.
Take a 3 to 4-hour bus ride from the city and bask in the fun waiting for you.
Enjoy the scenery and the amazing blue water. Do activities such as rafting and canyoneering, and dive into the water. For those who are afraid of heights, this may not be for you, but don’t worry, you can try! Wear proper gear and attire, as rocks are slippery. And a little warning, food can be very expensive. Bring your own water, and don’t forget your camera.
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OSLOB WHALE SHARK
For whale shark lovers, this is heaven! Include swimming with whale sharks in your itinerary. A word of caution though: choose the best tour.
Guides speak English well.
Make sure to get closer to the whale sharks. Remember, though, that you’re not allowed to put on skin lotion if you plan to touch them, as it is bad for the gentle giants.
Swimming with whale sharks is a favorite especially during peak season, but it’s all worth it, so don’t skip this one.
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If you’re also looking for a peaceful beach,
BANTAYAN ISLAND, STA FE
Located in Sta. Fe, Cebu, Bantayan Island has a beautiful sandbar that’s picturesque especially when it’s low tide. It’s a sanctuary for those seeking peace and quiet.
Take a 3 to 4-hour bus ride from the city, then a 20 to 30-minute ferry ride.
If you’re on Bantayan Island, you might also want to visit Ogtong Cave that is 30 minutes away from the town. Rent a tricycle for PHP50 to PHP100. Entrance fee is PHP100.
Swim with a swarm of sardines in Moalboal. If all you want to do is hit the beach, Moalboal’s white sand beach is perfect for you. You can set up your own tent and take in the relaxing vibe of the beach or you can rent ” kubos” or small cottages.
When you get hungry, small eateries stand by the beach, ready to serve you.
Buses bound for Moalboal can be found in the city and takes about 3-4 hours.
WHERE TO STAY AT MOALBOAL
CHIEF MAU HOSTEL
It is one of the most famous backpacker’s hostels in the area. Pay PHP500 ($9.50) per night for a shared dorm, or PHP1,500 ($28) per night for a private room. You can read my full review here. Chief Mau Hostel
GOT IT ALL? GREAT!
Insider Tip: Need to catch an early flight going home the next day but don’t want to stay at the airport or a hostel? Lounge at Tom & Tom’s Coffee Shop. It’s open 24 hours and has a reliable Wi-Fi connection! Tom & Tom’s is located at The Greenery, Mabolo, around 40 minutes to the airport. Take Uber, Grab or a regular taxi, and it will cost you PHP150 to PHPH300 ($3-$5).
How to get to Cebu from Manila
Domestic Airlines such as Air Asia and Cebu Pacific fly to Cebu daily for only 1-1.5 hours. If you’re lucky, you can spot on their promos. Check their website for more information!
Have you been to Cebu? What’s your most favorite?
Special thanks to my partner Chris for his Instagram photos. ♡