Last Sunday, I returned to Cebu after eight months. This time, I went with my parents and we came to experience a short staycation at the province’s premier resort. At the same time, we tried to squeeze in a quick tour around the city on our first day so we can explore the city’s top attractions. Although I have already done the same tour during my first time in Cebu, it felt good to revisit the places again with two of the most important people in my life.
Before I even went to Cebu for the first time, I had already planned on coming back. I knew three days would not be enough to see and do all I wanted to in just a short amount of time. What I did not expect was the opportunity to return would be handed to me eight months later… For free. Talk about hashtag blessed. So, I was given another three days to explore and enjoy Cebu for the second time around and quite honestly, I am far from being done with this province. As a matter of fact, I will come back two more times this year. In May, I will come with my family to visit Bantayan Island (our tickets are already booked, so there’s that) and later this year, I will return one last time for the finale of my Cebu series. On my last flight to Cebu, I will make sure to tick everything off my Cebu travel list–which I am looking forward to do! I am excited to update my Cebu posts as I go.
Read about my first time in Cebu by clicking HERE!
Anyway, for now–here’s a rundown of the places we visited during the course of three days in Cebu:
- The Heart of the City
Since we arrived early on a Sunday morning, we were still able to attend the Mass at the Basilica of Sto. Niño. It was the perfect way to start any trip. We also passed by the Magellan’s Cross right after the Mass.
Basilica de Sto, Niñ0
- Around The World In 5 Hours
The next thing we did was go on a tour around the uphill part of the city. Although I have visited most of the places during my last trip to Cebu, the tour was a refreshing experience for me and I am really grateful that I was able to revisit the destinations again. For instance, the main temple of Temple of Leah was closed the last time we were there; we went to a different garden in Sirao; I was not able to explore and roam around the Taoist Temple last time; and finally, we did not even stop by Tops before. So, it truly felt like the first time for me.
And while on the tour, I realized something interesting. As I was reviewing our photos, my Mama said she sent a photo of herself at Temple of Leah to her friends and told them she was in Greece. Then, it hit me. The Cebu City mountain tour can somehow feel like a tour around some popular destinations around the world!
- Sirao Flower Garden resembles the flower gardens in the Netherlands, particularly Amsterdam
- Temple Of Leah boasts of its pillars and exteriors that are heavily inspired by the temples in Athens, Greece
- TOPS Lookout somehow reminds me of the Hobbiton in New Zealand
- Taoist Temple can make you feel like you are in a solemn temple in China.
Sirao Flower Garden
Temple Of Leah
- The Historical Treasure of Mactan
I am fond of historical landmarks and heritage parks, so I really wanted to visit the Magellan Shrine and the Lapu-Lapu Shrine in Mactan. I missed my first chance, so when I found out that our hotel is just a ten-minute walk away from the park, I made sure to pay it a visit. Unfortunately for me, I found out that Lapu-Lapu’s Shrine was under construction when I visited and it will be finished sometime in April. So, I just decided I will come back to see the Lapu-Lapu Shrine next time. I was still able to see Magellan’s Shrine, though.
- A Luxury Staycation At Cebu’s Premier Resort
The best thing about our trip was the fact that we were fortunate enough to stay in Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa!!! I was super excited to make the most out of our staycation and experience the resort’s amenities. We had such a wonderful and relaxing stay at Shangri-La. Definitely one heck of an experience! Sharing a bunch of photos below!
Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa
And of course, my Mama and I made sure to take advantage of the resort’s outstanding features. My most favorite part (aside from our room) of the resort is the white sand beach. We most certainly took a lot of photos by the shore.
- Shopping and Entertainment Center
On our last day, my Mama had to go to the city for some business matters. Because her appointment was held in one of the buildings in Cebu Business Park, Papa and I decided to wait for her in Ayala Center Cebu. We had coffee and I tried to work on some deliverables before we headed back to Mactan.
Ayala Center Cebu – The Terraces
Before I end this post, I would also like to share how our experience with Grab/Taxi drivers in Cebu was truly commendable. I do not know if it’s just pure luck or every driver in the city is just nice in nature, but we had the nicest experience with the drivers that we met! I do not have any of their names because–I don’t know, I am lame. Anyway, the first one we met was our Grab driver from the airport. We originally booked a van with a tour operator but they canceled at the last minute, so my Mama booked a Grab instead. During the ride to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Papa asked him (the driver) if we could avail his services for the day. He agreed at a very reasonable price and he was super helpful and accommodating. He’s super funny, too! Our day tour would not be as enjoyable as it was if it weren’t for him. The second one was our taxi driver from the hotel. We couldn’t book a Grab so we opted for a taxi. Our driver was a retiree who served 25 years of his life as a seaman. He had such wonderful stories about the good old days and how he is now happily driving his taxi and living his best life with his wife. The last one was our Grab driver from Ayala Center Cebu to the airport. Based on his looks, he’s still at his twenties. I do not remember most of the car ride (because this was when the coffee started to take its toll on me) but I do remember him being nice and sharing stories with Papa.
Anywayyyy, that would be all for now. I apologize for the influx of photos. I had such a great time in Cebu and I cannot wait to go back in May to explore the North of the province. I’m so excited! Until my next Cebu post!