“The Philippines is defined by its emerald rice fields, teeming mega-cities, graffiti-splashed jeepneys, smouldering volcanoes, bug-eyed tarsiers, fuzzy water buffalo and smiling, happy-go-lucky people.” – Lonely Planet
While everybody was getting ready to return home after celebrating the New Year in Boracay, my husband and I continued our escapade in the Philippines. Our next stop was the island hailed as the “queen city of the south.”
Cebu is not new to me; this must be my third visit already. The latest one was just two years ago, when my mom and I went to see the mall and the churches, and taste the popular lechons. And we succeeded; for just an overnight stay, we were able to do it all. In fact, this itinerary was specially crafted for first-timers like my mom (at that time). Now that it’s my husband’s turn, I felt the need to follow it again. Yet of course, it would be a bore for me if I didn’t add a few new things to do for our stay in Cebu.
Tropical storm named Feria and Zest Air overshot Caticlan runway,
Getting lost in the new NAIA 3 and 2-hour Cebu-Pacific flight delay,
Come high or hell water, we made it to Boracay.
Dazzling blue skies, breathtaking sunsets,
Fine white sands,blindingly turquoise waters.
Parasailing, windsurfing, snorkeling…water activities of all kinds.
Good eats and thumping nightlife.
Moroccan cuisines at Kasbah, go Greek at Zuzuni,
Refreshing dishes at Lemoni cafe, tasty Thai at Sa’Neh Thai,
More ice cream, cold drinks, and milk shakes to refresh us,
Seafood shopping and paluto at D*talipapa.
After getting married in a fairytale-like Nordic island called Aeroskobing, we flew back to Switzerland, packed our luggages again and went on to our honeymoon the next day. Yet the honeymoon seemed to continue after Italy. We also went to visit Porto in Portugal for a long weekend, and the Philippines for 3 weeks.
Otherwise known as the “Five Lands,” Cinque Terre features five beautiful fishing villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. We stayed in Levanto, a village that lies at the northern end of these little villages of Cinque Terre. After many months of being in the cold, we had our first good dose of Italian sun at its beach.
“Bai” is a Cebuano word which means a brother or a friend, and is typically used in addressing a person whose name you don’t know.
Roughly 5 years ago, my former company sent me to visit one of our offices in Cebu. The 2-week stay was short. It’s sweet nonetheless, because I got easily drawn to the charm of this city.
Re-visiting Cebu after 5 years is like meeting an old friend. I recall the consistently friendlier, more courteous and honest Cebuanos. Taxi drivers would return fare change in almost exact amount. Staff in restaurants, shopping stores or hotels would give you a smile, greet you politely and cordially help you meeting your needs. Or just any Cebuano passing by, you ask a question or help, they’d go the extra mile.
At last, after more than a year of living in Switzerland, I was able to go home to the Philippines for vacation. I wanted to visit Ilocos and Palawan this year, but I found it more interesting to explore Bohol first, especially when I realized that I can also make a side-trip to my other favorite city at the south part of the country, which is Cebu. I was definitely yearning for white sandy beach leisure, so Bohol turned out to be a fitting place for a getaway.
The trip was somewhat my long overdue gift for mom on her 60th milestone, too. Like me, she also deserved a much-needed vacation. Despite our petty squabbles and quirks in traveling, mom has always been my equally reliable, fun-loving, ever-curious travel buddy. She’s always got the age-defying energy and zest to go places. She’s an Energizer bunny!