Sugbu, the local term for Cebu, has always been close to my heart. Two years ago, I came up with 40 Reasons Why I Have to Go Back to Cebu City. Two years thereafter, I went back there. Again. And. Again.
After Oslob in South Cebu last year, I got in a six-day vacation in the Queen City of the South with some friends this time. Quite one of the longest rest days but it was definitely worth the time and the several bus and van rides.Metro Cebu and its neighboring areas will brim you with so much excitement and new adventure that will surely add on to your memory collection. Whether rough treks or solemn kneeling and food hunting is your taste, Cebu has it all.Here is my top 7 hot picks of new things and experiences that are a must-try when in Cebu — fun things that you might have just seen in your social media chums that you want to do some time in the future (I suggest you do it the soonest before Climate Change ruins them all).
CANYONEERING IN BADIAN, SOUTH CEBU
On top of my list is this extreme nature adventure. Up to now, I still can’t find the best word to describe the four-hour ‘buwis-buhay’ expedition. You guys really have to see this place. This a treat to those you prefer extraordinary trips.Canyoneering (others call it canyoning, gorging or kloofing) is an adventure sport or just a random hike or traveling down steep and narrow canyons using a variety of styles that may include trekking, hiking, rock-gliding, boulder hopping, rock climbing, jumping, swimming and even spelunking.Some travel essentials that you will be needing: Life vest and helmet (which will be provided by the tour guide) , water shoes, preferably (in case you don’t have a pair, the guide will likewise give you one), an action camera (with a floater if you don’t want it to dive all the way down the deep waters), a dry bag to fit all your stuff (be it irrelevant or not), zip locks or minigrip bags to ensure your other gadgets stay dry, the bandwagon powers of a powerbank and lastly, guts. Just guts for you will be taking off, not by a hike but by a jump.The first jump is quite challenging because you won’t have any choice but to jump since a queue of people awaits gallantly. So, if you are faint-hearted, think again for if minutes pass and you still don’t get to get off your point, the mob will probably push you, and in other experiences, the tour guides themselves will do the honor of plunging you down.Badian is approximately three hours away from the metro. It is the next town to Moalboal and before Alegria. Ride a bus in South terminal bound to Bato via Barili of you can take a GT Express Van to Badian from Cebu Citilink terminal. We paid PhP 140.00 for the bus fare. We woke up at 3 am and arrived at around 7 am.Since this adventure is new, the local government is yet to organize a set of policy governing the tour operators that market this site. Locals, to date, do as they want. Upon arrival, we got hungry so bought some ingredients and cooked breakfast for ourselves at the house of our tour guide, Kuya Ramil. Just look for him through this mobile number 09056921981.I really feel ecstatic I was able to complete the jumps and slides. People started to disperse and chose not to go on when they saw this 35 ft. high boulder. And I felt like it was the end of my life when I took off a death-defying 50 ft. jump. Felt like all the food intake got out of my throat and my grills tore my cheeks, may face sliced in half.At some point you get to shoot some of these photos so long as your guide knows quite well how to use a GoPro or any action cams. In this case, kind of epic fail. We would’ve needed three or four heads more to perfect this stunt (wow! stunt).Outwin. Outplay. Outlast.
Canyoneering in Badian is definitely something that the Philippines must show to the world. It’s like white water rafting, underground river, mountain trekking, caving, wild nature tripping all fused into one great, fun, nerve-wracking, pimple-popping, knee-thrilling adventure.
KAWASAN FALLS, BADIAN
My friends sure had a great time in Kawasan Falls. After a back-breaking canyoneering, it’s time to get a massage from this clear turquoise waters from the mountain jungle springs. Kawasan has many waterfalls. The first one is the largest of the three and apparently was the most congested.
So many people at that time since it was Good Friday when we went there so I didn’t really enjoy.
SIMALA SHRINE IN SIBONGA, CEBU
If Guimaras has Pagtaltal sa Balaan Bukid, Visita Iglesia in Manila Churches, Senakulo in Pampanga, Salubong in Camarines Sur, and other provinces gather pilgrims for Semana Santa and holy week rituals and traditions, Cebuanos go to Simala Shrine, and pay homage in the church and kneel for prayers to be answered.Built in 1998 by the Marian Monks of Pampanga, Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, well known as Simala Shrine or Simala Church, is a castle-like church stood on Marian Hills, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu.This became quite popular because of several miracles and answered prayers as attested by letters and photos of people who have gone there to pray and wish for some things which were granted. Inside, you get to see all over the boards testimonials from people who have been cured or miraculously survived serious illnesses and those who have successfully passed licensure examinations.The castle-like structure has drawn tourists making this church one of the most unique and special churches in the country.The trip is around two hours from the metro. Go to South Bus Terminal and hop in a van. For Php 100.00, you will be headed directly to this majestic religious destination.
TUSLOB BUWA ANYWHERE IN THE CITY
Enough of the lechon talk, try Tuslob Buwa of Cebu.This exotic street food that has magnetized a lot of curious minds and those who want to discover what people call as “Tuslob Buwa” in Cebuano including me.When translated in English, it literally means “to dip into bubbles”.For Php 100 pesos, they’ll give you a mix of something I had no idea about. Then you cook it in some kind of a broth until it thickens.You dip the ‘puso’ or hanging rice (a rice wrapped in banana or coconut leaves and steamed to edible perfection) and straight to your mouth.It’s not really a delish treat but it’s a very good Cebua experience especially when shared with good friends.
BBQ AT LARSIAN, FUENTE OSMEÑA
Larsian in Fuente, Osmeña is a bazaar of diners that’s the awesomest place to experience Cebu’s best barbecue.Like Manila’s Dampa, don’t expect for a fancy resto but disposable plastic gloves and unlimited ‘puso’.Expect a loud hawking of people trying to fight for their customers. I was at awe even until I started nibbling for the people were so ferocious especially the LGBT vendors who combated other vendors to eat in their area of jurisdiction.
SM SEASIDE CITY, CEBU SOUTH COASTAL RD
This is Cebu’s newest mall and the third biggest in the country.
If SM Mall of Asia boasts its gigantic globe, Seaside leaves the locals and tourists in awe with their iconic landmark called The Cube.
Aside from splurging, this is a very refreshing spot to those who just want to stroll around and feast their eyes on new apples and pears. A friendly advice: they have a strict policy on cabs coming in and out of the pick up and drop off points. So be ready to fall in line to get yourself one.
They say it’s a diver’s haven and the gateway to the aqua kingdom. But, let me tell you something truthful since I didn’t stay there long.The place is very common. But if you want some time beach slickin skinny dippin with your rainbow tents and the extreme summer heat, it’s a good place to be. You can have a DIY day tour in Moalboal if you’re from South Cebu. They call it white beach but somehow disagree.
TEMPLE OF LEAH, CEBU TRANSCENTRAl HWY, CEBU CITY
Just like Taj Mahal of India, this newest tourist attraction in Cebu City is built as a symbol of Mr. Teodorico Adarna’s undying love and devotion to his wife, Leah. No Doric temple of Athena built on the acropolis of Athens but of Leah, the Grandma of the illustrious Ellen Adarna.It is when art and love collide that employment is high and revenue generation becomes stronger.With my ‘sakit sa ulo’ pose, here are some of the things you can see at the Temple of Leah.So that’s Grandma Leah. Golden and striking. #MayForever
There you have it.
Seven new Cebu experiences that you must really try. This may be just a tip of my weeklong trip’s iceberg but I hope this gives you a bigger picture of what you will miss if you don’t visit my favorite city in the Philippines.
See you in my next adventure, monkeys! Keep on collecting and immortalizing memories!