I was born and raised in the Philippines. I am 100% pure-blooded Filipino. But believe me or not, I have never been to Cebu City all my life. There are so many places in my own country that I haven’t been to. Even though I love traveling, I didn’t have the money to spend for all the travelling costs. I’m thankful that my husband made most of my dreams possible including the chance of visiting places I never thought I would be able to visit. I would say I am one of those Filipinas who did experience a better life after marrying a foreigner but like everything else, nothing’s perfect in this world. I will talk more about being married to my American husband and the struggles we have to go through later in this blog. For now I want to share how our first trip to Cebu City went since it is both my husband and I first time to be in the City.
We took 2Go Travels on our way to Cebu City from Butuan City where we live. It is also my husband and I first time on a boat so we were both excited and nervous at the same time. Although we have read good reviews of 2Go Cruise Ships, I think it’s totally normal to still feel uneasy for first timers like us to travel at least 9 hours through the sea. Seeing the Ship for the first time was so overwhelming but we were like kids who couldn’t wait to get in. The room we took was the Stateroom and I must say it was the cutest room we have ever stayed in! It was clean and has its own rest room and TV. The room also face the ocean so we can see where the Ship is heading. It was a very smooth and relaxing travel. The food they served in the restaurant is good and the customer service is quite impressive. Before we even noticed, we already arrived in Cebu City safe and sound.
Grabbing a taxi outside the pier station was a little bit tough because some drivers pick and choose their passengers. Some of them will pick you up only if your destination is the same as theirs or if it’s too far or not. The farther your destination is, the more money they make of course. My husband and I got a little pissed (me especially because I was the one doing the talking) but finally after a couple of minutes a cab stopped by in front of us and drove us to our hotel.
We stayed for 6 days at Rajah Park Hotel along Fuente Street. It’s right next to Robinsons Mall and is surrounded with different types of business establishments. We felt safe and relaxed during our stay. We’ve also seen a lot of foreigners checking in and out the hotel which can only mean one thing, they are satisfied with the hotel’s service and location as well. The hotel is clean, well-kept, affordable, and peaceful.
During our visit to Cebu, we have only visited couple of places because I could no longer manage to walk around too much since I was 6 months pregnant. However, we still had fun throughout our trip! We were able to visit the historical Magellan’s Cross where Catholic Cebu residents and tourists visit to pray. There were several ladies selling colorful candles and prays for those who bought their candles. They recite a long prayer while dancing and waving the candles in front of the Cross. I personally do not think those prayers will be answered because I believe a prayer must be personal and sincere – not because someone paid me to pray for her. But this has been a tradition to so many people in Cebu so I can’t argue on that anymore. After all, Religion plays a big role in the history of Cebu City and one of the reasons why it is, what it is today.
The next place we visited was the Old Historical Church located just right next to Magellan’s Cross named Basilica del Santo Niño. There was a Catholic Mass at that time so a lot of people were there to listen and pray. It is the oldest Church in the Philippines known to have been through all types of natural phenomenon like earthquake. It has remained strong despite of its age and a lot of people still visit to pray. There were talks of robbers around the area but when we were there, we felt pretty secure because there were security guards at the entrance gate checking people’s bags for safety. It is also near a Police Station so there is really nothing to be nervous about when visiting the place.
My husband and I also visited a lot of restaurants. My most favorite are the restaurants located at Crossroad. We were able to try authentic Japanese and Mexican Food. We also visited Ayala Center which is by the way soooo HUGE! I don’t think we were able to go around the whole area but the landscaping and the architectural designs of their buildings really amazed me. It almost looked as if we were still in the U.S.
We wanted to visit the famous Taoist Temple but I no longer have the strength to take all the steps going up hill due to my pregnancy. Even though we only visited very few places, I have already made my first impression of Cebu. It is truly a well developed City with huge buildings, easy access on modes of transportation, and has high quality products and services. I wasn’t surprised that a lot of foreigners visit and actually live within the City as it is quite modernized, far from the quite and simple province life. However, I have also learned that because of the developments, the cost of living is higher and will require more money in order to move around. Although the City still has areas that are unorganized and trashy, its something I hardly noticed when we were there.
I wish to visit Cebu City next time with my husband and child and this time take a look at the nice beaches they were famous of as well.