Monday, August 18, 2008

Cebu in a Day

Much to the consternation of my Davao friends, I just had to visit Cebu again. Of course! That's where my best friend lives! I realized too that there's a lot you can actually cram in a day provided you are up for it. Here's my video blog about it:

Great places to visit in Cebu:

Cebu Capitol - one of the grandest capitols in the Philippines. They have a huge hall inside too where they hold grand parties and big seminars.

Cebu International Convention Center - bigger and better than the Cebu Grand Convention Center. I've been in the place a couple of times before.

Tops - I didn't know there was a higher point than Mountain View and that yummy food place I usually go to with friends. Those places were apparently just halfway to the "Top of Tops". I found it to be a magical place and the view beats Antipolo's view of Manila.

Fort San Pedro - I visited the place last year, but wasn't able to go around the second floor where you'd see relics from the San Diego (a ship). It's like a smaller version of Fort Santiago, but of course it has its own history. Also a great place for pre-nup pictorials!

Basilica Sto. Nino - I was quite excited to go visit the church again. There were a lot of people despite the fact that it was a Saturday. I also got to see the inner side of the church where old paintings were showcased (check out the "First Christian Wedding").

Magellan's Cross - a must see when you're visiting Cebu! It's just a stone's throw away from the Basilica Sto. Nino.

How to Get to Cebu:

1. Take either Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines. I just paid PhP1,996 for roundtrip tickets (Manila-Cebu-Manila) when Cebu Pacific had a seat sale.

2. At the airport you can take a cab to the city or have a friendly-friend pick you up. Cab prices have gone up so prepare PhP250 to 350.

Where to Stay:

I've stayed in a number of hotels in Cebu and my favorite to date is the Marriot Hotel since they have really great service and I just love their breakfast buffet! It's also just a few steps away from the Ayala Mall and I think is at the center of everything. Waterfront Hotel (Lahug) is also good, but I've had a couple of bad experiences (i.e. my room flooded, weird noises from room neighbors etc.), breakfast buffet is not as great as Marriot's and you always need transpo just to get out of the place.

If you're in a budget, Crowne Garden Hotel is good at PhP1,300 per night, but don't expect to get your meal coupon since they always make you come back for it (and apparently it's their modus operandi since a friend of mine experienced the same). It's a good place to crash in if you'll be out the whole day and most of the night. Bathroom's also quite clean and they have hot water. I used to stay at Castle Peak before, but the place just got old and I find it too dark.

Or... stay at a friend's house!

Up next: Cebu's yummy food places!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Disney's Mulan, Jr. in Manila

Sometimes the best lakwatsa is hunkering down to watch a play. So this time I'm not going to say, "Relax watch a movie!" but, "Relax watch this play!"

Repertory Philippines is running this production from August 9 to December 18, 2008, at the Onstage, Greenbelt. More details at An Apple a Day.