021811 Cebu

Cebu is the first historic place in all of the Philippine islands. This was where the first foreigners first set foot in the country. I would not say discovered because the Philippines were already in habited by our ancestors before it was first invaded . But as history tells us, we fought back and hence we have our first ever recognized hero, Lapu-lapu.
Enough with the history lesson. I was in Cebu from February 16 to 18 for meetings with our resellers in the hope of establishing better relationship with them as well as getting orders (of course!). It’s my second time in Cebu already and i appreciate it more this time than last time.
Before I was here for a 4 days event ferrying back and forth for the Hotel and the event venue in SM Cebu plus a few side trips here and there <wink, wink>. So, I wasn’t able to visit much of the city. Now, however, I got the full blast of the city. And, I find it to be a laid back, peaceful city which has much to offer.
Since we have several meetings for the entire 3 day stay, we need to use public transportation. Cebu has some colourful jeepneys, our country’s main form of public transport. Cebu has, in my opinion, an ingenious transportation system.  Each jeepney has a number and letter corresponding to the destination it travels. I already noticed this during my previous visit but has never ridden one since am not familiar with the combinations and the place. In Manila, we had small signage  that let us know where the jeep is heading. See. The number and letter combination is really new to me. Riding the jeepney might not be the most comfortable way to travel around but it is the most economical one since fare cost are just PHP 7.50 minimum. In terms of dollar that would be about a penny (I think but I could be wrong..hehehe).  This can get you from one point to another quickly depending on traffic. To malls, to churches, to the market or to other local sites. There are also taxi cabs around the city. Just as plenty as jeepneys but costs higher. PHP 40 flag down rate plus PHP 2.50 per succeeding kilometres. Still not bad if you have foreign money. Taxis are somehow faster since they can go through shortcuts. Another thing that amazed me were Automated Tubig (Water) Machines a.k.a. ATMs.  These are vendo water dispensers! We don’t have this in Manila too that’s why it is SOOO AMAZING for me! HAHAHA. Your PHP 1.00 can give you about a tall glass of water enough to satiate your thirst. This is more economical and somehow more environmentally friendly too than buying bottled water from groceries. It’s amazing right?? Our Account Managers, Molina and Honey (also our Tour Guides to our resellers) also mentioned computer rentals with internet also has vendo machines! Your PHP 1.00 would give you 4 minutes of internet fun enabling less fortunate people access and maintain their Facebook accounts. SOOOOO AMAZING! I think it won’t get any cheaper than that.
Food in Cebu is also OK. There are a lot of options to choose from. Fast food, restos, fine dining, and there’s local dining. Larsian would be the epitome of local dining. Larsian is a known barbeque place here in Cebu where you have to eat with your plastic covered hand. These are clean plastics I assure you. The place is literally SMOKIN’ from all the smoke from grills of over 20 food stalls with offers ranging from pork bbq (there’s a big and a small size), chicken intestines (yes! Cleaned and marinated. This is a best seller), various chicken innards(gizzards, liver, heart.. I don’t personally eat this), chorizo, squids, and milk fish with veggie stuffing to be cooked on the spot to your liking. Plus you can also order siomai (showing our Chinese influence). Rice, the country’s staple, comes in a woven container made from banana leaves (i think) called “puso”. I think a trip to Cebu is not complete without eating at Larsian. This is not a place for people with weak stomachs as the area is like a wet market place. If you are picky, malls have fast food that might be familiar to you. But for the adventurous peeps, Larsian is a great place to eat.
Shopping wise, malls in Cebu has some of the international and local brands in Metro Manila. But for shirt souvenirs, I recommend going to Island Souvenirs where you can get personalized shirts like “Quiti2x loves Cebu” plus other cool designs. There is also a shirt store in Ayala Cebu that has the local dialect as their designs which you can have the store personnel translate for you. Local delicacies?? Try visiting the market for “dangit”(dried fish but I am not sure which specie) and dried pusit (squid) are the best sellers. These are like our take on beef jerky but using fish and squid but these have to be fried before comsumption. Also there’s otap ( a thin type of pastry). Really really good. And there is also dried mangos. I f you’re a guitar player, you might consider purchasing one from Cebu. It’s also one of their best handicraft.
Night life in Cebu is decent. But come to the bars or clubs on Fridays or Saturdays, otherwise you might end-up drinking by yourself. Believe me. I went there on a Thursday and ended up by myself. It’s either that or am not that sociable(hahaha). Mango Square is the place to be to party. Although there are other places to party, I was told that that was the place to be. There is also a comedy bar (22nd Street) near the square to laugh your hearts out. Hmmm.. I should have gone there instead  right.. Oh well..
This Cebu City immersion would not be possible without our two lovely guides, Molina and Honey. Thanks for everything girls!
 I have just been to Cebu a couple times but it is a place that I would definitely visit again for a vacation. I feel there are still a lot of things I haven’t done in Cebu yet. I hope the next time I visit is for a vacation and not a business trip.
I’d like to end this blog entry with something that I read off a guy’s shirt in Cebu: “HINDI LAHAT NG GWAPO AY LALAKI, YUNG IBA AY BAYOT”[Not all good looking men are straight, some are gay]. Still gives me a smile every time I remember it.

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