Monday, August 20, 2012


It was an impulsive decision last June- booking a flight to Cebu. Original plan was Puerto Princesa in Palawan because: a) two major itineraries I wrote in that little notebook which records my dreams and plans in 2012 are Bohol and Palawan. Bohol happened in May. Palawan is yet to happen. b) because the booked flight was meant for my birthday trip and had I chosen Puerto Princesa, my social networking page’s birthday trip album would have read :

“Puerto Princesa.
August 2012.
Because every birthday girl is a princess”

-a remark which will surely make my sister’s and aunt’s eyes roll but will bump me to first class, level 8 coolness  to my other facebook friends (the level goes up to until level 10 only. Haha!)

But Cebu is meant to happen and it did-on my birthday week. And Dorey, my best friend since high school was the willing Robin to my Batman (yes, yes, I declare myself the main character because, hello, it is my birthday!). I gathered the tiny bits of courage scattered around my teeny weeny desk to advise my boss of a 2-day vacation leave and after seeing my eye bags, dry facial skin, chapped lips and hair closely resembling  that of Einstein’s (ye-hes!! Einstein and I have something in common!!), she said, “Please…Leave…now…”. That pretty much finalized everything and so one drizzling Thursday early morning, I found myself  in plane seat number 009-B, sleeping with both mouth and eyes half-opened, semi-snoring, head tilted in a 45-degree angle, completely oblivious of the turbulence (like what I have said, it was drizzling/raining when we boarded) – my vacation has just started – goodbye tired and stressed employee, hello hot and big-time traveler (ahem,ahem-ako yan!!!) !!

My favorite part of a composition is the introduction so in this blog, you will usually find very long introductions (sorry, sorry!) – let me segue to my top-ten tradition. This time, let’s make it the top ten words, which when said, conjure the beautiful imagery of Cebu (say it with me with feelings, zhebooohh…)


News of tropical depression, typhoon and many other rain-related terms which will make Ernie Baron want to come back to life plague the television news programs but the Universe has felt my desperation to get my feet on the beach so the rest of the world got rained on BUT CEBU!! (all together now, zheboohh..) It was all sunshiny from day 1 to day4 of our trip with a sprinkle of just the right amount of rain to add the super to our adventure. Super Adventure! Then there’s the other kind of sunshine: Cebuano’s (and Oslobenos and Sumilenos) are simply divine! They are the kindest people in the Philippines. They are the most accommodating and simplest. The gentlest and the happiest. The sunshine after the rain. The cure against my fear and my pain. (Stop 98 degrees memories, I am a backstreet girl!!) And meeting these beautiful people (special mention: Kristine, Eleanor of Oslob Garden Stay Resort and Kuya Dodz, our guide in Oslob), add the ‘duper’ in my already super adventure. Duper Super Adventure!! Ay mali! - Super Duper Adventure!!! 

Two: DIY

…or also known as do-it-yourself. Most of my trips have been with an organized travel group because I am tamad that way, and I have friends and have established friendship with the people I have met in my travel groups so much so that they have been my comfort zone. But this Cebu trip is inspired by a Sunday feature I have read about Sumilon Island and the gentle giants (whale sharks!) of Oslob by Christine Dayrit of the Philippine Star and it all started from there. I thought to go there by myself or with a friend on our own and not through a third party. Blogs have been very helpful in designing our itinerary and Dorey is really good with maps. In summary, I wish to share our itinerary and I hope that you find it useful. Will post a different entry soon for scholarly details (nyahaha):

Day 1: Oslob

6:45 AM ETD Flight from Manila Manila to Cebu (I suggest you take the earliest possible flight if you plan to go directly to Southern Cebu)
7:45 AM ETA Mactan Airport
From the Mactan Airport, take a taxi going to Cebu South Terminal
Take the Ceres bus (in striking yellow, hello sunshine!!) going to Oslob
Expect a three hour drive plus waiting time to get to Oslob
11:30 ETA Oslob Garden Stay Resort
12:00 Lunch
Start of trip on a motorbike!! Wohoo!!
Tumalog Falls (majestic)
Cuartel (breath taking)
Barbeque and Food tripping sa bayan
Then back to resort
Tambay time sa beach while sipping on coconut juice straight from the coconut husk straight from the coconut tree!! (so loco over coco)    

Day 2: Tuki and Sumilon
6:00 AM Diving with the Tuki’s
Then Breakfast
9:00 AM to 5PM Sumilon Island Day trip (beautiful!)

Day 3: Cebu City
Back to Cebu City
Food Trip plus side trip from dusk ‘til dawn
Café Elisa
CNT Lechon

Day 4: Cebu City
Food Trip from Dusk ‘til flight back to Manila
Casa Escano’s plated breakfast
Café Abeseria
Zubuchon (again!!)

Back to Manila


We were sandwiched by the mountains on our right and the ocean on the left. We were comfortably mobile in the middle –on a motorbike. I am super advocating travel or tour on a bike. If there are breastfeeding advocates, education advocates, peace advocates (think Nelson Mandela, Gawad Kalinga, Red Cross, Mother Theresa,etc.) – I join their ranks as a mag-tour sa motorbike (or simply a bicycle) advocate aka as Mo-tour (play on the words motorbike tour- HAMSOWSMARTTTT!!! Hahaha! VIP na’to!!-Tina the advocate or Tina the hotvocate (hot na advocate- woohoo!!) This advocacy’s objectives are just as meaningful:

      It brings you closer to nature
      It makes you appreciate better your surroundings 
      It brings you closer to your driver (ang bango ni Kuya Dodz, David Beckham ang peg!)

Four: TUKI

The butanding’s or whale sharks or in Oslob, the Tuki’s. They are Oslob’s main crowd drawers. Tourists usually join the  fishermen or the sea wardens in the Tuki’s feeding time (usually from 6 am until 12 noon). I have managed to see six or seven or eight of them, and I dove at the shallowest part of the ocean I can find while my hand and feet were embarrassingly wrapped around our boatman’s body (I do not understand, but for this particular day, I felt scared of the open water). I felt intimated by what was before me – the tuki’s, the gentle giants all big and magnificent and oh please, supply me with adjectives… 

The Japanese occupation left a lot of traces in Southern Cebu. Most evident are the cuartel’s and the baluarte’s which can be found in the coastline of Oslob and then Sumilon. The best one is that by the Immaculate Conception Parish. The best time to go is when the sun sets- enveloping the sand, sea and the structures with its golden rays. 

A million notches better than the best chocolate bar!! Nyahaha! The Sumilon Sandbar appeared an hour before the last boat ride back to Oslob and we are extremely grateful that it did. Beautiful!


Glamour Camping. We did not have Php15,000 to shell out for one night on a tent with 5-star hotel service but the idea is so attractive I wish to try one in the future. Sumilon’s Bluewater Resort offers such accommodation.

via shopaholicmonster


After two days in the calm and laidback Oslob and Sumilon, we moved back to the busy Cebu City for our planned food trip. While on the bus back to the City, I have observed that (I am such a keen observer and again, HAMSOWSMART!! Hahaha!) there are a lot of home stores (depots) and furniture showrooms. I forgot that this is Cebu City: the home of the world-class Mandaue Mattresses, the Cobonpue’s, Vito Selma –it is a little surprising that the Bacud’s did not come from here. Haha!! Next time, I will make sure to visit these showrooms to indulge in my growing interest (naks!) in furniture and home design. How did Sherlock Homes come into play? You read that right: Sherlock Homes, not Holmes. It’s actually a lockset brand advertised in a Cebu City billboard (how obvious) and I found it witty. Similar to Mang Donald’s for McDonald’s. Starbox for Starbucks. And my favorite, The Three Bears beside the Goldilocks’ bakeshop. Goldilocks and the three bears, gets? Hahaha! 

I was taking a video while resting under what I know of as the ilang-ilang tree in the second
Level of Fort San Pedro in Cebu City when Dorey told me that in landscape architecture, the tree is called Pagoda tree. It was another HAMSOWSMARTTT!!-moment. So my video narration came out as: We’re resting   under the PAGOD-a tree, because we’re PAGOD-na. See? Hahaha!

Because Cebu is not Cebu without Lechon!!! 

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