February 21-25, 2016
One of my bucket list is to do a solo travel at least once in my life. This was a birthday treat for myself. I asked my friend to book my tickets then, since I was still a newbie. I got my tickets for P1,500 (MNL-CEB and TAG-MNL via Cebu Pacific.)
I was inspired by my female friend who did a solo travel in Singapore because she broke-up with her partner and was forced to do the travel alone. I was so amazed on how she did it by herself. Little did I know that many people are already doing it. Hahaha! Poor me.
I just did a little a research on where to go and what to do in Cebu and Bohol, because I still have my classes in my post-grad studies and I need to prioritize my assignments. I just assured myself with cellphone data connection (for Google) and downloaded offline maps in case there is no signal and I need to know my whereabouts. Voila! I survived!
I was both scared and excited before my flight, the feeling of the first timer. I was lucky enough that my flight was not delayed and did not need to wait long to be on board. And so the adventure begins!
I was talking to my inner self while on board, “Juice colored, tama ba ‘tong desisyon ko na mag-travel mag-isa? Hindi pa ata ako ready. Pero nakasakay na ko sa eroplano, wala nang atrasan ‘to. Saan ako sasakay pagbaba ko sa Mactan Airport? Bakit ba kasi hindi ko ginalingan ang research.”
ARRIVAL AT CEBU
Upon arrival at Mactan International Airport, I checked Google on how can I reach the city by commuting. The first thing I saw upon exiting the airport was a bus going to SM City Cebu! I was so relieved; because, I believe when there’s SM, you can survive commuting. I rode MyBus which costs P25 for regular fare and P20 for students, senior citizens, or PWDs. Dedma na kung anong nag-aantay sa SM Cebu. Feeling ko talaga may commute doon patungo sa tugatog nang tagumpay.
SM Cebu was still closed when I arrived. So, I have no choice but to go directly to my first itinerary which was the Sto. Niño de Cebu. Ang kaunti nang tao, bes. But fortunately there were bus station attendants whom I was able to ask for directions. They told me that I could ride a jeep going to Sto. Niño de Cebu. Behind SM is a jeepney terminal where I could wait for my ride. I was not sure if there’s a trip during that time because there are no people! That mini heart attack due to uncertainty.
STO. NINO DE CEBU MINOR BASILICA
Jeepneys in Cebu have their special number to indicate their route. Kumusta naman, hindi nga ako masyadong nagresearch. So I needed to ask the driver if it will pass by my destination. The jeep that will pass by Sto. Niño de Cebu from SM Cebu is 12i. I paid for P7 for the trip. I think I rode the wrong jeepney, the driver just told me that I should just walk and I should reach my destination. Ang layo pala nang lalakarin! Good thing there’s Google Maps. At least it lead me to the right place.
For Roman Catholics, it is surreal seeing Sto. Niño de Cebu for the first time! I was like, wow! Ang liit niya pala! And who are those saints? Bakit ang dami nila sa altar? I just said a little prayer and made a wish. You know, first visit to the church, you should make a wish.
My next stop was Magellan’s Cross, and it was just beside the basilica.
The cross was planted by Ferdinand Magellan on that very site on April 21, 1521.
Near the cross is Plaza Independencia, Fort San Pedro, and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. I opt to go to Fort San Pedro next, but I shall pass by Plaza Independencia to reach the Fort. It was like hitting two birds with one stone.
Plaza Independencia is basically a park with statues and stuff. It’s a nice place to relax if you’re already too tired.
But I was still energized that time, eventhough I was carrying my luggages because I still don’t have my place to stay during that time. Yeba! Literal na backpacking ito.
FORT SAN PEDRO
Behind Plaza Independencia is the Fort San Pedro. It is a military base defense structure built by the Spanish under the ruling of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines. The entrance costs P30 to visit the museums and see their history. Being a solo traveler, nakikinig na lang ako sa orator ng ibang tourists para makalibre. Hahaha! Find Señor Sto. Niño.
One of the historical stuff that piqued my interest in Fort San Pedro is the original Spanish flag which was taken from one of the crew members of admiral George Dewey during the Battle of Manila Bay on August 13, 1898. It’s like seeing a witness of war in history.
I personally believe na sulit naman yung P30 na binayad ko for entrance.
CEBU METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL
And again, near Fort San Pedro is the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. You can walk going there, like I did. Tipid-tipid dapat para sulit ang byahe.
It was Sunday, and there was a mass going-on kaya maraming sasakyan sa view during that time. I just made a wish again for a first time visit to the church. Afterwards, it was lunch time and I headed towards the nearest restaurant. I was already starving that time and the nearest restaurant is McDo.
I had to Google the nearest and cheapest hotel accommodation while having lunch because I was already exhausted.
I was able to book at Hotel Fortuna for a single room which costs P700 for a night, with TV, aircon, a good shower, and a complimentary coffee. It is located at 26 Borromeo St., Cebu City. I guess it’s not that bad. I still don’t know Agoda during that time and it was too difficult to find a place to stay. It was still early, and I was still able to take a nap after checking-in.
My next itinerary was supposed to be at the Taoist temple. But upon reaching the area where I need to ride habal-habal to reach the temple, the driver (Kuya Rolly) offered me instead, go to Sirao Garden, Tops, Temple of Leah, and the Taoist temple if there’s still time. He finds it weird that I was travelling alone. He did not even thought that I was a tourist because I look like a local, just wearing shirt, shorts, and sandals, nothing extravagant.
There are plenty of flowers at Sirao Garden, but I personally like the Sunflower. May inggit factor kasi sa mga UP Diliman students kapag nakapagpapicture sa Sunflower, ibig sabihin graduation season na! I was also graduating that time but still not sure because I still need to finish my classes. The entrance fee at Sirao Garden is P20.
Our next destination was Tops.
It is the overlooking spot of Cebu. I was not really amused by it. Kasi may Antipolo naman dito sa Metro Manila, kaya hindi na siya bago sa akin. But still tried to savor the moment. I just don’t know why I did not took pictures of the nice circular holes that are made as pillars. I guess I was hurrying to reach the Taoist Temple that time.
TEMPLE OF LEAH
We headed next to Temple Leah, the Taj Mahal of the Philippines. It was constructed by Teodorico Adarna, grandfather of Ellen Adarna, for his undying love for his wife Leah Adarna.
The temple is built with Roman statues.
As well as, with Roman architecture that attracts a lot of tourists. Like hell yeah, daming tao kahit gabi na.
The location of the temple is also overlooking. Which made me wonder, why do we need to drop by the Tops if the view at the temple is the same? Anyway the entrance fee costs P50, my driver just waited me outside the gate of the temple. It was already late when I finished roaming around the temple. The Taoist Temple is already closed and we cannot visit there anymore.
I don’t know why they have this monument. But it is somewhat hidden in the temple. It is a must-see. Hahaha! Not sure if it is still in the temple.
I just decided that we have our dinner. I asked Kuya Rolly where we can eat. He suggested Lantaw, which is just next to the Temple of Leah.
He was hesitant at first to join me. But I asked him to have dinner with me ’cause I know for sure he is also hungry. I just told him that it’s the eve of my birthday and it is also a celebration.
Hooray for my friendly habal-habal driver, Kuya Rolly. I spent around P300-400 for a meal for two (chicken, scallops, rice, and ice tea.) After eating our dinner, he drove me back to my hotel. He was a little surprised I was booked there and I should be careful because the place is a little chaotic. Hahahaha!
He did not put a price for my trip, he just said it’s up to me. I paid him P300 for the entire trip.
When he knew about my itinerary, he offered to drive and accompany me to the South of Cebu. I should just text him the next day.
For you habal-habal needs in Cebu, you can reach Kuya Rolly at +63-932-4344303
Expenses for the tour around the city (without the plane ticket).
|Bus (Airport to SM Cebu)||25.00|
|Jeep (SM Cebu to Sto. Nino De Cebu)||7.00|
|Entrance (Fort San Pedro)||30.00|
|Hotel (1 night)||700.00|
|Entrance (Sirao Garden)||20.00|
|Entrance (Temple of Leah)||50.00|