Kawasan Falls

Traveling in the Philippines? Start in Cebu!

When you say the Philippines, one of the most popular places to go for tourists whether local or foreign people is in Cebu. There are tons of written blogs on traveling Cebu available online, so writing this is a bit difficult for me. Why? Because, what else to write about if it seems everything people need to know about Cebu is available online. It took me time to finally write this because I certainly had a hard time thinking on what is pleasing to write.

PS: But to be honest, I am still lost as to where the direction this blog will go hahaha! Well, expect a left turn, right turn, straight path, U-turn or if you are walking, do the jaywalking HAHAHA!

Traveling the Philippines is a bit a pain in the ass especially for budget travelers and those who are press on time. This is because if they want to maximize their stay in the Philippines budget-wise, that means enduring long bus rides, and dizzy rollercoaster ferry rides. We just don’t have a convenient transportation system and strategic roads/infrastructures, sadly. If you want to get on the majority of provinces, you want to explore, taking the plane would be convenient and would save you time but yes, heavy on the pocket. So what’s the best way to budget-friendly maximize your Philippine trip? I would suggest starting in Cebu! A good thing to note is that there are international flights that fly directly to Cebu City, Philippines.

Fact #1, flying from Cebu City to other parts of the Philippines is way cheaper compared to flying from Manila. For example, if you are flying to Siargao from Manila, it usually would costs you more than P4,000+ for a one-way ticket, lucky if you catch a promo fare. But when you fly from Cebu City, you can fly to Siargao for approximately P2,000 or even lesser than that for promo fares.

Booking.com

EXPLORING CEBU CITY

Cebu itself has tons of things to see and do when you start your trip here. Getting around Cebu City, you can either take jeepneys for cheaper fares, though it can be confusing because jeepneys here are numbered based on their routes. But you can ask your hostel or people around which jeepney number you should take for your specific destination. For convenience, you can download the GRAB App where you can book a car or the Motorcycle App called Angkas where you can book a motorcycle ride from your pick-up point to your destination. There are taxis as well. Take note that Cebu City is traffic which is time-consuming so going around by motorbike is much convenient. Wear a helmet at all times, don’t forget!

These are some places you can visit within the City or nearby City:

  • Lapu-Lapu Monument, Fort San Pedro, Plaza Independencia, Magellan’s Cross, Sto. Nino Church and Museum, Cebu City Cathedral, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Plaza Hamabar, Heritage Monument, Parian/Colon Street, Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, and Casa Gorordo Museum.
  • JY Square Mall, Taoist Temple, and Temple of Leah, Tops Lookout and Sirao Flower Farm, 10,000 Roses Cafe in Cordova.

Did I hear you say food? Cebu is famous for its crispy, flavorful lechon! Better try it out.

NORTHERN CEBU

Going outside Cebu City, there are two bus terminals: North and South Bus Terminals.

Go to North Bus Terminal if you are going to northern Cebu destinations like the Malapascua Island, Bantayan Island and if you want to cross to Bacolod in Negros Occidental.

Located in North Cebu, Philippines, Malapascua is a heap of sand and rocks in the Middle of the Visayan Sea. Malapascua is a walking island. You can walk around it for 2 hours, or you can just rent a motorbike. The island is a paradise for divers and is known for Monad Shoal where thresher sharks can be seen. But, if you are not a diver like me, you can still definitely enjoy Malapascua for its very laid-back vibe away from the hustle and bustle of City living. If you want to have a real slice of Filipino life, this island is perfect for you.

Malapascua is also a jumping-off point to Kalanggaman Island in Leyte. You can directly book a day tour in Kalanggaman Island from Malapascua. Kalanggaman is breathtaking! It is a vast stretch of a white sandbar.

After spending a few days in Malapascua, why not go and experience its neighboring island, Bantayan. Your northern Cebu adventure wouldn’t be complete without setting foot of course in Bantayan Island! This island is more like for couples, groups or families wanting to chill for few days enjoying island life. Jumping on a boat for an island hopping tour to other nearby islands (like Virgin Island) is a favorite activity here.

SOUTHERN CEBU

If you are choosing to explore South of Cebu, go to South Cebu Terminal in Cebu City, and take the bus going to places like Oslob where you can swim with Whale Sharks. From here it is also doable to do the Kawasan Falls Canyoneering.

Other buses routes are Osmena Peak, Toledo, and Moalboal (a place perfect for diving and the sardine run experience!) or if you want to cross to Dumaguete in Negros Oriental. Negros Oriental is waiting for you to explore as well. A lot of things to check out here also, from impressive waterfalls to paradise sandbar and a lot more.

If you are going Dumaguete which is one of the best Cities to live in the Philippines, you can easily take the ferry to see Siquijor which is worth visiting as well. Siquijor is a small island that you can explore in one or two days. But I would recommend staying here more than two days because for sure you will love its simplicity, serenity alongside awesome sunset and beaches!

From Dumaguete, you can ride a bus to Bacolod in Negros Occidental as well – home of the famous Chicken Inasal and the City of Smiles! You might not want to miss Iloilo if you happen to be in Bacolod. You can take a ferry from Bacolod to Iloilo City. It will be worth your while if you visit the Gigantes and Guimaras Islands. 6-7 hours bus ride from Iloilo City, you can go Caticlan and take a short boat ride to the famous Boracay Island.

Take the ferry from Cebu City, if you want to visit nearby provinces around like Bohol where you can see beautiful beaches, chocolate hills, the world’s smallest primate, Tarsier, and a lot more of incredible wonders.

As you can see, Cebu is situated perfectly in the Visayas where you can go to other worth visiting provinces from there without spending so much on plane tickets. I guess, it is just a smart choice to start and maximize your Philippine getaway!

 

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