Updating my blog and social media posts, I was a bit surprised to get a chat notification from Rikke, the passenger next to my seat who I got to know while catching a Cebu Pacific flight to Manila when I watched the Incubus concert at Mall of Asia last 2015.
She was here in Cebu that time for her teaching internship at a foundation supported by her school.
This time on her return, she wants to tour around the best spots in the Philippines’ seven thousand plus islands on a backpack for a month and her last stop would be in Cebu where she will be taking connecting flights back to Denmark via Mactan Airport, and that’s where I come in.
She shyly asked me if I was available on that specific weekend a month from now.
Without checking my schedule, I said yes.
If you don’t mind, kindly tell me the best way to experience Cebu in a single day. Supposing I’ll be able to steal a car and a wallet full of cash (without consequences of course) then that would be awesome. However, let’s stop dreaming and face reality.
This is the part where I start to panic.
So, what can we do in only 24 hours? Here’s what I’ve gathered.
Common sense tells me that anything outside of Metro Cebu will be stupid and a waste of time. Goodbye canyoneering, whaleshark watching and skydiving in Bantayan Island. Also, Magellan’s Cross and other iconic landmarks in downtown Cebu are too mainstream.
In all honesty, the first thing that comes to my mind would be to head over to Busay given she hasn’t been to Temple of Leah, Terrazas or at Sirao Flower Farm and while we’re there we might as well drop by Crate Coffee or at Dolce, my favorite outdoor café, whichever has the better view of the alluring sunset. We could also choose the lazy option which is SM Seaside City and go bowling, ice skating, play arcade, watch a movie like a director on 4D or take a stroll at the Sky Park. In the midst of all these activities, I guess a quick aromatherapy massage at Abiza Spa won’t hurt.
Now the best part about life, food.
For starters, Café Lorenzo at Cebu Grand Hotel sure has a great Filipino buffet spread while the roasted chicken at Chix Savour is to die for. Bucket Shrimps at Cebu Yacht Club looks pretty damn inviting and so is the one of a kind dimsum experience at Tin Gow. But an authentic Cebuano experience would never be complete without Filipino street foods and delicacies like bibingka, kwek-kwek and banana cue to name a few. If ever she’s not into adventure bites, there’s the Filipino Afternoon Tea at Waterfront’s Lobby Lounge which is the expensive option. Of course we’ll surely never miss my favorite hole-in-the-wall eatery, Chinese Ngohiong at Junquera. And since there’s always room for dessert, Golden Prince Hotel’s Halo-Halo and Snow Shack’s Korean Ice Desserts are a definite yes.
Since laughter is the best medicine, Amazon’s Comedy Restobar at The Henry is a great night spot for some local beers and Las Vegas style performances. Afterwards, we could head over to Harold’s Highlights Bar for their 99-peso cocktails, or probably request a song from the resident pianist at Big Hotel after dancing some EDM tracks at Liv Superclub next door, or might as well order a bottle of Chardonnay at Ibiza Beach Club to cap off the night and finish the day with a midnight snack at Pizza Republic, The Greenery or at Axis in Escario. From there, we’ll just walk a few steps and reach Best Western Plus Lex where you’ll definitely see us taking a quick dip at the rooftop pool before dozing off in our premium suite.
Then Rikke sent an update: “Hey Karlo, change of plans. I’ll skip Cebu and fly home from Manila instead.”