You’re planning to head over to Cebu for a taste of what the Queen City of the South has to offer. Whatever it is that got you convinced to buy a last-minute plane ticket to this particular destination in the Philippines, I’m telling you in advance that it’s not worth it. Here are fifteen reasons why you should reconsider your decision:
1. MACTAN ALFRESCO
You go check out the Singapore hawker-inspired gazebo at Mactan Newtown and you see this guy cook the pig you ordered that’s currently dripping with mouth-watering juices in an open pit roasting area when all you ever wanted was to go to a crowded food court to eat a semi-cold uncrispy lechon that was probably cooked six hours ago at an unsanitary place you’ve never even heard of.
2. IBIZA BEACH CLUB
You have no choice but to book a lunch reservation for two at Movenpick Mactan with its well-curated international course meal, an impressive wine collection plus a stunning view of the Mactan Channel when all you ever wanted was to spend your silver anniversary at a fast food chain in a dilapidated strip mall just a kilometer from your pension house.
3. EL VIENTO
You spend your Saturday night with the gang over at Marco Polo complete with a bucket of ice-cold Heineken, some chef-prepared sizzling pulutan and a live band by the pool playing the hits of your favorite nineties rock band when all you ever wanted was to go to a watering hole full of semi-drunk people ready to smash your skulls with beer bottles.
4. MANGO MUSEUM
You shop for some factory-priced dried mango tamarind at ProFood in Mandaue after doing a tour when all you ever wanted was to buy some last minute overpriced Cebu pasalubong at the airport.
5. CAFÉ JASMIN
You read out loud some of Kota Yamada’s heart-crushing poetic lines to your best bro while enjoying a warm cup of artisanal coffee over at this café in Mabolo when all you ever wanted was to meet over at a generic café and stare at your phones while checking updates on social media.
6. COWRIE COVE
You decide to have an exquisite lunch experience with a blindfold on at Shangri-la Mactan when all you ever wanted was a meal with no sense of excitement whatsoever with all the dish’s ingredients totally laid out for you and printed on a piece of paper.
7. DISTRICT ON 53RD
You drop by at Filinvest Building in IT Park after sightseeing some popular landmarks to dip your focaccia bread into your Porcini Fondue when all you ever wanted was some powdered mushroom soup in a tetra pak paired with yesterday’s bread you bought at some unknown bakery along the highway.
8. GIBB’S HOT WINGS
You challenge your officemates to eat their level 5 hottest wings over at Streetscape when all you ever wanted was a race on whoever gets to the cafeteria first during your lunch break.
9. RICO’S LECHON
You and your buddies travel your way to their original commissary that sold former President Estrada’s favorite Cebu lechon in Talamban and get to meet Mr. Rico Dionson himself when all you ever wanted was to debate on which Cebu lechon was ‘Da Best Gyud’ resulting in an overdue lunch past two in the afternoon still without a definite answer.
10. GUSTO MARE
You love the sea so you head over to Il Corso at City di Mare to find some alone time and discover the fuss behind the Spinaci Zola Dip when all you ever wanted was to watch Popeye eat his canned spinach while secretly stalking your ex online.
11. SALINAS BY GOLDEN COWRIE
You just finished a triathlon organized in IT Park so hungry you could actually eat an elephant then you arrive with this Filipino feast perfectly laid out just a few minutes after ordering when all you ever wanted was to eat at another newly-opened restaurant where you have to wait thirty minutes before the appetizers get delivered on your table.
12. SUGBO MERCADO
You’ve had enough of Filipino food on your first week here in the Philippines so you weekend food market in Cebu Business Park that serves other Asian favorites for a hundred pesos when all you ever wanted was to go to a restaurant that serves the same Pad Thai dish you just had but with a ten dollar price tag.
13. CHOOBI CHOOBI
You got pressured by your friends to try their finger-lickin’ freshly caught shrimps, scampi and mussels smothered with secret sauce in a bag when all you ever wanted was to eat at that cramped shack on a back alley that serves hurriedly-cooked shrimps since your crush just lives next door.
14. CEBU CITY MARRIOTT HOTEL
Your conference in the heart of the business district involved a pretty engaging smoothie challenge break paired with some scrumptious finger food when all you ever wanted was a seminar held in the middle of nowhere with sandwich bags and juice as snacks.
15. AYALA TERRACES
You swing by this lifestyle mall in Cebu Business Park and plan to eat each stage of your four-course meal at different restaurants when you see the appetizers served at TGIFridays and got to really contemplate if you could even extend your appetite up until desserts when all you really wanted was also to taste the oriental soup at Big Mao, some Vietnamese favorites at Lemon Grass and some cheesecakes paired with iced coffee at Bo’s.
Indeed, a food trip in Cebu is a bad idea because once you’ve experienced it, you wouldn’t want to look elsewhere.