I’m an overworked fulltime freelancer and I love to work while travelling. My mottoes in life are, “Carpe Diem” and “Have internet, will travel!”
I have always wanted to go to Cebu. I’ve been meaning to for the past couple of years and this year I finally had the chance to do it. Armed with my netbook, backpack and beach clothes, I took the solo flight to the city of smiles.
Although I was travelling alone, I know a good amount of people enough to survive. In fact, my friend Ren picked me up from the airport and generously offered her room for a couple of days. I met Ren thru oDesk in 2008 and though I only met her once in person we kept in touch a lot thru chat.
Cebu City is a lot like Manila. It’s lively, robust and the malls are packed. One thing I like about Cebu is that it’s a lot cheaper. Of course, I pigged out. The food was superb! And again, cheap!
You won’t run out of things to do while in Cebu. I had a lot on my ambitious to-do list but I didn’t have enough time and resources to do all of it. I settled to explore my must haves: food, nightlife and beaches.
Cebu is a city with rich culture. In fact, it is the oldest city in the Philippines. I spent a day exploring the city – the Sto Nino church, Magellan’s cross and Fort San Pedro. All three are walking distance from each other and can easily be found by asking directions (and understanding it correctly).
The Basilica of Sto. Nino is a 16th century church founded by an Augustinian priest. I am not very religious but I have always been fascinated by historical and old structures.
Magellan’s Cross was planted by Portuguese/Spanish explorers upon the order of Magellan. A sign says that the original cross is encased in the wooden cross but I doubt it. It’s probably been auctioned secretly and sold to the highest bidder.
Fort San Pedro is Cebu’s version of Manila’s Fort Bonifacio. It’s a military defense structure built in 1738 during the Spanish rule. It houses a small museum containing Spanish documents and paintings. If you’re a history geek like me, I suggest you check it out.
The night life was pretty fun and again cheap. Mango Ave is a popular hot spot and has a decent videoke bar and clubs. Ayala Mall also has popular restos like Fridays and Casa Verde. The crowd is a mix of yuppies, foreigners and kiddos. Dress appropriately depending on whether you want to be picked up or not!
An alternative place to go to is Tops, about 40 minutes from the center of Cebu City. You can either take a cab or if you’re feeling more adventurous, opt for a motorcycle aka habal-habal (I swear I was hugging our motorcycle driver thru the steep climb). It has an entrance fee of 100Php per person and offers a scenic view of Cebu, Mactan and if you’re lucky, Bohol. I don’t know how you can tell which is which though. But honestly it was a bit overrated.
Other things on my list that I wasn’t able to do (and you might wanna) are the Taoist temple and Crowne Regency’s Sky Experience Adventures.
Working from Cebu City
Cebu City is a lot like Manila. For freelancers who love working at coffee shops, head on to Ayala Center for the usual hubs like Coffee Bean and Starbucks. There’s an abundance of broadband signal so keep your USB sticks handy. Most hotels also come with free wifi.
My next stops after Cebu City were Bantayan Island, Mactan, Olango Island, Oslob and Mantayupan Falls. Watch out for my next blog.