Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5th Year Anniversary in Cebu

Note:  This is a long post for me to remember how our very nice vacation went by...

Years ending with zero or five feel more significant to me. For this year, we have a couple of celebrations that would fall into these categories such as: my grandma’s 85th birthday in May, my father-in-law’s 65th birthday in June, my mom’s 60th birhthday in August, and last but not the least, our 5th year wedding anniversary in May. What a coincidence and all for 2011!

Gani and I spent our vacation in Cebu and what’s worth mentioning is that we were able to do it on the exact date of our anniversary! We used to avoid this date before due to high possibility of bad weather, but then we get lucky this time!

Our flight via PAL left at exactly 7am. I didn’t expect the plane to be like those being used for International flights so Gani was no longer worried about turbulence. After an hour flight, we arrived in Cebu Mactan airport. From there, we took metered taxi (flag down 70php) going to the Inn near SM Cebu. 

Upon check-in, we headed outside and took a multi-cab going to SM. It was still closed so we decided to have early lunch already at CNT Lechon across the street.

tasty and skin is really crispy!

After lunch, we went back to SM to look around and have some coffee.

Then, we took multicab again and visited Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and  Basilica del Sto. Nino.

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Basilica del Sto. Nino

 And of course, the ever famous Magellan’s Cross.

For dinner, we went to Blu Bar and Grill at Marco Polo hotel. What more could I say, the venue was at the penthouse and we had a full view of the city while riding the all- glass elevator. The food that we ordered, lamb chops (standard) and salmon were both good. Their service was so good and we even got a customized dessert for our special day. And in addition, 20% discount on top! Such a treat!

Day 2, we checked out from the Inn and took a taxi going to our next destination, the Lapu-Lapu City. Gani booked a standard room for us in Crimson’s hotel with free buffet breakfast. We both like almost everything in it: the golf cart ride, the modern yet cozy ambiance of the resort, very good facilities with air-conditioned restrooms, the infinity pool, and of course our fabulous standard room with folding wooden divider that gives view of the bedroom from the bathroom. The only downside really was the shore. It was rocky and the sand was not smooth at all. If only the owner can make more improvements to it then I could say that it’s the best resort ever!

Afterwards, we took a cab going to Plantation Bay. We just wanted to see how it looks like in actual. The difference with typical resort was that their pools were designed to be more nature-like with “bakawan” at one part of it and the flooring was not tiles. And also while strolling at the place, we’re able to see one of the rooms there. It’s a bit old and for me, not worth the high price to pay for.

Then we had lunch at Fiji in Plantation Bay. We’ve availed the Salo-Salo for two which have various kinds of grilled seafood with rice. The venue was just okay, and the only plus was the clear view of the ocean from our seat.

We also took a peek at Shangri-La Mactan and had dessert from Scoops. I had “chocoholic” ice cream which was really good, while Gani ordered blended coffee (like frap) and that one was below standards (tasteless). It’s like mixing Nescafe instant coffee in crushed ice with no creamer at all! (warning, don’t ever try it). No picture was taken because we’re not check-in guests there and their security was tight. For me Shangri-La have all the prestige, but it has the same hotel-type resort feel which is just common in any Shangri-La hotel less the beach.

Then we went back to Crimson hotel, relaxed a bit and had a late afternoon swimming by the pool. At night, we had dinner at Safron restaurant at the resort and had “lechon kawali” and “pancit guisado”. We stayed for couple more hours outside lounging by the beach, sipping on fresh buko juice and SanMig light for Gani.

The following day, we lined up for the buffet breakfast. There were more guests due to weekend and I noticed that we really have been invaded by Koreans! Anyway, food was good. I had “danggit”, fried rice, corned beef, bread, etc. I was looking for champorado to pair with “danggit” but they don’t have it there.

While waiting for our afternoon flight, Gani availed his free one-hour billiard game. Good thing one of the staff there was willing to play with him. As for me, I just relaxed and surfed.

At the airport, we passed by Zubuchon to get a taste of their famous lechon.

Finally, we’re back to Manila before 6pm and picked up Reese from Nanay’s house. She was very excited to see us again. :-)

Before I end my story, here are my few observations of Mandaue City in Cebu:

* It’s like downtown Manila for me wherein road and streets are busy. It is as if I didn’t go outside of Manila
* They don’t have jeepney there but instead they have multicab. I like it better because it’s more sleek thus occupying lesser space on the road.
* I thought Manila has the most “kaskasero” taxi drivers. But I have proven myself wrong because based from our experience, 6 out of 8 taxi were really “kaskasero” to the point of coming from “fast gear to very sudden stop” and almost hitting the car in front of it all the time!

If I’ll be going back to Cebu, I have to find that Taboan Street next time and get those yummy “danggit”. I also wish to visit Tops and Ayala and other attractions that we didn’t find time to visit. Then maybe at Crimson’s hotel take 2.  :-)

For finale, here is the list of things to do in Cebu from Crimson.

Life is good and much better if you're spending it with your loved ones!  Cheers!