In my home country, the Philippines, you will never run out of places to explore – from stunning beaches, to lofty mountains, from affordable backyard hotels to luxurious 5-star resorts, and more. It’s a place for tourists, travelers, wanderers, and soul searchers. My home country is a home for everyone.
You should have known by now that there are 7,107 islands in the Philippine archipelago, and the major island groups are Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Here’s an amazing news about our archipelago! Just recently, three Philippine islands – Boracay, Cebu and Palawan – were ranked as the top three best islands in the world, according to Conde Naste Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards 2017.
Woah! Sugoi hakuryoku! I live in one of the best islands in the world and I couldn’t agree more! I’m born and raised in Leyte but I’m living in Cebu City for more than a decade now.
I’m sure you’ve already found on Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook, and YouTube many information about everything you might want to know about Cebu. Here below, meanwhile, I’m going to tell you a few things and show you a few snaps of the places I’d recommend you to visit should your next travels bring you to Cebu.
1. Sirao Flower Farm
Unleash the inner-pixie in you and visit fairyland located in Barangay Sirao. I really find this place magical and it’s one of my happy places close to our neighborhood. The Sirao Flower Farm is also known among local tourists as the Amsterdam of Cebu.
How to get there?
Option #1. You can take a cab (Taxi), Grab or Uber from JY Square Mall in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City directly to Sirao Flower Farm. Expect the fare to be high.
Option #2. You can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) from JY directly to Sirao Flower Farm. The habal-habal drivers usually offer Php 400 round trip rate for two, and ask for an additional fee if the waiting time takes long. You can use your haggling skills or your charm at this point.
Option #3. You can run or hike going there if you have plenty of time and don’t have other plans. If you need a running companion, please feel free to message me. I would be very glad to run with you.
The travel time is between 30-45 minutes. Take note of your landmark, too, which is the Ayala Heights. When you reach there, take a turn right and the fairyland is just around the corner.
2. Temple of Leah
They say you are never lost when you see a temple, and when you visit the Temple of Leah, you’ll figure just that. I fell in love with this place because of the beautiful and happy memories I’ve made with loved ones whom I brought here.
It is known as the Taj Mahal of Cebu because of the story behind its foundation. It’s a grand tribute of love from a husband, the owner, to its late wife. The temple houses the treasures and everything Leah Adarna had been passionate about when she was alive.
The temple is located in Barangay Busay, a few kilometers before reaching the Sirao Flower Farm.
How to get there?
Option #1. You can take a cab (Taxi), Grab or Uber from JY Square Mall in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City directly to the Temple of Leah.
Option #2. You can hire a habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) from JY directly to the temple. Again, make use of your haggling skills or your charm.
Option #3. You can run or hike going there, too. When I went to the temple the first time, I ran it from JY Square with my siblings.
It’s best to go there either mid-morning so you can enjoy your photo session without getting sunburns or late afternoon so you can enjoy your mountain sunset view.
It’s my inner-mermaid’s happy place and it’s also a haven for divers. Moalboal is located in the south western part of Cebu, and it’s two and a half hours trip by bus from Cebu City. If you aren’t expert at diving yet, worry not because you can still enjoy the underwater wonders of Moalboal with your snorkeling gears like I did! You also can’t miss the awesome sardine run experience!
How to get there?
Option #1. If you are staying in a city hotel or island resort in the city, you can arrange a car transfer from your hotel going to your place to stay in Moalboal.
Option #2. You can also hire a taxi but expect the fare to be high.
Option #3. If you want adventure, you can take a bus from the South Bus Terminal. You can take either the Ceres or the Librando bus, which leaves every full hour.
Option #4. Hmmm, if you are an ultrarunner who wants to enjoy the south roads and relax and recover at the beach after, you can run from Cebu City to Moalboal, and please tag me along. It will be an awesome training for me, too.
4. Camotes Islands
I have been to this place several times in the past and every time I come back, I can’t help but fall in love again and again and again. A surely captivating paradise that makes you keep coming back.
How to get there?
Option #1: You can take a cab or a bus from Cebu City (North Bus Terminal) to Danao Port in Danao City, where there is a Ro-Ro vessel going to Consuelo Port in Camotes. There is a 5:30 am, 8:30 am, and 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, and 5:30pm boat trip going there and a 5:30 am, 9:00 am, 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm, and 5:00 pm going back.
Option #2: You can also take the fast craft from Mactan Cebu Yacht Club wharf going to Camotes. The trip is twice every Monday to Thursday at 7:00 am and 11:00 am and three times every Friday to Sunday at 7:00 am, 11:00 am, and 3:00 pm.
Option #3. Unfortunately, we neither can run going there nor swim, however, I would definitely recommend exploring the island on foot when you have plenty of time. There is definitely more to it than its beautiful resorts, and more wonders waiting for you to discover.
5. Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu
It’s a Mediterranean-inspired 5-star hotel and resort located in Punta Engano, Mactan in Lapu Lapu City. It’s known for its Swiss hospitality heritage and its Ibiza Cebu’s lifestyle dining and unrivalled entertainment.
I live here eight hours a day and sometimes more and making moments with colleagues and guests is blissful thus far.
We are always looking forward to welcoming you here on your next visit. You can enjoy the private beach, the Happy Hour, the Chocolate Hour, the must-try Mövenpick Ice Cream straight from Switzerland, the Balearic-inspired signature 15-course grill, the themed shows, the themed dinners, and more. It’s a paradise!
How to get there?
Option #1: You can get a cab, Grab or Uber from Cebu City straight to Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu.
Option #2: You can take a MyBus from SM Cebu Terminal and drop off at Marina Mall in Lapu Lapu City, and take either a cab or a jeepney with an Engano signage going to Movenpick.
Option #3: Yes, you can run from the city going to Mövenpick if you are training for a half marathon since it is more or less 21KM from the city center. Again, if you need a running buddy, you can tag me along.
I hope this list helps you plan your next Cebu sojourn. I came up with this because I want to share this with my Japanese friends who haven’t explored some of these places yet, and maybe they can also share this to their Japanese friends who are planning to visit Cebu.
Live to explore. It’s okay to be a tourist of the mundane because wherever we are in the world, there is always something and some place worth exploring.
Most of the time, in these random places we go, we can experience a spontaneous magic that sparks the inner-gypsy! Enjoy your sojourn, sweetlings!