Day 3-Day 11 in Cebu City

As I had seen the cool historic sites of the city, I did some research on other things to do and didn’t find too much that was local. So I sort became a local. I decided to have a chill day and go see a movie. So far this city seemed very much behind the times and so I inquired on local cinemas. Alaya mall was the spot to go and so I hopped on a jeapney and headed down. I started noticing that the area slowly transformed into what I know to be a normal downtown area. Large buildings and skyscrapers finally appeared. It was only a 15 min ride.

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The mall was unbelievably nice and clean. They had great alternative food options to the normal fast food junk. I had roasted chicken, salad and fruit salad for 205pesos or 4.69$usd. Pretty cheap for mall prices. I bought my ticket to see the movie in the 2 level cinema. Spider man 2. The cost was 185pesos or 4.20$usd for a non matinee first run movie! Awesome.

They even have Zumba every Wednesday out in the courtyard area..

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It was so interesting as the streets had no trash cans anywhere and I would find myself carrying any trash I had for blocks until I found a store and even then I had to go to the bathroom to find a trash can, Even the fast food spots were missing any form of trash container. The top fast food joints were McDonalds, Jollibee, KFC and ChowKing. The norm is to leave your plates and garbage at the table when you leave and someone comes around to pick them up. So the streets were pretty dirty as people just throw the trash on the ground. At the mall, there were employees always mopping and sweeping. It was a little confusing. Even with this way of life, the locals always had a smile on their faces. These have been some of the most friendliest people I have ever met. People actually looked you in the eyes!! Amazing… haha

I had met a local girl whom actually lived in the next city over. She came into town a couple times and we did normal local stuff which was fun and chill. I knew I had to stretch my money until I got to Spain and so doing this was perfect. She didn’t come into Cebu City that often so it was fun for her as well. We went back to the BBQ place I found and I took her to Fort San Pedro. It has to be the most peaceful place in the city. At night people are jogging and walking around. I would think that there would have been more people out but maybe not on weekdays.

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I had only booked my room at Hotel R Cebu for 4 nights and so I had found a room at Tune Hotel across the street from Ayala Center. There was a large supermarket that I frequented. I bought snacks and beverages for the room which really cuts down on food costs. The fish market was awesome!

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I actually only went out to bars 2 nights during my stay in Cebu. I had brought a bunch of movies with me and picked up 6 dvds from the street vendors. I even spent a night or two mixing some music and getting more familiar with my dj mixing software. The company I plan  to work for in Spain said I can dj on some of the booze cruises!! Can’t wait!

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My local friend Reni and I went and saw Godzilla one night and grabbed some food. I had chorizo and squid which melts like butter in your mouth. Super delicious and only $3.50usd

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It feels very relaxing not being a typical tourist like most foreigners running around like crazy people trying to see every damn thing they find in some tourist guide book. And they usually only see these places because they were told to. I have passed up many attractions in my time. So many of them tend to seem all the same to me after while. I like to try the food spots and see one of a kind places only special to that location. The closest beaches to swim in are at least 30min away. I am going to be in Boracay for 10 days so I didn’t even sweat it. My Poseidon in me is building up the excitement.

I have spent time trying to change a 100$ bill that has a tear in it. nobody would exchange it. They tell me it won’t be put into circulation. They have very strict rules on the quality of foreign bills. They advised me that Hong Kong will except it. Fine by me. I can pay my hotel there with it.

I did some electronics shopping here and found it to be cheaper than the USA. They have an Emall in Cebu which is loaded with vendors selling all kinds of cell phone accessories and other audio/video goodies. I picked up a new bluetooth speaker and an HDMI cable. They also do laptop and cell phone repairs on the spot. I noticed nobody here has cracked phone screens and now I know why. They also don’t really use iphones here so that is another reason…haha

I finally found the good 15 year aged Tanduay Rum. I’m taking it to Boracay with me.WP_20140521_001

 

 

I’m leaving today to head off to Iloilo. Another island that is on my way to Boracay. I am taking a 12 hour overnight ferry ride to Iloilo where I will spend 2 days and then a 6 hour bus ride to Boracay. Total cost is around $30usd and I have a bed on the ferry. I could take a flight for $70 plus bag fees. The ferry ride will be fun and saves me another night in a hotel. My last stop before on the way to the pier is Burrito Babes. A cool food joint that has gotten rave reviews by many travelers. I’m grabbing a burrito to go and will enjoy at the port while waiting for my ferry. Time to go!

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My first day in Cebu…

The time in Cebu has been chill and interesting.

Monday I decided to go and see the sites. The jeepney is the popular way of transport here. Not anything that would ever be legal in the USA. It was great. Very cheap and went everywhere in the city.

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There was a driver and sometimes another person to collect the 8P otherwise you just pay the driver. They do make change which is nice if you don’t have exact change. Simple mode of transport and they make change……Awesome!! The bus system in the USA usually does not give you change. So to convert, a ride is 18 centsUSD.. I just laughed at how ridiculous that sounds.. and a ride could be 2 km or so. I have ridden these all over. How can resist 8P for the ride and hangin with locals at the same time. A Taxi starts at 40P, which isn’t much but your choice is obvious unless you have baggage then a taxi it is…

I got off the jeepney in old downtown near the waterfront. Magellan’s cross was in a small stone shrine and was encased in wood. Amazing to think that he was right here at this very spot planting this cross.

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How awesome!!!

I then decided to go across the street to the Santo Niño de Cebú church. Another interesting site that I had no idea about until I arrived here. Remember, this whole time I had planned to be on the volunteer project so I never even looked into Cebu city. The church has been here just as long as the Cross has. 

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Yes, above is a pic of a pic..

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The child Jesus(above) was a worshiped statue. I will admit he looks quite funny to me and if he was alive now, I’m sure he would laugh as well. What if a gust of wind came up, he would be the flying child Jesus.

May people still go and light candles and there was even a mass that day.

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I then headed down the street to Fort San Pedro which had some damage due to the earthquake but it didn’t seem to bad…

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This fort was originally built from wood as a quick means to secure the area. After a few years the Spanish rebuilt it using stone. Over the years, fires, earthquakes and other disasters caused it to be rebuilt many times. Some of the original cannons were still mounted. It was a peaceful and relaxing place away from the dusty and busy city.

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Across the street from the fort there was a real sand volleyball court. Another thing I never see in the USA unless I’m at the beach.

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It was so quiet and relaxing in the fort. I took a seat and slowly drank my bottled water. It was very hot that day and the breeze from the sea felt relieving.

I then decided to walk the city a bit and see what I would find. It was a mixture of street vendors and rows of street front stores. From discount tshirts to tropical fish sold on the curb..

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Yes, those are clown fish.. They cost 55P or $1.20USD.. and they were 1-2 inches.. What a steal! I almost bought one just for the fun of it. Of course I would have taken it back to the sea and let it go.

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The city really doesn’t have a Police presence. There is a security company that keeps order. They are everywhere and they are armed. They normally had handguns. Some were ready to rumble!

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I had heard about a part of town called Mango St. The place to go for bars and clubs. I was ready. First things first, food was needed!!  I headed to a bbq spot I had read about and later was confirmed by some locals as pretty damn good.

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Everything was sold as each. So you could eat 1/4 chicken and 2 bbq pork skewers for 90P or 2$..It was 1 block from my hotel and I ate there several times..Who wouldn’t? The house made and very popular bbq sauce was delicious. Truly amazing how you may sacrifice the dining luxury for quality food. In the USA we are used to crappy chain restaurant food in a nice atmosphere. Here you get food that is twice as healthy and twice as tasty and you eat outside with no waiter and no lame LCD tvs showing super cheesy sports center on repeat.. in other words, you didn’t feel like a douche anymore…haha

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mmmm.. dinner was great. Time to hit up Mango St. It was a 20 min walk and that was fine with me. The weather was still humid and warm at 11pm so I decided against the long sleeved shirt. On my way there, I met a local named Herlie. He was also on his way there. We hit up several bars before ending up at a cool nightclub. Rum and coke was 50P or 1.25$usd.. ??? really? it was true! We met some locals there and partied until 4am. The dj spun top 40 and EDM which was perfect. Still can’t believe we only paid 50P for a drink.. The beer cost more! The local rum was really good. Much tastier than any well rum in the USA.

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And of course I was starving at that point and grabbed Jollibee on the way back to my hotel room..