See Cebu

Cebu City, the Philippines

October 18 – 21, 2019

Only when I threw plans and itineraries to the wind did I make our real-time discoveries. It paid that Ki, an honorary Cebuano by virtue of his affinity to the city, led the way around Cebu. We spent three days urban trekking in both old and new sides of town.

TTT @ SM Seaside City Cebu
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New Year with a Whimper

San Remigio / Santa Fe and Bantayan, Bantayan Island, Cebu, the Philippines

December 31, 2018 – January 3, 2019

We rang in 2019, not with a bang, but with a whimper. Dominoes of delays came crashing down at Hagnaya Port in San Remigio, Cebu. We missed the last ferry out to Bantayan Island on New Year’s Eve. Not one to sweat the small stuff, I settled in with similarly star-crossed passengers on the non-ergonomic wooden benches, unmindful of the simmering anger beside me. Ki expected us to wait out the next ferry at 2:30 AM in a hotel. I shrugged the idea off as unnecessary and impractical; he got his beastmode on. The only fireworks we had at midnight were of the verbal kind.

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Good 2Go

Manila and Cebu City, the Philippines

December 30 – 31, 2018

Sailing used to be the cheaper alternative to flying. But in the advent of LCCs, it mostly cost less – and for less travel time – to take a plane than a ship. One December day, though, we decided to welcome the new year in Cebu. The holiday rush shot flight fares through the roof; that was a given. What was not was going by boat, which basically meant going by 2Go, the country’s largest passenger ferry fleet.

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Gallivanting High and Low

Sibonga / Dalaguete / Oslob, Cebu, the Philippines

March 24 – 25, 2018

The Cebu leg of our epic Central Visayas trip was just a layover. I wanted to breeze through it as I was focused on the main event that was Siquijor. But it exceeded the expectations I didn’t even bother to set. Cebu-phile Ki packed it with one highlight after another. In just a couple of days, we experienced the height and depth and breadth of southern Cebu.

Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, aka Simala Shrine @ Sibonga, Cebu

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Dogged Devotion

Kalayaan, Laguna / Boljoon, Cebu / Dauis, Bohol / Magdalena, Laguna, the Philippines

June 2010, March 2011, April 2011, and November 2011

All Dogs Go to Heaven went a movie title. I think there might have been a grain of truth in it after seeing some canine parishioners in various churches I visited. They gave the phrase “faithful as a dog” a literal spin.

Dog Looking at Jesus in Magdalena Church
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El Capitan Parroco

Boljoon, Cebu, the Philippines

March 5, 2011

Boljoon, Cebu Island, 1823.

Monsoon winds from the south had been agitating the waters around the Spanish settlement town of Boljoon. Atop a watchtower, a sentry spotted a fleet of pancos outlined against the horizon. He frantically hoisted a red flag on a bamboo pole as villagers, assigned sentinel duties for the week, cried “Moros! Moros!” They rang a massive bell at the baluarte and prepared the canons peeking out of the loopholes. At the toll of alarm, brawny menfolk mounted their armada of wooden sailboats, the balangayes.

Lindzey Romero, MHistory

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A Series of Fortunate Events

Boljoon, Cebu, the Philippines

March 5, 2011

On the Banks of Boljoon

Who needs plans when you can have surprises?

With no agenda for the afternoon in Cebu City, road trip buddy Ki and I decide to hop on a southbound Ceres bus. As is my wont, I get a shuteye as the bus cruises out of the city. I open my eyes momentarily, barely catching a glimpse of the famous Carcar rotunda. Hours later, I fully awaken to the enchanting blue of Bohol Strait glistening in the sunlight. The bus is now tracing the coastline of Cebu Island. But we can see the end of the sunny afternoon further south. A compact column of clouds blurs the horizon. It is dumping rain on Bohol, the island next door.

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Fontainebleau in Cebu

Cebu City, the Philippines

March 5, 2011

Other than my bedroom, I didn’t have a literal comfort zone – a feel-good place that I’d repeatedly go back to. My fellow transcendental traveler, Ki, knew such a place where he felt “in the zone.” He took to his solitary journeys there like a fish to water.

Richmond Butalid (Ki) and his favorite McDonald’s in Fuente OsmeƱa Circle

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