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Cebu: First-time & Second-time’s Epiphanies

“Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”

Cebu. January 7-9, 2012. It was my very first time to fly (in reference to my memory). The first visit was fast but memorable: we did sleep on the floors of the airport and wait for sunrise; scared by beggars roaming the entire city; girls waving at every corner and looking for their guy customers; and most especially trying out the famous Sky Extreme Adventure (just awesome). It was not bad as it sounds yet it made me swear never to see Cebu ever again.

However, on August 18, 2013 I was back. Everybody deserves a second chance and it even includes places like Cebu. Now that I am aware that it do have beaches, whale shark encounter, beautiful falls and etc. I am giving it another shot. Regain your glory, Cebu (in my view)! LOL!  Anyways if it wasn’t for Cebu, I would have never had my debut as a traveler or a so-called-blogger.

So, this nostalgic blog is written to describe the very first-time (not-so-bad) and the epiphanies on my second trip here in Cebu.

CEBU IN THE EYES OF A FIRST-TIMER

It all started with a Cebu Pacific seat sale, purchasing seats online and finding friends who are willing to join is a swift. Lein and Avi agreed to visit Cebu and we just surprised our friend Daisy with her own ticket (she knew nothing about it and has no choice but to join). LOL!

  • Arriving Almost Midnight: This gallery is a remembrance of our sleeping adventure in Mactan Domestic Airport.
  • Traveling to Cebu Pier: That scary fast-craft-ride-that-made-us-call-every-saint-and-our-mommas and leaving for Bohol.
  • Sleeping in Sogo Hotel: It wasn’t that bad. It’s clean. 🙂
  • Sky Extreme Adventure: It was absolutely fantastic and fabulous. Fantabulous!

EPIPHANIES OF CEBU ADVENTURE 2013

For the second visit which happened last August 18-21, 2013, I had 4 companions: Daisy (again), JC (cousin), Cora (JC’s mom/my aunt) and Emy (my mom).Unlike the first visit, we did try to explore the City, reach the islands of Camotes and understand Cebu better.

Here is my 4D3N CEBU 2013 ITINERARY & EXPENSES

DAY 1: CEBU CITY

  • SOGO II: The plan was to check-in at Sugbutel but the dormitel seems a bad idea if staying with more than 50 people in a room. Another is that the receptionist is not functional (she doesn’t want to be disturbed with whatever she is doing) and it’s a bit far from the places which we wanted to visit and so it was decided… SOGO again. It also offers 10% discount given the copy airline ticket. 
  • Basilica de Sto. Nino Church, Magellan’s Cross and City Hall: Went for a walk, had something to eat and checked out the city. It was crowded just like I remember yet it felt better to finally roam it.
  • Lechon Galore: We wanted to find out if Cebu’s lechon is the best and we had our chance to taste CnT’s lechon. Here’s what I thought.

DAY 2: DANAO CITY & CAMOTES ISLAND

  • Danao Port: From Cebu City, we went to SM City Cebu to ride a bus going to Danao Port. The 2hrs bus ride is not boring since the bbus is so fast andd the view of each places are entertaining.I even saw Astroboy. 🙂
  • Sto. Thomas de Villanueva: While waiting for the Port to open, we went to see an old church just in front of the port. It was a pretty church and I like the feel of its interiors and exteriors. We did lit some candles for prayers.
  • Consuelo Port: The 2-hour boat ride is boring and with my mom complaining is not so entertaining. As soon as the barge docks, we headed down quickly. Homies are waiting for their family members (looking for someone who is actually waving but didn’t saw one) and plenty of habalhabal drivers and services are waiting for tourists. We went to the first catchy-vehicle in the area and I saw a woman barker, I didn’t hesitate to ride, finding it has plenty of rooms for us and our bags. Then, she also offered us affordable tour rates for us and lots of freebies included. Who is that woman barker and know her story?
  • Santiago Beach Bay Resort: A 15-20 minutes ride of coconut view before we reached our home in Camotes Island. You should stay here because of their good food and beautiful (but cheap) room rates and facilities. A Quick Tour here.
  • Mangodlong Rock & Beach Resort: OMG! A beautiful beach and its free for anyone who stays at Santiago Beach Bay Resort (approx. 10 minutes travel time). I personally love the scenery, landscape and its white sands. It sadden me not to swim into the waters (because typhoon in Luzon making the beach a bit dirty) and we are just there to check out the place very quick.
  • Lake Danao (approx. 20-30 minustes travel time): Love! Love! Love! The wooden boat docking area is love! We did enjoyed picture taking with the mini islet at the background and I didn’t miss my opportunity with it. While the rest of my companions enjoyed taking photos at the small crocodile-like boat. Aside from the lake and boat-riding, it also has pool are and a mini bar. As much as we wanted to stay and try other activities yet to due time constrain, we headed to the next destination.
  • Timubu Cave (approx. 15-25 minustes travel time): It was a small opening in the ground and down it are stairs leadding to darkness. It was not so appealing outside (with tarpaulin sign) but we did try to see it anyway. My mom and Aunt had some share of headbumps with the cave and they almost quitted (just 10 steps away from the opening of the cave). LOL! I am enjoying my lead to see the spring at the end of that cave, we did even crossed into a low waist-dip pool and I am enjoying my fair-view of the rock formations. Finally, we arrived at the deserted pool of spring. No guide? No people? No lifeguards? Not even lifevest? No one is there. We wanted to take a dip but Oh the old age make people KJ (My mom and aunt restrain us since we are all non-swimmers). Just a dip… just a dip… It almost send me into tears that I am that close and I can’t even try a quck dip. *tearjerky
  • San Francisco Baywalk: Just had a snapshot with the baywalk sign and look for some pasalubong but there are no interesting stuff sold. Julie’s bakeshop caught the attention of my cousin and bought some hot putok.
  • Buho Rock: Last stop, we had just crossed a short bridge not more than 10 meters and we are now in Poro or shall I say another island of Camotes. Our guide told us that the island is named after the camote crops, when the Spaniards arrived at the island and asked the folk people of the name of the island, people misunderstood the question and thought the foreigners were asking of what they are cooking. That’s quite a good story. Now going back to Buho Rock, it was an amazing landmark for its amazing rock formation. It was low tide but the waves looks scarier in that area. Our guide insisted that we could swim in that area but I have doubts that if we do, we could ever got out of it alive. LOL! By the way, the wi-fi in this are is GREAT! Been trying to rely on my 3G service but it was an epic failure for my Camotes trip.And we call it a day and time to wrapped up back to our home but we bought first BBQs at Baywalk for our dinner.
  • The tour sound lame but isn’t. I did enjoyed exploring Camotes Island, I just wished that the typhoon had not affected the beach, I really wanted to have beach-bum moments. As we arrived home, we changed our clothes and dine again at Santiago’s Restau and it was absolutely delightful meal. Since we can’t go down the beach, we just enjoyed the pool. And so after, dried and changed, and head to bed.:)

DAY 3: CEBU CITY

  • Mornings at the Beach: Low-tide beach. Dogs chasing and playing in the beach area. A bit dirty beach made it a no no for a quick beach dip. A breakfast though is a good idea. I picked out some shells and tried to collect plastic materials in the shore. The scenery is calming added the sweet blowing wind. Ah I love life! However, our stay in Camotes is almost over and need to prepare to headback to the city. We are fetched by Kuya Jun and Ate Marlyn from our tour (for free). We exchange goodbyes and numbers and promise to promote their humble island. Then off we go for 2 1/2 boat ride, my mom suffered from sea-sickness which made the long boat ride crazier.
  • SM City Cebu: At Danao Port, we took the jeep going to SM, so wrong choice! It was a slow-hot-and-jam-packed jeepney and it was annoying. I wished that we took the bus ride. As we arrived at Sm, the air-conditioning system seems to be down and which made me felt more annoyed, feel hotter and caused me headache. I am just so hungry and so we just dine at Goldilocks.
  • Tabu-an Dried Fish Market & Pasalubong Center: Spent a lot in pasalubong (not so backpacker) and this would definitely be hard to travel in MRT once back in Manila.
  • Tired as we are, I wish to see the temple but with no luck, they all wanted to rest. No! Not again, I guess a third  time at Cebu will definitely happen soon. And here are the next thing I am highlighting and need to prioritize: Port San Pedro, Taoism temple, Cebu Heritage Monument, Lapu-Lapu Monument, Bantayan, Kawasan Falls, Oslob whale encounter.

See you again, Cebu! I am sorry to hate you on my first visit (I know it is harsh) but I promise to be back and explore you more.

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Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao Ziplines

zip-line or also known as zip wire, aerial runway, aerial and ropeslide, consists of a pulley suspended on a cable. It is designed to propel and accelerate by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable. It’s one of the extreme adventures in the Philippines to-date.

Violet is a girl who wish to try anything and everything under the sun. Adventure is her game and extreme is her last name. One day, she just realized she wanted to jump, let go and simply fly. Here are the list of zip lines I did tried:

Luzon Zipline

 La Mesa Ecopark Zip-line in Quezon City (2009 and 2011)

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It was my very first attempt, has a length of 110 m. I was thinking that if the cable will snap I will fall into the water, and would still be alive, so I must try it. It was short 10 seconds ride and I feel the adrenaline rushing through my veins. It cost two hundred (200) pesos back-and-forth ride

Soar in Loreland Antipolo (2010)

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This zip line is way much longer than what I’ve tried in Ecopark. They’re equiiped with pulleys and lots of knots going on.

We have to climbed stairs (into the soar tower) and there’s not much for an orientation, just sit and relax.

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The flight is exciting because if the cables will snap, you might be kissing the dirt of the dry land. LOL! Then, I saw plenty of trees around the area and some of my friends who are still in the pool, even though I am spinning (as I was seated in the straps).

The worst part of the adrenaline ride is the walk back to where we came from. It was only a single-ride zip which cost one hundred fifty (150) pesos and which means I have to carry myself back on the slope, but by foot this time. I have good shots here photographed by Marvin. Please excuse the fats and bellies (what do you expect? I was tied up)!

Ugong Rock Adventure Zip-line @ Tagbinet, Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Nov. 2012)

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Here is a shot of my travel buddy -Ate Fishy as she descend into the rice fields. She has this fear heights but when she became my friend (2010), and convinced her to do  zip line (which she does in 2011) in La Mesa Ecopark,she would dare to go for lots of zip lines now.

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This was a side trip for our Puerto Princesa Underground River tour, together with my other travel buddies, JC, Divina and Badet. But before you go down this zipline, you have to work your way up to the ugong caves (spelunking), first.

 sUgong Rock is a 75-foot limestone formation in the midst of farmlands in Barangay Tagabinet. “Ugong” stands for the reverberating sound from the rocks (similar to a bell) when you hit or pounded with the knuckles.

We did all squeeze into a small opening. The cost of the spelunking (or caving) is two hundred fifty (250) pesos. 

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We all had  a successful flight. I wish to post the beauty queen zip line pose I have but I am hesitant for I am the Face-Hidden-Wanderlust. Now, for this photo, forgive me but give me a chance to put a little portion of my face. LOL!

Anyways, what I love about this Ugong Rock Zip line, it was run by a village cooperative where locals are trained to operate the adventure park. Tourism as a way of helping people improve their way of living and providing employment for native Palawenos.

Visayas Zipline
Suislide @ Danao, Bohol (Jan. 2012)
Danao Adventure Park with E.A.T. Danao or Extreme/Eco/Educational Adventure Tour, as an eco-tourism site to benefit the Municipality of Danao, Bohol and its people. This is what I usually like about my travels, I enjoy and I also help in improving others’ lives.

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Here are my girls all set for a suislide. It has two lines, going forth and back. Coined from the word, “Suis“ (the sound of the cable ride once you get to slide) and “slide”. It could also mean a suicidal slide. It traverses around half a kilometer from one mountain to another, which costs three hundred fifty (350) pesos.

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It was less than a minute ride but here’s a cue, when I screamed then I had already stopped (due to lack of air) but still the ride goes on. LOL! What if you fall? Kiss the world goodbye! This is what awaits you it’s a 50-meter free fall drop from the top of the 200-meter high cliff.

Tower Zip & Sky Lift @ Sky Experience Adventure, Crown Regency Hotel and Towers, Cebu City (Jan. 2012)

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After the sky-walk and edge coaster, another adrenaline rush. Here is my partner for tower zip -Daisy. Yeah, that’s me as her background. LOL! Do you see my face? if you do, tell me so I could remove it immediately (Face-Hidden-Wanderlust).

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What’s up with the zip tower? It was scary. If we fall, cemented roads awaits, lucky if not to be smashed by cars or much with a truck. Yeah, all is well, we survived it. But it was scary to be hanged in the middle of the cable! Why do they have to stop the engine as they lift us? I can’t remember any view, it was already 11PM when we tried this. Costs is One thousand (1000) pesos. Package of tower zip and sky lift, edge coaster and sky-walk.

Mindanao Zipline
Macahambus Zip-line @ Cagayan de Oro (Oct. 2012)

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Here is my uncle who tour me in this adventure park. It was also his first time in the adventure park.

It was a short distance zip line but a little bit scary as well. Why? It was a rocking zip line, as you transverse to the other edge, they will rock the cable then you will feel that pull of the rope upward then downward, I though my pulley would be released from its grasps on the cable.Then, a large tree branch is along the zip, what could had been if I smashed on the branch? Well, I would just fall into the forest grounds just maybe 5-15 meters deep. Treetop adventure, zipline and tree rappelling costs only five hundred (500) pesos. Warning: do not wear your wedges like i did. Wear shoes that is suited for adventures like this. 🙂

Camp Sabros Zip-line @ Digos City, Davao del Sur

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15102_10152396032167925_1970394578_nFrom Digos City Davao to Camp Sabros, it’s a 1-hour habal-habal ride. Imagine that we are 5 sitting on it and it’s been totally a rough road ride.

It was getting dark when we arrived and since my friends, do not wish to try anything but the tandem ride on the 380 meters zipline and cable lift, so I agreed on it heavy-heartedly.

526657_10152396031847925_1472149739_nIt was not a long ride, but it was freaking scary because of its height from the ground but it has the most fascinating view of the forest an the coolest breeze I could remember. I feel like Bella (Twilight  vampire character) for the pine trees pass by so quickly in my view. Here is an image of it. I shall return to this place, I swear!

I want to collect memories like this. I am not going to be young forever, right? So, better do this while my heart is healthy and my body is strong. But I wish even in my 50’s I could still do this. May the odds be ever in my favor! And I wish that others would try it, too.

I have never thought I can do all this crazy things. How about you?

I am just so proud of myself. That once in my life I did try to conquer my fears.