Cebu: Days 1 to 4

I will never take a red eye flight with a layover again! My flight from Ho Chi Minh City was at 1:25 AM. There was a 5 hour layover in Manila so Chris and I didn't get to the hostel in Cebu, Philippines, until around noon. I was also upset that the security guard at the Manila airport confiscated my folding scissors that belonged to my grandmother. It had a lot of sentimental value for me.

The hostel I stayed at wasn't good, either. Luckily, I only booked for four nights, not the entire 19 days I will be in Cebu. The reason Chris and I came to Cebu is because Chris wanted to get his diving certification here. Also, Christine, the girl from Taipei, wants to do some fun diving as well. I'm very bad at swimming so I will just relax on the beach.

The night that Chris and I arrived in Cebu we went to dinner at AA BBQ with Chris's friend and her boyfriend that Chris had met while traveling. We enjoyed a very fulfilling meal sharing six dishes. Chris's friend's boyfriend drank five bottles of beer! I was very impressed and amused.

The next night, I met up with a girl named Rhez from Couchsurfing. We had lechon pork plates at Sugbo Mercado by Cebu IT Park and a dessert at a cafe. Rhez is a web developer and we had a lot in common in terms of our careers. She also recommended some places to visit on Cebu Island that I marked down on Google Maps.

After this meet up, I went to see a woman from Bumble named Jing at the North Reclamation Area of Cebu City. Jing was attending a medical conference. We chatted and shared a bottle of apple cider beer that was pretty good. We walked around the block and I saw a lot of construction around the area. I guess they are still developing the city.

Christine arrived from Japan the next day. The three of us are reunited as "The Turtles of Cebu" and we will be spending the next few weeks together.

That day around 1 PM, I met a woman named Charm from Bumble at A Little Tea cafe in Cebu IT Park. We had a great conversation and ate Vietnamese pho and spring rolls for lunch before walking around the mall at the IT Park. I felt a great connection with Charm when we were at a taco place where she ordered a liter of cocktail. I only drank a quarter of a cup and she drank half a liter. I had told her that I don't drink. I guess she was testing me. LOL!

Yesterday, Christine and I took a Grab taxi to the center of Cebu City while Chris completed his diving certification in Mactan Island. Christine and I visited the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. We were there right when the Sunday mass started. Since the Philippines has a lot of Catholics there were some churches in Cebu. We then walked by the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebu that was full of people. I didn't even bother to take a photo due to the amount of people and there was a service going on. We saw the Magellan's Cross and went to Fort San Pedro afterward. For lunch, we walked to Colon Street, which is the main street in Cebu. Some buildings definitely needed renovations. We ended up having lunch at McDonald's since it seemed to be the nicest place to eat.

Christine and I ended our day tour by going to the Cebu Taoist Temple in the north. I wasn't too happy about paying 10 pesos for a mandatory face mask. It was only about 20 cents USD, but I felt it was a scam to wear a mask when the temperature was about 40 degrees C, or about 100 degrees F, just to get inside a temple.

After coming back to the hostel, Christine and I met up with Chris at Cebu IT Park. It would be my third time there in three days. The three of us had drinks at A Little Tea cafe and dinner at the Chinese restaurant next door. We ended the night by walking around inside the mall before coming back to the hostel.

Today, I checked out of the hostel and did laundry. I will check into the Noble Hotel that's in walking distance from the hostel at 2 PM and allow myself some luxurious leisure time at the hotel swimming pool.

Chris's friend and her boyfriend, along with Chris and I

Lechon pork plate. A Cebu specialty.

Sugbo Mercado near Cebu IT Park

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Magellan's Cross

Cebu City Hall

I love Cebu sign

The gate at Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro

Dilapidated building in downtown Cebu

A jeepney car that's very common in Cebu

Colon Street in Cebu

Cebu Taoist Temple

The pagoda at the temple

Great view of Cebu City from the temple

Beautiful dragon carvings on the roof

The Turtles of Cebu!