5/22/2015

EXPLORING CEBU CITY : A visit to the different tourist spots in the city!



Being the oldest city in the Philippines, Cebu City boasts with many different tourist attractions that persuade tourists to return to the city. Aside from the beautiful beaches that surround the island, Cebu City is also rich in history, adding to the charm of this place.

Thanks to the PISO Fare of AIR ASIA Philippines, I was able to get a chance to book a ticket to CEBU before flying to Cagayan De Oro.  I immediately phoned my best friend Ulysses Flores who is based in Cebu to ask if I could stay with him during my 2 nights stay in Cebu. Apparently he is also running a rent-a-car business which is perfect for touring around the city and nearby places. 

I told my friend Uly, that I wanted to go to places that he thought worth visiting for a day since I only had very limited time and yet I want to maximize the time I had. So here are the 10 different tourist spots that I visited while I was in beautiful city of Cebu.


1. Heritage of Cebu Monument - Magallanes St. 
Located in the old Parian district which was home to some prominent families in Cebu during the Spanish era, lies a beautiful monument that exhibits the different historical events that happened in Cebu. Here you will find the different historical structures like churches around Cebu, the Magellan's Cross, and Spanish Galleon. You will also find scenes from the battle of Magellan and Lapu-Lapu, late President Sergio Osmena, and the Blessed Pedro Calungsod.



2. Magellan Cross Monument - Colon St.
One should never leave Cebu without visiting this iconic landmark. Because of it's religious significance to Philippine history, this is considered to be the most visited tourist attraction in CEBU. This cross was planted by an explorer  Ferdinand Magellan, who discovered the Philippines back in 1521. Once you are inside, you cannot help but  look at the beautiful ceiling canvass that portrays the historical events of the cross.  



3. Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino - Colon St. 
A few steps away from the Magellan Cross, lies one of the oldest and most beautiful church in the Philippines that was built by the Spaniards. This church is also considered as the cradle of Christianity in the east. It experienced many catastrophic events like fires and earthquakes which damaged the bell tower in the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake. Yet, you still cannot deny the beauty and grandeur of this place.   A perfect place to thank God for everything!



4. TOPS - Busay
Get to enjoy the view of Cebu city and the cool breeze from above, and one famous place to see that is at TOPS. You will also like the drive since it was quite scenic from every vantage point. There is an entrance fee of  Php100.00 at Tops but the view from there was just magnificent. There are also some cafes, curio and souvenir shops found inside Tops. The best time to visit was in the afternoon and also at night. 



5.Temple of Leah - Busay ( Now Open!)
A beautiful and grand structure dedicated to Leah Villa Abino- Adarna; the construction started in 2012 as a sign of undying love and devotion by Teodoro Adarna to his wife. Inspired Roman architecture there is a lot of intricate detail in this huge house.  It has already attracted so many visitors even before it was built. Unfortunately, when we visited, it was closed for construction. I can just imagine this place when it's complete. It will be loved totally!




6. LANTAW NATIVE RESTAURANT - Busay
After a few minutes at the TOPs, we headed down for lunch at Lantaw Native Restaurant. Also located in Busay, aside from the great tasting food, you can also enjoy the view from the restaurant. The food consists of a variety of Filipino dishes from meats, vegetables, and seafood. You can also enjoy the cool breeze in the restaurant as it is very open. A great place to dine and watch the sunset and the city lights at night. 






7. Philippine Taoist Temple - Beverly Hills Subdivision
A place of worship for the Taoists in Cebu, but for tourist, it is a popular destination in Cebu City no matter what their religion is.  The well-maintained beautiful Chinese structure sticks out on a hill  also giving you a nice view of the city. Just be prepared to walk up over a hundred steps up the temple. But once you reach the top and see the temple, you will say, it's worth every step! 




8. Chill at CAFE TALK - Escario St. 
Found all over Cebu City, Cafe Talk is the coolest cafe I've ever seen so far! I am not sure if we have something this cool in Manila but I am glad I was able to try this place out with friends. As I've seen from different pictures on the web, each cafe has their own theme. And in this one, we went to the with a bedroom theme which was so cool! They offer coffees, milkshakes, and pastries. A great hang out place for studying and spending time with your friends. 




9. LECHON AT ZUBUCHON- IT Park
The moment I arrived, the first food that I craved for was LECHON. Cebu City is known to have the best LECHON in the country. So when I arrived that evening, Uly took to me to the nearest place which is ZUBUCHON. Found pretty much everywhere around the city, Zubuchon definitely satisfied my craving for a good tasting lechon. 



10. Alchology Bar at MANGO SQUARE
Our day tour was so much fun but Cebu city is also very vibrant at night. One place you must go to is Mango Square, located in Camputhaw.  Alchology is one of the most famous bars to party in Cebu City. Since I arrived on a Wednesday night , we just chilled outside and I was surprised how busy the place was even on that evening. 


I would like to thank my friend Ulysses Flores for taking me around the city. Aside from being a real estate broker, he is also running a Rent-A-Car business that could take you around to the different tourist spots around Cebu at a very affordable price. If you want to get in touch with him, his mobile number is 0917-884-1785 .

I know there are so many places still to visit around Cebu, but as I always say, this gives me more reason to go back and get to explore more about the Queen City of the South! 


5/13/2015

BUGSAY WHITE WATER RAFTING EXPERIENCE - Making your visit to Cagayan De Oro more fun!

There are a variety of different activities in Cagayan De Oro, but there is one activity that is so well known in the area and that is the White Water Rafting. Rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor activity that uses an inflatable raft to navigate different courses of water rapids which are called white water.


As I was visiting relatives in Bukidnon, which is basically next to Cagayan De Oro, white water rafting was on my bucket list and it had been for a long time. I promised myself that I had to try this since I was already in Cagayan De Oro.

I immediately asked my Facebook friends for suggestions whether they knew of a company that offered white water rafting tours and one friend referred me to BUGSAY White Water Rafting. 

Bugsay which means PADDLE in Cebuano has been operating since 2010 and been serving their customers the ride of their lifetime. 

We immediately phoned BUGSAY and made a reservation for 11:00 am since our flight was still at 4:30pm. That gave us more time to enjoy the experience without rushing to catch our flight. 

There are river course with varying degrees of difficulty and each at a different cost. We decided to do the beginner course for 700 Pesos which last for an hour and included photos and videos while rafting. That's not bad at all!

We all met up at a central area in the city where the jeepney was waiting for us with the rafts on top of the jeepney. That looked so cool!  


The staff who waited for us took us to their main office in the city for signing of waivers, payment and registration. After a few minutes, we hopped back on the jeepney and started our journey to Cagayan river where we started our rafting adventure.  



After a 30 minute jeepney ride into the mountains, we finally arrived at the Bigaan River which is a very popular site for white water rafting and has been promoted by the Department of Tourism as the main tourist attraction in the city of Cagayan De Oro. This river also separates Bukidnon from Cagayan De Oro. 


The rafts were being pumped up and prepared for action. But before that, Bugsay will make sure of the safety of everyone. So they provided us with life vest and helmets and ensured that the entire party was correctly kitted out for a safe but adventurous expedition.


For the beginner course, the entire distance would be 8kms long and would take approximately an hour. Over that distance we would be facing rapids of different levels. We just couldn't wait to experience and face the rapids. 

The most advanced and technical course would take 4 hours to complete with the total distance of 16kms. That we have to save to for our next visit. We were fortunate that it had rained in the days before despite it being the dry season which meant that the trip would be a little more exciting and the rapids a bit more technical.  Apparently during the dry season the water in the river is blue but as you can see from the photographs the recent rains had muddied the water and made the rapids a little more challenging for us.


Before we went to our raft, the guide gave us a few tips on how to paddle and to make sure we were aware of the basic instructions. Aside from us on the boat, we were also accompanied by two other guides from Bugsay who did most of the maneuvering. 

Now it's time for us to practice how to paddle forward, back and to stop!

Adrenalin rush spiked as we encountered the first rapids - and more followed soon. It was so much fun! There were times that I was thrown off of the edge of the raft because of the huge rapids but I enjoyed that a lot!





In front us was their photographer who took pictures and videos of us while we were facing the rapids. It will be compiled on a CD which they will give you when you arrive at the office after your white water adventure.


It wasn't rapids all the time, there were parts of the river where it's calm. A great opportunity to look around and enjoy the scenic beauty surrounding the Bigaan River. We even saw some big lizards that of a variety that we had never seen before. That was amazing!


After an hour, we finally reached our final destination and what an amazing experience it was! Bugsay White Water Rafting really made sure we had fun and all of us were safe.  

The whole staff were also very friendly and professional in what they do. We never had any dull moments with them.  This will definitely not be the last time you will see us because we will be back and we promise that we will do the whole 16km course. 

BUGSAY WHITE WATER RAFTING really made our trip to Cagayan De Oro worthwhile. The fun experience we had with them while rafting is good enough for us to go back and do more.  



And the next time I do rafting, I want it the BUGSAY WAY! 

Thank you for making us love this sport! THUMBS UP FOR BUGSAY! 


Contact Information for BUGSAY:


Address: San Agustin-Velez Streets, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City


Phone Numbers:  0917.328.4729/ (088) 8501580 / 

(088) 3091991 / 0917-3-BUGSAY (284729)

Email Address: cdobugsayrafting@yahoo.com