This post is second in a 2-part series. The first part, Coron 6Days/5 Nights relaxed trip can be found here
Day 1: Fly in
We took a small bombardier plane from Bususanga airport at 5 pm, which would take us to Mactan International Airport in about 75 minutes.
You feel the bustle of a busy commercial town the moment you land at the Cebu/Mactan international airport. And coming from the laid back almost rustic Coron, this hit us hard.
So we took a grab taxi to our “home stay” in Cebu city. Try only using Grab in the Philippines, because local taxis are expensive & most drivers are known to want to try to cheat you knowing that you are a tourist. Grab is safer because you’ll be tracked on the app, and the company is bigger than the driver.
We reached our place (some 17km away) in more than 90 minutes by taxi. The traffic totally reminded us of New Delhi, India. The apartment was a 1 Bedroom + Living room + Kitchen kind of suite.
We were starving after the day’s travel and luckily we weren’t far away from the Fuente Osmena Circle, so we took a cab to the Circle and had dinner. Maybe it was just the hustle of the huge city, but maybe the city is receding into decadence, whatever the reason, we both just couldn’t feel safe enough to go anywhere other than McDonald’s, and that too via Grab.
Day 2: Cebu — Oslob — Cebu
We had booked the Oslob sight seeing tour with KKDay, for which we had to leave at 3 am. We were part of an 8 people group tour, all foreign tourists. There was no breakfast for us this morning because the driver was in a rush to reach.
We reached our first stop, the whale shark sight seeing centre, at 8:30am. There were easily over a thousand tourists there that morning, all having come to Oslob to swim with the Whale Sharks.
Well, of course it feels amazing swimming so close to the gigantic majestic creatures. But it is definitely heartbreaking to see the condition they are in. Simply speaking, they’re being exploited for tourism. The debate is worthy of a separate post, so maybe we can explore that later.
Next we headed to the Tumalog falls. The van does not take you all the way to the falls & you are compelled to sit on motorbikes driven by local men who drive recklessly & it all seemed to be just another Filipino scam.
Anyway, highlights here were that (a) according to my wife the falls looked a lot like the waterfall from bahubali & (b) you can get a fish pedicure for free here by just dipping your feet in. As long as you are able to endure the tickling that is.
Next we took the bikes back to our van and had brunch at a place called Le Bistrot. Ate prawn sinigang here. Food was cheap and terrific.
The last and final stop of the tour was at the Cuartel ruins, where we got an hour to click pictures, marvel at the ruins and gaze at the sea. There isn’t much information around the area, except that it was being built by the spanish using coral stones from a former bell tower, but the building was aborted on the arrival of Americans in 1899.
There is also a medieval Church from the mid 19th Century right next to the ruins, but it was shut so we could only see it from outside.
Came back to apartment around 5 pm, changed and went out to eat and shop.
Ended the highly eventful. and tiring day with wine and a forgettable movie in our apartment.
Day 3: Relax at Abaca Boutique resort, Mactan
So we were pretty much done with our Trip, now having swam with whalesharks, turtles, cuttlefish and whatnot. But Saniya and I are firm believers in balancing activity with rest, and a vacation is not complete without part of it just lazing around in luxury. So all of Day 3 in Cebu was devoted to pampering ourselves. After an amazing Korean lunch in the city, we headed to the ultra-luxurious resort we had booked for ourselves for our 8th and final night in the Philippines. See full resort review here.
Day 4: Fly out
Had a hearty breakfast at Abaca, took a last swim in the pool, feeling rueful as we always do when holidays are coming to an end. But the time came when it was supposed to, and we left for Cebu airport to get on our flight back to Singapore.
That’s it guys, thanks for reaching the bottom of this post. You’re the best! Have an awesome day!