This trip was planned way before when Cebu Pacific Airlines had its piso fare late last year. We got a roundtrip ticket for about Php 800.00 each, which I can say, was already a steal over the thousands of peso you’ll have to spend for a regular-priced plane ticket. Since it was booked very early, we weren’t exactly sure whether all the five of us will be available on the dates inclusive of this Cebu trip. Two of my friends had to rebook their return flights (Cebu Pacific rescheduled our original flights thus, allowing them to change their return dates free of charge) earlier than the rest of us to attend their work-related duties, hello adulting!
I was still in grade school the last time I went outside of Luzon, by that, you can already imagine how excited I was about this trip! Now let’s put the experience in detail below.
Day 0 – Arrival at Mactan Cebu International Airport
February 14, 2017
The four of us arrived at Mactan Cebu International Airport at around 6:30 PM then we rode a cab going to Island Central Mall. We stayed there while waiting for the other one to get to Cebu. Funny that we still chose to eat at Jollibee over other fastfood restaurants present in the mall. The waiting game took a good 4 hours until she arrived at 11:00 PM to meet us.
We checked in at Capitol Central Hotel and Suites situated at Escario Street, Corner F. Ramos Extension, Capitol Site, Cebu City. You might wonder why we paid for a 3-night stay in the City instead of jumping from one accommodation to another or, staying overnight in South/North Cebu. To answer, we needed to always go back to the City due to our different flight dates returning to Manila.
Day 1 – Malapascua Island
We didn’t really have a concrete itinerary, to begin with, most of the activities we had were unplanned, yet, I fell in love with the spontaneity of this adventure. In fact, we got lost a few times too, but we conquered!
We woke up at 4:00 AM and prepared our things for Malapascua Island. We took a cab going to Cebu North Bus Terminal. From there, we rode a van going to Maya Port but, if you want to lessen your expenses, you may opt to ride a Ceres bus going to Maya Port which will only cost you around Php 160.00 versus Php 200.00 for the van ride. The travel time took us around 4 hours which we didn’t notice as we were asleep almost the whole time.
Upon arrival to Maya Port, we were welcomed by the locals in the registration area. We listed our names there and paid Php 100.00 each for the boat ride and another Php 20.00 for the flat boat. Our experience going to Malapascua was horrible, I tell you guys! I might do a separate blog post for the sole reason of it.
We arrived at the beautiful Island of Malapascua at 1:00 PM. That time, all we wanted to do was take some rest and get ourselves something to eat. We dined at one of the restaurants on the island. We were undecided whether to try out activities on the island or not because one of us needed to fly back to Manila at 4:00 AM. With that, we needed to catch the last boat trip returning to Maya Port at that same day. A local then approached us if we liked to try snorkeling and swore to help us get a boat trip going back to Maya Port at 4:00 PM. We agreed and paid Php 400.00 each.
That was the first time I ever tried snorkeling. It felt surreal to have experienced even just a glimpse of the underwater world. Truth is, I am afraid of the depth of the ocean. There is something about it that I find mysterious and scary both at once. But you know me, I enjoy trying things I thought I can’t, just for the sake of proving myself wrong. We saw a few fishes, though my friends said that it was nothing compared to the other oceans they saw. We also saw a Japanese shipwreck. I know it has been there for a very long time already but for some reasons, it still gave us goosebumps! It was amazing, yes, but there was some sort of negative energy that made us freaking scared!
We arrived back to Maya Port at 5:30 PM. We then consumed ridiculous 5 hours travel time from Maya Port to our hotel! We were so hungry we looked for an open restaurant serving Cebu Lechon. There, we found Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly which was only a few blocks away from our accommodation.
Day 2 – City Tour
February 16, 2017
I and another one woke up at 3:00 AM and accompanied my friend to the airport wearing our pajamas. We were still half-asleep and I was fighting SO HARD not to fall asleep in the cab for safety reasons. hihi! We got back at our hotel after an hour and lay straight to bed. By this time, it was only four of us left.
Our 2nd day was originally a trip to Sumilon Island but, my friends were so tired that we opted to spend the day in the city instead of going South. There was so much to see in Cebu City, that was why touring around wasn’t bad after all.
We didn’t have much time in the morning as we woke up pretty late at 8:00 AM. After breakfast, we went to Mandaue City to get our rented sedan at Cebu Easy Rent A Car for Php 2000.00 exclusive of gas. It was a pretty cool experience strolling around a city you barely even know. We resorted to Waze and Google Maps for directions, but even those apps failed us. lol! I didn’t mind getting lost, though, it was all part of the adventure, yes?
We ate at Larsian where they offered different kinds of grilled dishes. The place wasn’t as crowded as I expected, maybe because, the rain was pouring really hard! (Lucky I brought my jacket!) I was so hungry I ate a total of four puso (rice wrapped and boiled in a triangular casing made of woven coconut leaves). We went to Shamrock to buy pasalubong. It was located just a few blocks away from Larsian. We initially wanted to go to the market to buy dried fish and dried squid, thinking that those items were cheaper in the market. But we didn’t have much time and the weather was getting worse.
We headed straight to Temple of Leah where the very cold weather met us. The place could have been more beautiful if it wasn’t raining, yes, blame it! It was getting dark when we reached Sirao Flower Garden. I have to edit the brightness of the photo above so it won’t look haunted, like the one in Silent Hill. haha! We stayed only for a few minutes as the weather up there was already unbearable. The road was near to zero visibility and we needed to stay focus because the road was slippery and curvy too!
Next destination was 10,000 Roses Cafe which we only found out through a viral video of it on facebook. It was still in soft opening phase but there were already a lot of people coming in. It’s located at Cordova Tourism Center. The location was perfect for a quick relaxation. The bright blooms were already fascinating itself during the night, add up the city and ocean view, it was wonderful. We stayed the longest here and bought hot coffees. I ordered Cafe Mocha which was nothing special, honestly. But if you are paying for the ambiance, I can say, the place is still worth visiting. Besides, they are still in soft opening phase, their beverages might improve over time.
We returned the car to Cebu Easy Rent a Car at Mandaue City and hailed a cab going back to our hotel at 12:00 AM. Time to sleep! (NOPE, NOT REALLY!)
Day 3 – Canyoneering & Kawasan Falls
February 17, 2017
At 3:00 AM, I heard the irritating sound of my alarm clock and I haven’t even slept yet (Le eyebags are growing!). One of us needed to go back to Manila in a few hours while I and two more were going to Badian. But the other one decided to just stay in the city and just wait for us until we come back from Canyoneering & Kawasan Falls.
We hailed a cab going to Cebu South Terminal Station. We took Ceres Bus bound for Bato via Barili. Travel time took 3 hours, which also means 3 hours of sleep! We arrived at Matutinao Church at 8:00 AM and met our guide. We ate breakfast before starting the activity at our own expense while the rest were all inclusive of the Php 1,500 we paid for the activity. (Life vest, helmet, shoes, guide, water, lunch, motor fare, dry bag, entrance and exit fee.)
The first jump was the scariest I had been despite it being one of the shortest jumps. Yes, I felt more scared and nervous there than jumping the highest point. Coz hello, it was the FIRST jump, you guys! The first jump gave me the courage to jump the succeeding ones as easy as pie (okay, not really. lol!). I was scared, yes, but was very determined! It never crossed my mind to back out, oh how I love myself! haha! Congrats to us, we jumped the highest point at about 30-35 feet successfully! Whew!
This experience is by far the most nerve-wracking, adrenaline-pumping thing I ever did! I couldn’t count how many times I said out loud how happy I was to experience such wonderful sight and activity! If you are planning a Cebu trip, never ever miss this!
After the whole activity, we had a bountiful lunch to regain our lost energy. The lunch was inclusive of the Php 1500.00 we paid for the activity. The serving was very generous that we thought it was good for more than two persons plus, the taste was good considering it wasn’t even a restaurant. Obviously, we weren’t able to consume all the foods. Mission failed!
After freshening up, we rode a non-air conditioned bus going back to Cebu South Terminal Station. It took us a long 3 hours and 30 minutes travel time to get to our destination. From the terminal, we rode a cab straight to Mactan Cebu International Airport. Did I tell you that our flight got delayed? huhu! I was so tired and sleepy, I slept at the plane the whole time. Still, despite all the unfortunate events happened to us during this trip (I’ll post about it one of these days), it was still one of the memories worth keeping!
Our Cebu Trip Itinerary and Expenses
- I can barely remember the taxi fares we had in Cebu, what I’m sure of is, those were all below Php 200.00. So I set all our taxi fares in below’s itinerary to Php 200.00 just to be safe.
- I tried my best to list all expenses I had including the roundtrip airfare, meals, accommodation and pasalubong. This is complete yo!
- This was a spontaneous itinerary while also considering my friends’ health conditions. If you prefer to squeeze in more destinations in a day, you may check Aurika’s Cebu Guide or Bea’s Cebu Itinerary. You may also head on to Journey Freaks if you plan a Bohol side trip. You are welcome!
- Our guide was Kuya Chris under Albert Aspacio’s Tours and he was so cool, highly recommended! You may contact this number, 09359254769, for your next Canyoneering adventure.
That’s all folks!