Your guide to exploring Cebu.
Take a winding ride to Busay and find yourself 2,000 feet above sea level, in a circular viewing deck overlooking the Cebu metropolis. Once inside, there are kiosks that serve food and drinks. The view is especially breathtaking at night when the glittering lights from the city mimic the starry skies above. Entrance fee is PhP100.
2. Casa Gorordo
Immerse in Cebu heritage as you step into this preserved “bahay na bato” (stone house) from the Spanish colonial era. Located in the once well-heeled community known as the Parian district, Casa Gorordo tells the story of Cebuano urban living at the turn of the 19th century. The heritage house is also home to a modern art gallery in its basement that features the contemporary works of Cebuano visionaries. Admission fee starts at PhP15.
Cebu takes pride in its sinugba, which translates to grilled meat. This famous street food arcade near the Fuente Osmeña circle serves a variety of barbecue selections and is open till the wee hours of the morning. Those with iron stomachs will want to try the chicken and pork intestines called isaw, or chicken feet, cleverly named adidas after the iconic footwear brand. Pair this with puso, or hanging rice and you have a meal at an average cost of PhP70.
4. Sky Experience Adventure
The tallest building in Cebu also happens to have the world’s first edge coaster. About a hundred and thirty meters high, you can tilt your seat up to an angle of 55 degrees as it circles the peak of the Crown Regency Hotel. The less adventurous can opt to wear a harness and stroll along the SkyWalk, a platform designed to make you feel as though you’re walking on air. The newest addition to the gravity-defying theme park is a 76-meter-long zipline connecting two towers of the hotel. Entrance fee starts at PhP300. For PhP1,000, you can try all three sky activities and enjoy a dinner buffet.
5. Colon Street
Ride a kalesa or horse-drawn carriage for PhP15-20 and relive the glory days of Colon, the Philippines’ oldest street. Named after the explorer Christopher Columbus, it is to this day one of Cebu’s commercial hubs and is considered the heart of downtown Cebu. The bustling street is also known as a shopping haven that offers the best bargains, especially for fashion merchandise.
6. Island Hopping
Cebu is surrounded by many outlying isles; so it’s no surprise that this would be a pastime. Take the Islands Banca from Mactan and visit the Talima Adventure and Water Park on Olango Island, which is also home to Cebu’s world-renowned bird sanctuary. Diving, snorkeling and fish feeding are also favorite activities in the surrounding marine sanctuaries. Cap off the trip by lounging on the white sands of Pandanon, which is already part of neighboring province, Bohol. The price varies depending on the boat size and package availed of.
7. Cebu Fish Spa
This non-abrasive alternative to a foot scrub has finally reached Cebu shores. Dip your feet in a pool filled with “Doctor Fish” and get an instant foot spa. Albeit ticklish at first, the fish eat the dead skin cells and leave a baby smooth surface. They don’t bite; they only suck at the skin and release an enzyme that softens the callouses. For PhP170, you can experience this natural foot spa for a good thirty minutes.
Jay Aldeguer for Islands Stay Hotel
President, The Islands Group
Modeled after the concept of a no-frills accommodation, this hotel can very well be the traveler’s best friend. For absurdly affordable rates and two great locations to choose from, you get a room with a quality bed, a rain shower, a flatscreen TV and free wireless broadband access. “Just because it’s a value hotel, it doesn’t mean you won’t be treated well,” says Aldeguer. Islands Stay also provides its signature cold towels and a personalized gift as you check in. Now that’s a Cebuano welcome.
Arcane: League of Legends: Netflix Review
League of Legends a very popular video game that’s been around for over a decade has now been adapted into an animated series on Netflix. The series, Arcane: League of Legends was just released on November 6, 2021 and starring Hailee Steinfeld. As a person who doesn’t play LoL, I was very surprised by Arcane’s story and the quality of the animation. The title theme song is by Imagine Dragons and soundtrack is very cool.
Rottentomatoes gives the series a 100% score! Here’s what they say:
“Newcomers should be equally enthralled by Arcane’s compelling narrative, richly developed characters … “
“Arcane makes an arresting first impression, combining a spectacular mix of 2D and 3D animation with an emotionally compelling story to deliver a video game adaptation that could become legendary.”
Well then, this is a must see for me! Now out on Netflix
ALBUM REVIEW: Red (Taylor’s Version) by Taylor Swift
RATING: ★★★ / ★★★★★
You probably don’t need to be reminded of why Taylor Swift has decided to release re-recordings of her previous albums, starting with Fearless (Taylor’s Version) last year and now with Red (Taylor’s Version). However, if you somehow missed one of the biggest music controversies in recent history, here’s a quick summary: in 2019, talent manager Scooter Braun acquired the record label Big Machine and as part of the deal acquired ownership of the master recordings for the first six studio albums by Taylor Swift. Swift has been trying to buy the masters to her songs for years but she’s been offered nothing but unfavorable conditions — therefore, as a countermeasure, she is re-recording all of her six albums and so far has released two.
It’s a bold move on Taylor’s part, but lucky for her, the re-recordings have done incredibly well especially with the re-recording of her 2012 album Red. On its first day of release, Red (Taylor’s Version) has broken two Spotify records: one for the most-streamed album in a day by a female and another for the most-streamed female in a single day both in Spotify history.
It’s hard to review an album like this when Red (Taylor’s Version) is, for the most part, just a recreation of the songs of Red. There are new songs, of course, but the majority of the tracks are simply re-recorded versions of her already existing songs. The Immaculate Collection by Madonna, this isn’t — save for All Too Well, there are no new instrumentals or parts of the song here, just plain re-recordings of her previous songs.
Unfortunately for Taylor Swift, some of the songs don’t really benefit from being re-recorded. The original version of We Are Never Getting Back Together, for instance, while far from Swift’s best song at least had the energy and emotion you’d expect a bitter break-up song like it to have. In the new version, Taylor Swift just sounds lifeless and bored, especially when it comes to her spoken lines.
It’s difficult to blame her when she’s expected to still give convincing performances of experiences she’s had over a decade ago. How do you expect a singer in her 30s to sing a song about how excited she is to be 22 and still make it sound as convincing as she made it when she was actually 22?
That being said, some of the songs also benefit from being re-recorded. There’s a sense of nostalgia added to many of these songs. Taylor Swift sounds older and, in a way, that adds even more emotional depth to some of her tracks. And for anyone not wild about these songs simply being re-recordings, Swift has six new “From The Vault” tracks which should be enough to tide you over.
All in all, Red (Taylor’s Version) doesn’t always work, but for Taylor Swift fans, it’s a way to listen to versions of her songs that are hers. It’s why the “(Taylor’s Version)” at the end of these songs are so important and it’s great to know Taylor Swift finally has versions of the songs she wrote which she can call hers.
LADY CYCLISTS HIT THE ROADS AND SLOPES OF CEBU.
Cycling has been a growing sport and hobby for many years but it’s popularity has erupted since the Covid pandemic. People biking to work and for recreation is an everyday sight in Cebu. More and more are joining the ride. Many are quite serious about cycling. I know three ladies who are among those who’ve gone long distances across Cebu.
How did you get into serious cycling? What was your motivation?
Blinky de Leon. Event Host, Product Endorser & Influencer
“ I’ve been into cycling since I was a kid. A little backstory, I was around 10 years old when my dad surprised me with my first custom-made mountain bike. I still keep it until now, in fact I had it refurbished. It’s the most sentimental thing I ever received since it was his way/gesture to catch up with me after not seeing each other for almost 6 yrs. My dad is based in Germany and he also loves cycling and makes his own bamboo bike.”
“Just a year ago though, my friend Gazini randomly, out of nowhere, picked me up from home to bike with her to the South of Cebu. I felt really excited and motivated to get back on track because it’s very nostalgic and brings back so many great memories. And since then, the rest was history. We’ve been joining different groups, tried different routes and conquered different heights. I’ve met so many cyclists with very inspiring stories in the bike community who kept me feeling motivated too. I also look forward to the sights and the adventure that comes along with it.”
Yumz Mariot. Branding & Marketing Consultant
“I used to bike along with rock and wall climbing. I am lousy with ballgames which is why. Our usual route were Talamban and Mactan but one time, managed to ship gears all the way to Dumaguete for a quick ride to Valencia, the next town located at a higher elevation. Those were days when I did it for fun and what bike I was using did not matter.”
“Fast forward to 2021, a year after the pandemic lockdown began, I realized I have been lazy to do any fitness routine. Too caught up on juggling between house chores and Work from Home deliverables (I work as a Branding and Marketing Consultant), I started to feel my body needs to move as much as my brain does. A hysical fitness routine is as important as what I eat, or what I read or watch. So I decided to invest on a decent MTB, just very recently and got myself a much necessary restart. What motivates me even more is the area where I currently reside at. It is vast, fresh, green and safe for solo bikers like me.”
Prime Sarino. Digital Media Creative
“I started biking as a young teenager and I got the idea to start it as an adult hobby 3 years ago. I was already into running and I thought it would be great to venture into another outdoor activity to keep me occupied after work hours and weekends. I was set to travel for a year so I had to put aside the idea first but came pandemic. We were all forced to stay put and everything was put on hold. Cycling became my diversion. My cyclists friends invited me to quick and short rides. I enjoyed my first 50km ride and the sceneries and routes most of all. It also helped channel a positive mindset during the hard hit season of the pandemic. Not to mention it’s also another way to stay fit when we were forced into inactivity during the quarantine.”
Next in Part 2, we ask the ladies about their cycling experiences and memorable moments…
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