Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cebu City and Its Cab Drivers


My mom and her sister really wanted to visit Cebu even after telling them that Cebu is just like Manila minus the bus. Right after our Bohol trip, we headed straight to Fuente Oro Business Suites (check rates) and checked in.

I reserved two rooms by sending an e-mail to them - yes, just thru e-mail. What made me choose this hotel (from lotsa hotels in Cebu) was that they didn't require us any deposit to confirm our reservation. (we can just walk away if we didn't like it right?) They sent me a confirmation e-mail and I had it printed out. Upon checking in, I just gave them my printed copy and we paid the rooms that we got. That easy and efficient!

facade
standard room - 1,295 pesos with complimentary breakfast
hot and cold shower
What we got was two standard rooms. Each room is for 1,295 pesos with 2 complimentary breakfast. The breakfast was served in our rooms the next morning. You can choose from a wide array of plated breakfast plus a drink of your choice from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. I tried their bacon, rice and egg with coffee while my cousin had chorizo, rice and egg with orange juice. Their food was nice and I could finish two sets of it.

The room was clean and smelled fresh. They also have a hot/cold shower and complimentary bottled waters. The only thing we asked for was a pillow because what we had was only one pillow for each bed so we requested for another one. They charged us 20 pesos each for the pillow.


bacon was sooo crispy and huge!
Cebu's chorizo

 ******

We left our stuff in the rooms assigned to us. I was with my cousin Jesson and the sisters (my mom and aunt) were roommates.  We planned to go straight to the CnT Lechon right in front of SM Cebu 'coz we were starving after the 4-hour ferry ride from Bohol. It was 4 p.m. We rode a cab and told the driver that we wanna go to CnT Lechon's branch near SM Cebu I was on the passenger side. But upon reaching that branch something happened. (This is what I hate most about traveling - nasty drivers. )

me: Manong sure ka na dito 'yung CnT Lechon (not noticing the signage on my back)
manong: (kamot-ulo at singhal na malakas) 
Akala n'yo naman lolokohin ko kayo kung makapag-salita kayo. 
Grabe naman kayo!
me: Huh?! ('di na pinatulan, baka may pinagdadaanan)

Nagtanong lang ganun na reaksyon?! 'Di pwede magtanong kuya?! 

Moving on, it was an uber late lunch and we were starving so we checked out their food. Of course we had some lechon (half kilo), chopsuey, dinuguan, adobong atay and  fried isaw. We asked for lechon sauce but NO - they don't have such sarsa. You eat lechon Cebu in its pure form or dip it in cane vinegar. The verdict? They didn't like it. They  were even discussing why they didn't enjoy the lechon. Maybe because it was late and it wasn't crispy anymore. Or maybe they were used to eating lechon with the sarsa. Or they were too tired. Or just because... As for me? I never really enjoyed lechon ever so it was all the same to me - lechon La Loma, lechon Iloilo and lechon Cebu. But lechon kawali is a different story specially the super crispy ones and... Oh I digress.

if only I saw this sign - wala sanang moment with manong driver
sebo much?

******

We hopped on a cab again (me don't wanna sit in the passenger side anymore) and asked the driver to drive us to Taboan market. While inside the cab, he suggested to bring us to Shamrock pasalubong center to buy some Otap afterwards and promised to bring us back to Fuente Oro after that. Wow! Totally different from the manong driver a while ago (I should've stayed on the passenger side... tsss...).

Cab drivers usually don't get some passengers from the Taboan market because of the stinky smell. The smell of dried fish stays on the passengers thus, this would stay on the car seats too. So manong driver is so  kind to offer the pasalubong-shopping to us.

My mom went nuts over the dried fish, squids and all that you could think of. The vendors packed the stuff on a vacuum-sealed pack and put it in a box ready for the plane. What I really asked my mom to buy was the Cebu chorizo. I first tasted it in Larsian last year and it was really yummy. We went to Shamrock then Fuente Oro hotel to have a quick shower after that.

danggit
the chorizo I wouldn't get tired of eating

******

That night, we went to Larsian near Fuente Osmena circle. Our hotel was 3 blocks (wow Amerika?) away from Larsian. I was contemplating on whether to bring the oldies to Larsian because of the smoky experience I had last year but they agreed so we went there that night. Larsian is a place where you have to choose your meat (a la dampa style) and they will cook it for you - mostly grilled. The tricky part here is that, you need to eat with your bare hands with plastic bags on. No utensils or whatsoever. The plates are also covered with plastic.

While in Larsian, you need to bear with the smoke that burns your eyes while eating specially during weekends where the place is so packed. We ordered fish, pork, chicken, chorizo (of course) and salted eggs with tomatoes. We also ordered sodas and 20 pieces of puso (rice in a suman-like packaging). We all enjoyed Larsian except for my aunt who effortlessly cried while eating there.

choose your meat
indulge

******

The next day, right after our breakfast-in-bed, I asked the guard of the hotel if he knows someone who could bring us to certain places in Cebu. He said that drivers in Cebu are charging 300 pesos per hour when touring the city but then he suggested someone who might agree to my price. And here comes Kuya Jeremy (0919.763.8123) who agreed with my 1,800 pesos tour of Cebu city with no time limit. I haggled with Kuya Jeremy like there's no tomorrow. (ako na ang kuripot) It maybe not the best deal but not bad either eh?

He's a cab driver and not a "legit" tour guide. Just tell him where you wanna go and he will plan the route for you. He took into consideration the heavy traffic during rush hour. Kuya Jeremy was the kind of cab driver that you want to have. He shares just the right information. Kept quiet when we were not talking. And he has the most kick-ass slow rock songs (which I call slow but rock) on his cab that everyone can't help but to sing along with every song that's playing. Nice kuya! We skipped the TOPS and the Taoist temple part 'coz the oldies don't want to climb lotsa stairs.

First stop was the Magellan's cross and the Basilica del Santo Nino church. 

most famous landmark in Cebu
it was a Monday
my mom and aunt - they're sisters!
nice

Next stop was the Fort San Pedro. Entrance fee was 40 pesos for adults and 20 pesos for children. Last year it was only 30 pesos.

the entrance to the fuerza
Yson

Then we went to the Heritage of Cebu monument in the Parian district. It shows different important events on Cebu's rich history all in one big monument.

Cebu's rich history

Just across the street from the monument is the Yap Sandiego ancestral house. We didn't get to see what's inside 'coz nobody wanted to pay 50 pesos each for entrance fee. So we just stayed outside and took some photos of the house.

open even on Mondays
neat

We then went to Casa Gorordo but for some reason, it was close. I remembered when I was younger, I heard from one of my class that museums are closed during Mondays anywhere in the world. I dunno if that still works now.

Casa Gorordo

After that, Kuya Jeremy told us that he would take us to a cave/shrine in Guadalupe. During my research before going to Cebu, I never came across such cave/shrine. Again, we are not Roman Catholics so Kuya gave us some background on the cave. 

He said that an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was hid by their Cebuano forefathers inside a cave and for some reason, it was discovered after some years by the locals and they believed that the water dripping from the cave have healing powers. They also celebrate their own Sinulog-like fiesta in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The cave is located at Langub, Kalunasan, Guadalupe, Cebu City - near the Taoist temple.

entrance
inside the cave

Last on my list was the Lapu-Lapu shrine on Mactan island. The monument and shrine was built to honor Datu Lapu-Lapu who killed Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan.

marker
my favorite hero - astig!

what we needed right now
So there. The Bohol-Cebu trip with the family was a success. I spent only a few bucks because of the two balikbayans but that's not the best part yet - I had fun because they had fun. They were all first-timers and seeing them enjoy the Philippines was the best. Even after traveling around the world they still feel better when traveling in the Philippines. As they say, It's really more fun in the Philippines in spite and despite of everything. 

Maybe next time I'll explore Cebu's countryside. Any sponsor? :)

Fuente Oro Business Suites (book online)
173 Governor Roa Street, Capitol Site, 
Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

Check Cebu City accommodations here

30 comments:

  1. Nice! Try ko kontakin c Jeremy pag nag Cebu kami...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi gladys! yes try mo kontakin tapos makipagtawaran ka sa kanya :)

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  2. gusto ko yung tapa ng fuente oro. OA naman si manong driver.

    ReplyDelete
  3. soon I'll conquer cebu din hehehe =)

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  4. Hindi ba mahirap kumain with your hand covered with a plastic bag? Why not just wash your hands before and after eating?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tama si chyng bertN... yun ang kalakaran dun :)

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  5. ^ ayun kasi uso dun. hehe



    ang ganda ng yellow dress mo! dalagang pilipina! charot! =)

    ReplyDelete
  6. sister, kokontakin ko yang si kuya jeremy mukhang okay naman sya based sa kuwento. yan ang medyo worry ko yung makatagpo ng cab driver na madugas..hehehe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hay naku! kahit saan may mga ganung drivers...

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  7. I enjoyed eating in Larsian. Ang sarap ng Cebu chorizo!

    Btw, just followed your blog. Hope you could follow ours as well.

    http://relaxandpleaseyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks shashe and beij... i love cebu's version of chorizo!

      Delete
  8. Masyadong mainit ang ulo nung cab driver ninyo. Siguro hindi pinatabi ng asawa niya nung gabi LOL. It is good you just diplomatically let his comment slide harmlessly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i choose my battles bertN... hindi lahat pinapatulan :)

      Delete
  9. Ang galing my dot com kn!!! dito nmn aq tambay!!! nga pla, antayin q ung next blog m ha??? lam n!!!

    ganda ng dress m gurl!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tutal bakasyon talaga ngayon, abangan mo ng bongga ang mga susunod na kabanata sheena :)

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  10. Enjoyed reading your blog about Fuente Oro Business Suites and Cebu in general. Hope you will stay with us every time you visit Cebu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i super love your breakfast plates fuente oro! hope it would be a buffet breakfast next time :)

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  11. Me and my friends also had a bad experience with a cab driver in Cebu city. Grabe, he ruined our last day! He was our biggest mistake during our trip. I hope every cab drivers could be as kind as Kuya Jeremy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. grabe kim di ba? minsan yung mga cabbies pa ang panira ng moment hindi yung mismong trip...

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  12. hi carla! i think i lost kuya jeremy's number. huhuhu.. thanks for this, very informative. ;)

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  13. Hi what camera are you using? also the underwater cam?
    the picture were so nice :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! i have canon 550D and lumix ft-3 for underwater:)

      Delete
  14. Hi Ms. Carla, I've been reading your blogs after we met in Kalibo and i'm truly inspired by your passion to teach and travel. I would like to explore cebu-bohol-davao in one trip, I would like to ask for recommendations on how i can pull this off. :) Would 4 -5 days be enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Joy! Nice meeting you rin sa airport :)

      Question, are you flying or taking the ferry? Maybe you could email me your rough itinerary :)

      Delete

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