Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cebu - Marigondon, Plantation Bay, Mactan

 The next series of travelogues that  I will be sharing with you consist of three weeks worth of vacation,  touring parts of Visayas and Mindanao two summers ago.  This was the time when both of us were able to scrimp the P40,000 we saved up for this adventure and learned the art of backpacking by experience. Come, join us on our journey and explore the beauty of our country. Maybe next time, we can do a backpack tour of Asia and Europe as well. *crossing our fingers now*
Come Monday morning, April 11, after a hearty breakfast, we got ready to tour other parts of the city. We hailed a cab and asked the driver to bring us to the Mactan Shrine. On our way there, we passed by Mandaue City and crossed the Lapu-Lapu bridge, until finally, the driver dropped us off outside the shrine.
Cab ride going to Marigondon… Passing by the Lapu-Lapu Bridge… 
There were no entrance fees required so we just walked in. It looked like a small park with lots of flower-bearing shrubs and coconut trees. In the middle of the park is Lapu-Lapu’s lone statue standing big and tall, the way Cebuanos generally are (proud and strong). At the other end of the park is a mini museum housing the largest painting depicting the battle of Mactan. It was really huge!
Visiting the Mactan Shrine 
 What a huge painting!!!

The shrine is near a public beach where kids bathe and play around. We walked there and found this cute bahay kubo standing on the water. Nearby were mangroves which provide greenery in the area. There were also nearby stalls sellingnative handicrafts and accessories.
 Checking out the outer vicinity of the shrine…
Having seen everything we wanted to see, we again hailed a cab and asked the driver to bring us to Marigondon beach — a public beach resort famous for its familial and cozy atmosphere. When we got there, there weren’t a lot of people around (t was Monday that’s why). We only paid P20 for entrance and rent of one of the sheds by the beach.
See the beach behind Peter? That’s Marigondon beach. 
Honestly, I didn’t expect what we saw — a beach so clean with clear turquoise seawater! It definitely beats all the first class beaches here in Batangas, Cavite and Subic. To think that this is just Cebu’s public beach. Yet,  it is comparable to Boracay’s quality of water and sand. Awesome! Since we didn’t expect to see a beach so pretty, Peter and I decided to test the waters. Good thing I was wearing my bikini underneath my summer attire. As for Peter, the security guard saw our intention and gladly lent him one of his shorts (Cebuanos are not only proud and strong, they’re nice folks too!). And frolick we did that early Monday morning.
So tempted to test the waters of Marigondon beach!!!
A beach so perfect for the summer heat!!! 
Having satisfied our beach craving, we planned on our next move. According to my map, Plantation Bay Beach Resort and Spa is just nearby. I wondered if we could find it. So after drying ourselves under the sun’s heat, we decided to walk around the area. Through my raw Visayan language skills, I was able to ask around for directions. Finally, after walking forever (we walked a total of 2kms from Marigondon beach to Plantation Bay beach resort),  we found it!!!  I wondered if we could get inside without any fuss. Thanks to our “rich kids” look, nobody asked us any questions when we entered that very private resort. We looked around and took pictures in every nook and cranny the resort has to offer, even in places where non-guests were supposedly not allowed. They probably thought we were guests .Hehehe. 
 After walking for 2 kms, we finally found Plantation Bay!
 Notice the man-made beaches around? Who would’ve thought?!
Tired and famished, we went to one of their restaurants, the Palermo (Italian Fine Dining). My hunch was confirmed. One of the waitresses asked me if my “boyfriend” is Malaysian. Hahaha! Of course I told her we are both Pinoys. And she replied that she honestly thought we were of other Asian descent. Then she told us the set  menu that they will be offering that evening, believing that we were indeed guests of the resort.  Well, well, well…
Tasty, scrumptious and EXPENSIVE. (Our orders cost us more than P1000! It was worth it.) 
PS: waiters/staff don’t accept tips by the way 
Satiated, we roamed a bit more if only to burn the tons of calories we consumed that lunch. Plantation Bay really has a reason for calling itself a 5-star hotel. For a man-made beach, it looked pretty natural. They also offer private accommodations such that a secluded part of the resort will be offered to you for private use. Maybe, next time…
Exploring the rest of their man-made beaches and bodies of water… 
Having seen enough, we headed back to the city, bringing lots of its beautiful scenery  in our memory.

***For a complete list, here's an awesome guide on Cebu: Where to Go and What to Do 
See all my posts about this trip here:  Vis-Min Tour  

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