Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cebu - Where to Go and What to Do

I'll be dropping by Cebu for one whole day before I head off to my paradise in Siargao for a 15-day vacation. Then back to Cebu again for another night before I head back to Manila. At first, I was just thinking of staying in a hotel or visiting my in-laws as I wait for my Siargao flight. I've been to Cebu so many times, especially when my sister was living there, that I feel like I've already had enough of what Cebu has to offer. Then I thought, why not try squeezing all the activities that I can, this time, by myself (no hubby in tow) and see how different this experience can be?! Hmmmm... quite scary since I've never done that before except in Boracay last summer when I did my one month vacay all by myself. I guess there's always a first  time for everything. ^_^

So I went through all my previous posts about Cebu to see if there's anything I'm willing to do again. If you haven't explored Cebu yet, you can refer to this list of awesome activities you can do in Cebu the next time you visit.

Where to stay in Cebu?

I know I usually stay in places that are affordable but for some reason, when it comes to Cebu, I was fortunate enough to have stayed and/or visited some of the most wonderful 3 to 5-star hotels. Here are some of them that you might want to visit too:

If you prefer to be in Mactan near the airport, check out the following hotels and resorts:

Shangri-La Mactan

Depending on the room type you're getting, rates range from Php10,000 to Php27,000 per night. Here's the contact info:
Punta Engano Road
Lapu-Lapu Cebu 6015,
T: (63 32) 231 0288 F: (63 32) 231 1688

The rates were very expensive for us so when we went to Shangri-La Mactan, we didn't check-in. Instead, we enjoyed their buffet together with my in-laws. We were around 7 people then and the bill totaled to Php16,000.00 including tip. Good enough for us!

Depending on the type of room or villa you'll get, room rates range from $160++ to $850++ per night. Plantation Bay also offers day trip packages at Php2,000 per person inclusive of:
* Set lunch (served 12pm-2pm, unless otherwise specified)
* Choice of drink (local beer, soft drink, canned juice, iced tea, or mineral water)
* Access to all lagoons and swimming pools
* Wallclimbing (1pm-5pm)
* 30-minute use of bicycles
* 15-minute use of non-motorized aqua sports (nips floater or kayak)
* Billiards, darts, Foosball, air hockey, and table tennis (9am-5pm)
* Use of shower rooms

Not bad. Not bad at all. What I like about Plantation Bay most of all is that their staff is so nice and won't accept tips. Their management actually prohibits it and everyone is encouraged to give their best customer service. Kudos to you, Plantation Bay!

You may contact them at:
Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island
Cebu, Philippines 6015
Tel. + 63 - 32 - 505 9800
Fax + 63 - 32 - 505 9818

Furthermore, Plantation Bay is just near Marigondon Beach. We actually just walked going there. It was a long walk but after seeing the pristine waters, it was worth it. Marigondon is a public beach that you can check out for a more budget-friendly beach experience. I think we just paid Php20.00 each at that time. Maybe the prices have increased since then but I'm sure it's still very affordable. 

If you prefer to stay somewhere in Cebu City, check out these hotels:

The first time we were here, we just enjoyed the buffet. The next few times we came back, we checked out the casino and went back to their buffet too. 

Depending on the type of room you get and if you paud using their online reservation form where you can get discounts, the room rate ranges from Php3,500 to Php4,500 per night. 

It's a business hotel with spacious rooms, beautiful swimming pool, and the buffet offering is awesome.  
You may contact them using the following numbers: US and Canada: 1-866-332-3590; UK: +44 (0)203 564 2773Europe: 00-800-97-33-42-26 

Depending on the type of room you're getting, room rates range from Php4,000 to Php12,000 per night. The rooms and bathrooms are spacious and clean, buffet offering is scrumptious, the swimming pool area is not that big but it's pretty and there's wi-fi almost everywhere.

Sergio Osmeña Boulevard
corner Juan Luna Avenue
Cebu City, Philippines 6000
Tel: +6332 4029900
Tel: +6332 505 1700
Fax: +6332 402 9999
Philippines: 1800 1 611 0293
US: 1800 967 9033
UK: 0800 374411

This hotel does not only offer great rooms (from $95-$150 per night), but you can also have some thrilling experience with their Sky Adventure Packages. You should try their Edge Coaster and Skywalk adventures. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Depending on the combo package you'll get, rates range from Php600 to Php3,600.  

Here's their contact info:
Tower 1, Fuente Towers 
Osmeña Boulevard, Sta. Cruz Cebu City 6000, Philippines 
Tel. No.: +63 (32) 418-8888 
Fax No.: +63 (32) 418-5886 

If you prefer heading outside the city to check out the numerous white beaches Cebu has to offer, check out the following beach resorts:

This resort is located in Sogod Island, at the north eastern par pf Cebu. Depending on the room type you're getting, room rates range from from $125 - $315

Here's the contact info:
Address: Calumboyan, Sogod, Island of Cebu, Philippines 
Postal Address: P.O. Box 1094, Cebu City Philippines 
Tel. Nos. +63 (0) 32 2549800; 2549811; 2549822; 
 Fax: +63 (0) 32 2549833 Direct Line: +63 (0) 32 2556388 
Email address: or

When we stayed here, we did a lot of activities like beach bumming, swimming, sunset cruise and dolphin watching (unfortunately, we didn't see any dolphins at that time... it was February then), kayaking, watching evening dance shows and enjoying the breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet. 

This resort is located in Bantayan Island at the north western part of CebuReservation can be made by E-Mail: or by phone +63-9179636162. The place is very affordable with beach huts ranging from Php950-1Php1,300 per night. 

Plus, there are many activities you can do like island hopping to Balicasag Island, swimming, snorkeling, spelunking at Ogtong Cave (which is inside another resort - Santa Fe Beach Club) , island sightseeing via habal-habal (motorcyle) and beach bumming of course!

This affordable beach resort is located in Malapascua Island, at the northern tip of Cebu. Depending on the type of room you're getting, the room rates range from 25-78 Euros. Each room has a veranda or balcony and it's just a short walk from the beach. 

Here's their contact information:

+63 (0) 915-400-1005 (mobil) oder
+63 (0) 927-336-9703 (mobil) oder
+63 (0) 32-437-0460 (Festnetz)

Hippocampus Beach Resort
Malapascua Island
Daan Bantayan, Cebu

Malapascua Island is pretty isolated and it doesn't have the nightlife that Boracay or Bohol has so it gets pretty quiet and dark in the evening except for a few other resorts at the end of the island that play loud music during weekends. 

During the day, if you're not diving, they you can beach bum, swim or snorkel. Or you can do an island hopping trip to Gato Island. While your fellow divers check out the amazing Monad Shoal underwater, you can snorkel within the vicinity of the island (which was what I did when I went there). 

This resort is also in Malapascua. Malapascua island is a typical haven for divers because of the underwater dive sites they have there. Actually, the second time I vacayed in Malapascua, I stayed in Exotic Dive Resort, the premier resort for divers in the area. 

Depending on the room you're getting, room rates range from Php1,000 to Php4,800 per night.

Here's their contact information:

Malapascua Exotic Island Dive & Beach Resort
P.O. Box 1200
6000 Cebu City

Phone: (+63) (32)406-5428
Mobile: (+63) 917-3276689
             (+63) 917-3070150

Club Serena Resort is located in Moalboal, at the southwestern part of Cebu. The resort is really enchanting and beautiful, it's like having your own private paradise.

Divers usually frequent this place because it's just a boat ride away from exotic dive sites like Pescador Island where you can experience the famous and amazing sardine run whether you're snorkeling or diving, but most especially when you're diving. 

You may contact Club Serena through:

Mokiko Development, Inc.
Blue Garden Complex
Commercial Uni 1, Wilson St., Lahug
Cebu City 6000, Philippines
Telefax +63 32 232 5907
Telephone +63 32 417 2445
Mobile +63 920 902 8888
+63 917 623 6057
+63 920 927 8277
Contact Person: Ms. Melinda Garcia

There's an entrance fee of Pph10.00 and once you get to Kawasan Falls, careful not to stay in a table too long lest you want to rent it for Php300. Riding the raft is also Php300 so you can bathe under the refreshing water falls.

In the afternoon, you can rent a habal-habal for Php50.00 to bring you to a secluded public beach (one way). It's better if you just rent your Kawasan Tour Guide especially if he has his own habal-habal (motorcycle) for Php400.00 so you can enjoy the beach in peace without worrying how you'll get back to the main road to catch your bus going back to Cebu City.

Now, if you're just in the city for one night, I suggest that you try to visit the different landmarks  and try out the numerous food places Cebu has to offer as well. Here are some of the areas I've been to which I recommend to first time visitors:


Food places:

My next target in Cebu is to check out Oslob and the whale sharks. I heard that they have whale sharks there as pets. When I checked out some photos online, I noticed that the whale sharks were kind of small as compared to those we swam with in Donsol. The whale sharks in Donsol were as big as buses while the whale sharks (at least the ones I saw online) were just as big as bancas. Nevertheless, I still want to check them out. Maybe I'll head there next before I go to Siargao. ^_^ 

I hope you enjoyed this informative Cebu post, albeit quite long. Enjoy your summer, folks! Til my next travel destination. Ciao! 

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