We left Oslob after swimming with whale sharks, having lunch & swimming in the massive pool below a waterfall which put us back in Cebu City in the late afternoon. We were staying at The Travelbee Guesthouse in Cebu City. It was very reasonably priced and our rooms were super cozy (the first night was a private room and the second night we had four bunks and a bathroom). However, we were apparently in a very rough part of town. Our driver asked us if we wanted to get dinner before he dropped us off & he went home for the night, but it was only 4pm so we weren’t hungry. When he dropped us off he said to be very careful, a lot of muggings go on around there. We didn’t think too much of it because we had been warned several times, as young women traveling. However, when we went to the front desk at night to as their recommendation on where to eat since we were a little off the main roads he looked at us like we were crazy and handed us a menu from Jollibee and told us to have them deliver. (Jollibee is the Philippines fast food chain and happens to be delicious!) This was not as a warning not to come to Cebu City, we had no issues here, but heed warnings, think about where you’re staying and make the most of the daylight when you’re in a “rougher” area.
⋙ BASILICA DEL SANTO NIÑO & MUSEUM
Basilica del Santo Niño is named because of a doll figure of baby Jesus that Magellan (yes, the Magellan who first circumnavigated the world) to a the leader of Cebu’s wife when they landed in Cebu City and it was discovered in a burnt box 44 years later and seen as a miracle! Pope Paul VI made this church into a basilica because it’s where Christianity began in The Philippines.
This is the site where Magellan and his men planted their cross in Cebu. This cross is not the original, but that original is inside of this cross. Pretty cool, huh?
The Basilica del Santo Niño Museum is all about the spread of Christianity in the Philippines and about the importance of Santo Niño.
Stacey taking her turn before Santo Niño and leaving an offering
Inside the basilica – I love, love, love all of the natural light
⋙ CEBU CITY MONUMENT
Will took us to the Cebu City Monument which shoes the history of the city from Santo Niño / Magellan, to wars and more! What a beautiful and interesting work of art – we were VERY impressed.
⋙ MUSEO SUGBO
This almost 150-year-old complex was originally a city / provincial prison, then during Japanese occupation was used for a prison for guerrillas and as of 2004, is now a history museum. There is a lot of information about Cebu’s history taking them through multiple occupations & wars and finally independence.
This is an early 14th century Tara Buddhist figure made of 21 karat gold that was found on a riverbank.
This guerrilla money was used while Cebu was ruled by Manuel Quezon, and if someone was caught with it, that meant certain death
This exhibit depicted the ways that technology evolved over time
⋙ PHLIPPINES TAOIST TEMPLE
This Taoist Temple was built in the 1970s by the large Chinese community in the Beverly Hills district of Cebu City. This was the first Taoist temple I had ever been to. It was a very quiet and unbelievably peaceful experience.
To get to the top we had so climb several stairs. It was like a small journey to prepare yourself to visit, contemplate and ask.
There are these wooden blocks that look like kidneys. You prepare yourself and then follow these instructions to ask the important questions of life.
Visiting the Taoist temple was a deep experience. I loved how peaceful it was and really allowed for moments of reflection and meditation.
⋙ ALEGRE GUITAR FACTORY
Will was very excited to show us Alegre Guitars before taking us to the airport. We walked through and saw where the guitars were made, the shapes and designs they were made into and which woods they used. It was really cool to see! Then, there’s a store with guitars and ukuleles for sale. They were beautiful and if The Philippines was my last stop I would’ve picked up a ukulele for myself.
It was just wall-to-wall guitars and ukuleles
⋙ LAPU-LAPU PARK ON MACTAN ISLAND
This little park is right on this ocean inlet and is a tribute to the Battle of Mactan. Magellan and a round of soldiers came on to the island of Mactan to colonize it. Magellan told the leader, Lapu-Lapu, that if he swore allegiance to the ruler of Cebu there would be no attack, when Lapu-Lapu refused there was a battle which Lapu-Lapu and his people won. Magellan and several other soldiers were killed.
Our time in Cebu ended with this view of the inlet from inside of the park. I loved the brightly painted designs on the dock and of the boats; it all seemed so festive. What an amazing place to explore – loads and loads to do & see in Cebu!
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