For our winter holiday this year (in February), we went to Cebu! Cebu is an island in Visayas which is a group of islands south of Luzon which is the main island of the Philippines. While I am fluent in ‘Filipino’ (Tagalog), they speak a different dialect here in Visayas but they know English or tried to talk to me in Tagalog. Anyway, getting off topic here.
We flew into Manila first for two days, met my sister, ate at Jollibee, ate at a buffet, walked around one of the biggest malls in the world and then flew to Cebu.
We had booked a tour package that included daily activities and the hotel. All we had to do was find our meals which wasn’t hard at all. Our tour guide wasn’t very talkative and just dropped us off at each location. We had time to look around and take pictures then we would leave and go to a different spot.
We went to what was once a prison? Now it’s a museum? We had an actual tour guide who did the tour in English and of course all of my history classes as an elementary student in the Philippines came rushing back.
Our tour included swimming with whale sharks though now looking back on it, it’s definitely not something I would recommend as the locals bait the whale sharks and swim in circles while feeding them so that tourists can come and “swim” with them. Of course this is a terrible practice and I regret it but also I’ve never felt so small while a whale shark swam past me, like I was in awe the whole time.
After the whale sharks we went “Canyoneering” which is like hiking+swimming+jumping off of cliffs. Was this completely safe? ….Maybe not 100% but my friend enjoyed it much more than I did. Every time I had to jump off a cliff, all I could see was me not jumping out far enough and hitting my head and dying. I couldn’t ignore my survival instincts and only jumped a few of them. My friend, the thrill seeker jumped off of all them, even the 30 foot cliff which I immediately said no to and made my way down to where the water fall pools.
Of course, we had to eat lechon which is roasted pig. It’s different from how the Hawaiians do it as they do it underground? Ours is on a spit above ground and that’s how the skin gets so crispy and chewy. We dip it in a a few different sauces! We ordered rice at this restaurant and it came in the smallest rice container it was like a teacup! We had to order more!
The next day, we went boating and visited a couple islands. It was just us two on this boat that could’ve held at least 10 people. I’m not going to go into detail about how we probably got scammed into buying some seafood from a guy on a motorized canoe….this is why I can’t travel alone in the Philippines. BUT, nonetheless, we enjoyed ourselves,
The next day we took a ferry to visit another island, Bohol. I’ve always wanted to go to Bohol even while living in the Philippines. The Chocolate Hills have always intrigued me and even though I read the wiki page on them, I still want to believe that it’s a mystery. We visited a…questionable zoo, no it was a terrible zoo and I wanted to free all the animals and then had a buffet lunch on a boat which was actually very relaxing, then climbed up one of the Chocolate Hills to take some pictures.
By the end of the trip, I was ready to go home and I won’t go into detail about our plane tickets because we messed up real bad however, we made it back to Korea in time to go back to work. Of course, we had to hit up McDonalds before leaving. They have “Barkada” Fries which is basically two (maybe three) large fries in one container? Barkada means group of friends, like your clique or crew. Yes we ate it all!
It was fun being a tourist in my own country! I would recommend everyone to visit the Philippines though, with a friend? Be vary cautious and just don’t draw attention to yourself. Maybe visit a resort and not the side streets of Manila.