The Queen city and it’s King!

Cebu has been dubbed as the Queen city of the South for a numerous reason from the abundance of its natural beauty and enticing resorts and world class hotels down to its rich cultural heritage that dates back the ancient time.

Through the years, Cebu had constantly embraced industrialization and progress thus it paved the way to the continues improvement in its infrastructure and transportation while keep the balance of its significant edifices and customaries.

Presently Cebu is a touristy and bustling metropolis in the Southern part of the Philippines. So, many would thought moving around the city is hard and confusing. But the paradoxical complexity is just a piece of piece you are feed with the right dose of information.

With this I got the solution with me.

Being around in the city from quite sometime, I have also my fair share of a little expertise and some anecdotes of being lost and a thrift way of navigating around Cebu and still continue to experience more in order to be a good travel buddy.

The essentials in moving around the Queen city of the South!

Just like in most mega city in the county for instance is Metro Manila, Jeepney is the top choice by most people as it offers a cheaper way of transport. As a matter of fact, Jeepney has been called the King of the road. Thus, it would be a royal ride in touring around the Queen city and the King of the road only in Cebu!

To start off, get to know the anatomy of a Jeepney.

Jeepney at glance resembles a bus but shorter, it is also bursting in colors and painted with fancy designs around it. You can also notice that both side of the jeepney is painted with the names of places they would pass and go to.

Another thing, is on top of its glass shed is like a crown containing a combination of number and a letter, called jeepney route code. Also, there is a little piece of wood or plastic sheet place in the front glass enumerating a more detailed places they would pass.

Getting inside the jeepney, basically it is dissected into two parts. The upper front rear part of the vehicle the drivers seat and the rest part are for passenger. Also, the seats are entirely different in busses because in jeepney the passenger is seated on opposite side facing each other with a long metal tube running the center aisle for passenger to grip on, whereas in the latter, passenger are seat separately and comfortably in individual seats.

Other thing is in jeepney, we do not buy ticket for get in rather we pay in a conductor , its a person hired by the driver in charge of collecting the fares of the passenger before, during and after riding or if there is no conductor you may pass the your fare hand in hand with each passenger until it reached the driver.

Then, if you plan to ride a jeepney make sure you are waiting in the right side of the road. Since jeepney are following a route there is a greater chance you can came across the same jeepney with similar code but going on the different place so do not hesitate to ask some local to guide you.

Speaking of locals, It be nice if you can learn a local phrase or two if you like to ride some jeepney for as it would help you navigate the city with ease. Some phrases would include like , ” Para lugar lang” means ” Pull over please” , ” Mu.adto ni sa … (name of the place)” translated ” Would this jeepney go to …(name of the place)” , ” Palihug ko pasa sa pliti ” mean ” Would you mind passing my fare. ” And many others, in this manner you can be able to engage in conversation with the friendly locals of Cebu. Isn’t it great?

Lastly, whenever you are riding a jeepney it is important to be vigilant and take extra precautions since it is a public transport many people would ride in which would include some theft or some notorious bad people. Be sensitive enough and observant for unnecessary movement or gestures of fellow passenger. This is not to scare you but just a piece of advice for your safe travel and nice jeepney experience. Also, the basic fare in Cebu is Php 8.00 for regular passenger, Php 7. 00 for students, Php 6.00 for Senior citizen and handicaps and additional Php 1.00 for every succeeding kilometers.

Now I have shared the means and infos. I hope you will be ready for your first jeepney experience.

Love lots and have a wonderful navigating the Queen city of the South with the Philippines King of the Road!

 

Disclaimer: Photo credits to owner.  Photo courtesy from http://bestofdalaguete.weebly.com

Ambling into Cebu’s heritage sites

Scorching solar glares warms up the vibrant metropolis of Cebu, another day in history is about to commence and to be added into it’s thread of wonderful pages. Having been the seat of power and bastion of  Spanish colonization, it paved the way as the first established capital of this archipelagic nation and the cradle of Christianity.

Today, it is now an emerging cosmopolitan, with the massive influx of tourist arrivals both local and international annually, copious natural and man-made destination , proliferation of various ventures, the once sleepy fishing harbour has gone a milestone and hailed the “Queen city of the South.”

Ambling around Cebu is accessible by foot, that if one just walked through, everything became familiar contrary to the  common misconception about Cebu. As for the me, the delicious sense of disorientation is that Alice-in-Wonderlandish effect of being lost and just bump into things by surprise,  to quote from Justina Chen, Getting lost is just another way of saying ‘going exploring.”  It is a positive approach to the situation as it was said not all who wander are lost. Right?

With this in mind, let’s gather up and brace ourselves in exploring the wonders  of Cebu city in a memorable heritage walk.

Being the seed of Christianity in the continent of Asia, religion  has been the biggest catalyst  in influencing the lifestyle, culture , craft and culinary in the Philippine society during the Spaniards heyday and still up to now, which are every evident all across the country and Cebu is never an exception.Thus, an excursion in Cebu is never complete without visiting some of it’s remnants of it’s glorious past.

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Our first destination is the iconic symbol of Cebu, the Sto. Nino de Cebu enshrined in his majestic throne at the Basílica Menor del Santo Niño . It had been a major destination for pilgrims, pious parishioner, historical enthusiast and a tourist alike. Sto Nino de Cebu is a religious relic of the Child Jesus given by Father Pedro de Valderrama  all the way from Spain as a baptismal present to the Native’s Ruler that dates way back in 1651. The Basilica itself  is also is significant in its own merit as it showcases the ingenuity, finesse and artistry of the Filipinos ancestors apparent in the intricate carvings and details in the facade, interior and the whole church. Making it a must visit for every tourist.  Additionally, there is a museum, a library, a pilgrim center and a chance to witness a group of old ladies doing the original Sinulog dance, a prayer through dancing. Sounds great, isn’t it?

It is located at the heart of the city bordered by  three major streets in Cebu namely Osmeña Boulevard, D. Jakosalem St, P. Burgos St. and the Plaza Sugbo. However, the main entrance is along Osmeña Boulevard.  Accessible local transportation , taxi and by foot.

In a just stone throw away from the Basilica del Sto. Nino is the Magellan’s Cross. Another tourist flocked site of Spanish origins. The significance it holds in the Philippines, is the first marker of discovery of the island and a profession of great devotion of the faith by the Spaniards. To date, it’s almost five decades of existence since it was planted on the same exact location. Regrettably, the original wooden cross is encased with tindalo wood and secured it inside a small chapel called “kiosk” with fresco that depicts the tale of it’s existence.

A common marker to this place it is situated right in front of the old Cebu City Hall building. No tourist had been lost to find this one since it very visible around the vicinity.

A few blocks away from the Basilica del  Sto. Nino and Magellans Cross, lies the smallest fortress in the Philippines, the Fort San Pedro.  Beautifully seated at the centre of the Plaza de Independencia, stands imposingly  against the alluring landscape and well manicured bermuda grass,  with  might and honor are the ruins of the moss covered coral walls, of  Fort San Pedro welcomes every curious and inquisitive passer bys and tourists to come and see the treasure he holds. Built under the leadership of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi during the 1563, it served as  a look out for Spanish for the evading Moro pirates and upcoming enemies. Now, it was far by miles in it’s usage, presently serves as a depository of Cebu’s historical transformation. In the site, you can see for yourself a wide collection of historical significance, some remnants of war and many other valuable items. Recently, beneath the grounds of the plaza, some pre-Hispanic human bones and some earthenware were unearthen together with  some artifacts  which included gold death masks, a pair of gold earrings, a Thai bluish-green “guan” celadon, jars and other earthenware. Making it as an archaeological field  site.  But for common people, its a haven for relaxation, unwinding and solitude amidst the bustle and hassle of the busy metropolis life under the centuries old trees around and the breeze of the near by ocean provide a soothe feeling.

Still a walking distance away, you can trail  your way into the Chinese mestizos elite and socialites dwelling place during the 16th Century of Cebu, Parian district.  Chinese had been the long running galleon trade partners of Filipinos and in fact, they were able to establish its own market ghetto and rose to power and played in shaping the landscape of Cebu’s rich history. With this, our next destinations just a few of the existing evidence of this Golden Years of Parian,The Sandiago – Yap Ancestral House.  Build under the strong influence of the Chinese culture blended with a touch of Spanish built in 1675 by  Don Juan Yap and his wife Doña Maria Florido. It encapsulated the long bygone era and architecture, with this religious preservation and maintenance. This structure is a stand out in contrast with this surrounding, inside it one will find treasure and artifacts that aged older than anyone in the room.  Seemingly “old rugged house”  the initial reaction would like but adjudge not for this is valuable our generation is left to have. While there, one should drop by the 1730 house and indulge in a truly riveting time travel to the early days of historic Parian. 😉

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Still in Parian, a few steps away from the Ancestral house of the Sandiego y Yap, is a colossal tableau depicting and immortalized by an award winning sculpture and artist,  Eduardo Castrillo. This humongous monument tell the tale of Cebu from its humble beginning by the docking of Spanish fleet down to the establishment of Cebu. A unique way of telling the story to everyone, locals and the foreigners.

Getting to The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home is across the towering Heritage of Cebu monument on the side of Mabini Street at the junction of Lopez Jaena.  It is very accessible by any means of transport.

In a nearby corner of Parian district,  Casa Gorordo is standing proudly a 19th century structure showcases the strong Spanish influence evident in the architecture. A typical house during that era, a combination of coral stone as the base of the ground and Molave wood served as floors and ceiling. With the use of capiz shell as window, it was an epitome of Spanish house of its time. Originally built for Alejandro Reynes y Rosales but later bought by a Spanish merchant, Juan Isidro Gorordo  in 1863. The house have significantly lived by four generations of the Gorordo family e including Bishop Juan Gorordo, the first Filipino bishop. 

Casa Gorordo Museum is located in Lopez Jaena Steet a few metres away from the Sandiaego- Yap Ancestral house. After a stay at the museum, let’s moved into the most celebrated and bustling street of Colon.

Congested traffic road, crowded streets,noisy and a danger zone these perhaps are the words that utters if you ask any local about Colon. It might be long gone this oldest street in the country lost its glorious reputation,those name coined after the an Italian navigator,  Cristoforo Colombo (Spanish: Cristóbal Colón.)  

It was on the 19th century, had its pinnacle, when the elites lived in the most prominent street the Spaniards made as the Pueblo de Europeans .  Elaborate and elegant  residential and commercial buildings are sprouting and dominated on both side of the street. The forebears of prominent names in Cebuano society like Briones, Gantuangco, Lu Do, Rallos, Osmeña, Singson, Cuenco, and Martinez, among others.

Presently, only the left few are visible ones such as movie houses, learning institutions, ancestral house converted to shopping mall or commercial building and many others.  At the end of Colon Street there was a standing obelisk. It signifies the historical root of the street, showing the people it’s the oldest of its kind in the country.

Truly Spaniards left a vivid legacy that lives on until the modern day Filipino.  An excursion in Cebu is never complete without visiting those front runners of Cebu’s historical places. True enough, there are still more to visit and to explore around Cebu, just waiting for you to stumble.

For a change, let take a time to know the roots of our ancestors , value them and to foreigners open your eyes and witness the unique historical journey this melting pot of the south.

Take a look at Cebu in different perspective, as I borrow the words of  George Santayana, ” We tend to be very superficial and run short of historical sensibility. We have to learn history.”  History is our backbone towards the future, the gateway to the road of future we are taking.

To make things easy for you. I have here the link to take you around the city.   Cebu Map

Thanks for dropping by.

Disclaimer: Photos credit to owners.

Pegging out with Cebu’s finest, Lechon!

Herbs, spices , sauces , flaming heat and a motivated heart this all it takes to turn one simple dish an extra ordinary.Being raised and bred in the island, those passion for cooking is an utmost passion and family best kept secret recipes passed from generation to generation.

Cebu has been dubbed as the cradle of Christianity in the Asia, the home of the crowd drawing Sinulog festival, the enshrined throne of the miraculous image of Sto. Nino,  the center of best gastronomic experience and the Queen city of the South!

Lechon de Cebu as an iconic symbol and synonymous to Cebu, has been in the limelight even years prior the arrival of the Westerners in this oriental land. In fact, it had been said that during the arrival of the Spaniards, they were served with a bountiful luncheon of various local foods and lechon was one that captures the attention of the visitor.

Then on the quest of perfecting the recipe has been long overdue. Others have successfully crafted their recipes with careful instruction of preparation and the seclusion of being spread among the public. In every occasion, lechon has been the life and the centerpiece of each host family. Thus, a celebration is never complete with lechon in the bucket list!

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Lechon Making industry.

Eventually, the best recipe of lechon making kept in their household, is now the brought to the higher level in the commercial arena. So, it created a wonderful gastronomic competition for the patrons and sure to satisfy the cravings of that famous lechon.

Getting things started,  lechon makes a whole young peg with weights around 25 to 30 kilos is the highly favorable since its meat is tinder and young. have it slaughtered and stuffed in those herbs and spices that includes a bunch of the lemon grass, some generous amount of garlic bulbs, peppercorns, star anise, dried bay leaves and red onions. Also add the a little of salt to taste. Add in also for stuffing, some bananas specifically Saba variety for fillings! After things ready, have those charcoals bring to life by breathing it with fire. After have it done, skew the well flavored meat into. Then in between each turn, have it brushed with evaporated milk to make the skin crunchier until roasting it into that perfect flaky and crispy goldy and shining brown. What makes this much interest is that it is has a well done appearance at the outside yet juicy and savory meat in the inside. Personally speaking, my favorite part of it is the belly part where all the seasonings are concentrated. Just a piece of cake if you eat one. Also, i love the ribs hehe. 🙂

Tedious and time consuming may it be but after a much hard work it’s all worth the wait!

Making one seems impossible for like us to do, right? So, instead of making one, we just go and eat out in the well known lechonan in the metropolis. Have your stomach ready and well start our, pegging out. hehe literally. *laughs

With a mushrooms like growth all over the city, finding one is never a hard task. Let us now delve for the quest of finding the one that suits our taste buds desire. Rankings are randomly arranged. All are equally delicious. Swear, I put my name on it.  😀

First on the list is Rico’s lechon located in  Highway 77, Talamban, Cebu City with its branch in The Ridges Commercial Complex, Panagdait Road, Mabolo

Verdict: Their approach to innovating the traditional lechon is commendable and bringing a new variety of spicy lechon is a sure hit fire. It’s a playful tickle of your palate and make you crave for more.

Second, CnT Lechon  located at 1377 V. Rama Ave., Guadalupe,

Verdict:  CnT’s lechon Cebu is as delectable as ever.It trully lived up to the expcetion of a stastly lechon in town. With those amazonas doing the job, it’s a knife performance to watch out for. They such a performer.  The warm meat was smooth, tender, juicy and robustly savoury with some saltiness.

Third,  Cebu’s Ayer Lechon .Its main office is located at Gate 777 across Cebu Country Club, Banilad Road, Apas, Cebu City, Cebu. There are already several branches of Ayer Lechon, 2 of the branches is at I2 Asiatown I.T. Park and at Mactan International Airport.

Verdict: Notorious for its crispy and tender juicy native roasted pig. It’s a good epetome of culinry perfection of traditional recipe proven, tested and tasted.hehe Certainly, it’s a must try for the authentic taste.

Fourth, Zubuchon  its main branch is located at 2651 Villalon Drive, Capitol Site, Cebu City, Cebu with branches in Escario , Central building , The Walk IT Park, Apas and several outlets all over Cebu. 

Verdict: Hail to this promising restaurant that wowed the international Culinary expert, Chef Anthony Bourdain and dubbed it as “the best peg ever.!” The expert had said it, with thier innovative and a contempory style of preparing the dish. They have set the bar high and offer another worthy of a bite and a plate? hehe. Sure a must try!

Fifth,  Carcar Public Market Lechon Alley located at the South of Cebu.

Verdict: The best source for the most affordable lechon in town. Prepared with their own style, it is a unique tasty lechon to eat. The skin is crispy while its meat is tender, juicy and flavorful which is consistent with any size of the lechon.

I must limit myself in only these due to time constraint but surely, I guarantee you there is still a bunch of lechon makers out there who levels to those I mention earlier and definitely, leaves you jaw dropped with their own version. You just gonna need to explore!

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Recently, the world of Culinary had met it’s breakthrough with the development with a touch of convenience and  at most reasonable price with sacrificing the quality and experience of Cebu’s finest lechon.  To name some are the Tatang’s Lechon Belly , Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly and many other emerging brands that is making waves in the industry, worth to check out!

Being in Cebu is more than just the sights and scenery, cultural richness and warm hospitality. It also humbles itself to host the best Culinary experience with lechon the table.  Never miss to experise this one or else you will regret half of your life. Just kidding.

This is all for now. I go back to eating.hehe Until then.

Disclaimer: Photos credits to owners.

Saving: The bitter-sweet of sacrifices

If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right. ~ William Shatner
Plagued by the unquenchable thirst of human for earthly desires and wants, it is without a doubt a growing number of people in today’s generation is obsessed with all the up to date gadgets that pop out in the limelight every now and then. People say they become worn down by this and that they are fighting to resist the enticement. But it ends up to be a paradox in reality. Honestly, should we put gadgets and other materialistic desire a top priority on our salary? Common’.We are co considered as the privileged workforce of all time since the wages were raised to some soaring notch up these days mparing than those in the past years yet some people are taking this opportunity for granted.
 
They spend a big chunk of their salary, investing in temporal and wordy things that would eventually depreciate and even gone vain and senseless in later time. But regrettably, most people at my age are doing this. By the same token, they have worked hard have their sweat and toil for, yet in the snap of the finger their hard-earned money have vanish like a bubble hit by a finger. Must we take this opportunity, to save and think about the future instead, right?
 
On a more serious note, do we see a solution of this perennial problem? Do we have an oasis to quench this thirst of the temporal and materialistic lust? The answer is a big YES! Discipline and Set things into priority.A common adage goes “one day millionaire”, spend lavishly in just a day your month-long wage. Shopping and lose money hand over fist. Yet, at the end of the day, you’ll realize the sad reality your living frugal again tomorrow until the next pay day. A pitiful scenario and heart-breaking moment realizing the hard earn money went astray.
 
Basic fact, we all work for a living, we strive to alleviate the dearth and meagreness of ones’ family’s financial short comings and sees a greener pasture in the distant future. Sadly, some people spend most of their fortune of such unessential things for living; I believe we can go without much of everything as it was in the past, but we can not have less in the future as we are having little in the present. The realization had come to my way not out of the blue rather through  my own personal experience. I have once lived a filthy and happy-go-lucky lifestyle in the past. It was drastically  sad, whenever I look back at those wasted time and wealth. It does not make sense crying over split milk, right? So,there came an oasis came to my search of a solution, my eyes were enlightened by non other than my mother, when the wickedness and materialistic cloud had blinded me.
 
My dear mom made me comprehend the consequences of my mishap and offer a handful of solution. She puts an emphasis on the virtues of preparedness and thriftiness. She never fails to remind me, that I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth so I must value every sacrifices I have made and every penny I earn.Then on, it had been my corner-stone of my holistic change of my total reformed well-being, I have disciplined myself even if it’s hard to be thrifty and test the water on my own.
 
I started to envision myself, years from now, do I still want to see this kind of status quo?, the suffering of running out of money at the most needed time or the suffering of having no money at all to give to my family, when in times they needed financial support . Merely because I spend my money, on those materialistic things I have thought would bring me happiness now yet find out later, as the regrettable one seems it’s like betting on the wrong horse.
 
Furthermore,  much more insulting to our part is when we still depend on our parents for financial aid despite having our own job, isn’t?The point of the matter here is simple, practice the art of saving and thriftiness, my friend. It doesn’t take you much and it won’t cost you more. All it takes is a willing heart for change and a mind ready to set for a better perspective and a little wealth to open a bank account besides it doesn’t cost a pretty penny, isn’t it?  Our bread and butter must be sufficient enough to live for another day and must be put into good use.
 
We are all again reprimanded of the significance of preparedness by the tale about of the ants, that when cold winter comes, that they have something to feed themselves because they have stored enough during the fair weather. In our life, it implies to us to save  as early as now, to earn more in time comes; for us to reap the fruits of our labor, together taste the sweetness of our sacrifices. Many people were able to do it, why can you?  Let’s think outside the box, learn to set things into priority and place them into right orders. In life we must seek not for superficial and temporal happiness but for a sustainable and genuine one. Let’s not put into risk our future, the future of our family and the future our own family in the future by failing to do the things we can do now. Again for the nth time,let’s save for our future, my friend. 

Remember: Money is a good servant but a bad master.

 

Now , I rest my case as the debate closing spiel goes.Hope you’ll find this thoughtful.hehe  

 

That’s all for now folks.  xoxo

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Photos credit to owner(s).