Tag Archives: Cebu

Cebu (Part II: Cebu City, Henry Hotel)

Our trip to Bantayan Island is one for the keeps! However, it was time to return to Cebu City. The travel time coming back took longer for some reason. On top of the that, it suddenly rained when we just arrived at the North Bus Terminal.

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We headed straight for check-in at Henry Hotel. This establishment is fairly new and I have seen a lot of good reviews about this hip establishment. The place is managed by a hospitality group which is evident with the staffs who look very young and eager.

(By the time I’m writing this post, I recently discovered that they opened another Henry Hotel in Pasay, Manila)

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We booked a Large Room which was very spacious already. The only comment I have is the dining area (or table) located at the back of the bed. There were no lighting fixtures of any sort which we found very dark when eating.

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Tired from our island excursion, we took a quick siesta before heading out again. Since we just visited Cebu a few years back, we only visited a few places where we haven’t been to this time. Our first stop was the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod. There was already an ongoing mass so we headed to the prayer room.

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It was already nighttime when we left so we decided to go straight to the newly-renovated Mövenpick Cebu (previously Hilton Cebu). We were just supposed to check out Ibiza Beach Club but we actually ended up having dinner and grabbing drinks after. Before midnight, we decided to return to our hotel.

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Our last day in Cebu was something I was looking forward to. Our first stop was to check the 1730 Jesuit House. The place is full of culture and history apart hidden inside the still operating hardware warehouse. Apart from the guide, we were fortunate enough to talk to the owner, Mr. Sy, who shared stories about his antique collection. He even played his rare old-school vinyl jukebox. This place is a must-visit if you’re into historical and nostalgic things.

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To cap off our trip, we had early dinner at Abaca Boutique Resort. Though we didn’t have any reservations, we were able to get a couch table with the nearest view of the sea. I always wanted to stay at this resort but I have never been able to due to the hefty prices of their rooms. I guess, trying their restaurant is the closing thing for the meantime.

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It was raining so strong just when our dinner ended. Thank god the resort was nice enough to call us a cab. While on our way to the airport, we were actually contemplating to check-in at Abaca if our flight got cancelled. Luckily, the rain suddenly stopped and our flight departed on time. That was a good-bad scenario for us! Maybe, I can get to stay there when I return to Cebu (for the 3rd time).

Next time… Camotes Island and Oslob

– The Tourist Pao

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Cebu (Part I: Bantayan Island, Virgin Island)

Bantayan Island has been dubbed one of the best beach places you will see in the Philippines. It is also said that it can rival that of Boracay with the perks of having a non-existent commercial vibe to the island. I’ve been planning for years to visit this place but there was always something that hindered me from getting here. Case in point was the tragic typhoon that struck our country last 2013 which largely affected the Visayas region. As a result, we took it off our list and went elsewhere.

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Come by 2014, we again re-considered coming back. I already had an itinerary (for years) but the trip just never materialized. After a few inquiries here and there, we were assured that the island has recovered. Finally, we were set to visit one of the must-sees in my bucket-list!

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Getting there: Take a flight via Cebu Pacific from Manila to Cebu. (Like 70% of the time, our flight was again delayed which added much to our frustration). Once you reach Mactan Airport, take a cab and head straight to the North Bus Terminal near SM. Get the bus headed to Hagnaya Port. It will take between 4-5 hours before you reach the port. Once you’re at the docks, take a ferry headed to Santa Fe (in Bantayan Island). This will take another 45 minutes to an hour before you reach the island.

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Once we reached the island, the staff from Anika Island Resort picked us up from the pier. They have been in contact with us even before we boarded our plane. Those simple gestures really made a big difference. Since we were here for the beach, we booked their Ocean View Room. Best view in the house!

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Our first day was more of a relaxed day. It was late in the afternoon when we arrived so all we did was check the beach and chilled by the veranda at night. We hanged out by the veranda until it was time to rest.

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We didn’t catch the sunrise during our second day because the weather was quite gloomy. From morning until afternoon, the rain was pouring really hard. Since we were already at Bantayan Island, we tried our best to make the most of this trip. When the rain subsided a bit, we pushed through with our trip to Virgin Island. We brought our rain gear and a few bottles of beer to keep ourselves dry and warm.

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Contrary to its name, Virgin Island is privately owned. The island has an entrance fee and you have to pay if you want to use any of their amenities. Though we would’ve preferred the island to be more bare, it is quite well-maintained.

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It rained throughout the whole day (but the rain did stop for a few minutes) when we were at Virgin Island. Due to the mostly bad weather, we had the whole island to ourselves. After our island excursion, we were so tired that we didn’t even make it to dinner time.

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During our last day, the weather was better and we were lucky enough to catch the sunrise. I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos since I took a video of the sunrise. The sunrise is absolutely more stunning in person.

Our island trip ended with an early checkout after breakfast as we still had one more night in Cebu City. The ride going back seemed to take longer and it was not as comfortable as getting to the island. And yes, it rained again when we reached Cebu City. I guess this was part of the whole experience. Hate it or love it!

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Bantayan Island is what I exactly expected. I wish we could have stayed longer as we did not really wander around due to the bad weather. Maybe next time!

Head to Cebu (Part II: Cebu City, Henry Hotel)

– The Tourist Pao