Life isn’t always a smooth straight road. In most cases, you’ll find yourself at the crossroad of life – suddenly confused of who you really are , finding your own north star. The silver lining is – you can always go soul-searching even if it’s only for three days. Impossible? Wait until you rejuvenate your soul in the beautiful City of Cebu.
DAY 1: Temples and Historical Landmarks
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu: Healing Thy Faith
Start your soul-searching journey by visiting the oldest church in the Philippines. The church is usually flocked by devotees – some are there to offer prayers while others are seeking help from the century-old miraculous image of the Santo Niño. It has an elegant architecture that’s sure to fill you with a feeling of amazement and tranquility.
Contemplate Your Life’s Voyage at the Magellan’s Cross
Magellan’s Cross is one of the cheapest tourist spots in Cebu but it’s never lacking in historical value. If you’re a Filipino visiting the city, you may find the Spanish styled shrine new yet incredibly familiar. How can it feel foreign when some of its rich history is written in your elementary books? It’s named after the famed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan who dedicated his life to bringing glory to Spain. While looking at the paintings of the octagonal pavilion where the cross is resting, you can ponder upon your own journey and the battles you’re willing to die for.
Meditate in the Cebu Taoist Temple
Another quiet place to visit when you’re in Cebu is the Taoist Temple by the hillside. It has a distinctive structure that entices even the non-believers of this Chinese religion. There are plenty of dragons, spiritual statues and carvings inside and outside the temple. The whole place is enveloped in lush gardens, a relaxing source of spiritual and meditative escape.
Relish Love in the Temple of Leah
Whether you’re full of love or feeling its pain, you’d relive the greatness of love once again inside the walls of the Temple of Leah. It’s a 5,000 square meters of breathtaking mausoleum dedicated to Leah, the late beloved wife of Teodoro Adarna. A testimony of an undying love, it flaunts of regal Roman architecture, art gallery and library. For some, it’s reminiscent of the Taj Mahal in India. The place is dramatic as its serene.
Reaching out to the past: Plaza Independecia and Fort San Pedro
Fuerza de San Pedro widely known as the Fort San Pedro is a military structure built during the spanish days. It is located right next to Pier 1 of Cebu, just across Plaza Independencia. Christmas lights and a Christmas tree light up the heritage site. This time, a cutie joined us in our picture taking.
Take a Refreshing Dip at the Tumalog Falls
After a day of delightful spiritual escape, it’s time to direct your soul to the splendor of nature. Located in Brgy. Luka, Oslob Cebu, the crystalline water of 100 ft tall Tumalog Falls will give you a magical soul soothing experience. Psychologically, waterfalls helps reduce depression by calming the mind. Imagine the sound of the gushing water – its touch awakening your body from head to toe. Who knows? Maybe you’d rekindle your hidden inner fire in the midst of Tumalog Falls’ frosty cold water.
Swim With the Whale Sharks in Oslob, Cebu
All it takes is a twenty minute drive from the Tumalog Falls to experience the majestic ocean of Oslob, Cebu. A unique yet proven way to improve people’s mood, swimming with whale sharks (Butanding) might be the life-changing experience you’ve been looking for. These giants are actually one of the most gentle sea creatures you’ll ever encounter despite their massive size and almost 3,000 teeth.
Experience Paradise in Sumilon Island
An island away (15 minute boat ride) from the Whale Shark spot, there’s a marine sanctuary and pristine beach waiting to be explored. It has a gorgeous shoreline that’s perfect when you plan to walk barefoot and bask under the fiery sun. I personally loved the island’s spectacular sandbar which changes its shape according to the waves. There are other fun island activities such as Kayaking, Fish Feeding, Snorkelling and Nature Trekking.
Day Three: Cebu’s Stunning View
Widen Your Horizon at the Top’s Lookout
Sometimes, all you need is to see the world in a bigger picture. Top’s Lookout offers the best panoramic view of Cebu City, Mactan Island and nearby Bohol. Located on top of a mountain it’s circular architecture provides a wuthering viewing deck perfect during day and night. Similar to a movie site where actors escape to “get-away from it all”, this site will help clear your mind.
Relieve Your Stress at the Sirao Flower Farm
If you love receiving bouquets, you’d fall even more in love with Sirao Flower farm. Flowers are known to trigger happy feelings, calmness and positivity. So just imagine being surrounded by its healing powers and personally smelling its scent as it blooms from the ground. Popular to tourists as the Little Amsterdam of Cebu, it will improve your mood as well as your instagram feed.
Savor the Flavor: Eat Local in Cebu
No need to worry about feeling hungry because there’s a sumptuous buffet lunch to satisfy your appetite.
Cebu has always been a favourite place for food lovers. Make the most out of your stay by trying cebuano food. Eat a lot and satisfy your cravings with unlimited rounds of food in an All-you-can-eat-buffet at Sumilon Island.
Cebu Pasalubong Favorites
Searching for the best Cebuano food or looking to buy some pasalubong from Cebu? Shamrock pasalubong center is quite old but an institution in the city. It offers you the best of typically Cebuano and budget friendly pasalubong. This is where you can buy dried mangoes, cashew and peanut products, chicharron, otap, and more.
Larsian sa Fuente: Home of the original Cebuano street
Find out why a street food tour in Cebu with Larsian is a must. Larsian is and old time favourite BBQ restaurant in Cebu City. No spoon and fork here, but they’ll give you a disposable plastic glove to use. Not that much hygienic but it’s part of the barbecue experience. They serve Grilled Chorizo de cebu, chicken, squid, bangus, chicken gizzards and many more. Larsian Sa Fuente is located right in the heart of the city (beside Chong Hua Hospital, near Robinsons Cybergate).
Above all, Thank you so much to Zin, Jane and Glaiza for joining me in my Soul Searching Summer Escapade. You gals are amazing travel buddies!
After a three-day trip filled with adventures, historical spots and paradise-like beaches, I hope your soul my dear reader has finally recovered and renewed. Remember how beautiful life is, and whenever you feel like falling remember the beautiful City of Cebu as your soul-searching destination.
More blog posts are coming soon!
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