July 19, 2012
A Very Good 3 Months
As I leave Cebu for Manila, I find myself reminiscing about Cebu and the memorable 3 months I spent there. I would have only stayed 10 days in Cebu for my Vipassana meditation retreat. But things happened one after another and before I knew it, I was drifting from one orbit to the next - the Vipassana meditators, the yoginis and yogis of Surya Nanda Yoga, Zen meditators from the Buddhist Chu Un Temple, free thinkers from the Theosophical Soceity, not to mention the wonderful individuals who have taken me into their fold. I am grateful for all that. For once, I didn't feel like an outsider looking in. The social and business landscape were both rich and promising with connections rife on every turn. I've always maintained that the next magnificent life I would meet is just around the corner. Cebu is full of these golden nuggets on every bend.
Life on Easy Street
With Cebu, abundance rained on me. Instead of lodging in the cheapest part of town (common washroom, clogged drains, dark alleys, fan rooms), I was staying in plush hotels (private room for 2, hot cold shower, a/c, fridge, breakfast buffet, pool, gym, sauna). I was eating good restaurant food instead of carinderias. Nothing wrong with carinderia eating, but I welcome the change. The best part of it all was, I wasn't paying for it.
My Dad, who spent time traveling the country back in the day, and a good reader of character, once told me that people from Cebu are an amiable lot, fun to be with, engaging, and won't stab you in the back (yes, he added that too). Given my limited experience, I agree. But I'd like to add a few more virtues - generosity and hospitality. I find them willing to share and would go the extra mile to extend their hospitality - I had been the beneficiary of both. In fact I learned a lot from their candid way of doing things and emulated some of their practices.
Welcome to Cebu
I remember being driven by a Good Samaritan from Formo Bar to my hotel and went back all the way to the bar again - just to ensure my well-being. Interesting thing is, I was just introduced to him that same night. In his parlance, he was just being a Cebuano. Honestly, I'm just not used to it. But that generosity and hospitality has been repeated many times over by people whose acquaintance I just met. They really are warm people who go out of their way extending themselves to others. I remember being with a friend, waiting a bit for another friend. I asked her, "How come you're not yet upset? I would have left after 10 minutes." She smiled as if to say, "Welcome to Cebu".
Very few people are aware of a place's resonance - I wasn't until I started moving from one place to another and felt the sharp disparity from struggle to abundance. I still can't point a finger to what causes resonance to a newfound place, but you'll feel and know it when it's happening - it's in your face.
The Girlfriend Analogy
A place is much like a girlfriend (a common analogy I make). I've stayed in a few memorable destinations, each with its own character, uniqueness and quirk. Sagada is as close to magical as it got - like being lured by the Sirens of the Iliad. Its isolation was my refuge from the maddening city life. Manila on the other hand is like a temperamental woman who has so much to offer but is simply too difficult for its worth - an angry woman too caught up in her own issues (as I am with mine). Dumaguete is bridal material - a place I fondly call "a slice of paradise on God's green earth". But as perfect as she is, I found myself restless, struggling and alone. Maybe, at a later point in life, I might come back - to rediscover its beauty in a whole new light.
A City of Dimension
Last but not least is Cebu - the unexpected and most pleasant of all surprises. I've only been there less than 3 months, but so much has been accomplished. Growth was exponential. Cebu is like a passing female acquaintance I finally had a chance to share quality time with over coffee, and discover the underlying generosity that lay hidden in her steel and concrete carapace. I am taken into her world, unfamiliar to what I've seen from the outside looking in. Every passing day reveals a layered dimension. She grows on you. Lastly, Cebuanas are gwapa kaayo! I Cebu!
(July 29, 2012) aw, you're leaving cebu na kuya git? hope you'll be back soon.
Cecile Savitri Villarente
(July 29, 2012) balik balik :)))
Lizza Vivar Perdices
(July 29, 2012) I like the part "Dumaguete... A bridal material". Be back soon!
Cookie Queblatin Chan
(July 29, 2012) Nice words esp the last part ... haha gwapa gyud!
Jessie Villabona Severino
(July 29, 2012) see you soon, Gigit.
(July 29, 2012) be back...
Cebu City, Philippines
Tops - hilltop offering panoramic view of the city
Taoist Temple - temple on a hillslope in Lahug with panoramic view of the city
- Hostel Seven Cebu - newly opened, resto/bar, central location, solo/group travellers
Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City
- S Hotel & Residences - new hotel, luxury rooms, central location
827 M. Velez corner Andres Abellana St.
resto / cafe / bar
- Fujinoya - new and refreshing twists to Western style desserts using Japanese techniques
Wilson St., Lahug, Cebu City - tel. 888.6075
- Bad Boys Wingz - Buffalo Wings, unique versions of sauces! Great service, accommodating staff, bad boys vibe
Kasambagan, Cebu City | (032) 415 4811
- Love Yoga World - yoga studio
11/fl, Skyrise 2 Tower, IT Park, Lahug, Cebu City
- Yoga Now - first Yoga and Wellness studio in Mactan offering daily Yoga Classes
at The Yacht Club Mactan
- Cebu Mountain Bike Adventure - MTB tours, bike sales and repairs. Bed and Breakfast + Resto Cafe + wifi
1298-b V.Rama Ave, Guadalupe, Cebu City | 0942.959.7451
- via Poro - from Pier One in Cebu City, take the Ocean Jet for Poro, 2 hours, daily trip - 6am and 3pm (0936.823.8762 |0956.270.6610 | 0999.889.9999).
- via Consuelo - from Cebu City, take the northbound bus passing through Danao and get off at the Danao Port. At the Port, take a Jomalia Shipping boat for Consuelo (San Francisco, Camotes), P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only).
- Poro - Cebu City (fastest and most direct) - go to Poro and take the 8am or 5pm Ocean Jet to Pier One in Cebu City, P380/pax/aircon, 2 hours
- Consuelo - Danao - Cebu City - go to Consuelo (San Francisco) and take the Jomalia Shipping boat to Danao, P220/pax, a/c, 2 hours, daily trip - 5:30am, 7:00am (special trip), 8:30am, 12:00 noon (express), 2:30pm, 5:30pm and 9:00pm (express, Fri/Sat/Sun only). From Danao, take the Ceres Bus to Cebu City
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, email@example.com, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
- Camotes Islands - caves, beaches
- Cebu City - rich in culture and history, 2nd largest city in the Philippines
- Moalboal - amazing coral reef system, sardine bowl, deep drop-off for freediving
- Oslob - Butanding (whale shark) watching
- Bantayan Island - long stretch of fine white sand beach, Virgin Island for snorkeling
- Malapascua Island - divers' paradise for seeing the rare Thresher Shark
- Cantabaco Cave - Toledo
- Barile Waterfalls - Barile
- Whale Shark Tour - Oslob
- Carcar - chicharon and lechon in public market
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