Apr 6-9, 2017
3-Night Cebu Stopover
GPS waypoint: 10°18'36.2"N 123°53'35.2"E
Location: Cebu City, Cebu (province), Philippines
I caught the 8am Oceanjet from Poro Port (Camotes Islands) to Cebu City for the 2-hour, P380 trip. I could have gone straight to Apo Island, but by-pass Cebu City? It would seem rude to ignore a benevolent destination I've had memorable moments with. Besides, I am excited to see my friends - and I am grateful to have plenty of that in the city.
My plan was to ride a jeep from Cebu Pier 1 to Robinson's Galleria. Upon alighting from the ferry, I was greeted by the most pleasant of all surprises. Instead of squeezing myself with three bulky bags into a jeep (to the chagrin of the other passengers whose knees are bumping into each other), there before me was a free shuttle to Robinson's Galleria! Whoa! It was a new air-conditioned van with a helpful driver who assisted me with all my luggage - pogi-points #1. This is a traveler's dream. At Robinson's, I checked-in my luggage in their traveler's lounge! Yes, they have this facility for the traveling public - upon presentation of a travel document (my boat ticket). Pogi-points #2. Now, I could roam around the mall without my baggage and feeling secure that they are in safe hands. After my mall stint, I then took their free shuttle to Lahug near JY Square, in an air-conditioned bus designed for people with luggage (like the airport shuttle that takes you to the tarmac) - pogi-points #3.
Robinnson's got it all covered and scored a homerun. For this reason alone, I'll say thank you by doing most of my purchases and movie-viewing in that mall. Oh, a suggestion to management - call me a hog, but how about free wifi in the bus? The wait for the bus to depart could take a while and so does the trip, given all the traffic. And by going the whole 9 yards on this, the public just might begin to talk about it :)
|Robinson's Free Shuttle Schedule to JY Square, Lahug|
|Lahug to Robinsons||9:30am-11:00am-1pm-3:00pm-5:30pm-8pm|
|Robinsons to Lahug||11:15am-12:00noon-2:00pm-4:00pm-7:15pm-9:15pm|
Gamay Meals for Daku Price
(translation, small meals with big price) - at least that's the initial shock when I had to spend my first meal in Cebu City, coming straight from Camotes where P30 is already a full meal. My morning sikwate/puto maya (hot cocoa drink and sticky rice) ritual after my morning workout in Camotes was P15 - my Tudela friends (a remote municipality in Camotes), claim it would only cost them P10. Here in the city, I saw a promo for the combo at P50. I know, I'm in the city and I have to pay city-price for everything. Just ranting.
Somehow, Fujinoya Cafe and Cebu are becoming intertwined. I can't imagine visiting Cebu without hanging out at Fujinoya. It's many things to me. It's where I go for the best coffee in Cebu - seriously, the owner is an in-depth barrista who travels the world deepening his coffee knowledge and skill. This is where I meet my friends too - long conversation, intimate sharing, hilarious laughs...all within the confines of Fujinoya's muted walls. For lightning fast and reliable wifi connection, very few places in the city can rival this place. With its low-key ambience and subtle pastry, I can't think of going anywhere else.
Without Jeanne, Cebu would not be as compelling. Without Jeanne, I might actually find loneliness in my solitude. I was without a best friend for many years until she appeared on the horizon. In Cebu, I am her house guest and we usually start our mornings with coffee-chat, facing the lush greenery of Beverly Hills' tucked-away mini-forest. I take her wise counsel under advisement - in her, I have my Jiminy Cricket. When I get too old, too bent and too gray to be doing all the crazy traveling, I find comfort thinking she'll be on the other rocking chair as we watch the sunset talking about yoga, life, evolution and Theosophical philosophies....as she chastises me for filling her coffee cup to the brim.
Before, she was a pretty mountaineer - as I saw her from a distance back during our UP Diliman days. Now in Cebu, she's a pretty blond yogini with substance and insight (with a mountaineer verve lurking underneath). Through the years, my deepening friendship with Chai takes on layered dimensions which continues to this day - Fujinoya coffee conversation, Burrows dinner...talking about yoga, her pending tying of the knot, life epiphanies and just about everything else under the sun. We get a sense of each other's personal growth through our once-in-a-blue-moon conversation.
Alyssha, Charlotte, Dale
With my Camotes friends in town, it didn't feel like I actually left the island! Chilling out at Fujinoya, we once again celebrated friendship, good coffee and great pastry. Always great to be in the company of well-meaning friends with genuine affection and concern. HUGS 😃
Amad, Lovorn, Jason, Ayn
With my participation at the Theosophical Society meeting, I once again met Amad, Lovorn, Jason and Ayn. They pretty much represent various communities of like-minded thinking in Cebu - yogis, kalimasada, theosophists, margi. It's always a joy to have the meeting of the minds over laughs and food.
Persian Palate offers vegetarian buffet Fridays and Saturdays at P195/head. This is a great idea in a country where you rely on the luck of the draw to eat veggie food outside - not in this land of sugbo. Another good that came with this weekend buffet is the resurgence of like-minded communities. Yogis, meditators, Buddhists, spiritualists and vegetarians found a place where they can gather over good eats. You see familiar faces gathered in their own circle - the community of seekers in Cebu is a small one.
I was in luck to be in the city on a weekend with the Theosophical Society in session. It's open to outsiders, and issues pertaining to higher evolution are discussed. This session's topic was Patanjali's yoga sutra. It was hard to digest as taken directly from the translation. I see it more not as a guideline but as a validation when you finally arrive. I think that's the time it would all make sense and become comprehensible. I also think a more pedestrian approach would drive home the point. eg - yama: if you have nothing pleasant to say about someone (this includes gossip), just shut up...or something like that. Otherwise, with the sharing part, it became looser with more people putting in their insight.
As I travel, I meet a kaleidoscope of people in a revolving door where crossing paths could be a fleeting conversation never to happen again - like a meteorite flashing a streak before it's gone forever. And then there are these wonderful souls who share with me more than a passing moment - like a comet that comes into your orbit within timed intervals. They don't happen everyday but it gives you optimism about the future that lay ahead.
With an open invite from Jeanne to be her house guest anytime, Cebu remains a tempting destination. Thank you Jeanne, thank you Cebu!
Next stop: Apo Island
Reader Comments:Chai Mateo
(Apr 10, 2017) U had to reiterate blond!! Hahaha so great to see u, Git! Been doing the early morning routine u suggested. I kind of adjusted some of it. I got inspired to read again about yoga to deepen my practice
(Apr 9, 2017) Nice catching up with you too Git! Till next time!
(Apr 9, 2017) Thank you Git
(Apr 9, 2017) Please say Hello to Ms. Pinky at Apo Island. She is such a lovely person :) And have a safe trip, my dear!
Cebu City, Philippines
More Information about Cebu City
Cebu City to Camotes Island
- 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).
Camotes Islands to Cebu City
- 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
Cebu City to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental by Boat
- George and Peter Lines - Mon/Thur/Sat/Sun 10pm, (035)225.4337, 0922.557.1023
- Oceanjet - via Tagbilaran, daily 6am, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0918.898.2188
- Cokaliong - Mon/Tue/Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat 7pm, Sun 12pm, 6 hours, (035)225.3599
Suggested Destinations in Cebu
- 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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