Don and I planned to go to Cebu for our anniversary this year. And we’ll be staying for 6 days – to be divided between Cebu City and Mactan tours and hotel stays.
I came from a Christmas party the night before our flight. I came home at 2:00am, rested, took a bath, ate and finalized packing before leaving for our flight at 5:40am.
At this time I have been awake for 21 hours. My eyes are ready to shut down anytime. I fell asleep while the plane was still boarding passengers… Until the person beside me started snoring loudly and woke me up. I looked to my right and realized that he was leaning towards me! And by the way, it felt like the worst plane ride ever! And I’ve been on a plane while there’s a storm!
So anyway, upon arrival in Mactan International Airport, we went straight to our hotel in Cebu City via Uber. Needless to say, I fell asleep on that ride, too!
We arrived at Sampaguita Suites pretty early, maybe 8:20am. Luckily there’s a room available so we were able to check in early. And since it started raining when the plane landed (apparently there’s a storm), there’s no point in going out for the city tour. Sleeping in was the next option! Yey!
Quick review of Sampaguita Suites:
- Staff are very friendly and accommodating. We were greeted by a bellboy who immediately carried our bags inside the hotel.
- The room in itself is spacious. There’s a cabinet, a cable TV, a chair and a table. Obviously with airconditioning system and hot&cold shower. Bedsheets have (from what I think) oil stains, but still looked clean/washed.
- The only negative thing I could say is there were ants and bugs inside the room and bathroom, sometimes inside the cabinets. Later on I asked for bug spray – can’t ignore the ants anymore. Hehehe Didn’t stop the ants from crawling everywhere, but there were less of them!
- Room service, MUR, and any housekeeping requests were fulfilled in a timely manner.
- The guard on duty was especially nice and friendly. He opens the door for us every time. Even referred us to a tour guide. (Review of tour to follow)
When we were finally ready to go out, we went to Fort San Pedro first, which was situated in Plaza Independencia.
There’s a Php 30.00 entrance fee per person. Fort San Pedro was a military defense structure built during the Spanish Revolution.
Inside, there’s a gallery of paintings and ship sculptures, most likely reprints and reproductions.
On the upper deck, there’s the Viviende del Tiniente room, which used to be the living quarters of the lieutenant of the fort. It now houses historic photos of Cebu.
Furthermore, there’s the Cuerpo de Guardia room, where the fort’s personnel used to live. Now, it’s totally empty.
This was supposed to be the Butterfly Conservation Area….
Sadly, these were the only butterflies inside, along with 3 other jars that have who-knows-what in them.
Honestly, I think this historic landmark is poorly maintained. With the entrance fee they charge per person, I think there could have been more artifacts or a better looking panorama of photos. The upkeep is definitely missing. The empty room could have housed another gallery. The butterfly conservation area obviously needs MORE butterflies, framed or bottled “properly”. There were more clutter than actual historical things. Well, that’s just my two cents.
Next on the list was Magellan’s Cross, which was only across the street from Sampaguita Suites.
Unfortunately, it’s still under construction when we got there. This, churches and other infrastructures were damaged during the 2013 earthquake that hit the city.
We walked to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. Just like the Magellan’s Cross, this church’s bell tower collapsed when the earthquake hit the city. And it is still being reconstructed.
Don said that might be a procession on Christmas Eve/Day where they’ll bring the baby Jesus in the stables. Highly possible.
On the next block, there’s the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. I thought it was also under construction. Later on I realized that these men were merely hanging a “Merry Christmas” light sign.
After the cathedral, we headed back to the hotel. Passed by Island Souvenirs and bought otap to munch on!
For dinner, we went to Colon Street Night Market. It felt like we’re in Divisoria on any given day! Very crowded and with stalls selling clothes, shoes, gadgets, accessories and many more.
Towards the end of the street were the food stalls. Food is barbequed or grilled using charcoal.
The only catch – plates are covered in plastic and you use your hand to eat! Well, you can cover your hand in plastic, too! I was too tired and hungry to take any more photos.
Essentially, if you’re not sensitive about eating in that condition, then you’d enjoy the experience like I did! ➰