Cebu is a province in central part of the Philippines, approximately an hour flight from Manila. The trip was all expenses paid: flight; hotel; food and tour. Thank you Ellen. This trip was several days and a year ago to the day.
Though it was a short visit, the experience was memorable. We left Manila early in the morning, before dawn and landed in Cebu International Airport while it was still dark. We were picked up and we then visited the Basilica of Sto. Niño (Church of the Child Jesus). We were dropped off to attend the mass. I did not understand the mass since it was celebrated in their native dialect. Side bar: Philippines is a small country but comprised of about 7,200 islands and there may be as many dialects as well.
The Sto. Niño was brought by the Spaniards more than 300 some years ago led by Magellan. That was the start of Spanish colonization of the Philippines and they brought Christianity. Well I will not go in details about that since you can use Google or hit the books to read about Philippine history.
Anyway, going back to our Cebu trip. We were warned to be attentive to all your belongings while in the church (inside or outside). After our church, we then went to buy some “pasalubong” (click on the word for some translation). Then proceeded to an old military fort.
We grabbed brunch on our way to a Buddhist temple. We ate Cebu Lechon which was praised by a lot of people who tried it. Honestly, nothing spectacular. I did not taste any difference from any lechon you buy in Manila. The only difference was the sauce they used to dip the lechon.
The Buddhist temple is way up in the mountain, and it was good that we have a van to drop us off and pick us up. Then after we headed to our hotel for the night. It was a very nice hotel with armed guards at the entrance. It took us several hours to get to our hotel due to traffic and to think that Cebu was not huge (about 121 square miles).
We spent the rest of the day at the hotel just walking around and going to the beach. At night, there were great food and a show for entertainment. Click here for the rest of the pictures or click the above picture.