Showing posts with label Cebu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cebu. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP) updated 01/28/2014

Manila Central Post Office Building and Liwasang Bonifacio (Manila)
Two days ago, I updated the Philippine Registry of Cultural Property (PRECUP) with declarations of the National Museum in 2012 and 2013. Today, I got a copy of declarations of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) during the same period. The NHCP declared five sites in 2012 and four sites in 2013.

Fort Pikit (Pikit, Cotabato)
Capul Lighthouse (Capul Island, Northern Samar)
Capul Lighthouse (Capul Island, Northern Samar)
The following were declared National Historical Landmarks or Pambansang Palatandaang Makasaysayan: Manila Central Post Office Building and Liwasang Bonifacio in Manila (Res. No. 1, S. 2012); Fort Pikit in Pikit, Cotabato (Res. No. 7, S. 2012); Crash Site of Mt. Pinatubo (the plane carrying President Ramon Magsaysay) in Mt. Manunggal, Cebu (Res. No. 8, S. 2012); Manila Bay and Waterfront (from Del Pan Bridge to the CCP) in Manila (Res. No. 19, S. 2012); Capul Lighthouse in Capul, Northern Samar (Res. No. 12, S. 2013); Saint Joseph Parish Church Complex in Las Pinas City (Res. No. 8, S. 2013); and the Zapote Battlefield and Zapote Bridge in Las Pinas City (Res. No. 11, 2. 2013).

Manila Bay Waterfront
Rizal Monument (Manila)
The Resting Place of the Remains of Melchora "Tandang Sora" Aquino in Banlat, Quezon City was declared a National Shrine (Res. No. 4, S. 2012) and the Rizal National Monument in Manila, was re-declared a National Monument (Res. No. 8, S. 2013).

Also check out the declarations of the National Museum in 2012 and 2013.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cebu: Edge Coaster at the Sky Adventure Experience

Despite visiting Cebu quite often, it was only last month that I got to try the Edge Coaster at the Sky Adventure Experience of Crown Regency Hotel Cebu. We paid Php750 for the buffet dinner and one ride at the Sky Adventure Experience. The buffet had a lot of dishes to choose from which was quite good. For the rest of the rates, visit the Sky Adventure Experience website.

The Edge Coaster goes around the edge of the 38th floor of the Crown Regency Hotel, 130.84 meters above street level. What makes the ride thrilling is that you can let your seat tilt at an angle of up to 55 degrees. A few meters from the start of the ride, it automatically tilts 50 degrees. If that's too much for you, you can choose to lower the angle a bit.

Unfortunately, cameras are not allowed. So I couldn't take photos of the view. But they have photographers who will take your photo and you can have copies printed.

Sky Adventure Experience
(032) 4188888

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cebu: Kawasan Falls in Badian

I've heard about the beauty of Kawasan Falls in Badian. On a recent trip to Cebu with my fraternity batchmates, we visited the waterfall. It's about 3 hours from Cebu City. And if you plan to rent a van, it's not cheap. On the way there, you get to pass by the picturesque coastline of the western side of Cebu.

The falls is several kilometers past the town proper of Badian. From the jump-off point along the National Highway, there's an easy 15 minute walk to Kawasan Falls. Along the way, you have to pay Php10 per head as entrance fee.

Kawasan Falls has aquamarine blue water making it look like it was a swimming pool. You can rent tables for Php300, or ride a raft that will bring you under the falls, also at Php300 per group.

It's quite refreshing but not as high as other popular waterfalls around the country. But in my opinion, you'd have to spend the whole day there, or explore nearby attractions for the trip or cost of transportation to be worth it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cebu: Around the historic center of Carcar

Carcar is Cebu's best-preserved colonial town. It has dozens of ancestral houses, a charming church complex, elegant government buildings, schools and monuments among others. A visit to Southern Cebu is not complete if you do not stopover in Carcar.

I wonder when they'll print a walking map of Carcar's historic center because the architecture is quite interesting. I've walked around Carcar several times already and it never fails to amaze me. Aside from the very visible ancestral homes along the National Highway, there are even more grand old houses off the main road.

For the longest time, none of the structures in Carcar were even declared, which was quite ironic given the large concentration of built heritage in the town. But this year, four ancestral houses were declared Heritage Houses by the National Historical Institute. They are the Balay na Tisa Heritage House, Mercado Mansion Heritage House, Sa Dakong Balay / Don Florencio Noel House, and the Silva House Heritage House.

Other interesting structures include the Carcar Church (Santa Catalina Church), its convent and parochial school, Upland Elementary School, the Carcar Dispensary which is now a museum, and the Carcar Rotunda.

For more information on Carcar, read Lechon, chicharon and more from Carcar. Aside from its architectural heritage, Carcar is of course famous for lechon and chicharon. So make sure to get some when you're there. Both the chicharon and lechon are sold in the Carcar Public Market.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Cebu: Heritage churches of Southern Cebu

I found myself visiting again the heritage churches of Southern Cebu. There are quite a lot actually. So from Cebu City, my class proceeded down south to explore the heritage of Southern Cebu. If you were to choose seven churches, here is the suggested route.

We first stopped at the San Fernando Church (San Isidro Labrador Church) which is built in the Gothic style and completed in 1886.

After San Fernando, we drove to Sibonga Church (Nuestra Senora del Pilar Church) also built in the Gothic style and completed in 1881. It was the town fiesta and there were a lot of people visiting the church. We got to try the torta and pinyato which were both being sold outside the church for just Php5 each!

Then we drove all the way down to the Oslob Church (Inmaculada Concepcion Church) built in the Neo-Classical style and completed in 1847. This church was gutted by fire in 2008 because the parish priest left his modem running while he was out which is not a good idea in a centuries-old structure. The modem overheated and the rest was history. There used to be a really beautiful convento with a clay tile roof right beside the church. But that's gone now. Such a pity!

It's actually had a history of fires. It was burned by Filipino guerillas in 1942. And again, the whole complex got burned in 1955. But what's important is that they restored the church every time it burned. In fact, they're restoring the church again now. I wonder if they'll reconstruct the convento though.

From Oslob, we drove back north to Boljoon Church (Patrocinio de Maria Church) which is both a National Cultural Treasure and a National Historical Landmark. The first church was probably destroyed during the Muslim raid of 1782. Work on the current church, which is built in the Rococo style, began in 1783.

From Boljoon, we visited the Dalaguete Church (San Guillermo de Aquitania Church), also built in the Rococo style and completed in 1825. It's one of the best-preserved churches in Cebu and a National Historical Landmark. Just remember that Dalaguete is pronounced by locals as dalaget.

Argao Church (San Miguel Arcangel Church) was our next stop. It's a National Historical Landmark. I'm sure you've heard the horrible thing one of its previous parish priests did to the church retablo. He painted the exquisite polychrome wooden retablo with gold and silver latex paint making it the biggest trophy case in the country! This church is also constructed in the Rococo style.

Finally, we visited the Carcar Church (Santa Catalina Church), built in the Graeco-Roman style with strong Muslim influence, and completed in 1875. There are more churches to visit in Southern Cebu. These churches featured are from the southeastern side of the island. I'm actually looking forward to my trip to visit the churches of Southwestern Cebu.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Cebu: Walking tour around old Cebu City

As soon as we arrived in Cebu City from Bantayan Island, we went straight to Magellan's Cross in between the City Hall of Cebu and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the starting point of our walking tour around old Cebu City. Our guide was Ka Bino Guerrero, one of the best tour guides in Cebu.

At the Magellan's Cross, Ka Bino gave an overview of Cebu and the cross itself. From Magellan's Cross, we entered the Santo Niño Basilica. Unfortunately, Mass was going on so we had to deal with the large crowd which was there to hear Mass. We were able to enter the church and see the Santo Niño and the intricate main retablo of the basilica.

From the basilica, we crossed over to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit Cathedral Museum of Cebu which I got to visit in 2007 when it was just about to open. So we walked straight to the Parian District to visit the Heritage of Cebu Monument where Ka Bino concluded the tour.

Along the way, he of course told stories about structures which once stood in the area, including the grand Parian Church which was ordered dismantled by the church hierarchy during the Spanish Colonial Period because it was competing with the collections of the Cebu Cathedral.

In Parian, there's also the Yap-Sandiego House, one of the oldest surviving Spanish colonial houses in the Philippines, and the Casa Gorordo Museum. But unfortunately, we had to cut the usual tour short because we had to check-in at our hotel. In any case, if you're planning a walking tour around old Cebu City, Ka Bino is highly-recommended.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cebu: Bantayan Island & island hopping to Virgin Island

I found myself back in Bantayan Island, Cebu. Early in the semester, I asked my tourism students to vote on where they wanted to go for their Out of Classroom Learning Activity (OCLA). And after a long deliberation, Bantayan Island edged out the competition. So with 45 students in tow, we trooped to Bantayan Island.

Arriving on the first flights, I had arranged for a private bus to fetch us at the Mactan Cebu International Airport since we were a really big group. We first had a buffet breakfast at Abuhan Tres for Php150 per head before making the three hour drive north to Hagnaya Port, the jump-off point for Bantayan Island.

Unfortunately, despite being sunny, the seas were a bit rough that afternoon. But we managed to arrive in Bantayan Island in one piece. After checking-in at the Santa Fe Beach Resort, we had lunch and some free time.

Since it was a tiring trip, I allowed the rest of the class to stay at the resort while those up to it joined me to Bantayan town to visit the centuries-old Bantayan Church and what's left of its old houses. It's sad to see that just a little over a year after I last visited, at least two houses were now gone or in a state of disrepair, replaced by modern establishments which could have adaptively-reused the old structures. For more attractions around Bantayan, read Bantayan Island, Cebu is rich in heritage and great beaches!

Back in Sta. Fe, more jeeps ferried the class to D'Jungle where we enjoyed their sumptuous Php300 buffet. No doubt, everyone was happy!

The next morning, I made sure my students were up early since we were going to visit one of the smaller islands around Bantayan. Although the beach front of Sta. Fe Beach Club is already nice, others opt to visit Virgin (Silion) Island or the other nearby islands such as Hilantaga-an, Jibitnil and Guintacan for more beach options.

The boat ride should cost about Php1500. While there's a Php50 entrance fee for Virgin Island. But you can spend the whole day there and simply relax and enjoy the sun and sand. We didn't get to stay too long since we wanted to catch the ferry back to Hagnaya before lunch for us to reach Cebu City before sundown. We had a walking tour around the city's historic center scheduled.

So after five-minute showers at the resort, we rushed to the ferry for our trip back to Hagnaya. Fortunately, the waves were not as bad as the day before.

Where to eat / restaurants in Bantayan Island
Despite its relative seclusion, food is not a problem in Bantayan. In fact, it’s one of the island’s attractions. And most of the restaurants are owned by Europeans.

Highly-recommended is dinner at D'Jungle, owned by Franco-German chef Robert Merbach, where they serve sumptuous buffets every Friday and Saturday. Any serious foodie will be in food heaven! Their buffet spread can have as much as fifty dishes which include a wide variety of seafood, meats and greens cooked in various styles. At Php300 per head which includes bottomless iced tea, how could you go wrong? It’s most definitely worth it to come back to Bantayan if only for this buffet.

Offering a similar buffet is the Marisqueira O’ Portuguese Bar and Restaurant next door which competes with D ‘Jungle head on with its own weekend buffets and great Mediterranean food.

Other interesting restaurants include Mabuhay Balikbayan Restaurant which serves great pizza, pasta, salads and seafood; Blue Ice, HR Restaurant and the Floating Bar are all owned by Swedish nationals. Floating Bar which literally floats on water, serves great tacos and burritos. There's also Coucou owned by a Belgian, and Hard Kock Kafe. If you’re looking for food stalls, Arjaymay serves great grilled seafood.

Where to stay / hotels and resorts in Bantayan Island
Here's a list of places to stay in Bantayan Island in alphabetical order:
Abaniko Beach Resort (0919) 2427622
Budyong Beach Resort (032) 4385700
Hard Kock Kafe ‘n’ Kottages (032) 4389075
Hoyohoy Villas (032) 4389223
Kota Beach Resort (032) 4389042
Marlin Beach Resort (0917) 3647027 / (032) 4389093
Ogtong Cave Resort (032) 4380165 / 4389129
St. Bernard Beach Resort (0917) 9636162 / (032) 4389833
Sta. Fe Beach Club (032) 4389090 / 4389107
Tristan’s Beach Resort (032) 4389041
Yooneek Beach Resort (032) 4389124

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Cebu: Sizzling beef and pork pochero at Abuhan Dos

After hearing so much about this sizzling pochero from Cebu City, I finally got to try it out at Abuhan Dos. Pochero is actually the Cebuano term for bulalo. So what they actually serve is sizzling bulalo. You can order the pochero the regular way with soup. Beef Pochero comes in large (Php373) and medium (Php304) bowls. While a bowl of Pork Pochero is Php186.

The Sizzling Beef Pochero comes in large (Php384) and medium (Php315) servings. While the Sizzling Pork Pochero costs Php192. We got ourselves a sizzling plate each of beef and pork pochero which comes with a generous serving of mushroom sauce in a bowl. The pork pochero is better for me. It's actually recommended by the locals.

Also among the specialties of Abuhan Dos are Balbacua (Php165), a traditional Cebuano oxtail broth, Kare-kare (Php196), Callos (Php226), Lengua Estofada (Php226), Bicol Express (Php111) and Caldereta (Php226).

Abuhan Dos
176 F. Ramos Street, Cebu City

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cebu: Visita iglesia along the Southern Cebu heritage trail

Visita iglesia is a popular activity in Southern Cebu where most of the centuries-old churches are very much intact. As part of our trip to Sumilon Island, we stopped by seven churches along the way

Although there are several more churches worth stopping by close to Cebu City like Pardo Church and Naga Church, our first stop for the morning was the San Fernando Church.

I've been to Carcar many times. So due to fatigue and lack of sleep, I slept in the van when we stopped in Carcar Church. But Carcar is one of the better churches along the Southern Cebu heritage trail. The town is very much intact and undoubtedly, it's the best preserved colonial town of Cebu. I hope it remains that way. Hopefully, the City Government of Carcar realizes the economic potential of protecting its historic streetscape and promoting the town as a cultural tourism destination.

Sibonga Church is the next church on the route. Again, having visited this church previously, I continued sleeping on the van.

For some reason, I decided to get up at Argao Church. The historic core of the town, including the church, plaza and government buildings, could have been a candidate for inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List. But due to the misinformed, and at times, hard-headed local and church officials, the historic core is no longer as intact as before.

Argao has one of the last tile-roofed municipal buildings. And what is sad is that the municipal government literally sandwiched the historic casa municipal between two modern buildings. They even added a balcony to the entrance which is really horrible. And who could forget the horrible Midas touch of the previous parish priest who painted the colorful main altar retablo in irreparable latex gold and silver paint creating the biggest trophy case in the country!

Anyway, while in Argao, try out their torta which is a pound cake. A lot of locals are very gung-ho when they talk about the torta.

Dalaguete Church was our next stop. The sun was really heating up and I could feel my head ache. So after taking photos of the facade, I went back in the van. Dalaguete Church is another heritage disaster since the priest replaced the wooden altar floor with ugly marble with triangular-shaped designs, obviously an eyesore amidst this Philippine Baroque work of art.

Boljoon Church is one of the highlights of any Southern Cebu church tour. The town really knows how to value its heritage and has done everything to raise funds for the church's upkeep and restoration. It is a National Cultural Treasure in fact, a declaration which is very well-deserved.

Oslob Church burned down several years back because of the negligence of the priest who left his computer turned-on while he was out of the church. It's not a good idea to do that in an old structure especially if there is no one else there to notice when a short circuit starts a fire. At least they did not demolish the church and instead reconstructed it around the ruins. What is sad though is the centuries-old wooden convento with tile roofing which had survived several fires in the past did not survive the most recent one despite advances in technology. I wonder if they will reconstruct that.

While in Oslob, check out the ruins of the Daanlungsod Fort which is said to be larger than Fort San Pedro in Cebu City. You'll get to pass by all of this on the way to Sumilon Island.

For more visita iglesia routes, check out Visita iglesia and more Holy Week practices in the Philippine

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cebu: Larsian, sutukil (STK) and more Cebu street food

If Malaysia has its mamaks, Cebu City has Larsian sa Fuente or simply Larsian, a street food arcade open from 2 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning. Larsian is a collection of stalls which virtually serve the same thing, grilled meats and seafood. I was able to try out the great grilled meats and seafood they serve at the older location just a few meters away from where the current Larsian stands.

Just to give you an idea of what's available and how much things cost, here a list of what I saw there:
Chicken breast Php40
Chicken butt/pwet/isol Php30
Chicken gizzard/balun-balunan Php13
Chicken intestine/isaw
Chicken leg/paa Php45
Chicken liver/atay Php13
Chicken skin/balat Php12
Chicken wing/pakpak Php30
Hotdog Php10
Longganisa/chorizo Php15
Longganisa/skinless Php15
Pork backbone Php12
Pork barbecue Php5
Pork belly Php12
Pork liver/atay Php13
Squid/pusit Php60
White marlin Php60
Anduhaw Php60
Rice/puso Php2.50

Since we're on the topic of street food in Cebu, another thing you shouldn't miss is STK or sutukil, a short-cut for three ways of preparing food: sugba (grill), tuwa (boil), and kilaw (raw). While Mactan is said to be where sutukil started, I was told it's safer getting sutukil in Cebu City since the stalls in Mactan aren't exactly what they used to be as they charge too much (because they're so used foreigners and their budgets) and are said to switch your chosen seafoods with older supplies inside the kitchen. Is this true?

Anyway, if the photos of celebrities, politicians and other famous personalities on the wall of STK ta Bay! is not enough testament to the great sutukil they serve, I don't know what is!

STK ta Bay!
6 Orchid St. Capitol Site, Cebu City
(032) 2562700 / 2564732 / (0918) 2647209
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