Friday, March 7, 2014

Cebu - The Tropical Paradise

My first trip for 2014 was to my dad's hometown, Cebu!!! My renter was moving out so I had to accompany my Mom to do inventory. Thus, we took it as a chance to go on a short holiday as well.

I'm sure for most of us foodies, the first thing you think of when you hear Cebu is LECHON (look up and drool). I cannot agree more with Anthony Bourdain that the best roast pork is indeed in Cebu. I've tasted Babi Guling in Ubud, Bali Indonesia and it doesn't compare (haha). My mom knew of a place where they sold whole roasted pork so we checked it out. I'm so sorry I forgot the name of the place but it's near Banilad in Cebu along the main road.

Another favorite in Cebu is chicharon. Oh my god just typing chicharon makes me drool hahaha. The more passionate chicharon lovers know that Carcar Chicharon is the best! Carcar is a province in Cebu and happens to be the hometown of my father (who already passed away. We miss you Dad!).

Puso is basically steamed rice in coconut leaves. This completes the eating experience in Cebu. Perfect with any local dish.

Another favorite are the mangoes. Lechon, Chicharon and Mangoes (fresh or dried) are the 3 must-eats when in Cebu. In fact, Cebu's dried mangoes are known the world over.

MY personal favorite in Cebu is Matias! Haha. It's an open-concept dining area that sells mostly grilled food. So cheap yet super yummy! The more famous counterpart of this type of BBQ dining is Larsian, which I haven't been to. Matias is nearer to our house in Cebu.

We dropped by our house as Mom wanted to check some repairs that were done. I remember living in this house for a very short while during my first job as a medical representative for Glaxo Smithkline covering Cebu and Dumaguete. We didn't stay here as there are renters.

Myself and Bernice, my cousin Ruby's daughter. She is sooooo adorable and smart. And she loves photos!

We stayed at the Parklane Hotel Cebu, very near to Ayala Mall. There was a Gymboree downstairs so we let Bernice play, along with Mommy Ruby haha. Parklane Hotel aged so much. I remember staying here a few years ago and liking it but this time the hotel looked awfully tired. However, customer service was topnotch. I was grateful they allowed us to check in at 9:30am as we arrived at the hotel around 5am due to a very early flight (never again).

In the afternoon, we went to Ayala Mall for dinner and shopping. I love this mall. It feels like Greenbelt in Makati. Ayala is really awesome for making the country beautiful, especially in terms of shopping malls.

At night, we played Casino at the Waterfront Hotel. I was feeling lucky but of course I lost haha. In fact, we all lost haha. All for fun anyway.

Next day, we went to Be Hotel. This hotel is so beautiful. Feels like Miami (not that I've been to Miami hahaha). We initially wanted to go to Portofino but when we go there, we found out they were already closed as they were bought over.

Alf and Bernice

My beautiful Mom

In the afternoon was "work" time. We met our renter, Angelie (Hi!), and did the inventory and some chores. This is the first property I bought in my life :-). I am thankful to God for giving me the opportunity to work in Singapore to be able to invest at a "young" age. Of course, my Mom has been instrumental in all this.

After that, we went to Taboan. It's a famous market in Cebu where you can buy all the dried goods, among others. We got danggit, dried fish that is super yummy and crispy when fried.

Bernice was so funny. Alf, myself and Bernice were left in the car while Ruby and Mom were shopping at the market. I was wondering how come she was so quiet (as she is usually very talkative) then I looked back to see she was eating. No wonder! Hahahaha so adorable! She was asking me why was I laughing when I saw her eating. I miss you Bernice!

The next morning, Ruby and Bernice already flew back to Manila (sob). While the rest of us headed to Plantation Bay! (Yey). Theresa, the daughter of Mom's friend joined us at Plantation Bay. I was so looking forward to this as this resort is seriously heaven on earth.

Prior to our trip, I was choosing between Movenpick, Crimson Hotel and Plantation Bay. But because there were 4 of us, I chose Plantation as they were the only ones that have 2 queen beds in their room. Imagine 2 queen beds! No other hotel does that anymore (I think).

We love that they gave a goodies basket, with chicharon! hehehe. Such an awesome gesture by the hotel.

Now look at that, is that paradise or what?? So beautiful. I wanted to showcase to Alf the beauty of Cebu and this was the best way I could think of haha. It's actually a man-made lagoon but it doesn't look artificial at all. Honestly, the beach at Plantation Bay could be ignored (and is not really nice) as the lagoons are really the stars in this property.

Alfian and Theresa

That night, we drove to Ayala to have dinner and do last minute shopping. I was craving for Shakey's so that's where we had dinner. DROOL!! Look at that yummy pizza! What I love about Shakey's is the crispy thin crust. I haven't encountered any pizza place that does the crust the same way Shakey's does it.

More of paradise the next day. I couldn't and can't get enough of this place. Alf and I plan to come back here next time and spend a week at least (need to save up for that haha). Plantation Bay is quite far away from the city but the hotel offers free shuttle services to SM Mall, Ayala Mall and the airport.

My beautiful Mom


Mom mom flew to Manila early afternoon while our flight back to Singapore was at 8:30pm. Luckily, the hotel allows you to still use the facilities even after checking out. There is a common wash area and they lend you towels so you can still swim, while you leave your luggage at concierge. Best of all, they have a free shuttle to the airport and mind you, the shuttle has WIFI! haha awesome! Imagine if all buses here in Singapore had wifi too!

So there you go. It was a short but very fulfilling 4-day trip. I saw these chocolate covered chicharon at the airport. I wanted to try them but they were so damn expensive haha. Anyway, it's deadly so I don't mind missing it haha. Plantation Bay and Be Hotel was the highlights of this trip but more importantly getting to spend time with family is the best. Unfortunately, Alf had a really bad case of food poisoning or bacterial infection as he was sick for almost a week when we were back in Singapore. It was probably the water or some bacteria in the food. Everyone else was ok as our tummies are probably immune to the germs in the Philippines haha.

Next up is Bali this end-March and then Dubai this mid-April. I can hardly wait! :-)

1 comment:

Plantation Bay said...

Thank you for staying with us and for featuring us in your blog.

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