CEBU Day 1: Church Hopping

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During the first days of September, in the midst of the loads of work, I took a leave from work and have my travel-bonding with my big sister. We don’t usually do that. In fact, it is our first.

For our first out of town together (yes, we go out  of town together before but usually to our relatives’ place) we want to be quite experimental and go to a place where we don’t have someone, a relative perhaps that will guide as through. It is a sort of trying to be independent in our part while enjoying each other’s company.

At departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

At departure area of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

Before boarding, I made sure to take a snacks. Well, rice meal is snacks for me. lol!

Before boarding, I made sure to take a snacks. Well, rice meal is snacks for me. lol!

Just before we go inside the airplane.

Just before we go inside the airplane.

This post will be the first of my 3-part instalment travel adventure at the Queen City of the South. As I stayed 3 days and two nights there, let’s see what were the places we visited and what were the insights I gained each day.

We also have with us Kuya Levi, a good friend of my sister.

We also have with us Kuya Levi, a good friend of my sister.

The weather looks very fine as I look outside the airplane's window. This will be a good day for the real adventure!

The weather looks very fine as I look outside the airplane’s window. This will be a good day for the real adventure!

After 30-45 minutes, we already arrived at Mactan International Airport.

After 30-45 minutes, we already arrived at Mactan International Airport.

It was easy to pick a cab from the airport. There was no traffic then because it was Sunday.

It was easy to pick a cab from the airport. There was no traffic then because it was Sunday.

The weather was very favorable. I admire the architectural design of this bridge where the cab we rented pass by going to Sampaguita Suites where we had our room reservation for our stay in Cebu.

The weather was very favorable. I admire the architectural design of this bridge where the cab we rented passed by going to Sampaguita Suites where we had our room reservation for our stay in Cebu.

From the airport, up to our way to the suite, I must say that Cebu is really adorable. The places where our cab passed by were clean and seems to be peaceful.

From the airport, up to our way to the suite, I must say that Cebu is really adorable. The places where our cab passed by were clean and seems to be peaceful.

We arrived afternoon of September 1, Sunday in Cebu. From the airport, we checked in at Sampaguita Suites, one of the most affordable hotels in that town and was suggested to me by one of my readers from Cebu. The hotel looks very decent and has a Wi-Fi connection, with that I have no problems anymore.

The lobby.

The lobby.

I'm quite ignorant with hotels and I must say I was amazed by this one. I am not really familiar with this as an electric switch for the room. it was a "wow" for me. lol!

I’m quite ignorant with hotels and I must say I was amazed by this one. I am not really familiar with this as an electric switch for the room. it was a “wow” for me. lol!

One of the things I like about the hotel where we checked in is that it is just a walk away from different cathedrals and churches there. It is also near the Magellan’s Cross which is not more than 5 minutes walk from the hotel itself. With that, we decide to have a church hopping for our first afternoon in Cebu. We went to a total of 3 churches just by merely walking around and crossing each street. Let the pictures tell you how we did it.

First stop, Magellan's Cross.

First stop, Magellan’s Cross.

At the bottom of the cross you will find bunch of colored candles for prayer petitions.

At the bottom of the cross you will find bunch of colored candles for prayer petitions.

There I met Aling Rosalinda who offered to pray and dance for me in their language as I bought a set of candles from her. Though I don't entirely understand what she is praying I feel good that someone is praying passionately for me.

There I met Aling Rosalinda who offered to pray and dance for me in their language as I bought a set of candles from her. Though I don’t entirely understand what she is praying I feel good that someone is praying passionately for me.

Aling Rosalinda was generous enough to let Kuya Levi took a picture of us. She is very accomodating as well, as a curious tourist she did not grew tired of answering my queries. :)

Aling Rosalinda was generous enough to let Kuya Levi took a picture of us. She is very accomodating as well, as a curious tourist she did not grew tired of answering my queries. 🙂

Second, Sto. Nino Basilica where we line up just to see the first Sto. Nino image given to us by the Spaniards.

This sculpture captivated me. It is a good reflection of our faith to Sto. Nino.

This sculpture captivated me. It is a good reflection of our faith to Sto. Nino.

The elegant and vintage altar of Basilica de Sto. Nino.

The elegant and vintage altar of Basilica de Sto. Nino.

We also lined up to see the Sto. Nino.

We also lined up to see the Sto. Nino.

While waiting in the line, I am entertained by various holy portraits along the corridor.

While waiting in the line, I am entertained by various holy portraits along the corridor.

The Basilica was so adorable with its architectural designs. While the Cebuanos and the tourists like us were hearing the mass from the other side of the Cathedral, the priest presiding the mass is outside the cathedral on an elevated stage with the microphones and speakers and a video coverage. When we went inside the cathedral the people are seated facing the altar without the priest and when the priest asked them to stand, they will stand and face outside turning back to the altar. That was their way of adjusting with the number of people attending their Sunday masses, for me, a tourist and a fellow Catholic, I can see that as their faith.

Lastly, we went to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the newest church in the town.

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The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. I love the kampanaryo in this place. I rarely hear bells in Manila before the mass starts. In the old tradition, that it a way of announcing to the community that there will be a mass or gathering in the pueblo.

IMG_5578

The lights in this cathedral is welcoming everyone to solemnly pray and talk to Him.

The lights in this cathedral is welcoming everyone to solemnly pray and talk to Him.

Me and my big sister, Aby.

Me and my big sister, Aby.

After our Church hopping, we went to AA Sutukil Restaurant to have our dinner. We got sea food for our dinner that made my tummy absolutely happy.IMG_5562

Their menu. During that time it feels like I want to eat everything. Their transaction in the place is like the "paluto" we have in Manila, where you need to buy first at their mini market and tell the cook how you want your food to be cooked- grilled, sinigang, baked...

Their menu. During that time it feels like I want to eat everything. Their transaction in the place is like the “paluto” we have in Manila, where you need to buy first at their mini market and tell the cook how you want your food to be cooked- grilled, baked, with soup…

Their pitcher looks awesome. It looks like a big clear flower base. I am actually tempted to drink directly from it.

Their pitcher looks awesome. It looks like a big clear flower base. I am actually tempted to drink directly from it.

We ordered a fish (which I forgot the name) in miso soup.

We ordered a fish (which I forgot the name) in miso soup.

We also had baked oyster. Their shell lokks different their in Cebu. I don't know why. :)

We also had baked oyster. Their shell lokos different their in Cebu. I don’t know why. 🙂 We also had other seafood meals like bangus belly. I even remember myself ordering pork meat because I was really hungry. *pigging out*

I must not forget their condiments. It was so yummy and serves as my appetizers :)

I must not forget their condiments. It was so yummy and serves as my appetizers 🙂

It was a perfect dinner for me. *burp* lol!

It was a perfect dinner for me. *burp* lol!

That was a good adventure for us in our first day in Cebu. I am really astonished by the volume of people going to mass there which I rarely see here in Manila. I do regularly attend masses but I just see those number of people in Baclaran during Wednesday and in Quiapo during Fridays. I must say that Catholic faith is really evident in Cebu.

I feel so lucky to visit the place before the tragic magnitude 7.0 earthquake came last month. But a part of me can’t help but to feel sad because as we went there I see how each places we been in Cebu reflected the culture and tradition, not to mention the faith that our Cebuano kababayans have. Basilica de Sto. Nino  is one of the churches destroyed by the earthquake.

Aside from that, the landmarks and churches (cathedrals) are true reflection of the Filipino Catholic faith. With the sculptures and the architectural designs of churches there, I must say that those are real cultural heritage of us. Too bad some of it were destroyed by the recent earthquake but I am positive enough that with the faith of our fellow kababayans, nothing is impossible and God will truly make a way to establish His church again- more sturdy than before.

I also read that the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) as well as the government is taking some steps to restore the churches (as much as possible) that were destroyed in the place with  minimal changes with its architectural designs.

Bangon Cebu! (Rise again Cebu!)

Have you been to Cebu? How was your experience sweeties?

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