Monday, August 15, 2016

Salty But Sweet: Cebu 2016

I've been seeing a lot of travel photos from Cebu recently so I got intrigued and finally decided to see it myself. Prior to our Cebu trip, I did a lot of research on where to go, where to eat, what to buy and how to get to places. At first, we really wanted to go on extreme adventures, but later on we've decided to just go have a decent R&R. 

We went there last June but I wasn't able to post about our trip immediately because I've been busy but I'm so excited to publish this and finally share with you our Cebu escapade! 

Besides the Cebu lechon (LOL), the thing that we're looking forward to the most is visiting Bantayan Island. I've been hearing a lot of good things about Bantayan and a friend told me that if you're looking for R&R, Bantayan is the place to be. 

Bantayan is 4 hours away from Cebu City, you have to travel through air, land and water. I know what you're thinking, is it worth that much of a hassle? My answer is yes! It's very much worth it!

We took a plane ride going to Mactan International Airport in the morning, we arrived at Cebu around 8:40am. When we arrived, we took a cab to the Cebu North Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Hagnaya Port, San Remigio. We got on a Ceres Bus (yellow and white), the fare is around 200 pesos. The bus will go on a few stopovers then they will drop you off exactly at Hagnaya Port. From the port, you will ride the public ferry/roro to Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island. The fare is around 170 pesos, and the ferry leaves every hour until 5pm. The people in Cebu are very welcoming to tourists. There are porters that will help you for a cost of 50 pesos. It's advisable to ask for their help if you have heavy baggage because they will carry it for you from the bus up to your seats inside the ferry. The ferry ride will take about an hour to reach Bantayan Island. I advise you to book your hotel prior to your trip because the best hotels have limited rooms only and if you want a grand vacation better plan it ahead. The best hotels in Bantayan doesn't cost much. I swear everything on this island is affordable but the experience is remarkable. 

When we got to Sta. Fe, we got on a tricycle going to Kota Beach Resort. We booked Kota Beach Resort through Agoda. The tricycle driver also recommended us another place to stay in, the Anika Resort but unfortunately the resort was fully booked that time. We booked an overnight stay only at Kota Beach Resort because we couldn't book for another night, the resort is also full the next day so we'll just book another resort for the following night. 

Bantayan is a peaceful and amazing island. When we reached Kota Beach Resort, we're in awe of how magnificent the view is! Just look at that stretch of white sand and blue waters. It's also amazing to see a sandbar. This place is paradise!
 

This is our room, we booked an air-conditioned 2nd row cottage for only 2,425 pesos per night, it's very spacious and it has its own comfort room with shower inside. The cottages are beach front and the place is full of coconut trees and hammocks. This place is perfect for our much awaited R&R!



We arrived around 2pm. We rested first because the 4-hour trip was quite draining. Around 4pm, we went out to lounge by the beach.

one piece swimsuit, @stylehood | bag, triangl | cap, H&M
My beach essentials! 

sunglasses, charming charlie | sunscreen lotion, clarins | fujifilm instax | bag, triangl


The beach and the mango shake is all that I need. I can't put into words how relaxing this time was. The place is so quiet and very private. There are only few people in the area. Its like we rented the island for ourselves!


We went inside our cottage around 6pm, took a shower and went out again for dinner. They have a restaurant inside the resort. Be sure to order your food immediately because serving time takes about an hour of waiting. The food is good though.

Since we experienced the beach quite late in the afternoon when we got there, we've decided to get up early the next day so we could see how amazing the view looks like first thing in the morning. Our decision to get up early didn't fail us. The view is breathtaking. I know by now you know how much I love the beach and if I could just stay there forever I would (lol but the girl's gotta work hehe).




2 things that I love the most, beach and breakfast. The resort served our breakfast by the beach beds so we could eat while enjoying the view.


*sigh*

I know, I know this looks perfect right? 

swimsuit, forever 21 | sunglasses, charming charlie 









Oh before anything else, one of the special reasons why I love this vacation is because its our anniversary week! yay! Happy 2nd Anniversary Mon Amour! ♥<3 nbsp="" p="">


This is the entrance of the resort "Camp Sawi". I've been seeing a lot of trailers about a movie entitled "Camp Sawi" which will be shown soon and was filmed on this island. Cool right?


As what I've told you, we weren't able to book a hotel for the second night so we booked right away. We left Kota Beach Resort at lunchtime and asked the front desk to get us a tricycle to go to our next resort. 


We booked a Garden Villa at Ogtong Cave Resort, it costs us 3055 pesos. This resort is quite crowded compared to Kota Beach Resort. We didn't tried swimming at the beach because its quite rocky. They have a swimming pool though, but its open to outsiders so there were a lot of children swimming. I think this resort is better for families and company outings. The thing that I liked about this resort is the spacious garden villa and the affordable but tasty food. We just basically spent the night there, had dinner and a few drinks.


This is the Ogtong Cave. This cave is inside the resort and the water is very clear. A lot of tourists pass by the resort to see the cave.


On our third day, we woke up early had breakfast and headed back to the Sta. Fe port. We're going to travel back to Cebu City. 

Goodbye Bantayan! I would definitely come back to experience this again.


Again, we took an hour ferry ride back to Hagnaya Port. From Hagnaya Port, we didn't take the bus but we took the van going to SM Cebu. The fare is 250 pesos each. The time we reached SM Cebu, we bought our pasalubong from the grocery. We bought Titay's Rosquillos and Profood dried mangoes! They say its cheaper to buy these pasalubongs in the grocery than in pasalubong stores.


Our next stop, Movenpick Hotel and Resort Mactan. We saved this resort for our last night in Cebu because we've heard so many great things about the place. The service is world class and the facilities  are very modern and exquisite. The place looks great and if you're willing to shell out, I advise you to book Movenpick. 


This is what the view from our room looks like. From the room, you can already spot the Ibiza Beach Club.


We went straight to Ibiza Beach Club for a few drinks 'til sunset.



one piece suit, wearsandycheeks | scarf, forever 21



Ibiza Beach Club has its own jacuzzi where you could take a dip while having drinks. They serve complimentary chips too!



Since its our Anniversary night, we had dinner at their buffet restaurant. We're the only people in the restaurant! They served asian fusion that night. The food was great!


We woke up early the next day because our flight back to Manila was at 11am. The sky was gloomy but we still went out to make the most of our last few hours. Luckily, our airline texted early in the morning to inform us that our flight was 4 hours delayed. This is the first time that we felt happy about the idea of a delayed flight! It means we could still enjoy our time at Movenpick without worrying too much. Another great thing is, the sun came out! I swear, we're getting all the luck that day. We were able to enjoy the beach one last time on a bright and sunny day, so yay!


swimsuit, neon island | sunglasses, charming charlie






To more travels together, love!♥<3 p="">







Ibiza Beach Club looks amazing in the morning! The white accents coordinates with the blue sky!




Change outfit! I have one swimsuit left! hihi

two piece swimsuit, wanderlust | sunglasses, charming charlie | hat, bought in cambodia



We checked out around 12 noon and took a cab to  Zubuchon. We don't wanna leave Cebu without tasting the all famous Cebu Lechon or roasted pig. 

We ordered the boneless Zubuchon and a whole platter of rice. What a feast!

If you're planning to take home some lechon, you can order 2 kilos of frozen lechon sealed in a box so you could easily bring it inside the plane as your hand carry. Its cheaper if you buy from the restaurant but if you wanna buy from the airport, they have a booth there also but its more expensive.


After eating lunch at Zubuchon, we went straight to the airport and got on our plane back to Manila. 

Over all, our stay in Cebu was ecstatic! We got to try everything that we wanted and our itinerary was perfect so I could really say that we did a good job in planning this trip. 

If you're interested in going to Cebu and knowing more from this trip, do leave a comment below! I'd love to answer all of your queries.

Hope this post was interesting enough for you to visit Cebu next time! As for me, I can't wait to explore more places soon! :)


**Photography by Raymond Tagle Jr.**


XOXO,
Nicole