Cebu City, dubbed as the Queen City of the South, is a wonderful city in the Visayas region that boasts a lot of natural and man-made tourist attractions. I was able to visit Cebu for less than 24 hours in 2015, and yes, I did it again this year – this time with my mom and it was not really intended.

Initially, I booked a one-way flight for 2 from Clark to Davao. I got the tickets at 300 pesos each steal price from the Philippine Airline’s seat sale last March 2018. The return flight was a little pricey for me which was at about a little more than 2,000 pesos each. Considering that my flight was 7 months from then, I didn’t book for a return flight, hoping I’d be able to score another great deal (greedy, lol). BUT, I was wrong. Here comes September and we still have no return tickets.

(Panic attack mode) 2 weeks prior to our flight departure, I started to browse through websites for the cheapest flight ticket from Davao to Clark, even considered flights to Manila. Thinking the odds were not in my favour, the cheapest flight available is at more than 3,000 pesos each. It was just incidental that I searched for a flight from Davao to Cebu (instead of Clark) – thanks to the very slow internet. Tickets were at 500 each and Cebu to Clark is at 700. COOL. But, another problem – we can only afford 3 days off-work because who have the luxury for more than 3 days vacation? Definitely, not me.

That being said, we had to cut short our Davao trip to a little more than 24 hours, so we can spend another 24 hours in Cebu. Hitting two cities at a one-time work leave… not bad.

We arrived at Mactan City International Airport at 4PM. Immediately, we proceeded to Terminal 1 to catch a MyBus shuttle to SM City Cebu. MyBus  is convenient, budget friendly at only 40 pesos each, and leaves every 20 minutes. It has different drop off points such as Parkmall, Island Central Mall, and SM City Cebu. Travel time was about 30 minutes.

We had our luggage with us. Thankfully, SM City Cebu offers a lounge for travellers where people can leave their suitcases for a minimum fee of 30 pesos each. We deposited our things and proceeded to the other side of the mall, where vans going to 10K roses is located.

Photo by Bonghwan Cho
Photo by Danica Navarro Barluado

From SM to Cordova (10K Roses), we travelled for about an hour. The entrance fee for 10K roses was 20 pesos each, which in my opinion should be a little bit more so they have more funds to maintain the roses’ LED lights more efficiently. The lights were already dimmed, so maybe I could say they roses have withered?

We stayed at Gran Tierra Suites for the main reason that it is near Larsian and Fuente Osmena Circle. (Free MyBus rides from Osmena Circle to SM Seaside and vice versa exists, btw). The hotel was clean, rooms were big enough, beds were comfortable, and rate was affordable at 900 for two.

By 6AM, we went out to visit Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu, Magellan’s Cross, and Fort San Pedro.

Then, we proceed to JY Square Mall where vans for an uphill tour is located. We purchased a private 3-hour tour from Go To Tops for 2 locations – Sirao Garden and Temple of Leah, priced at 1,200. We opted to not go to TOPS because of poor online reviews.

Photo by Mj Magallon
Photo by Cường Lê / Thor Media

By 12 noon, we were back in the city. We headed to SM City Cebu to have lunch at Zubuchon. To be honest, the restaurant is pricey and somewhat over-rated, but still, worth a try for experience. Afterwards, we headed to the Airport at 2PM via MyBus, and our plane left 1 hour late from the scheduled flight at 5PM.

Overall, it was a fun and a remarkable trip with my mom!

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