Monday, September 27, 2010

My First Take-Off

I was 7 years old when I had my first airplane ride.  We were on our way to visit our cousins in Silay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines - the city of smiles.

All of us kids, were ecstatic to be going somewhere far and riding the airplane.  We were composed of 3 families with 5 adults and 6 kids.  Imagine the headache we were causing our parents when we decided to 'bond' during the flight.  Our first stop was Cebu City.

Cebu City is famous for being the city discovered by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and the Sinulog Festival.  In his search for the Spice Islands now known as Indonesia, his ship accidentally veered further west thus landed him in Homonhon Island in the Philippines.  This started the colorful history of Spain in the Philippines which lasted for 300 years.

Since Cebu city is a city that holds quite a number of historical landmarks, we did what most tourists do.  Paid it a visit to the nearest ones and had our go with the picture taking activities.  Actually, the cross displayed is just the wooden casing of the original cross.  This cross is not where Magellan met his demise, but, this is the cross that symbolizes Spain's biggest contribution to the Philippines - Christianity. 



The cross is located inside a small building near the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.  Back then, we were not really that interested of these things.  We ran around the cobbled path of the area from the chapel to the main Sto. Nino Church.



And that's all I can remember about Cebu on my first trip.

My second visit in Cebu was already 18 years later.  And I went to visit the same tourist attraction which by the way haven't change a bit.  Although, the Sto. Nino Church is more beautiful than ever.  The old Baroque church still evokes the ambiance of being a holy ground housing a very old religious artifact.  What I missed in checking out was what Cebu was really all about aside from its rich history.

Cebu city is known for its very tasty lechon.  Lechon is a suckling pig roasted over charcoal for hours.  The crispy skin is just the appetizer of the whole meat adventure.  I don't know what is it with Lechon Cebu that separates it from the rest of the lechons in the entire Philippines.  They just have their distinct juicy taste that lingers in your tongue.

Another must try delicacy of Cebu is their dried mangoes.  If you are one with the sweet tooth, this is definitely the perfect quick snack.  You can nibble on it for hours.  A little reminder though, drink loads and loads of water after, sore throat would definitely be next in your Cebu experience. 



Often heard on the streets of Cebu is the vendors selling.  Danggit is a dried fish, often fried for breakfast.  It goes well with fried rice and fried egg.  This dried fish is salt marinated, thus paired with vinegar to neutralize the taste.

If you are not a food hunter, then relaxing in the white sand beaches of Cebu should also be in your list to visit.  The Sumilon Island boasts the kind of relaxation one can only achieve when taking a sabbatical leave.  This island is blessed with white sand beaches and a resort that could cater to all your needs while being away from the city bustle.

These are just a few of what I have missed experiencing in Cebu.  Maybe next time, when my plane lands again in this history rich city, I'd grab a friend who lives here and make her my instant tourist guide and make sure I will experience everything Cebu has to offer for somebody who likes to wander off.




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