Cebu: Family Trip at The Queen City of the South

Cebu is one of the most visited provinces in the Philippines, even ringing bells to foreigners such as Koreans and Chinese, due to variety of tourist destinations. Most people go for island hopping, whaleshark watching, canyoneering and nature tripping. I visited Cebu and Bohol last February 2014 with friends, doing city tour and leaving for Bohol countryside tour, where we took flight back to Manila at Tagbilaran City.

Central Visayas (Cebuano: Tunga-tungang Kabisay-an) is a region of the Philippines, numerically designated as Region VII. It consists of four provinces (CebuBoholNegros Oriental, and Siquijor) and three highly urbanized cities (Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue).

This time, I suggested that our family spend a vacation mostly on Cebu and an overnight in Bohol will do. We siblings planned this as our wedding anniversary gift to our parents, so for week-long itinerary planning, transportation and accommodation, I took most of these tasks.

Cebu (Cebuano: Sugbo) is a province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas (Region VII) region, and consists of a main island and 167 surrounding islands and islets. Its capital is Cebu City, “the Queen City of the South”, the oldest city and first capital of the Philippines, which is politically independent from the provincial government. Cebu is my 17th province visited.

Our parents are senior citizens already so we took consideration of the places we will visit in both provinces. We clustered the places we can visit per day and we did splurge on meals especially our lunch. Breakfast and dinner mostly cooked on our stay in Cebu city. On some days in between, we spend our time going to grocery stores to buy souvenirs and delicacies for our loved ones back in Manila.

Cebu City, officially the City of Cebu (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Sugbo; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Cebu) is a 1st class and highly urbanized city of the island of Cebu. It is the most populous in Visayas and the regional center of Central Visayas. The name “Cebu” came from the old Cebuano word sibu or sibo (“trade”), a shortened form of sinibuyang hingpit (“the place for trading”). It was originally applied to the harbors of the town of Sugbu, the ancient name for Cebu City. Sugbu or Sugbo, in turn, was derived from the Old Cebuano term for “scorched earth” or “great fire”

In this post, we’ll show the tourist destinations we visited in Cebu province. For Bohol itinerary, refer on this post. Though Cebu and Bohol are the provinces I visited twice, I still included them in my #project81. Note that they both belong to Region VII or Central Visayas. For other provinces, check here my 41st and 42nd: Negros Oriental and Siquijor respectively. Presenting our itinerary below with Cebu-Mactan airport as our entry and exit point:

Our Cebu Travel Map doing southwest route from Mactan–Cebu Airport in Lapu-Lapu City


Cebu City
Mountain Tour
📍Sirao Garden Little Amsterdam
📍Temple of Leah
City Tour
📍Heritage of Cebu Monument
📍Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
📍Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño de Cebu designated as National Historical Landmark
📍Magellan’s Cross
📍San Pedro Calungsod Chapel
📍SM Seaside City Cebu
📍SM Seaside City Cebu Skypark
📍Tabo-an Market

Argao, Cebu
📍Saint Michael the Archangel Church designated as National Historical Landmark
📍Argao Municipal Hall
📍Town Plaza
📍Mortuary Chapel
📍Argao Hall of Justice

Sibonga, Cebu
📍Simala Shrine
📍Monastery of the Holy Eucharist

Carcar City
📍Saint Catherine of Alexandria Parish Church
📍Old City Hall
📍Carcar Rotunda
📍Carcar City Museum
📍Carcar Public Market for lechong Carcar
📍Carcar Chicharon Stalls for chicharon and ampao

Lapu-Lapu City
📍Virgen de la Regla Church
📍Mactan Shrine
📍Lapu-Lapu Monument
📍Magellan Shrine
📍Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Cordova, Cebu
📍10000 Roses

Highlighted are the cities and municipalities that we visited, mostly within Metro Cebu.


Groupie before boarding at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Free family trip courtesy of @getgoph ! Thanks @cebupacificair!


Sirao Garden, also called the Little Amsterdam of Cebu, Sirao is an 8,000-sq-meter piece of uphill land privately owned by Sps. Alfredo and Elena Sy-Chua who grew, for the longest time, celosia flowers. Those are harvested in time for the All Souls’ Day and Sinulog.


The flowers are planted in tiers along both sides. Furthermore gaps are provided in between for guests to take pictures without destroying the plants. Benches are provided in some parts of the garden as well as other attraction like a bicycle, a windmill, a fountain, and some statuaries.


Temple of Leah is Teodorico Soriano Adarna’s gesture of love to his late wife Leah Albino-Adarna, a life partner for 53 years. They are the grandparents of Filipina actress Ellen Adarna and owner of motel chain Queensland in Cebu.
A wide stone steps give everyone a free access to the portico and towards the lobby where a brass 10-foot statue of Leah is erected. The commemorative plaque on the base of the statue reads:
“Beloved Wife and Mother: Leah V. Albino-Adarna was chosen Matron Queen of her Alma Mater the University of Southern Philippines. This bronze statue portrays her composure and regal bearing when she was crowned. May the beholder discern her innate beauty, poise and gentleness.”


The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, officially known as The Metropolitan Cathedral and Parish of Saint Vitalis and of the Immaculate Conception (dedicated to Mary, under her title, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and to Saint Vitalis of Milan), is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu in Cebu, Philippines.


The Basílica Menor del Santo Niño de Cebú (Minor Basilica of the Holy Child of Cebú), commonly known as the Santo Niño Basilica, is a minor basilica in Cebu City in the Philippines that was founded in the 1565 by Fray Andrés de Urdaneta, O.S.A. and Fray Diego de Herrera, O.S.A.. The oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, it is built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú was found during the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi.


Magellan’s Cross (Spanish: Cruz de Magallanes, Tagalog: Krus ni Magallanes) is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines on (depending on source) 16 (U.S. date) or 17(Philippines date) March 1521. This cross is housed in a chapel next to the Basilica Menor del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street, just in front of the city center of Cebu City. A sign below the cross states that the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross made of tingalo wood. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for souvenir purposes in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers.


Argao, officially the Municipality of Argao, (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Argao; Tagalog: Bayan ng Argao), is a 1st class municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines.
La Torta Festival happens every 28–29 September to celebrate Argao’s cultural heritage from the Spanish period tradition of making the torta, which is a popular cake in Argao.


Argao Church, canonically known as the Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel, is a Roman Catholic church in Argao, Cebu, Philippines. The municipality of Argao was established as a parish in 1703 under the Augustinian order. To serve the parochial needs of its people, a stone church was constructed in 1734 and was completed in 1788. The church was dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel.


Nestled in the uphill area of upper Lindogon, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu is the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, or popularly known as the Simala Shrine. She’s been adored and visited by both locals and tourists alike.


If you are a Marian devotee, the monastery is the best place for you to visit because she is considered to be the home of the “miraculous” Birhen sa Simala. Furthermore, the monastery is the best place for you to meditate and say your prayers.


Carcar, officially the City of Carcar, (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Carcar; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Carcar), or simply known as Carcar City, is a 5th class city in the province of Cebu, Philippines.
Carcar is considered one of the oldest towns in Cebu, with its Spanish influence lasted more than 300 years ago.


As a Heritage City of Cebu, Carcar contains various Spanish and American period structures. The Carcar plaza alone hosts several heritage structures, the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria dominates the area. Within the complex various structures stand, including quaint houses and their distinctive architectural details.
Surrounding the Rotunda and in the public market one will find the famous Carcar chicharon, lechon, ampao, bucarillo, gorgorias and puso – just some of the local delicacies.


Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod – The chapel is dedicated to San Pedro Calungsod. He was martyred in Guam in 1672 for his missionary work and was beautified on March 5, 2000 by Blessed Pope John Paul II. On October 21, 2012 San Pedro Calungsod was beatified at Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City by Pope Benedict XVI.
SM Seaside City Cebu, also known locally as SM Seaside or just Seaside, is a large shopping mall owned and developed by SM Prime Holdings in Cebu City, Philippines that opened on 27 November 2015, exactly 22 years after SM City Cebu. which opened in 1993. It is the centerpiece of the SM Seaside Complex, a 30-hectare mixed-use development at the South Road Properties.
It is currently the third largest shopping mall in the Philippines and the tenth in the world. The mall has a gross leasable area (GLA) of more than 470,486 square meters.


Lapu-Lapu City, officially the City of Lapu-Lapu (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Lapu-Lapu; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Lapu-Lapu), or simply known as Lapu-Lapu, is a 1st class highly urbanised city in the region of Central Visayas, Philippines. Formerly known as Opon, the city was renamed to its present name in 1961.


The church is called Nuestra Señora Virgen de la Regla in Spanish. Hear of the alleged miracles that took place in this neighborhood of Opon. Stories range from healing diseases and regaining the ability to walk to passing examinations. Prayers here are often on the theme of protecting women and children from violence.
You might be asking why Our Lady of the Rule was translated Birhen sa Regla when Regla is translated as menstrual period. It was explained that regla rather refers to rule or order because menstrual period follows a rule of dates.


The Lapu-Lapu shrine is a 20 metres (66 ft) bronze statue in Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Philippines, erected in honor of Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who defeated Spanish soldiers led by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the 1521 Battle of Mactan.
The Magellan Shrine is a large memorial tower erected in 1866 in honor of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan on the Mactan Island of Cebu, the Philippines. The spot is believed to be the site where Magellan was killed in the 1521 Battle of Mactan.


The 10,000 Roses Cafe is a tourist attraction and cafe located in Cordova, Cebu that has grown popular in recent years. Roughly taking an hour to get from Cebu City, it features two patches of artificial LED roses that light up from dusk till night. Most visitors go for the “instragrammable” appeal to it.


Relief Goods from Cebu:
Danggit at Tuyo from Taboan Market🐟
Otap, Polvoron and dried fruits from Gaisano Colon 🥭(because Shamrock Center was closed)


Thanks to all who made our family vacation memorable. (n_n)

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