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Inasmuch as I love exploring different places, I am not one to actively pursue travel especially locally which is kind of a bummer knowing how beautiful the provinces and beaches in the countries are. The reasons?
There is that mindset that there will always be opportunities to travel locally since it is geographically closer to the area of residence.
Plane tickets can be quite expensive! Sometimes you can travel abroad with the same amount of money so practically you would choose to experience different localities and culture first. One major example of this is Batanes. THE ISLAND IS A PIECE OF HEAVEN. I would also like to explore it given the chance. It is one of my local travel goals to be totally honest but it still yet to push through. It is so secluded that there are special plane trips for it and the prices are quite a number. Hopefully when travel for leisure is allowed without the constant worry of getting inflicted with diseases we can go there too.
Friends are unavailable or busy and they tend to prioritize dream travels abroad as well so those plans are most likely to push through than the local travels.
With my mundane but probably comprehensible reasons, I am grateful to be able to tick off some of the dream local travels through our company outings. And I get to even travel and experience basic tourist packages because of it. Through the amazing efforts of the company I was able to go to Cebu and Bohol with my colleagues. It is different from traveling with your friends because you would have more liberty when you are planning on your own but luckily somehow the company gave us free time in which we can spend it the way that we want. And so of course I made the best of what we have then and tried to delve in with the wonders of the said places.
For this article update I will be showing you some of the ethereal gems of the Queen City of the South, Cebu City.
Cebu is said to be the oldest city in the country being established in the time when the Spaniards are still colonizing the country. No wonder the Spanish influences are still remnant even on the language/local dialect in there (but actually this is speaking about the Philippines in general).
We stayed for three days over the weekend and it might feel like it is too short but to be honest, it is quite enough as we also get to experience the nuances of the city while we are in there.
Cebu feels homey and it's developed that it will remind you of Manila. Driving for a few hours though, you'd already get to experience the beautiful nature and other breathtaking sceneries that would make you want to lose yourself in even for just a moment.
One of the iconic tourist places that you should not miss is the Magellan's Cross which is very well-known for its historical background.
From time immemorial this spot has been set aside to commemorate the erection of the cross in Cebu by the expedition of Magellan, when King Humabon of Cebu and his queen, son and daughters, together with some 800 of their subjects were baptized by Father Pedro Valderrama. This hallowed site was improved in 1976 by Rev. Juan Albarran,Prior of San Agustin and in 1834 by Rt. Rev. Santos Gomez Marañon, Bishop of Cebu.
The image of the Santo Niño found by the expedition of the Legaspi in a house near the present site of the cathedral of Cebu is venerated by the faithful in the nearby church of San Agustin. -- Magellan's Cross marker
Another iconic location that we visited is the Temple of Leah. It is quite a drive from the city but the scenery is so worth it. We rented a van that took us places and planned our local itinerary on our free time properly that's why we did get to explore despite given only a little time to do so.
Basically, the Temple of Leah will give you a glimpse of Italy or Greece with its structures. The place was built in honor of someone's wife (hence the name of the place).
The place is so aesthetic so we didn't miss the chance to take some snaps.
As the day comes to a close, the digital flowers come in full bloom and it is such a sight to see. There are a lot of people visiting the said location at that time that it was such a struggle to find an angle that is not being blocked by the mass of people but it didn't stop us from enjoying the beautiful spread of white roses right in front of us.
Because of the limited time we opted not to try water sports but we did go to Mantayupan Falls and some beaches near the place. It rained the day prior to our visit though so we only took pictures at the falls after our quick hike leading to it.
I particularly enjoyed the scenery because the sea kind of calms me.
We ate seafood freshly captured from a pond and I may not have photos to back it up now but the food is great! We also ate the specialty of the place, the authentic Cebu Lechon (pork).
As a bonus, we also visited a local café that is Pokémon-themed. We were able to even wear hoodies and try their Pokémon-inspired conconction and shakes and that was quite an experience. I also like how the staff is wearing Pokémon-character dresses. One is even wearing a Nurse Joy outfit and that is pretty cool!
We also went to some other temples and tried out authentic dishes on some restaurants that are not mentioned here. I would like to come back given the chance and maybe explore some tourist spots that we may have missed.
Thank you, lovely sponsors! I am forever grateful to you. I hope somehow I get to show this amazing place to you that it would inspire you to check out those lovely places near you, too. Sometimes we look too far ahead that we get to forget to appreciate those that we have. Here's to going back to our roots.
I am slowly easing in to writing but it's been a busy couple of days. Also, I may have started playing Axie Infinity and I am still learning the ropes and taking my time to master my cards. Wish me luck!
See you all around.
Note: All photos are taken by me unless noted otherwise.