We woke up early and had our breakfast and coffee in our room. How time flies when you are on holiday. But, as they say, no amount of vacation is really enough.
We spent the entire morning frolicking in the water, letting the sight of the magnificent sea lull our minds and take away all worries and stress brought by the daily grind.
When we finally hauled ourselves out of the water, it was close to lunchtime. We went again to Acqua Restaurant for a light lunch of Greek and Caesar salads and pastas.
By early afternoon, we were off to Cebu City. Our goal was to buy pasalubong and our itinerary consisted of a trip to the Sto. Niño Shrine, Magellan’s Cross and Taboan Market.
We boarded a shuttle bus going to Ayala Center. From there, we took a cab going to the Sto. Niño Shrine. The shrine, officially called Basílica Minore del Santo Niño, is a small yet beautiful structure located in Cebu. History books say that it is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the country and stands on the spot where Spanish explorers found the image of the child Jesus.
This is a photo opportunity that I would not miss. Unfortunately, the facade was being renovated and a scaffolding gave me a hard time composing my shot.
The interior of the church was impressive though. If you want to get a good photograph of the altar, bring a camera with a good zoom lens because you are allowed to take pictures only from afar.
As a testament to Cebuanos’ devotion to the infant Jesus, you can see people wave to the image of the Sto. Niño with their heads bowed as they pass by the Pilgrim Center, a structure built across the basilica to accommodate more worshipers. There is a museum inside the Pilgrim Center but we were not able to visit it.
We went to the store inside the Basilica to buy religious figurines. I was particularly looking for a small black Sto. Niño statue which Nanay asked for pasalubong but it was not available at the store. Luckily, I found one in a shop just outside the shrine.
Another landmark that we wanted to see was Magellan’s Cross.This small structure houses the cross planted by Ferdinand Magellan to signify the dissemination of the Roman Catholic faith in the Philippines. Some say that the original cross is encased inside a wooden cross to protect it from deterioration.
Unfortunately, Magellan’s Cross was also closed for renovation. I still took photos of the exteriors though.
From the shrine, we took a cab going to Taboan Market (Pahina Central, Cebu City, Cebu) to buy danggit and other dried seafood; local produce that Cebu City is known for. Going there was a quick 30-40 minute ride.
As soon as we got out of the cab, the pungent aroma of dried fish immediately greeted us. Taboan Market is composed mainly of stalls selling dried seafood and a few souvenir shops.
The mounds of assorted dried fish and squid were a sight to behold. There was something about seeing all those mounds of assorted dried seafood that got me excited. The richness of the Cebu seas is very evident in these bountiful harvest.
Aside from Taboan Market, you might also want to visit Carbon Market along M.C. Briones Street. Carbon Market is the oldest and largest farmer’s market in Cebu City and also a famous tourist destination. It was so named because it used to be a coal depot.
We bought 15 bags of danggit, each weighing 1/4 kilo. Of course, we also bought a kilo of dried squid and danggit for us. For my officemates, I bought half kilo of Cebu’s sinful chicharon, with its crispy skin and layers of rich fat and meat. Easy on these babies because they sure are artery-clogging but they are so good! I would recommend this with a warm plate of steamed rice. For these goodies, we paid around P1,500.
We were supposed to buy dried mangoes, too, but, as a tip, one of the store helpers told us that it was cheaper to buy those in SM Supermarket. So, the decision was made that we will buy dried mangoes from the supermarket.
We finished at around four in the afternoon. We took a cab, got off at SM Cebu and bought hoards of dried mangoes. We got around 20 bags which cost us close to P4,000.
Afterwards, we hurried back to Ayala Center to catch the last shuttle going back to Mactan Shangri-La.
Tired from running around the whole afternoon, we had early dinner at Tea of Spring. And soon afterwards, we were off to bed.
Up next, Day 4: Our last day in Mactan