My Cebu Trip, in 40 seconds. This video starts off with me playing off a part of the latest Wake Up, Girls! single, and proceeds to show the wonders of Cebu — from the Sirao Garden to the skyline as seen at the Temple of Leah, to the skyline as seen at SM Seaside City Cebu.

As always, I experienced a lot of firsts

For five days and six nights, I was at Cebu City in the Visayas region, just a one-hour flight away from Manila by air. It is my first time to land in Visayas, I got my first plane commute, and perhaps this is the third time I stayed in a hotel room for so long (the first one was in 2015, the second was was in Makati this year).

Moreover, I was able to land on an unfamiliar territory where I need to have a better sense of understanding — culture shock, slight language barriers, so on and so forth — thankfully, I am happy through the whole stay.

Prior to this post, you should’ve seen me try the local fastfood as well as see what the Fuente night life looks like. Now, I shall bring forth to you the other things I did around Cebu.

What Cebuano media looks like from the first glance

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The local papers. [Left] The Freeman is Cebu’s oldest newspaper established in 1919 and is part of the Philippine STAR, while [Right] Cebu Daily News is part of the Inquirer Group of Publications. [Middle] Sun.Star, like The Freeman, started as a community newspaper then went on to become a household name as well. Unlike Manila broadsheets, these have their own set of sizes. The Freeman and Sun.Star have their own tabloids as well, namely Banat News and Super Balita, published in Binisaya. (We can consider that Inquirer’s Bandera is Cebu Daily News’ tabloid counterpart as well)

The first thing that I did at the hotel room is to see its media landscape — first, I checked the cable TV at the hotel room, and hours after, I checked the local papers. Aside from the Philippine STAR and Inquirer, local broadsheets such as Sun.Star flourish in Cebu City.

On TV, I chanced upon the city’s Catholic TV network, CCTN 47. It operates like a local channel, providing not just religious programs but as well as news and infotainment programming.

Most Manila radio brands are also in Cebu, such as Crossover, Love Radio, Energy FM, Monster Radio, Magic, Barangay, MOR, Brigada, so on and so forth. The names may not have changed, but the language and frequencies did.

The places I’ve been to

Sirao Mountain Garden. As part of the post-event itinerary, we went to see the Sirao Mountain Garden, around one hour away from the city. This will be the first and the last trip there, as it is so, so far.

Temple of Leah. This place has been covered in news magazines shows, but it’s still being completed as we went there. Maybe by year 2030 it will be fully completed, who knows. The topmost photo shows the skyline as seen there.

SM Seaside City Cebu has its beautiful landscape and shows great views of the Cebu skyline.

Being a mall rat, I decided to be persuasive and visit the malls that I’ve never been to yet, such as the SM Seaside City located at the South Road Properties area. It’s saddening that jeeps are not allowed to pass in this area, and I’ve been told that the restriction is in favor of the MyBus system, which I wish it will accept beep cards in the future.

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Cebu, as seen at the Seaside City. The SM Seaside City Cebu shows a great view of Cebu City from afar.

[Left] Cebu City Hall. [Right] The statue of Don Vicente Rama, the city’s first appointed mayor and the father of its charter.

When we passed by the Cebu City Hall, there was an ongoing Town Hall meeting. Wish I could have listened to what they are discussing, but there’s not enough time for me to stay long.

Cebu definitely has its own array of delicacies such as its various kinds of rice cakes.

Catholicism has been a part of Cebu’s history , which started from the cross that Fernando Magallanes planted in the 16th Century.

[Left] Crown Regency Hotel and Towers as seen from the Fuente Osmeña circle. [Right] Yours truly, taken at the Skywalk Extreme by its official photographer.

The Crown Regency Hotel and Towers near the Fuente Osmeña circle, where I stayed for days, is home to an indoor adventure leisure facility called the Sky Experience Adventure, composed of the Skywalk ExtremeEdge Coaster, and a viewing deck among others.

I tried the Skywalk Extreme, much to my chagrin as I have fear of heights. We went around the edge of the tower, and I try not to look down as things might get worse. It might be a relief to me that it’s close to nighttime when we stepped there, in addition the great guide that accompanied us who shared Cebu’s scenery that is definitely for our eyes to see.

[Left] Group show with my colleagues. [Right] My first photo inside an airplane, taken while we’re bound back to Manila.

The last thing I did before going back to Manila is to go to the Shamrock Pasalubong Center and buy a pack of dried mangoes.

The culture, the people, the experience — these have left a mark in me just before the year ends. Without a doubt, I left a part of me in Cebu — and I’ll get it back next time.

We’re off to the last few weeks of 2016 — a terribly bad year, honestly — and while we’re at it, let me remind everyone that Cosplay Week is just near. I’m going to take the opportunity to relax in the company of friends, and I hope to see you someday between the 26th to 30th December at either Megamall or SMX Manila.