Ginawa mo namang Quiapo ang Cebu eh!
So, I’ve been in and out Cebu twice in two weeks making it its as if the travel is a ride away from my house.
Though, this travel is a business trip, its my first time to travel solo – business or leisure, I made sure that I will have an awesome time. It took my work to book me a flight to travel solo because I’m not really into flying solo because I’m afraid of heights. But being an introvert (most of the time) I love being alone, but I never thought that I would travel alone because of my fear. And Cebu was my destination.
I’ve been to Cebu, seven years ago, a month after I was hired in my work now. We were hitting two birds with one stone, our managers had to discuss our brand to the Cebu branch staff members. After that it was our group’s summer outing in October. Fast forward to September 2018, I found myself hopping into that plane, alone, with seat number 53J, ready to take off for Cebu.
I headed straight to the Cebu branch office to work and because I can’t check in yet in my hotel. After checking in my hotel, I was in my room searching for possible restaurants that’s only in Cebu, I found this place called The Gallery, its kinda like Fort Strip, its a strip of restaurants in one block. I booked a Grab Car and asked my driver (sorry, I wasn’t able to take note of your name Kuya!) for his suggestions on where I can go while I’m in Cebu. He suggested that I should go to Sirao and Temple of Leah, but he warned me that it’s kinda far and I won’t be able to book a grab from there, so you have to hire the grab you used going there to wait for you and drop you back in the city. He also suggested that I should go to The Pyramid but its better to go there at night because of the ambiance and the lightning.
I arrived at The Gallery and I was torn between El Taquito and Pakû by Chef Binux with two different cuisine. The first offers Mexican while the latter offers unlimited chicken wings for PHP199 and it comes with unlimited rice.
I decided to eat at El Taquito because I thought that I can eat unlimited chicken wings here in Manila. I ordered half slab of ribs, extra garlic rice, quesadilla, and had a round of margarita, since there’s no San Mig Light. The ribs was OK, there’s nothing really special but its PHP170 for half slab so I guess its OK. Hot sauce was not really hot. I didn’t use my hands in eating the ribs, and yes I had a hard time eating it, because I was typing my thoughts while I was eating (yes I was taking down notes on my trip for this blog post). I ate outside the restaurant as there’s no more seats inside, surprisingly, I was not sweating. After 10mins, it rained.
Waking up the following day knowing that the breakfast was not buffet, was kind of disappointing. But I was surprised that one of my colleagues in Manila had to fly to Cebu to roll out the results of a survey. During the roll out one of the bosses in the company I’m working for said that you should forgive yourself. Learn from your mistake and move on. You should realize that you are better than your mistake. The Cebu branch operations continued the group meeting over dinner at Circa 1900, I had a glass of wine while the staff members are having a great time. Then I thought, if I’m going to be in and out of Cebu for the next few weeks, I should learn some Cebuano words right? So here are some of the words I learned earlier that day: Lami is delicious, Ba-ti na wong is ugly, Baga ug na wun is shameless but I prefer it in tagalog makapal ang mukha.
After dinner, my colleague and I decided to go to The Pyramid, and check it out. Alas! It was frustrating. It’s a resto bar, and its not actually a pyramid because on one part it has a protruded square room.
Nothing really special on my third day because its work work work day. But that night, I lost count of how many glasses of wine I drank, and it was my first photo with our chairman in my seven years of stay. Cebuano word for the day: duha means two.
My second to the last day at Cebu was rather chill, I had to meet with one of the bosses at around 8am for her talk, after that I was at the office the whole day. And it was English Friday at the Cebu office, they are not allowed to speak in Cebuano or tagalog to anyone, but they made me an exemption. Since I’m an exception I had to learn more Cebuano words, sagol is halo, maoy is sad/drama, kuyawa is amazing.
Then I tried MiCab, its an indirect competitor or Grab, since I’m having a hard time in booking Grab. But I failed, I wasn’t able to book MiCab. I was frustrated because I thought I’ll be able to book one since its Cebu based. Had dinner with the Cebu staff members. After dinner I was able to book a Grab, went to my hotel and slept.
I woke up late the following, and last, day in Cebu and had to rush to House of Lechon to get first dibs on the lechons. I arrived at around 11am and I can still count the number of customers eating, and I was able to have a mini photo shoot. Please forgive the photo, I think Kuya Marion was in a hurry.
I was at the corner of the restaurant when around 11:15am, the place started to fill up and I started people watching.
The place caters to alot of people – foreigners, tourists, and locals. And I’ve realized that food is a universal language, well, aside from English. I ordered 1/4 Carcar special of lechon, Ngohion and two cups of garlic rice – I should have ordered one bowl of garlic rice, instead. 🙂
I was at the restaurant for almost two hours because I had to eat slow because I was about to eat 1/4 kilo of lechon and two cups of garlic rice. I saw people come and go and the place just fills up instantly or the table is reserved for someone. Simply, no table is left without customers. It means that they are serving, if not the best, one of the best lechons in Cebu.
On my way to the airport, I realized that Grab drivers in Cebu doesn’t use Waze or Google Maps. Have they memorized Cebu?
After two days of staying in Manila, I flew back to Cebu this time with my manager for a different project.
It’s tiring but traveling has a lot of benefits. But for me, traveling alone has more benefits than that of traveling with your family or friends. It makes you talk more to the locals, it boosts your confidence more and make you know more yourself, it’ll be memorable, liberating, and a kuyawa experience that you’ll keep for the rest of our lives. And I must say during my first solo travel there’s a lot of realizations made and I’ve conquered a lot of things. Will this be the start of my solo travels?
After eight days in Cebu, I’m back, Manila! And as promise to myself and to my new circle in Cebu, I have less than a month to learn this Cebuano song.