Monday, June 14, 2010

General Tips when Travelling to Cebu City Philippines

If you are not very familiar when travelling to Cebu City, Philippines- then this guide is definitely helpful. I assume that you are travelling to cebu for either:

a. Vacation – there are lot of vacation spots in the Cebu islands.
b. Study – some schools and universities in Cebu are accepting foreign students.
c. Work – Cebu has lots of job opportunities particularly in the manufacturing and IT sector.
d. Important business matters – if you need to travel cebu for business matters, there are lot of conventions done here almost in a montly basis.

General tips ( applicable for any of the above)
1.) Your obvious stop is either Mactan Cebu International Airport or the Cebu seaports. Now this is what will happen:

a. I suggest to board a taxi to Cebu City and find some cheap hotels or accomodations there, it is way to expensive to stay in Mactan based on my experience. The foods there are very expensive also.

Here are the complete list of Cebu city hotels offering cheap accomodation

If you are staying for longer term (more than one month), then hotels might be too expensive, consider renting an apartment in Cebu City.

b. If you are cowboy enough, you can eat at maximum 50 to 100 pesos per meal and your stomache will nearly explode (for those in tight food budgets). I suggest going to Cebu City Larsian and eat some delicious barbecues.

In Cebu City you find larsian food place in Cebu City Jones-Osmena boulevard avenue near Chong Chua Hospital.

If you are in Mandaue city, there is a also a larsian food place in AC Cortes street in front of Kaona food grill.

You can read more about Larsian in the official facebook page here.

c. Do not ride taxi, some are dishonest unfortunately. Especially if you are foreigners or not speaking native Cebu dialect, these taxi drivers will easily take advantage of you and let you spend a lot by encircling the city a lot of times. If you ride in taxi, asked for receipt! This will contain information about the taxi operator and driver which might be useful to file complaints.

The solution is to have little map of Cebu (google it). Then study it as you ride public jeepneys, you can even asked the public jeepney “conductor” to asked for some directions. I can tell you they are more honest to tell real answers to where you should be heading.

Some basic:

a. The jeepney with a tag/route code as 21B (memorize this) is the most important of all. It will pass these very important Cebu City destinations:

a.1. Ayala Center Cebu
a.2. SM City Cebu
a.3. Jones avenue ( of course passing near the larsian in osmena boulevard).
a.4. Santo Nino Basilica church
a.5. Colon area (cebu city oldest street)
a.6.) Travelling from Mandaue city to Cebu city and vice versa.

Some tips if you are coming from the airport, ride a taxi to Jollibee Mandaue city highway. Then once you are Mandaue city highway in front of Jollibee ride 21B to your destination in Cebu.

Most cheap hotels are found in the Jones avenue area. Of course, if you are carrying heavy baggages, then this tip is not applicable.

1.) Do not text or use any electronic gadgets when you are in the public jeepney (never), or wear jewelries, expensive watches, etc. It is unsafe.
2.) Do not put your wallet in the pocket. Instead put it in your bag. Better put some in your socks (really I am serious).
3.) Do not talk to strangers except to jeepney “conductor” , restaurant, foods and the hotel crew.
4.) Do not pay more than 15 pesos when riding a public jeepney. Normal jeepney fare should be 7pesos as of June 2010 with maximum around 14 pesos (from Mandaue to Cebu).

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