Cebu Life: A photo essay

The odds are most people haven’t even heard of Cebu. The Philippines’ oldest city, a World War II port, is an often overlooked travel destination with Manila or Boracay being the usual suspects. And that’s exactly why you should visit now. We enjoyed a virtually untouched by tourists city (not that we left our resort much) but just a taxi ride through the city really offered up some interesting insights. It wont stay this way forever, we know the travellers have already begun trickling in (as did we) so go soon. The internet tells us its next on the hitlist of places to retire to, and here’s a little glimpse at what Cebu life is like.

Cebu Travel Guide, Cebu City Life, Mactan Island Photos

Gossiping under the midday sun

The women aren’t all Imelda Marcos, but that doesn’t deter them from sitting out in the midday sun and gossiping away like women of society!

Cebu City Guide, Mactan Island Guide, Cebu City Photos

Criss cross of connections

Charles and I found this absolutely hilarious. We at once understood that the Cebuanos are similar to Indians when it comes to “sharing” cable and telephone connections.

Cebu City Life, Cebu City Guide, Mactan Island Photos

Water water all around but not a drop to drink

Mactan Island is a desert island, so while there is water all around, very little of it is potable. This was what lay right outside our resort gates.

Cebu City Guide, Cebu City Photos, Mactan Island Life

Hot and humid, even in the shade

Tropical climate be damned. It’s all nice when you’re lazing in a hammock under a tree with umbrella drinks in your hand, but when you have to sweat it out as you go about your daily grind… we understand. We do.

Cebu City Life, Cebu City Guide, Mactan Island Guide


Another interesting observation Charles made was how all the little grocers on the side of the road were caged in. Intricate grills across every storefront made us wonder about security threats in the area.

Cebu City Police, Cebu City Guide, Cebu Travel Guide, Mactan Island


Absolutely love the way they spell Police here.

Cebu Life, Cebu City

Bakery runs

Pandesal is a local bread that we were lucky enough to try at the resort. It’s unbelievably soft, and having one that’s been freshly baked is an absolute pleasure at breakfast time. The only downside, it has a strong aftertaste of yeast.

Cebu Life

Lechon is the nation’s pride

We’d heard paeans about Lechon, the country’s most popular pork dish. Grilled pork served with a sticky sweet tomato sauce. It looked good, we were dying to try it. Till we did. Terrible. Unpalatable. The sauce was thin and sweet and didn’t have any depth to it whatsoever. And the pork? Well, it was just tasteless grilled pork. One of the few times that we have been disappointed in a culinary manner.

Cebu Life

Local graffiti gangs get it

Cebu Life

Cycling away in the morning

Cebu Life

Is it a cycle, is it a bike, is it a tuk tuk?

On our way into the city from the airport our taxi driver pointed out a very strange vehicle in front of us. We stared and stared. What was that absurd asymmetrical creature rattling down the road? A part of it looked like a tuk tuk, another like a bike. And we also noticed how the riders tucked small notes between their fingers to expedite the payment of passengers who’d hop on and off at traffic lights. We also heard a bit of haggling before locals would go Metro Na Lang firmly stating they’d only pay by meter!

Even though we love trying to live like locals wherever we go, sometimes it’s nice to observe a place from the outside in, to truly understand the differences in perspective. Where have you enjoyed observing the local culture and pace of life?

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“Cebu Life: A photo essay”

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