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30.3.15

Cebu Keeps Me Going

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I experienced a massive sensory overload when I first stepped foot on Cebu, Philippines. The hustle and bustle of the city; locals going about with their daily lives, bored housewives belting out a number from the karaoke machines, street hustlers looking for opportunities to sell something, shops blaring old school techno beats from their modified and pimped out speakers in hopes of attracting customers, the occasional waft of petroleum and barbeque and many more. What intrigued me were the Jeepneys (originally made from U.S. military jeeps left over from World War II) on the roads. Jeepneys are the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines and they are known for their crowded seating and unique pimped out decorations. And that has become a ubiquitous symbol of the Philippine culture and art.

If you want to experience the true blue Filipino culture, be sure to make it to The Sinulog Festival, an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January. Cebu City is the center of the Santo Niño celebration in the Philippines. The main highlights of the festival includes the grand street parade which lasts for the entire day and participants came from different towns and cities just for this event. Other places do have their own version of the festival in honor of the Santo Niño, and I have also experienced that when I was in Boracay. I had the best time celebrating Sinulog on the main day, everyone was dressed in white and people would smear you with paint, lots of small street parties and the energy was so great!

Apart from the festival fun, there are so many things to do in Cebu you’d be spoiled for choices! During my time there, I did:

  •           Island Hopping with Ocean Dreamer (Blog post here)
  •           Climbed Pico Osmeña with Planet Action Adventure
  •           Swam with the friendly Butandings (Whale Sharks) at Oslob 
  •      Explored Old Town of Cebu 


One of the many stunning Jeepneys in Cebu
Sinulog Festival '15
View from the summit of Osmena Peak. I must say that the trek was quite challenging but I am very thankful for having the best company of my best friend, Justin! Once up there, I totally see things in a different perspective; think and see things clearer and better, forget everything even your tired body! 

Getting high on cebu just swimming with the Whale Sharks (largest fish in the world measuring up to 18metres), locally known as Butanding, it was an experience like no other! 

I just could not get enough of the fun and unique culture of the Philippines! I will definitely come back for more adventures with Planet Action Adventure. There's just too many adventure options you just want to do it all!

Whenever people ask me for a beach destination recommendation for South East Asia, I will not hesitate to introduce them to travel to the Philippines! I must say that Philippines is one of the forgotten places as it is quite out of the way for those who are backpacking through SEA. 

Thank you for the kindest hospitality and beautiful people, Philippines, I will see you again! 

Follow me on Instagram and Snapchat @joyceroxanne for more updates! 

Fierce and Love, 
J







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