Friday, November 18, 2011

we did it all

I was only a year old when my parents first took me to Cebu. Of course I don't remember anything from that particular trip, but since I have family there, I was able to visit a few more times as I got older. I have some sepia-toned memories of people and places, but mostly I remember sensations and emotions. I remember feeling that Cebu was old.

Now I realise that there are different kinds of old. For example, Bacolod is elegant and stately old. Iloilo is decaying but magnificent old. The Cordillera Region is ancient, pre-historic old.

Cebu, for me, is mothball old. I've been thinking about Cebu a lot lately, hence the recent geriatric blog posts. It feels like I'm a little DB again, hiding in a heavy wooden wardrobe-- old-fashioned and full of secrets.

On our third and final day in Cebu, we hopped on a jeepney, got off at Cebu Business Park and were swept along by hundreds of mallers towards Ayala Center Cebu. 

The Terraces at Ayala Center Cebu is sort of like Cebu's Narnia.

We decided to have lunch at Hukad Sa Golden Cowrie Native Restaurant, as did a horde of uniformed office workers, a group of ladies who lunch, a young couple who looked like they were newly in love, and an entire barangay led by a woman who wanted to show off her German husband.

Dinuguan Php79 and unlimited rice Php35. It was just so-so, but Bunny Rabbit liked it better than Zubuchon's

Imbao soup, Php115. Looks like something that could impregnate Ellen Ripley. Tasted grainy and bitter.

Steamed rock lobster, Php275. Woefully overcooked. A pity because the meat was sweet and fresh. 

We had already checked out of our hotel, Crown Regency Cebu, at noon. The concierge kept our luggage for us because our flight back to Manila was in the evening, so later that afternoon, we went back. We still had time to go up to the 38th floor and take some pictures. And yez, we did try the Edge Coaster. Whoever invented it is one sick puppy.

The track of the insane Edge Coaster ride goes all the way around the building.

See? Told you it's insane. photo from 

We could see the whole city from the hotel's rooftop.

The graceful and unmistakeable Fuente OsmeƱa is the center of everything.

To support breast cancer awareness, for the month of October, the Provincial Capitol was lit up in pink at night.

The sea is never far away. That's probably why a lot people think that Cebu = beach.

Before we went to the airport, there was one last thing that I had to eat: the classic pochero. Tagalog-speaking people know it as bulalo. Tomayto, tomahto. It's beef shank that's boiled to death until the meat is almost shredded, the heart attack-inducing marrow oozes out and the gelatinous tendons barely cling to the bone. Throw in some cabbage and corn on the cob, serve piping hot.

Pochero at Abuhan Dos, Php375. If you google "cebu pochero", this restaurant is the top result.

Verdict: Hukad Sa Golden Cowrie? Don't bother. Abuhan Dos? Worth the calories, although I regret not asking the jeepney drivers where they eat pochero, as I'm sure that each of them has a favorite roadside eatery that bloggers had never heard about.

If you don't want to go to the beach, there's not a lot to do in Cebu, and I think that we may have done it all. Next time, I want get out of the city and go diving.

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