Our flights to and from Hong Kong were from Cebu, so I had around a couple of days to enjoy the city.
On the first day, we didn’t do much, just had lunch and rested for a bit. We had lunch at Mang Inasal in Robinson’s mall. I had chicken inasal with rice and halo-halo for dessert. Inasal is an Ilonggo dish, a barbeque that differs from the usual because it tastes different and looks different – the meat is a bit orangey. I really love it, though, but then grilled food is my favorite type of food. Halo-halo, meanwhile, is a popular Philippine dessert which is made up of lots of different kinds of sweets with shaved ice, topped with a scoop of ice cream, usually ube (purple yam) flavored. I like Mang Inasal’s version because it has leche flan, not all do.
We didn’t stay the night and flew off to Hong Kong. After seeing Ocean Park and Disneyland, we found ourselves back in Cebu, this time to stay the night. We booked a cheap and simple room in Verbena Pension House which was near Robinson’s mall. We had arrived in the wee hours of the morning, so we got some much needed sleep first.
When we woke up, it was way past lunch time already. So we set out to find something to eat and found ourselves in a complex which had a lot of barbeque stalls inside. We found out later that the place is a famous one called Larsian’s. There were lots of stalls calling for our attention, but we chose this one, which pretty much looked like the rest anyway.
While waiting for our food to be cooked, I stepped outside to buy some fruits from the fruit stalls I had spied before going inside the complex.
Named so for its reddish skin
When I came back, our food was ready.
You will notice that there is a small basket full of woven coconut strips. That is actually called a puso and it contains rice. I am not really a fan of puso rice because they’re cold and hard, but it’s a bisaya thing and is prettily packaged.
That was a super delicious meal!
Now even though I had been to Cebu before, some nine years ago to audit their famous Waterfront Hotel, we hadn’t been able to visit any of the tourist spots because my fellow auditors preferred drinking in videoke places over sightseeing. So we went to visit the famous Magellan shrine for my sake (everyone else had already seen it before). Magellan’s Cross is the cross that was planted by Ferdinand Magellan when he first arrived in the Philippines hundreds of years ago. It has been placed in a tiny little chapel-like house.
The original cross isn’t actually visible. It had been encased in another wooden cross for its protection. Now the cross itself is not that special looking, but the paintings on the ceiling above it look very pretty.
The house is locked up by a security guard watching over the place at promptly 6 pm.
So we left and headed to SM mall. We walked around for a bit and while I walked off by myself to find an SD card reader (I bought one in CDR King for 30 pesos! So cheap!), my heart somersaulted when I found one of my favorite stalls of all time: Fruitas! It is a stall selling fresh fruit shakes and back when I was still working in Makati, I used to buy buko shakes (or coconut smoothies) from their stalls every time we found ourselves having lunch in the Pacific Star building which was near our office. Buko shake is my #1 favorite drink, so I quickly bought one.
We then decided to watch a movie. Dad actually wanted to watch World War Z but my brother and I suggested Man of Steel instead. I didn’t like this Superman movie at all. I’m a huge fan of Superman and watched the Lois and Clark and Smallville TV series as well as the original movies and loved them all. But this one was too, I don’t know, dark? I didn’t like it at all. I wasn’t really that crazy about the plot. I couldn’t sympathize with any of the characters, least of all the main character who just let his adoptive father die over a freaking dog, for Pete’s sake, and what was up with all that unnecessary destruction? It also lacked humor and there was way too much pointless action and I felt the same way I did when I watched Transformers: Dark of the Moon when my most prevailing thought through most of the film was: when will all this fighting end??? A friend and I spent some time ranting about the movie later on; we had the same issues. To my credit, I stayed awake. Mom actually fell asleep, and she isn’t the only woman I know who did so. Lots of guys loved the film though. It’s a guy flick. So if you’re a guy, please pay no attention to me.
I watched World War Z when I got back to Singapore, by the way, and I enjoyed it a lot more than Man of Steel. Sorry, Dad! We should have listened to you! I feel really guilty about this, by the way. This was the first time we watched a movie in the cinema as a family and we really ought to have given Dad what he wanted, especially since he so rarely watches films in the cinema. I’m probably being ridiculous but… waaaahhhh. I will make it up to him someday, I promise!
That was our last night in Cebu. The next day we flew to Cagayan de Oro. Our family vacation wasn’t over yet. Far from it. Stay tuned.