The weeks leading up to Spring Break 2017 were a total whirlwind both at work and at home: student activities, Student Safety Week, trip to Prague (!!! - more on that later), etc. So it seemed absolutely appopriate that I booked a trip to the Philippines for a few days in Manila and a getaway to Cebu. Cebu is the place where Ferdinand Magellan laid claim to the Philippines for Spain - charting the course for 400 years of Spanish colonization. In addition to its importance in Philippine history, it is well known for its food, beaches, and underwater beauty. Needless to say, Cebu is on my "Philippines Must-sees" list and a definite "must return".
1. The scenery.
My fiance and I booked an awesome resort in Moalboal approximately 3 hours from Cebu City. We stayed at a magical locally-owned property called Hale Mana - Hawaiian for "good vibes."
The resort sits right on the reef wall and has a breathtaking dramatic landscape, especially when it's lowtide:
Peaceful comes to mind when I think of Hale Manna. It's not a large mega resort and at times it felt like we were the only ones there. When it rained all day on Thursday (fortunately AFTER our daytrip), we were unbothered. We took advantage of the massage on site and I spent the afternoon writing in the Balinese-style open air lobby; the sound of the rainfall helping to clear my mind as I typed away.
Snorkeling, diving, waterfalls, whale sharks, etc. are all around this great place. We spent a day trekking to Oslob to see the whale sharks, Mainit Hot Springs, and Kawasan Falls.
3. The food!
4. Lastly, upon returning to Cebu City on our last night, we found a vibrant city full of creativity.
From our accommodations at the The Henry Hotel:
To fashion with a heart at Anthill Fabric Gallery:
A great holiday, with the best company! I can't wait to go back and explore more!
* 1 USD = 50 PhP at time of publishing
Flights - ~3000 PhP per person roundtrip MNL-CEB on AirAsia.
Private transportation to/from Hale Mana Resort in Moalboal - 2500 PhP each way for 3 hours drive from Cebu/Mactan Airport (Cebu City) to Moalboal
Hale Mana Resort - 3850 PhP per night including breakfast
Southern Cebu day trip (Oslob, Mainit Hotsprings, and Kawasan Falls):
- Transportation - 3500 PhP for the day
- Whale watching - 1000 PhP per person (foreigner rate) OR 500 PhP per local to snorkel
- Mainit Hot Springs entrance fee - 20 PhP
- Kawasan Falls entrance fee - 20 PhP
The Henry Hotel - $70 per night
Incidental expenses - food, tips for driver, Uber/GrabTaxi around Cebu City, and souvenirs