Sinulog Festival 2015 and Cebu’s Top Tourist Destinations, Churches and Temples, Restaurants to Try and Best Hotels and Accommodations

After new year and Feast of the Three Kings, many Catholic Filipinos particularly in Cebu are preparing for one of the country’s biggest festival, Sinulog. Sinulog is an annual religious/cultural festival being celebrated in honor of Sto. Nino. Different activities are also being held such as the colorful street dance, parades, concerts and other street parties. Aside from the festival, tourists and balikbayans also take their chance to visit some of Cebu’s well-known attractions and destinations. And here are some of those

Religion and Faith (Some of Cebu’s Churches, Chapels and Temples)

1. Philippine Taoist Temple
Beverly Hills Subdivision, Cebu City

Cebu - Philippine Taoist Temple Inc

The temple is open for everyone, meaning for Taoist worshipers and non-worshipers. Since it’s a Chinese temple, expect to pagodas, deities, a pond, scriptures and beautiful landscape beside that somewhat replica of the great Wall of China. It also overlooks parts of the downtown city.

2. Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod
Cebu South Road Properties, Cebu City, Cebu

Cebu - Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod

Designed by a US-based architect, The Chapel was built to commemorate another Filipino saint, Pedro Calungsod. The chapel has numerous walls with distinct size each which they said symbolizes the people. No one is the same yet we exist altogether as a cluster. It is spacious enough to hold at least around less than a thousand churchgoers. The simple design of the altar suits the overall church design, simple yet very much appealing.

3. Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Mabini Street, Cebu City, Cebu 6000
(032) 253 6422

Cebu - Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

The Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral also known as the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Most Holy Name of Jesus and St. Vitales (It was the first church in the country dedicated to St. Vitales built during the times of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Fray Andres de Urdaneta). After being bombed by the Allies during World War II, only the belfry, facades and walls of the church remained from its orginal structure. It was then reconstructed in the 1950s and somehow withstood the 7.2 earthquake that destroyed most Spanish colonial churches in Bohol last 2013. This cathedral also is the ecclesiastical seat of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cebu.

4. Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino de Cebu
Osmeña Boulevard,Cebu City 6000,Cebu
(032) 255 6697

Cebu - Basilica Minore Del Sto Nino

Perhaps the famous church in Cebu is Basilica Minore Del Sto Nino. When I got to visit the church last year, I was so impressed with its altar, however the devastating earthquake of October 2013 destroyed the belfry and some parts of its facade.

Tourist Attractions/Spots (Places to See and Experience in Cebu City)
One of the reasons why Cebu is an interesting city to visit is that most of the prominent historical and cultural landmarks are quite close to each other that some of it is just few walks or short drive away from each other.

1. Fort of San Pedro
A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000
(032) 256 2284

Cebu - Fort of San Pedro

Also known as Fuerza de San Pedro, the smallest and oldest triangular bastion in the country that served as a military defense structure built by Spanish and Cebuano laborers against Muslim raiders. Now, this fort serves as a historical park where people can just hangout. There is also a small museum inside that houses some Spanish documents, paintings, flag and sculpture. There’s a mininal entrance fee before you get in.

2. Plaza Independencia
A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu City, 6000

Cebu - Plaza Independencia

Beside Fort San Pedro is Plaza Independencia. This is a spacious park with big trees (mostly acacia), ornamental and flowering plants and a huge obelisk dedicated in memory of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the first Spanish governor-general of the Philippines.

3. Magellan’s Cross
Santo Niño, Cebu City, Cebu

Cebu - Magellan's Cross

One of the prominent landmarks in Cebu is the Magellan’s cross housed in small chapel near the Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino. The original cross is encased inside a tindalo wood. The ceiling paintings inside the chapel shows the momentous event when the first Filipinos embraced Christianity led by the Spaniards in the island of Cebu.

4. Heritage of Cebu Monument
Colon Street, Parian Plaza, Cebu City, Philippines

Cebu - Heritage of Cebu Monument

If you want to see Cebu’s historic events and cultures in one glance, then the Heritage of Cebu monument is the place to see. It is a scuptures made of concrete, bronze, brass and steel built by a local artist named Eduardo Castrillo.

5. Yap – San Diego Ancestral House

Cebu - Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

If you want to have an idea of what it looks like to live in the oldest street in the country, then visit the house that will show you how it feels like back then. The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House in Parian is open to the public to show some of the oldest household collections by a Chinese family that had lived many years ago. The ancestral house is still well-maintained but you can easily tell that it is really old. It is interesting because it unbelievably survived the test of time.

6. Mactan Shrine
Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu

Cebu - Mactan Shrine

Located in the island of Mactan, this is said to be the place where the epic battle between Spanish invaders led by Ferdinand Magellan and Lapulapu and his men took place. Lapulapu killed Magellan making him the first Filipino to repel European aggression.
Both Lapulapu Shrine and Magellan Shrine can be found here.

Mangaon ta! Lami kayo diri sa Sugbu!
Cebu’s Best Places to Eat

Since Cebu is one of those foreign-friendly city in the country, it has also adopt to cater the palate of any visiting tourists. Cuisine varies from Asian to European to American etc. However, they still have some of the local cuisines and delicacies that made them famous even internationally.

1. Cebu’s Lechon
If you are looking for the best lechon (roasted pork) in the country, Cebu perhaps holds the record for it. It was even recognized as “the best pork ever” by Anthony Bourdain. Some of Cebu’s trusted name are Rico’s, Zubuchon, CNT etc.

Cebu - Rico's Lechon

Cebu - CNT Lechon

2. Casa Verde
The Walk, I.T. Park, Lahug, Cebu City

Looking for the best pork rib in Cebu, Casa Verde for me serves one of the best yet very affordable as compared to the price in Manila.

Cebu - Casa Verde

3. Larsian BBQ
Capitol Site, Cebu City, Cebu

If you are looking for the best BBQ in the city for a very affordable price, there’s no other place to visit than Larsian. Different stalls that offer wide selection of anything that can be grilled (pork, seafood, etc.) as you order. Larsian is like a feast of everything that can be grilled. Having said that, prepare yourself for a smokey experience.

Cebu - Larsian BBQ

4. Siomai sa Tisa
Another affordable place to eat in Cebu is served along the streets of Tisa in Labangon, famous for their siomai.

Cebu - Siomai sa Tisa

5. La Marea
The Walk, I.T. Park, Lahug, Cebu City

Right after that heavy lunch or dinner, you may also try some of La Marea’s selectiom of great deserts. One of the must-try is the warm brownie cup that comes in different flavours.

Cebu - La Marea Pastry Shop and Lavazza Cafe

6. Melton’s Halo-halo
Poblacion Pardo Cebu
273-1890 | 09329133608

My friend and I traveled south to try the best tasting halo-halo located in Pardo, known as Melton’s halo-halo. I was happy with a big servings with two scoops of ice cream.

Cebu - Melton's Halo-halo

Best Hotels and Accommodations

1. The Henry Hotel | Check rates here
No. 1 Paseo Saturnino, Ma. Luisa Entrance Road, Banilad, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines 6000

An urban boutique hotel that surprisingly showcases its character through its exquisite design and offers comfort and convenience at a very reasonable price. If you love art, this is the hotel for you. Be impressed with their interior design from the lobby to your room. Rica’s Restaurant interior is something that you need to see. It’s perfect for a selfie/groupie. They also serve “Fitness Breakfast”. You can also hangout in their cozy bar called The Scrapyard or visit their Virus Boutique for some great fashion finds.

Cebu - The Henry Hotel

2. The Center Suites | Check rates here.
Escario St. Extension, Gonzales Compound, Brgy. Camputhaw, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
A nice yet very affordable and customer-friendly hotel in Cebu.

Cebu - The Center Suite

3. Shangrila Mactan | Check rates here.
Punta Engano Road | P.O. Box 86 , Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines 6015
Luxurious and posh hotel resort experience in the island of Mactan.

Cebu - Shangrila Mactan

For more information about the SINULOG 2015 Schedule of Activities, click here.