17 Mar 2012
During my travel to Cebu, my first time ever, I made sure I could be of help to other vacationists to the Queen City of The South specially those backpackers and first timers who don't have any idea on how to get to some of the popular attractions within Metro Cebu. I gathered commuting information such as signs of jeepneys headed to these spots as well as where to ride a particular jeepney going to a specific tourist spot. I've also drawn up walking directions one needs to take to some attractions from the location of affordable hotels that I also recommend because of their proximity to downtown Cebu's main thoroughfare where most of public jeepneys pass through.
|Lapu-Lapu Monument at Mactan Shrine|
Here are some of popular tourist destinations in Cebu that I've given commute and walk directions in this post, the third of our series of Cebu. You might like to read the first and second chapters. Here are the links: First post, go to Good Eats And Good Rides From Manila To Cebu. Second post, go to Cebu: Taking Taxi From Mactan Airport To Colon. Hope this guide make your travel to Cebu more fun.
Basilica Minore del Santo Nino
Cebu Capitol Building
Cebu's Ayala Center
Cebu's SM City
Fort San Pedro
Fuente Osmena Circle
Heritage of Cebu Monument
Mactan Shrine aka Lapu Lapu Monument
Sky Adventure at Crown Regency
Yap-Sandiego Ansestral House
|Colon Street at dusk|
If you are a first timer in Cebu and as such, travelling in budget, the first spot you should be heading to as soon as you landed in Mactan Cebu International Airport is the historic Colon Street, the first and oldest national road of our country. Although a little bit run-down now, it's still the home of old and popular shopping malls, restaurants, old movie houses, public markets, cheap street foods at night, fashion shops, and most of all affordable hotels. Gaisano malls, Cebu's synonymous to shopping are located here. Third tip from me: There's a big food court serving a lot of cheap foods at the 6th floor of Metro Gaisano located at the corner of Colon and Osmena Blvd. Read my valuable first and second tips on my post entitled Cebu: Taking Taxi From Mactan Airport To Colon. Speaking of food, go check out popular Cebuano dishes, just go to What & Where To Eat In Cebu City.
How To Get To Colon From Mactan Cebu International Airport?
By Taxi - Just tell the taxi driver to take you to Jollibee in Colon corner Osmena Blvd, the main intersection at the middle of Colon where jeepneys headed to major destinations and districts of Cebu City pass through. If you're taking taxi from airport to Colon, I highly recommend reading my post Cebu: Taking Taxi From Mactan Airport To Colon for valuable information that you should know.
By Jeepney - Walk or take a taxi approximately 1.3 km to Mactan Marina Mall located at the right corner of Airport Rd and Quezon National Highway. If you prefer to walk up to Marina Mall, which is safe, just follow the direction of all taxis leaving the airport. There's SM Hypermart inside Marina Mall just in case you need some refreshment. From inside Mactan Marina Mall, walk across Quezon Hi-way to get to the Jeepney Terminal. Ride a green-colored jeepney with "MEPSA Lapu Lapu City Cebu City Vice Versa" wordings on its both sides. The jeep is located at the rear end of the jeepney queue. Alight at SM City Cebu, go to the Jeepney Terminal at the frontage of the mall and ride a jeepney with "Private Colon SM" sign. After taking different roads, the jeep will finally take Sanciangko Street which is paralleled to Colon. If you're sitting at the left side of the jeepney, you should already see the Heritage of Cebu Monument right before the jeep turn right onto Sanciangko St. Alight at the corner of Osmena Blvd. Landmarks here are: Sogo Hotel, located to the left of Sanciangko before Osmena and G.V. Tower Hotel, the tall building located at the second left corner of Osmena. Towards the end of this post is a map that shows the locations of affordable hotels in Colon vicinity. I suggest you read the directions to destinations first before looking at the hotels so that you get to choose the right place to stay. Reading the directions first will familiarize you with getting around the city thereby triangulates the location of a hotel you're comfortable with.
The following five tourist spots are best toured in one trip because they are situated near to each other although you still need to walk a bit far out. Fourth tip from me: Best time to see these four major attractions is during mornings or afternoon. Avoid noon time if you don't want to be scorched by the sun. There's a museum that's closed on weekend, so if you want to see the inside of the museum, pick any day from Monday to Friday.
Fort San Pedro
Basilica Minore del Santo Nino
By Jeepney - Along Osmena Blvd between Colon and Sanciangko but along the sidewalk of GV Tower Hotel side, ride a jeep with "Jones LAO Colon" sign. Tell the driver that you are going to Fort San Pedro and to please drop you off at it's location. In my case, I approached the driver and ask him if he would pass by Fort San Pedro and when he said he would I told him to drop me off right there. The jeep will loop its way back to Osmena. Always remind the driver to drop you off at your destination. You will be alighted at Plaza Independencia. Get inside the park and afterwards head towards Fort San Pedro which is just across the park. A museum is also located inside Fort San Pedro. Walk your way to the location of Basilica Minore del Santo Nino via Osmena Blvd, the street with red arrow in the map below. Refer to the map. Click red pins to reveal information. To get back to Colon, ride a jeepney with "Colon" word on its both sides at Legaspi St outside Cebu Cathedral. The jeep will turn left on V. Gullas Street from Legaspi. Alight at the corner of Osmena and walk toward Colon.
By Walking - From Sanciangko cor Osmena where GV Tower Hotel is located, walk towards Metro Gaisano Shopping Mall that you can see from afar. Cross Colon and continue walking past Jollibee (next to Gaisano along Osmena), cross five more intersections until you reach the gate of Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, to your right. See Map below. Use the walkway inside the compound of the basilica to get to Magellan's Cross. To get to Cebu Cathedral, take Zamora St, the road opposite gate of the basilica. Plaza Independencia and Fort San Pedro are situated at the end of Osmena Blvd. You can get there after seeing Magellan's Cross, Basilica Minore and Cebu Cathedral. You can easily return to Colon, just take the same route via Osmena Blvd.
|Fort San Pedro|
|Fort San Pedro Gate|
|Basilica Minore del Santo Nino|
Now, for those of you who like extreme adventures, this particular destination is a must-to-see in Cebu City.
Sky Experience Adventure at Crown Regency
|Edge Coaster in Sky Adventure of Crown Plaza|
|Ayala Business Park seen from 38th floor of Crown Plaza|
|Panoramic view from Sky Adventure of Crown Plaza|
You are riding an edge coaster that not only goes around the edge of 38th floor of the tallest hotel in the Philippines but it also tilts up to 55 degrees literally holding you from falling 130.84 meters below. Now that's fun. The Edge Coaster is basically the main attraction of Sky Experience Adventure at Crown Regency. But there are quite a lot more this destination has to offer.
How To Get To Crown Regency From Colon?
By Jeepney - Ride a jeepney with any sign at the loading area along Osmena Blvd between Colon St and Sanciangko St. Just remember, you're going to the opposite direction of Fort San Pedro and all other spots near it. Fort San Pedro is to the south, Crown Regency is to the north. So, this time, you will be riding jeep at the northbound lane of Osmena Blvd. Most jeepneys stop just outside McDonald's located at the corner of Colon and Osmena. Pay minimum. Crown Regency is 40-storey. It's situated to the right of Osmena Blvd just before Fuente Osmena Circle. Just get inside the building and inquire at the front desk. The Sky Adventure opens 2 pm.
|Crown Plaza seen from GV Tower|
Fuente Osmena Circle
Fuente Osmena Circle is a big roundabout in uptown Cebu where a lot of commercial establishments, new restaurants, casinos and bars are situated. In my observation, it's here that lots of tourists converge after getting around the city. It's the opposite of Colon in terms of rehabilitation. There are upscale office buildings and the entire area is clean. Robinson's Mall Cebu and Cybergate are situated opposite each other. Meanwhile, cultural presentations and social events are held in the park inside the roundabout.
Fuente Osmena Circle is a stone's throw away from Crown Regency and a focal landmark of Cebu City.
Cebu Capitol Building
|Cebu Capitol Building|
Cebu Capitol Building is both a pre-war vintage and a replica of the official residence of the President of United States which is the White House. It is located at the north end of Osmena Blvd. You can get there from Fuente Circle or Crown Regency by riding a jeepney with signs in the front like "Ayala Center", "Guadalupe", "Gorordo", etc. See map below to have a bird's eye view of how the Capitol Bldg, Fuente Circle, Crown Regency and Colon Street are situated along the stretch of Osmena Blvd. Click the red pins to reveal information.
In the map, all four destinations lined up along Osmena Blvd. Click the red pins to get names of each spot.
|Taoist Temple Cebu|
|Taoist Temple Cebu City|
|A view of Cebu City skyline from Taoist Temple|
Taoist Temple is located up in the mountain of posh Beverly Hills in Cebu City. Going there is relatively safe. Here's the direction: In front of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas along Osmena Blvd, wait for a jeepney with "Lahug" word on its signs on both sides. The jeepney has a body number which is 17C. please remember it. My fifth tip: In Cebu, jeepney routes are identified in numbers. Whenever you ask for a certain signage of jeepney that you must ride for a certain destination, most locals answer by giving you 3 digit alphanumeric such as 01C, 12G, 24A, 10M, 06H, etc. Please watch for my upcoming post that will give you the routes and destination of jeepneys in relation to their numbers. It would come in handy when you're in the streets of Cebu and headed to an unfamiliar district, building or barangay. Also, the looks of Cebu jeepneys are very different with the jeepneys in Metro Manila. Cebu has its own version of Philippines' king of the roads. Watch for my upcoming post with photos of Cebuano's jeepney.
|The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints|
As you can see in this map, there are scores of habal-habal at the intersection of Gorordo Ave and Sudlon St. The red arrow is the direction habal habal takes to get to Taoist Temple. The red pin here is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Heritage of Cebu Monument
|Heritage of Cebu Monument|
By Jeepney - You can get here by riding a jeepney with 01K number on its body. The wordings on both sides of the jeep should be "Urgello Colon SM North Terminal". Wait for this jeepney along Colon Street. The jeep will turn left at the east end of Colon. Heritage Monument is immediately to the left before the jeep turn right onto the next street. By now, you know that Colon Street runs from west to east. Osmena Blvd intersects it from north to south.
By Walking - Heritage of Cebu Monument is only about 700 meters from the corner of Osmena Blvd and Colon Street. Walk towards east or the lane in front of Metro Gaisano. Turn left at the end of Colon. There you'll see the mammoth Heritage Monument.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
|Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House|
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is to the right of Mabini Street, the road where you would alight from the jeep. Just walk past Heritage Monument until you see the ancestral house to your right. It is exactly located at the corner of Mabini St and Lopez Jaena St.
Casa Gorordo is situated along Lopez Jaena St, just walk from the corner of Mabini where Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is situated. Walk further past Ramon Aboitiz Bldg which is to the right of Lopez Jaena until you see Casa Gorordo which is located to the left of the street at the corner of the street perpendicular to the left. See map below.
As you can see in this map, all you need to do is walk along Colon and then go left when you get to its east end. Heritage Monument is already there and the other two spots are also walking distance from the monument. 01K jeepneys turn left at the end of Colon and then turn right onto Zulueta Street.
Mactan Shrine aka Lapu-Lapu Monument
|Magellan Monument at Mactan Shrine|
Located in Mactan Island past Mactan Cebu International Airport, here's how to get to Mactan Shrine from Colon. Ride a jeep with 01K on its body or these wordings: "Urgello Colon SM North Terminal". Aside from this jeepney, there are other routes bound for SM City Cebu. You can also take any of them. Get inside SM City Cebu and get outside via another entrance located at the back of the mall. Walk across Kaohsiung St and walk along M. Logarta Ave until you get to the corner of M. Logarta and F. Cabahug Street. Wait for a jeep with "MEPSA Lapu Lapu City Cebu City Vice Versa" signage on its both sides. See map below.
As you can see in this map, the jeepney you are going to ride comes from M. Logarta Ave. This is the road it takes from Mactan Island. The jeepney will unload passengers at this corner. Wait for one to arrive as this is not a terminal. You might wait long, just be patient. The jeep will take Sergio Osmena Blvd on the way back to Mactan Island. Read the continuation of this direction below the map.
The terminal of "MEPSA Lapu Lapu City Cebu City Vice Versa" jeepney in Mactan Island is located at Mactan Marina Mall which is situated at the corner of Quezon National Highway and Airport Road. Once you get to Mactan Marina Mall, ride another jeep in front of the mall. The sign or wordings on both sides of the jeepney should be "Punta Engano". Just ask the driver to drop you off at Mactan Shrine. In going back to Colon, first ride "Punta Engano" jeep in front of Mactan Shrine. Alight at Mactan Marina Mall. Now here's another tip which is actually a warning: Do not by all means go to Mactan Shrine at night, it's very unsafe, according to the locals. Ride a jeepney with the same signage as the one you took from SM City Cebu which is "MEPZA Lapu Lapu City Cebu City Vice Versa". The jeep is located at the rear end of the jeepney queue. Alight at SM City Cebu, go to the Jeepney Terminal at the frontage of the mall and ride a jeepney with "Urgello Colon SM North Terminal". You can also take jeep with "Private Colon SM" sign. It's located at the first slot of the terminal. It takes Sanciangko Street, the road paralleled to Colon.
Seventh tip: If your flight back to Manila is scheduled in the afternoon and your check-out time in your hotel is 12 noon, you might consider going to Mactan Shrine hours before your flight. You know, traffic along the way back to Cebu City after Fernan Bridge is not favorable. For those who carry heavy luggage, there's Luggage Depository at Mactan Cebu International Airport. You can leave your luggage there for a fee, complete your tour of Cebu by going to Mactan Shrine and then get back to the airport afterwards. Just remember, you must be at the airport 2 hours before your flight. Here's the amount of cost of depositing luggage in Depository: 1 to 2 hours - Php 75, 2 to 4 hours - Php 150, 4 to 10 hours - Php 250, 10 to 24 hours - Php 350. Price is good for only 1 luggage. Below is the map of Cebu with Mactan Cebu International Airport and Mactan Shrine.
As you can see in this map, Mactan Shrine is near Mactan Cebu Int'l Airport. It just makes sense to visit Lapu-Lapu Monument and Magellan's Monument hours before your flight back to Manila.
Ayala Center and SM City Cebu
|Ayala Center Cebu|
|SM City Cebu|
Going to both Ayala Center and SM City Cebu is a breeze from either Osmena Blvd or Colon Street. There are lots of jeepney routes that go to these malls. In Colon, eastbound lane, wait for jeepney with "SM City" words on its signs. In Osmena Blvd, northbound lane, ride a jeepney with "Ayala Center" or "SM City" words on its both sides or its sign in the front.
Affordable Hotels Near Colon and Osmena Intersection
In the map below are some of the affordable hotels around Colon Street and Osmena Blvd junction. Choosing a place to stay in this area gives you an edge on managing your time and budgeting your expenses. Expensive hotels are located in uptown Cebu particularly near Fuente Osmena Circle and Ayala Center and there's one adjacent to SM City Cebu. The ones I tackle here are for those travelling on budget. Click the red pins to get the name of each hotel. In my upcoming post, I will share to you what I did to ensure my wifi connectivity during my stay in Cebu and what is the right thing to do when a wifi connection in your hotel breaks down, or does it? Discover the real score when you can't connect to wifi inside your hotel room.
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