On our last day at Cebu we didn’t have exclusive tour since Cebu Travelers were already reserved on that day. We didn’t have time to look for other agencies. Without a comfort of a car, we took this opportunity to fully experience how to commute around Cebu City on our own. Thus having our own little adventure.
This blog is part 2 of my Cebu Adventure posts. If you’re interested for the part 1, just click the links below.
Day 1 Arrival and 10,000 Cafe’
Day 2: Moalboal Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency
Day 3: Oslob and Sumilon Island Tour with Cebu Travelers Tour Agency
And here’s the outline of the part 2 of my Cebu adventure. You may click per topic if you want to jump immediately on one of them.
Day 4: Habal-Habal DIY City Tour
0. Going to JY Square Small as Starting Point of Habal-Habal
1. Sirao Garden
2. Temple of Leah
3. Pasalubong hunting in Taboan
4. Dinner at Kogi Q in SM City Cebu
5. Final Night Accommodation: Express Inn
0.Going to Square Mall As Starting Point of Habal-habal
We started at the location of our hotel “Sampaguita Hotel” situated in Plaza Garcia Bldg, Magallanes St, Cebu City, Cebu. Base on our research, habal-habal pick-up point in the city is located at JY Square Mall. When were looking for jeepney rides, that’s how we learned that in Cebu, routes are often designated by codes. These codes are largely displayed on top of every jeep. Such as shown below.
Since we don’t know the right code going to JY Square Mall, we had no choice but to ask around. They answered in unison that we should look for jeeps with code “C” on them. I think we rode 4C . Maybe if you’re somewhere in Cebu city, better ask around on what’s the correct code base on your location.
It took maybe around 30 minutes before we reached JY Square Mall (Supermart). I guess the driver was annoyed at this point because I kept asking if we were near JY Square Mall already. We were paranoid and we didn’t want to get lost. So sorry about that. Anyway once we got off the jeep, we didn’t have to look for habal-habal. Several drivers approached us quickly and offered their services.
We accepted the offer P400.00 per person, round-trip. Here’s a clip of us during our trip. At the beginning, it was perplexing to be exposed in the middle of smoke and traffic. But once we approached the mountain where Sirao Garden is located, we started to see magnificent views and clean air along the way. It finally became an enjoyable ride.
1. SIRAO GARDEN
After around 45 minutes, we finally reached the famous Sirao Garden. Entrance fee is only P60.00.
There are parking lots available here so it’s pretty accessible for those who have cars.
And finally, picture taking time. These photos were all taken with Samsung A50 mobile phone.
This was the most blockbuster landmark here, the hand. The line was long for this one. I think it took 10-20 minutes before we had our turn.
I must say the views of the mountains was a bonus. It felt like you’re on top of the mountain even we didn’t trek.
I adore this life-size nest. They even have a prop egg.
Please notice the butterfly on my elbow.
After an hour of photoshoot session, we took a break by eating some corn and drinking bottled water. These stalls were just outside the Sirao Garden.
We also met the habal-habal driver once again and proceeded to another destination nearby, the Temple of Leah.
2. Temple of Leah
Our motorcycle had to climb a very steep road to get here. I thought it would be really hard to get here just by walking. There was also an entrance fee. But I can’t remember the specifics. I’m sure it was less than P100.00.
Learning the story behind Temple of Leah amused me. This was built by a business tycoon (Adarna Clan) in memory of his late wife Leah Albino Adarna. This is a testimony of his love and endless devotion to her. This temple will be the home of all travel souvenirs and collections Leah had acquired from her travels in her lifetime. As said in one of the signs there, Teodorico Adarna had to literally chop a mountaintop to place this temple. This is the reason why it is often hailed as “The Taj Mahal of the Philippines” , a testament of love to a deceased wife by grand display of wealth. The construction is still not finished but it’s already open to the public.
The design of “Temple of Leah” was inspired by Parthenon of Greece. So aside from being Taj Mahal of the Philippines, it was also called the Parthenon of Cebu.
Some rooms are not yet furnished like this one. But some Leah’s collection were already there. Leah loved figurines and vases.
This Leah’s golden statue was inspired by a photo when she won a “beauty-queen” like award in her school. I wished they displayed the real photo here.
They say that this statue alone costs millions already.
You can also have an almost 360 degree view of Cebu City here in Temple of Leah.
At last, here’s the open letter of Teodorico Adarna Jr. on why he built this temple.
Given this history of the temple, one can’t help but to be curious on what does Leah Albino Adarna looked like. She must be goddess of beauty. The clue would be her actress granddaughter “Ellen Adarna” who most likely inherited the genes. I searched the internet but I only found this one in this link.
Our habal-habal driver offered us to have another destination which hey called “TOPS” . But we opted to return to the city. He dropped us in a gasoline station and then we paid him P800.00 plus P100 for the waiting time. This already covered two of us. From there we rode a jeep going to Taboan where our friend was already waiting.
Final Verdict for our Habal-habal tour.
3 out of 5 stars. Actually we were also offered by a taxi driver for the same tour. He offered us P1200 roundtrip for the two of us. We thought it was expensive. But as I think about it now, the difference of the price was not that big compared to overall price we had with habal-habal. Also in habal-habal, we were exposed directly by sunlight and pollution. For that reason, I think we should have took the taxi ride tour instead. But the habal-habal driver itself was nice to us. I have no complains.
3. Pasalubong Hunting in Taboan
This was our last day in Cebu so we need to do some pasalubong shopping. Taboan is a popular destination as it has string of stalls offering affordable delicacies. Most notably the danggit or dried fishes.
This is some of the notes on the price of danggit and dried pusit.
You can order up to quarter a kilo and you can request the packaging to be divided. We also bought boxes here so we can seal all “pasalubong” in one box. We sealed it heavily so it won’t have any problems in the airport.
4. Dinner at Kogi-Q at SM City Cebu
Our last accommodation was near SM City Cebu so we went there for our last dinner at Cebu.
For the last hoorah in Cebu, it was a time for Eat -All-You-Can Buffet for only P399.00. They have wide range of meat to choose from.
Final Verdict for Kogi-Q
4 out of 5 stars. The food and the service are great. But most memorable was their Kimchi. I generally don’t like kimchi as much. But damn, I just had unlimited kimchi that night.
5. LAST ACCOMMODATION: EXPRESS INN CEBU MABOLO
Because we had short of time to plan and book accommodations, we got to transfer again for our last night. It was a hassle but the good thing was I got to know three affordable hotel accommodations to share in my blog.
Express Inn is also located in the city and situated beside a main road. It is near SM City Cebu and also minutes away from the airport which was great because our flight going back to Manila tomorrow was super early. This hotel has many awards displayed in the reception because of its affordability and accessibility. I didn’t take note of the price when we got it. But we booked it once again through Agoda. I have shared the link below where you can check this one out.
Where to book: Express Inn in Agoda.com
3.5 out of 5 stars. I like the simplicity and cleanliness of this hotel. A big plus of it’s proximity with malls and airport.
Oh my did I just finished my Cebu Adventure blog? I think I got myself a little celebration. I must admit I should improve my blogging workflow. Being a blogger is not that easy. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the events and the piles of pictures and thoughts you have to organized. But I love blogging. It might be tiring but it always feel good to immortalize memories and share information with others. However, I would appreciate any tips on how to write a blog faster. Just put in the comments if you have one.
Once again I invite you to subscribe to my youtube channel “Gurezu Reviews“. I’m just starting so there were just 4 videos as of this writing. If you also have youtube channel, let me know also so I can follow back.
Again here’s the Highlights of my Cebu Adventure in ten minutes. Photos and videos in this blog were taken with SamsungA50.
Thanks everyone for hanging with me! And remember that you’re awesome!
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