Halu, Cebu! (Part 2)

DAY 1b

After having lunch, it was already 1pm and I decided that it was already high time that I took a taxi to my hotel.

Islands Stay Hotel, Uptown Branch

Islands Stay Hotel, Uptown Branch

I loved my hotel!  Many thanks go to JSY on that score because she was the one who recommended that place to me.  She did not stay there herself but she mentioned it to me anyway.  My room was really cute.  It has a single bed, really good air conditioning, cable TV, free wi-fi, complimentary travel kit, towels, and most of all, a couple of hangers.  The bad thing about it was that the water heater does not seem to work.  And I keep forgetting to inform the front desk about it.  Anyway, one trademark of the hotel is the not-so-famous travel quotes that were written on its walls.  They were very inspiring.


Check out: 4D3N Cebu Itinerary, Budget and Travel Tips


 

Room 4 Island Stays Cebu Uptown Branch

Room 4

Room 4 Island Stays Cebu Uptown Branch

Another great thing about the hotel is the staff.  Lisa of the front desk was very, very accommodating.  She suggested places for me to go during my second day when I had nothing planned.  Well, actually, I did plan to go to Shangri-la Mactan on my second day but I overslept, primarily due to my exhaustion from the previous day’s traipsing around, and secondly because the room was just so nice…  it was cold and the bed was really good, not lumpy like in other hotels that I had been in, plus, there was cable TV with complete channels.  It was really my home away from home.  There were moments during Day 2 when I just wanted to go back to the hotel to sleep or to watch cable.  (please excuse my obsession with cable TV because the stupid cable companies won’t put cable into our house due to distance concerns *bleh*).

DSC04870

DSC04869


Read more: Walking Tour of Cebu City


Anyway, after checking out my room and watching a show on cable, I headed out to see the Taoist Temple.  It was one of the sights that I was looking forward to visiting because I’m a sucker for culture and other religions.  I remember one of my trips to Singapore where I visited the Haw Far Villa where I learned a lot about the religious beliefs of other people.  Anyway, the temple is located inside a subdivision-like residential area and I had to take a taxi to get there.  Unfortunately, the taxi driver wasn’t interested in waiting up for me so I just paid my fare and he left.  Meanwhile, I went off to investigate the temple.  The temple was very simple and demanded that visitors be silent, much like any place of worship.  It was not allowed to take pictures of the altars and the saints so I only had shots of the temple’s façade and grounds.  There wasn’t much to see and I wasn’t able to meet any “fortune-teller” or anyone who would read me my kidney beans.  So after about 30 minutes of investigating every nook and cranny of the place, I went back to the streets and waited for a taxi.

Taoist Temple Parking Lot

Taoist Temple Parking Lot

The Taoist Temple Cebu

wet, steep stairs to the temple

The Taoist Temple Cebu

The Taoist Temple

The Taoist Temple Cebu

The Taoist Temple

Key to the Kidney Beans of the Gods

Key to the Kidney Beans of the Gods

The Taoist Temple Cebu

year of the dragon… 😀

The Taoist Temple Cebu

 

Taoist Temple Cebu

Taoist Temple Against Cloudy Skies

Taoist Temple Cebu

Giant Bagua

I headed off to the Crown Regency Hotel to try the Sky Experience Adventure.  I availed the 2 rides combo + 4D theatre + dinner buffet.  All for P950, plus a P100 deposit for the access bracelet (sorry no picture).  Since I got there at 4pm and my teammate NJG advised that the best time to do the Sky Walk is at night, I went to the Robinson’s Fuente and Robinson’s Gateway to pass the time.  On my way to the mall, I saw that there were people who slept on the overpass, amidst the passersby, the litters and the spits that surrounded them.  This is very much like what we have in Manila and it was quite depressing to witness.

My first mall was Robinson’s Fuente.  There wasn’t much to see so I did a bit of experiment.  I took out my iTouch from my bag and sat at one of the benches near the exit at the second floor.  I made sure that the traffic in this area was high so I could observe all sorts of people.  Well, no one paid any attention to me, not as much as a single glance.  I looked the part of a local and I was pleased.

At Robinson’s Gateway, I ate at the Mooon Café, a Mexican restaurant at the ground floor.  I tried the Grilled Chicken Salad and the Summer Fruit Punch.  The salad was just so-so, but I truly enjoyed the punch.  There were lots of real fruits in the punch and the flavor was just right.  It was really refreshing and filling!

Moon Cafe

Moon Cafe: grilled chicken salad + fruit punch

After eating, I decided to head back to the Crown.  However, it was raining so I had to wait a bit in the lobby of Robinson’s Gateway before I could walk back to the hotel.  But when I got there, I was worried that I won’t be able to handle the extreme rides with my full stomach so I decided to lounge around in the waiting area.  I just sat at one of the couches and read A Clash of Kings and no one paid me any mind.  When I finally plucked the courage to go on, I started with the 4D movie The Lost Island.  It was a funny kind of experience because since I was all alone, I also had the entire 4D theatre to myself.  The theatre was small and some of the seats were no longer in their prime condition, nor were the 3D glasses that the nice guard gave me.  But I still did my best to enjoy the whole experience.

My next endeavor was the Edge Coaster.  The attendants were very surprised that I was alone and that no one was waiting for me at the lower floors.  But I still went ahead to take the ride, despite the seat being meant for 2 people.  The ride scared me.  Once the ride started, the seat tilted to 50 degrees and I gave a humiliating scream and hang on for dear life.  I was truly afraid that the ride would be like those regular roller coaster rides that will have ups and downs and turns and whatnot.  But the car moved slowly, making it agonizing for me and then next thing I knew someone was already taking photos.  I asked her if the ride would go faster and she did not answer me!  She just went taking shots and asking me to do other poses.  And I wouldn’t let go of the handle!  I was really panicking already so I kept asking if the ride would go faster.  Then the photographer said that no, the ride will continue at the same speed.  I was more than relieved.  And because of that, I was able to finally enjoy that scenery before me:  the lights of Cebu.  It was a breathtaking sight.


Read more: Sky Experience Adventure as a couple.


After a very short ride, the photographer offered me copies of the pictures for P230 each.  What a real rip off!  But as no cameras were allowed at the site of the ride, I didn’t have much of a choice.

For the last activity, the Sky Walk, a locker was provided to store all my personal belongings.  They even had me take off my earrings and necklace.  Then I had to wear these overalls and put on a harness to ensure my safety during the Sky Walk.  Well, this activity wasn’t nearly as scary as the other one because the ledge was really wide and the harness really limited the distance that I could walk.  So, I had to walk around the ledge of the building, harness and all, while this safety guide pointed out the general directions of famous tourist spots.  Also, the photographer was there, asking me to do these poses as if I was doing something really perilous at the edge of the ledge.  But no, it wasn’t adrenaline-inducing enough for me.  Meanwhile, according to my very amiable safety guide, Shirley, there will be a zipline from tower 5 (still under construction) to tower 3 that should be longer and more exciting.  Now we’re talking.

By the way, another show of hospitality came from my safety guide.  She was very nice and was even thinking of touring me around Cebu on her day off.  Unfortunately, her day off was on my birthday, the day that I’m supposed to go back to Manila.  I also liked her because she said I was so cool because I traveled alone and does not seem to be fazed by the idea (little did she know, right?).


Read more: Indonesia, my next solo travel destination.


 

So after all these activities, I found myself buying 3 photos of myself – 2 from Sky Walk and 1 from Edge Coaster – all for the total price of P690.  And after that, I went to the restaurant to have my buffet dinner.  Then, it was back to the hotel for some well-deserved TV time and air-conditioned rest.

To be continued…  <read part 3 here>

March 13, 2012

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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