Friday, July 13, 2012

Cebu, Through the Years

Cebu! Cebu!
Through the Years



....South California, 

....and Hong Kong

...are the places we don’t get tired coming back again and again,
visiting the same spots all over again
and finding new places to explore in every visit…

Cebu belongs
to this category.

It is one of the few places in the Philippines
I find worth coming back again and again.

My love affair started with Cebu as a very young man.
I visited the province in my youth in the early 90’s.
I  stayed in a scenic  seaside resort  called Mar Y Cielo.

(succeeding photos are about 15 years  old and I decided
not to hide my face anymore as no  one would recognize 
my younger version anyway)

As a first time visitor the idyllic resort
made an impression that Cebu is indeed
 a very beautiful place.

I returned about two or three years later
 with a group of friends
We stayed in Park Place Hotel. 

I cannot recall how the hotel looks like…
but is still I vividly remember 
island hopping in a yacht…

…got into this powdery- white sandbar 
 in the middle of the ocean
…and  had a blast of a good time
until the sandbar disappeared during high tide….

I stayed in Cebu Plaza Hotel on my third visit
and incidentally met  a cousin who married a Cebuano
who  happens to work in the hotel.

I remember the hotel  having charming
and well manicured garden.

I returned to Cebu for the fourth time in 1997
as a newly married man with my wife
on our first Valentine together
who happened to be about 3 months pregnant then…

We holed on in one of the Cebu Plaza Hotel  
suites on the top floor,
seldom left the hotel  room as she was  bleeding…

It was a good thing that the room was so comfortable
we did nothing but stare at the view of the city
and watch movies(including Madonna’s Evita) all day.

We returned two more times in Cebu
(my fifth and sixth time in the province)
 this time as a family man with two kids.

Cebu became more sophisticated
and the choice for wonderful places to stay was endless.

Mactan Island
became more like Tumon in Guam...

Where fabulous hotels and resorts
sprouted like mushrooms…

Two of the hotels we stayed in Cebu where the kids
did not want to leave anymore were
Shangri- la Mactan….

It was a 2 bedroom suite
that offers a sweeping view of the ocean...
and reminds me so much like the hotel
we stayed in Guam
(3rd and 4th photos respectively from the picture above)

…a paradise where you could isolate yourself
from the rest of the world...

... but just  within reach
of the city center…

We returned to Cebu few years later
….and stayed at the scenic Plantation Bay…

a fabulous resort where our hotel room
opens directly to the lagoon…

,,,,the resort was so beautiful
and offered so many attractions, 
so many things to do...
that the kids did not want 
to leave Cebu anymore....

We are scheduled to return to Cebu
this August and we are staying at the Radisson Blue…

We cannot contain the excitement
of having another adventure in the city.

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