Cebu is known as the “Queen City of the South” because of its strategic and economic importance to the country. It is one of the most prosperous cities in the country, and sees over 2 million foreign tourists annually.
As compared to Clark and Davao, Cebu is definitely the most alike to Singapore as it too is an economic hub in the country. Despite being economically driven, the city has no lack of culture, pristine beaches, and of course – food – glorious food!
What to do in Cebu, Philippines
1. Fort San Pedro
Fort de San Pedro has a significant historical monument to the Filipinos as it is the oldest triangular bastion fort in the country, dated back to the 1500s! It was a military defence structure built by the Spanish under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines, and served as the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. During the Philippine Revolution at the end of the 19th century, it was attacked and taken by Filipino revolutionaries, who used it as a stronghold.
A. Pigafetta Street, Cebu, Philippines
2. Magellan’s Cross & Basilica del Santo Niño
Magellan’s Cross and the Basilica del Santo Niño are located within a stone’s throw from each other. Both locations are of historical and religious significance to the locals.
Magellan’s Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers upon arriving in Cebu in the 1521. A sign below Magellan’s Cross states that the original cross is encased within the wooden cross in order to protect the original cross from damage. However, others believe that the original cross no longer exists and the cross is merely a replica.
Basilica del Santo Niño is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country, built some 40 years after Magellan’s Cross arrived in Cebu. In 1965, Pope Paul VI made the church a basilica as a symbol of the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines.
Osmeña Blvd, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines
What to eat in Cebu, Philippines
1. Sushi Sake
Japanese cuisine is the favourite cuisine of many, including myself! You have no idea how happy I was to find out that Sushi Sake is located on the first floor of Radisson Blu Cebu.
The highlight of this meal was definitely the maki rolls and the sashimi. Not only was the presentation impressive, the flavour of the sushi and sashimi did not disappoint. Pair this meal with a cup of Japanese green tea or sake, and you’ll almost believe that you are in Japan.
Radisson Blu Cebu’s signature restaurant Feria had one of the most massive buffet spreads I have ever seen in my life! (I really am not exaggerating)
With a spread of seven different cuisines to choose from, I was thoroughly spoilt for choice. What really stood out was the witty puns placed next to the food, which made feasting such a fun affair.
Read: 9 Hippest Saigon Cafes in Ho Chi Minh that are Definitely Worth a Visit
Where to stay in Cebu, Philippines
Radisson Blu Cebu
Radisson Blu Cebu is a luxurious 5-star hotel located at the heart of Cebu, just a 30-minute drive away from the Mactan-Cebu International airport. Many historical sites, cultural landmarks, souvenir shops and leisure destinations surround Radisson Blu Cebu, making it a prime location for both business and leisure travellers.
The moment I stepped into the Radisson Blue Cebu, I was greeted by one of the beautiful girls dressed in beautiful blue traditional Filipino clothing, with their signature drink – a refreshing concoction of lime juice and basil leaves.
The next thing I noticed was how arresting the hotel lobby was – high ceiling, marble flooring, lit up by warm orange lights that added an extra touch of luxury.
After a swift and efficient check in process, I was ushered to my room upstairs.
Radisson Blu Cebu is equipped with 400 rooms spread across five categories – 301 Superior Rooms, 14 Deluxe Rooms, 14 Premier Rooms, 31 Business Class Rooms and 20 Executive Suites.
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The superior room which I stayed in for two nights lived up to all my expectations. A standard superior room would have a set of windows on one side of the bed. However, as I had been allocated the corner room, there were large windows on the right side of the bed as well as the front of the bed.
I thoroughly loved the extra set of windows in my room as natural light sifting through the windows made the room – and me – feel more alive.
The 35 m2 room had more than enough space for a lone traveller like myself. I could roll around in bed without fear of falling over. The pillows were also very soft – a delight to some, but it was not what I’m used to so I ended up having to stack them together.
The bathroom, like the lobby, had a touch of luxury as it is furnished with marble and fitted with cosy warm lights. It came with a walk-in rain shower as well as a handheld shower head. I was also elated to find out that bathroom amenities are from This Works’ in-transit range, which is catered for travellers on the go.
The bathroom is also equipped with a hairdryer, so you can definitely toss out your travel hairdryer from your luggage so that you have more space to pack in souvenirs!
For girls like me who have long and thick hair, I cannot stress enough how important having a hairdryer while travelling.
Being on holiday doesn’t mean you need to put a halt to your workout regime! Even if you are not a sports enthusiast, Radisson Blu Cebu’s beautiful swimming pool would make you want to jump right in! Unfortunately for me, I didn’t get the chance to do so due to the hectic travel schedule.
Likewise, the gym is not only gorgeous and spacious, but also very well-quipped with barbells, treadmill, yoga mats and exercise balls. It even made an inactive person like me itch to work out!
Radisson Blu Cebu also provides a venue for meetings and social events. The hotel has meeting rooms and ballrooms of various sizes, where the largest ballroom can comfortably accommodate 1,000 people.
What makes Radisson Blu Cebu an even more perfect choice of accommodation is its sheltered path to the SM City Cebu, where only one small road separates the hotel from SM City. Whether rain or shine, you will still be able to satisfy your shopaholic needs.
Read: My 9 Favourite Singapore Hotels For A Staycation
Radisson Blu Cebu Serging Osmeña Blvd. Corner Juan Luna Ave., Mabolo, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines 6000 +63 (32) 402 9900 [email protected]
Special thanks to Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group for making this stay possible! All opinions remain my own.