Leylander’s Cebu City

Greetings, city-lovers! Cebu City is often overlooked, but Leylander tells us why his city is a hidden gem in the Philippines.

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Cebu City, Philippines is My City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. It is one of the oldest churches in the city. And the city, being the seat of Christianity in Asia, played a pivotal role in the Christianization of the entire Philippines.

When I crave seafood, I always go to sutukil. Sutukil is SUgba, TUwa, KILaw – grilled, cooked in a soup, and eaten raw, respectively.

To escape the fast city life, I head to the mountains of Cebu. They’re gorgeous.

If I want to take a quick swim, I go Mactan Island. It’s only thirty minutes from mainland Cebu and it boasts white sand beaches and top resorts.

For complete quiet, I can hide away on the SRP boardwalk. You watch the waves wash your stress away.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with a Sinulog dancer. Cebu is famous for its Sinulog Festival (above). A religious festival that honors the child Jesus – Sr. Sto. Niño.

If you have to order one thing off the menu in Cebu it has to be the roasted pig, otherwise known as lechon. It’s the best in the world!

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Taboan public market is my one-stop shop for great native delicacies like dried fish, otap, and more.

Locals know to skip high-end restaurants and check out cheap food joints that sell great-tasting local dishes instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to Carbon Market where even 1 dollar can buy me a meal for an entire week!

For a huge splurge I go Ayala Center in Cebu – a world-class mall.

Photo ops in my city include walk-throughs in age-old streets, pristine beaches, as well as the people who are all interesting characters that make the city unique. And the best vantage points are from mountain resorts, where photographers can get a good shot of the metropolis.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Monica Belucci. Simple, not often talked about, and totally gorgeous!

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The most random thing about my city is its pool of people who can sing. In fact, Cebu is the home of some of Philippine showbiz’s best singers.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves playing basketball, jogging, and swimming.

My city’s best museum is the Museo Sugbu where artifacts that reflect the city’s colorful past are preserved.

My favorite jogging/walking route is the IT Park in Lahug.

For a night of dancing, go to Mango Square. Or, for live music, check out Paseo in Mabolo.

Asiatown IT Park in Lahug is the spot for late-night eats..

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Bite Magazine.

You can tell a lot about my city from the kindness and hospitality of its people.

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You can tell if someone is from my city if they use the word ‘bai’ to refer to a friend or someone they meet on the street.

A hidden gem in my city is its untouristed mountains.

For a great breakfast joint try Sinangag Express.

Just outside my city, you can visit Lapu-Lapu City in Mactan.

The best way to see my city is by an afternoon stroll through its centuries-old streets.

If my city were a pet it would be a dog! Loyal and friendly.

The best book about my city is a photo book entitled Cebu: Pride of Place.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Crocolandia Zoo.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it is very simple yet it has everything that you’d ever need to live a peaceful and nice life. Its people are very friendly and the cost of living is jaw-dropping low. Most of all, it has the best that nature could offer–world-class beaches, springs, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, and all!

Check out Leylander’s photo blog for more great shots of Cebu City.