It’s a little bit scary travelling to a place I’ve never been to, even if it’s still within the country. But the scare was lessened the moment I touched down to Mactan International Airport in Cebu, Philippines, and saw a friend/colleague honking her car horn near the exit doors the moment she spotted me with a big. welcoming smile on her face.

The little more than an hour plane ride was just a blip as I finally, for the first time, went out of the Cebu airport, which I had been several times but only through connecting flights. Now, I get to feel the summer sun of the “Queen City of the South” in the middle of summer.

Welcome to Mandaue City, Cebu
Entering the bridge to Mandaue City, Cebu

First off… I’m telling you that I honest-to-goodness acted like a total tourist. You know how it is; taking pictures of any random thing that locals wouldn’t otherwise stop and click their bloody smartphone cameras for.

Anyway, since it’s only a 3-day trip, I got to maximize all the time I have and get the feel of the city. If I have more time, I’d probably travel about an hour or so to get to the nearest beach. But maybe next time.

There are three things that I cannot do/have without during this trip though. They are:

1. Lechon de Cebu (roasted suckling pig that has a distinctly Cebuano flavor not commonly available in Luzon)

Rico’s Lechon in Cebu
Fresh and hot: juicy and yummy Lechon de Cebu in Rico's Lechon
Fresh and hot: juicy and yummy Lechon de Cebu
Seaweed salad in Rico's Lechon
Seaweed Salad: Three different types of seaweeds that is a great accompaniment to the savory lechon.
calamansi and cucumber shake in Rico's lechon
Refreshing calamansi and cucumber shake

2. Fresh seafood (the Visayas group of islands boasts the freshest seafood there can be found)

Choobi Choobi Seafood Restaurant in SM Seaside, Cebu
Choobi Choobi Seafood Restaurant in SM Seaside, Cebu
Mixed seafood in Choobi Choobi
Garlicky and flavorful seafood mix: shrimps, scampi. Chilean mussels with buttered golden corn and Chorizo de Cebu

3. Cebu mangoes (so famous that they’re dried, packaged and exported from the country in multitudes all over the world)

Cebu mango
Freshly picked from a tree (from my friend/colleague as a surprise 🙂 )

I guessed it’s mission accomplished. I got all three that I set out to experience. It might not be the experience that most people who’ve been to Cebu had, but I’m a simple person. I get what I desired at the moment, and if I think of something more to experience, I can always go back.

There are more that Cebu can offer a foodie like me, of course. So stay tuned to more eats and places we went to that showed me a glimpse of Cebuano charm.