Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My amazing Mactan, Cebu experience!

I’ve never been to Cebu nor have I stayed at any fancy hotel. Before 2017 ended, I experienced both and had an amazing time! What a way to end the year, huh?

I’ve never been to Cebu but my family told me that our surname, Montuerto, comes from that faraway place. It was always my dream to go there- but maybe it was also due to the fact that it’s Lechon heaven over there! So when Locally decided to fly me and Arnie there for FREE, we couldn’t say no. And that’s not even the best part. We had 3 days to relax at the best hotel in Mactan, Cebu: Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

Aside from the pocket money we brought, Locally also gave us extra allowance to explore the wonders of Cebu (I can’t really thank them enough for spoiling us).

So it went a little like this (Being a spontaneous person, Arnie was the one who wrote our itinerary):

-------------- Day 01 ----------------

06:00AM - Arrival at NAIA Terminal 2
08:50AM - Departure from Manila to Cebu (via Philippine Airlines)
10:05AM - Arrival at Mactan International Airport, Cebu
10:30AM - Transfer from airport to Shangri-La Mactan (via the resort's shuttle)
11:00AM - Arrival at Shangri-La Mactan | Early check-in | Rest
3:00PM - Lunch at Zubuchon (SM City Cebu)
7:00PM - Back at Shangri-La Mactan
9:00PM - Dinner at Cowrie Cove, Shangri-La Mactan

Arrival at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu

 We stayed at the Ocean wing of the hotel and I’m not gonna’ lie, the room was sweet and swanky. The amenities were luxurious and we also had a bath tub! Out of all the hotels I've stayed in, this one had the most accommodating staff. We had a good chat with the Ocean Wing Manager where she even booked us the best table in Cowrie Cove (which you'll see later). They even handed out free chocolate coated mangoes and watermelon sticks all the time (my favorite part of the stay, haha)

------------ Lunch at Zubuchon ---------

After so many years of craving, I got to try 2 restaraunts in Cebu that specialize in Lechon! The first one was Zubuchon, and my goodness, the wait was really worth it. Lechon here is on the salty side but that's what makes it really flavorful. I can't wait to go back and splurge here again!

What we ordered:
Zubuchon Lechon (1/2kg) - Php240.00
Baked Scallops - Php220.00

--------- Dinner at Cowrie Cove -------

For dinner we decided to take it up a notch by trying out fine dining here in Mactan, Cebu. The place was only open at night where you, as the restaurant claims, will dine under the stars. It was true actually! I had a romantic dinner with Arnie with stars above us and the ocean beside us. The food was superb and heavenly. It kind of, in a good way, breaks your hear every bite- that's how good it is!

What we ordered:
New Zealand Lamb Rack, Pickled Eggplant and Cream, Tomato Seeds, Miso Foam -Php1,500.00
Organic Chicken and Foie Gras, Corn Congee, Champignon, Natural Jus - Php560.00
Risotto of Millet with Parmesan and Corn - Php380.00
Chocolate Semifreddo with Greek Yoghurt and Mango Tartar - Php280.00

--------------- Day 2 -------------

09:00AM - Breakfast at Tides, Shangri-La Mactan
11:00AM - Tour + leisure at Shangri-La Mactan
3:00PM - Lunch at Circa 1900
6:30PM - Dinner at The Pyramid
8:00PM - Pasalubong shopping at Ayala Center Cebu
10:00PM - Back at Shangri-La Mactan

We had some spare time so we decided to swim and shoot some photos. Shout out to Quicksilver and SM Youth for providing me with my beach wear.

------------ Lunch at Circa 1900 -----------

Circa 1900 is an ancestral cluster where it houses one of Cebu's most romantic places. It was that romantic that when we arrived, there were several wedding ceremonies happening! We thought we won't be accommodated, but their staff escorted us to Cicada, a speak-easy spot that serves casual comfort food. It's part of Circa 1900 but more on the casual side. 

The ambiance was warm and very chill. The food was decent for its price but the winner was the mixed drinks they served! The "Diosdado" is a must-try!

What we ordered:
Roast Tomato Soup with Herb Focaccia Bread - Php135.00
Sesame Seared Rare Tuna with Soy Miso Dressing & Japanese Pickles - Php220.00
Southern Fried Chicken with Wedges - Php295.00
Diosdado (Absolute Vodka Vanilla, House White Wine, Calamansi Juice, Sugar Syrup, Lemon Wheel, Pear Fruit, Cinnamon) - Php200.00

----------- Dinner at The Pyramid -----------

The Pyramid is situated at West Geonzon Street, a couple of blocks away from Circa 1900. The name speaks volumes on how aesthetic the place is. They also claim to be "elegantly affordable" which is very true!  The price point at The Pyramid is something that won't stress your wallet. What we really went here for were the desserts, specifically, the French Macarons! It was absolutely addictive when paired with coffee. A must-try when visiting this awesome restaurant.

What we ordered:
French Macarons - Php35.00/pc
Caramel Latte - Php145.00
Aglio Olio with Shrimp - Php220.00

------------ Day 3 -----------
08:00AM - Breakfast at Acqua, Shangri-La Mactan
10:00AM - Swimming and snorkelling
12:30PM - Hotel Check-out
2:00PM - Lunch at Rico's Lechon
4:30PM - Arrival at Mactan International Airport
7:20PM - Departure from Cebu to Manila (via Philippine Airlines)

---------- Rico's Lechon --------

On our last day we decided to swim until 12 noon. Then our last stop before our flight was Rico's Lechon. Another heavenly restaurant where customers are the real winners.

Rico's Lechon is special for making Spicy Lechon. It's the restaurant's best seller. I'm not really a fan of spicy food but the dish was absolutely good! It's less salty than Zubuchon and more on the traditional taste of Lechon. Definitely a must-try in Cebu!

What we ordered:
1/2kg Original Lechon - Php315.00
1/4kg Spicy Lechon - Php215.00
 Garlic Fried Rice (4 servings) - Php135.00


And there you go! To be honest, 3 days were not enough to fully immerse in Cebu but I had the best time of my life. Big thanks to Locally for taking me to paradise. I'm sure I'll be back in Cebu to explore more of it wonders. For now I'm back in Manila and the back to the Daily Grind!

I'll be launching my Youtube channel tomorrow! So if you want more of the visual side on my Cebu trip then make sure to visit my channel. See you around!