Destinations

Make It Cebu: Dive With Sharks, Climb Mountains, Celebrate

Why the neighboring islands of Cebu and Mactan are enchanting summer getaways.
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Cebu has been a popular tourist site for years, known for its historical landmarks and green mangoes. Nowadays, the city has so much more to offer. It's time for another visit. 

WHAT TO DO

Dive into Mactan’s waters

Aquaphiles will take delight in the plethora of diving resorts that occupy the eastern or coastline of Mactan Island. But the real standout is Malapascua Island, a world-class dive spot which is considered one of the country's best and is just a short boat ride from the northern tip of Cebu. Aside from its lovely, powdery white beaches, Malapascua Island is also famed for its sightings of manta rays and the distinct thresher sharks, which are admired for their elegance and odd shape.

Experience the great outdoors

Apart from its beaches, Cebu is also home to several panoramic mountains for hiking, climbing, and camping. Beginners can trek the easy trails of Mount Mago or the scenic route going to Sirao Peak and its acclaimed flower garden. Experienced climbers can take on the challenging trail of Mount Mauyog or the or steep slopes of Mount Lanaya. Osmeña Peak, which is Cebu's highest, offers both easy and difficult trails. These mountains also allow you the most spectacular views, which make it one of the best camping sites on the island.

Take a Tour De Cebu

Although it doesn't take place during the summer, Tour De Cebu is worth mentioning as it offers motoring fans the chance to participate in this “touristic rally” that features vintage cars. The annual event got its inspiration from Mille Miglia, an endurance race that took place in Italy from the late '20s to the late '50s. The race takes place along 1000-kilometer of winding, scenic roads in the Visayas region. If you have a vintage car lying around that you want to take for a spin, you are eligible to join as long as its manufactured in 1972 or earlier, and passes the strict scrutiny of the organizers.

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WHERE TO EAT

Ginabot

Dishes at The Pig & Palm

The Queen City of the South is home to numerous dining spots that cater to any gastronomic need. For the adventurous eater, there's the Ginabot––the Cebuano's take on chicharon bulaklak that has been a staple in the city's street food scene for decades. Of course, there's also the classic and ever-popular Cebu lechon, which you won't have a problem finding as the city is literally filled with excellent dining options for it. Want to go fancier? A top pick is Jason Atherton's The Pig & Palm, a popular modern Spanish tapas restaurant that also serves both modern and traditional Cebuano flavors.

HOW TO CELEBRATE
Mactan Island is also an ideal location if you are looking to celebrate life's milestones like birthdays or weddings, or even corporate events. One prime property that offers scenic outdoor spaces and timeless ballrooms for such events is Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, which is just a 20 to 30-minute ride from the airport. The property recently launched Beyond Meetings, a grand showcase of events venue for business, weddings, and other celebrations. Each of the resort's five event venues has its own thematic concept: The Locavore break for meetings and conferences in the spacious Grand Coral Ballroom, the refined rustic wedding ceremony at the charming villa garden, the corporate incentive program or pre-reception venue at the trendsetting Azure Beach Club, the colorful Bohemian Dream at the beach, and the Crimson Flair theme at The Hall, the resort's biggest indoor venue.

Azure Beach Club

A tropical-themed event at Azure

Bohemian Dream

Crimson Flair theme at The Hall

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John Patrick Meneses
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