Viva Cebu!

PauTravels at the Magellan's Cross in Cebu

In continuation of our trip last September 2006 in the island of Bohol, our group of 17 people ferry ourselves to one of the key and most historical cities in the Philippines.  Cebu City is part of now the great metropolitan region of Metro Cebu which lies in the middle section of elongated island province of Cebu.

Cebu (pronounced as ‘Se-boo’) is the center of commerce and trade in the Visayan region of the Philippines and is connected to most domestic airports and some international airports through the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.  This makes Cebu as the second major gateway and second most important trade center of the country after Manila.  The Port of Cebu also connects the island to other islands in the country.

Aside from it’s importance in the Philippine economy, Cebu is also very rich in history as it is considered the oldest city in the country.  It marks its existence in history for more than 439 years ago, before the first Spanish expedition came in the islands in 1521 which led to the Philippines’ official discovery, putting it in the map.  The expedition led by Ferdinand Magellan that year has seen a thriving settlement with an organized social structure led by a datu.  And the settlement was already a center of trade by trading Chinese, Japanese, Malays, Indians, Burmese, and Arabs.

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Exploring Bohol

PauTravels and Jen at the Chocolate Hills of Bohol

In early 2006, Cebu Pacific Airlines celebrated their 10th year of airline services and alongside with this, they’ve offered a limited seat sale of P10 only at any of their domestic flights, taxes not included.  This was such a big sale compared to the regular price.  And with this, my officemates and myself organized to purchase these very cheap air ticket and decided that we shall be going to beautiful island of Bohol and return to Manila via Cebu.  We got a total of 17 tickets that day.  To-date, Cebu Pacific still offer this cheap tickets every now and then specially during off-peak periods.

And so, we’ve decided to go to Bohol and Cebu on September 9th – 12th that year.  I was tasked to organize our trip as it was my passion to organize trips. I looked up for tour packages in Bohol and Cebu.  I’ll discuss on a separate blog our arrangements for Cebu.  From a suggestion from one of the group, I got a contact with the Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) after seeing their website of the Balicasag Island Dive Resort.

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An Island Trip to Palau Bintan

PauTravels by the Welcome to Indonesia banner at the Bintan island Seaport

In 2005, I have decided to celebrate Christmas with my brother and his family in Singapore.  And during this trip, we have planned to jump on a ferry to the nearby island of Bintan in Indonesia.

Bintan is one of the two Indonesian islands that are of close proximity to Singapore reachable by ferries.  The other is Batam island.  These two islands are frequently visited by Singaporeans for leisure and vacation.

And so, we scheduled an overnight stay at the Bintan Lodge within the cluster of Bintan Resorts.  From Singapore, we took the ferry at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal near Changi Airport.  We took the earliest trip to Bintan, which if my memory serves me right, took about an hour ride.  And since we’re going out of Singapore, we had to pass through immigration from Singapore, and as we arrive in Bintan also.

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