Cebu has become an established tourist destination, because it not only has a mild climate but also features a real city plus white sand beaches with luxury resorts, diving, snorkeling and golf courses.
From the richly varied Bohol Island und beach destination Panglao (part 4) we embarked on an Oceanjet ferry ride to the island of Cebu, the last stage of our Philippine journey.
Cebu is the ninth largest of the 7,107 islands that make up the Philippine archipelago and part of the central group of islands, the Visayas. Cebu, the island’s capital, is a relatively large conurbation with a lot of industry, including the world famous Profood and their main product: dried mangoes.
We took in a guided tour. Because of the vast facility, you are trundled around on a stretch version of the golf cart between the meters-high stacks of mango crates. They ripen peacably here for three days before tons of them are hand peeled(!). Apparently they were unable to develop a machine adequate for automating this delicate process. The rest of the production process, which takes another four days, is quite industrialized. They employ hundreds of workers in the peeling operation…
The impressive tour concludes in the company cinema where they once more bring to life the harvesting and production. You are next given the opportunity to buy dried mangoes or other fruit of various consistencies in the obligatory store. Buy by the bag or box, because the prices are pleasingly low by our standards and the mangoes are very tasty!
Close by Cebu lies the smaller island of Mactan, connected by suspension bridge. Located here, besides the world famous Alegre guitar factory are also the airport and the luxury resorts Shangri-La and Mövenpick.
And the little island is also historic, for here, in 1521, the Portuguese navigator Magellan lost his life in a skirmish with the natives. What a pity!
Mövenpick Cebu Mactan Island
The Mövenpick is a hip design hotel with Ibiza Beach Club and top DJ with laid-back live band. The service ist top quality throughout the hotel. The staff is affable and exceptionally and authentically friendly, as is indeed true everywhere in the Philippines.
The food is top-notch, as is the breakfast with four separate and different stations, and the same goes for the “churrasceria”. The “Swiss” here do it right…
The guest rooms conform to a good four star standard. They are bright and clean. But, careful: Be sure to book a room with direct ocean view (direction beach club)!
The lowest category rooms are in the shadow of the neighboring block and the lateral ocean view looks over the local residential neighborhood. They burn garbage here, and you can smell it all the way up to the 15th floor. This is one place where you don’t want to forego spending on an upgrade…
Shangri-La Mactan Resort & Spa
A few hundred meters away is the huge Shangri-La resort. This is the place for you if you like classic elegance and wrap-around hotel infrastructure. Not quite our cup of tea necessarily ;-)The Cowrie Cove Restaurant down by the beach is definitely worth a look! We dined very well here on their open terrace. The widely-traveled Hamburg Chef Patrick Buttgereit knows his stuff, without question. The wasabi added to the mashed potatoes made the difference!
And even in paradise storms can roll in. Then it can get quite dramatic.
Thank you for the fabulous tour!