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Philippines Tour Part 5: Cebu und Mactan Island

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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.

View of Cebu from the Marco Polo Hotel

View of Cebu from the Marco Polo Hotel

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.

Dried mangoes by Profood

Dried mangoes by Profood

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!

View from Marco Polo Hotel of Cebu and the Marcelo Fernan suspension bridge

View from Marco Polo Hotel of Cebu and the Marcelo Fernan suspension bridge

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 Beach and Ibiza Beach Club

Mövenpick Beach and Ibiza Beach Club

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.

Mövenpick managers Valentina and Charo

Mövenpick managers Valentina and Charo

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…

Truly dedicated – passionately Swiss

Truly dedicated – passionately Swiss

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)!

Standard guest room

Standard guest room

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 ;-)

Seafood soup served in a coconut

Seafood soup served in a coconut

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!

Pan-seared parrot fish with wasabi mashed potatoes

Pan-seared parrot fish with wasabi mashed potatoes

And even in paradise storms can roll in. Then it can get quite dramatic.

Full moon and gathering storm with lightning and thunder

Full moon and gathering storm with lightning and thunder

 

This trip was made possible and arranged by the Asia specialists at tourasia and by Singapore Airlines.

Thank you for the fabulous tour!

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About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog travelmemo.com. In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

3 Comments

  1. Well said. Cebu is a very good place to stay and there are more than hundreds of tourists attraction that you can choose from. You can visit our website at http://www.cebutours.ph for more tour packages and we will be happy to give you discounts if you are coming from this website. Thank you Travel Memo.

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