Taking long vacations often require planning months in advance and the Holy Week is no exemption. If there’s a vacant spot in your itinerary or you’ve just decided to spend the holiday travelling, here is a list of places you might want to see.
If you want to spend the Holy Week observing religious traditions, such as Visita Iglesia, check out our list of breathtaking churches to visit.
Located on the top of a hill is a sprawling castle-like monastery that draws thousands of devotees from around the country. The Simala-Lindogon Church is believed to have been blessed by the Virgin Mary, turning the dry and barren land into the lush vista you see today. People will flock to this church during Holy Week so be prepared for the huge crowds.
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu
A visit to Cebu would not be complete without dropping by the church that houses the oldest relic of the Holy Child Jesus. The Basilica is located in downtown Cebu and is within walking distance of many heritage sites. Due to its convenient location, it is one of the most visited churches in the city. A staggering number of devotees often gather during the weekends, so plan your visits accordingly if you want to avoid the crowds.
Pilgrim’s Center, Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City
Feeling restless? Work off your excess energy by visiting our recommended adventure spots.
Bask in the sunrise at Osmeña Peak, one of the highest points in Cebu. Its peak is approximately 1000 meters above sea level and is part of the Mantalongon mountain range. The view from the top allows you to see as far as the shoreline of its neighboring municipality. Although the trail is perfect for beginners, tour guides are also available down at the registration office. Don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes!
Bacalla Woods Campsite
Nestled on top of the hills, Bacalla Woods Campsite is a welcome respite for those seeking to escape the city without straying too far from it. Known for its infinity swing, it is a place built for adventure lovers—from river trekking to stargazing. It is a very rustic abode, with no cell reception or WiFi, so don’t expect a full service staff. Remember to book ahead of time.
San Isidro, San Fernando
The last few months probably have you feeling drained. Spend the Holy Week at any of these places to regain your energy.
Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Bird watchers and nature lovers will truly enjoy this 920-hectare protected area for waterfowl. Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary is home to over 97 species of birds, half of which are migratory species coming from in Siberia, Northern China, and Japan to escape the winter monthsWe recommend that you bring your binoculars and drop by the sanctuary around 1pm to catch a closer look at the winged residents.
San Vicente, Olango, Lapu-Lapu City
If you enjoy visiting white sand beaches but yearn to relax away from the crowds, you will enjoy Sandira Beach. Formerly known as Paradise Beach, it is a relaxing side trip should you happen to visit Bantayan Island. Just remember that there are no establishments on Sandira Beach so it is relatively secluded. However, its pristine waters and lush greenery make the trip worthwhile. Make sure to secure your accommodations at a nearby hotel or resort if you plan to stay long.
Pescador Island is located in the Tañon Strait and is the perfect site for diving enthusiasts. Visitors can also choose to explore the island to see the lighthouse or jump from one of the island’s high cliffs. If cliff jumping or trekking is not for you, you can also dive in its clear waters. Visibility often reaches up to 40 meters which makes it easy to spot the diverse marine life. Just be careful of the jellyfish that visit the area.
Tañon Strait, Moalboal
Cheers to a long weekend!
The Queen City of The South, Cebu, is truly a wonderful island, with wonderful people, rich culture, and of course, scrumptuos food. Cebu also happens to be the land of many talented artists and musicians. Check them out with this list!
- Sepia Times
Sepia Time is composed of lovers — Elisha Ang, popularly known as Icy, and Luigi Balazo. These artists have produced and written songs ever since 2016. Their music is widely influenced by international artists like Paramore and Oh Wonder. Listeners would definitley feel the chill vibe Sepia Times gives off through their songs. Despite being described as sad, their songs are the type of songs that you listen to on a chilly Saturday or when you just want to hang around the park and contemplate. Their songs “Kofi”, “The Art of”, “Let Me Let Go”, “1238” are some of the songs they released.
The pop folk group, Wonggoys, is composed of a band of brothers — Gabe, Bill, and Kyle Wong. The Wonggoys drew enthusiastic applause with their pop rock with a little bit of jazz and blues compositions. They first began with singing cover songs in harmony and eventually progressed to a trip to the recording studio, and after months of writing and recording, their efforts eventually paid off and produced an album. Several live performances and one more album later, they garnered a considerable following. Their song “Wa’y Blema”, is light-hearted and focuses on enjoying the good things.
3. Mandaue Nights
Mandaue Nights is an 80’s synth-pop group based in Cebu composed of — filmmaker and singer-songwriter Karl Lucente, and music producer and arranger Gino Rosales. What makes them different from the other Cebuano acts is their 80’s vibe , this group will totally leave you feeling nostalgic. Their first single, You and I, was selected as the original soundtrack for a locally produced film, Magbuwag Ta Kay, which was shown in cinemas nationwide.
4. Three Legged Men PH
Three Legged Men PH started off when Micmic Kindica, the band’s vocalist, got invited to play for UP Cookout. Amazed by the opportunity to perform again, he formed a temporary band, composed of high school and college friends, to go on stage with him in the said event, and since then every member just kind of stuck to each other to play more music. Their music is mainly pop with hints of jazz, blues, R&B, and funk. “Spur of the Moment”, “Keep”, and “Tibok” are some of the songs everyone needs to listen to!
5. Thinking Chair
Thinking Chair first started off in church, eventually took a break from that scene, and started a band. The band’s lineup is actually new — they wanted to revive the old Thinking Chair, but some of them already moved to Canada. Their music is described as indie, soul, revolutionary, and “raw”, and is widely influenced by a lot, most especially by The 1975, Coldplay, and Private Island. “Mirage”, a song they’ve written, is said to be the most memorable song they’ve written since they have so many renditions of it and is fun to play.
A Leap into the Literary Experience in Cebu
Cebu is being constantly brought in the limelight when it comes to its beaches, delicacies, tourist spots, and its culture in general. A lot of tourists and locals spend their vacation in the province doing most common activities you can easily find in the Internet (i.e. island hopping, sightseeing, and food trip). But, if you are looking for other ways to experience Cebu, then setting foot in its literary space might be one of the unique directions to take.
Paying a visit to Cebu’s libraries
From learning one’s history to reading just any book that sparks your interest, there are a variety of libraries Cebu has to offer.
Just like any other place, the province has a dwelling for archives, books, journals and other publications that trace back from the early ages to the modern times. The Cebuano Studies Center, for example, is a special library that houses source materials, research, and other literary works covering Cebu and its culture. The center is located inside Josef Baumgartner Learning Resource Center of the University of San Carlos, Talamban Campus, which is the largest library in the Philippines by size. As soon as you walk right inside the Cebuano Studies Center, the hinting scent of antiquity will almost lure you to read every record of history stored in the shelves.
Another notable library in the province you might also want to check out is the Cebu City Public Library or also known as Rizal Memorial Library and Museum, which is widely recognized as the first public library in the country that opens 24/7 (read more about it here). The building has a neoclassical structure which makes it feel nostalgic especially for older generations. The ride of history and culture will not only come from the shelf route, but will also drift you to a room of ancient artifacts, sculptures, painting, and other archaeological finds in the museum that dates back to the old-fashioned lifestyle Cebuanos used to have before and during the colonization period in the Philippines.
If you’re the type that wants a more intimate or comfortable area to enjoy your nooks and books instead, you can check out Books and Brews Cafè located at G/F Mango Square Mall, Juana Osmeña Street, Cebu City. The place is a cafè with an extensive library perfect for bibliophiles who enjoy a scent of coffee while being taken deep into their reading experiences. This might just be your modern mini-library of choice that you’re hoping to have around the corner. [Visit Facebook]
Attending literary events and exhibitions
Cebuanos love marking their calendars for special occasions like annual literary festivals or events in Cebu, which usually happens between the 1st to the 3rd quarter of the year. The Big Bad Wolf, known as the world’s largest book sale, recently came to town and had their sale at the IEC Convention Center Cebu from August 16 to 26. What makes this event stand out among the rest every year is that majority of the bookworms in Cebu never dare to miss this as it’s the perfect opportunity for them to hoard a vast number of books that have the biggest discounts you could not imagine! Quite unfair if we leave some people out of this once in a lifetime opportunity right? So, whether you are a tourist or a local, make sure to include this in your plans soon. [See updates here]
Aside from smart shopping, stopping by at literary and art exhibitions is also a different kind of “sightseeing” experience. Cebu Zine Fest, for example, runs in a showcase room at 856 G Gallery that includes displays of art, illustrations, comics, books, poetry, photography, and self-produced merchandises set up by diverse artists from different parts of the country. The artists themselves also have their own booths and tables placed in the same area of their displays, so it’s the perfect setting for a curious mind to explore another’s. What makes this exhibition different from what people usually expect in a local exhibition is that the works showcased here are unique, uncensored, peculiar, and interesting—a manifestation of young yet sophisticated minds.
[See also future literary events and activities here]
Literature and art entice the heart of many Cebuanos. These two disciplines altogether is about expressing an idea, concept, or message in an artistic, intellectual, and creative way. The beauty and impact of its nature is the reason why many are driven to involve and contribute to its growth and recognition.
Because the people in the province are constantly putting life into their literary activities and celebrations, it has become part of Cebu’s beautiful culture that is worth to experience and appreciate.
Be it a huge event or spoken word juncture, the creative scene becomes a whole different experience if it’s in Cebu. Trying something new is also one adventure to take that is worth telling.
So, what’s not to like?
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