Cebu is becoming increasingly urban, and modernization efforts are being made in trying to keep up with the demands of this growing city.
This week, renovations are already under way to transform the Mactan airport into a world-class facility, while plans for a more efficient transport system are being developed. Other exciting developments like a new restaurant and unique water sports make the city an ideal destination to visit for the summer.
Council pushes proposal for sea transport, railways to allay traffic
A view of the Mactan Channel with the Marcelo Fernan Bridge (Image: Roadtrip / Backpack Travel Guide)
The Regional Development Council (RDC) is considering alternative means of transportation like sea transport and a railway system to alleviate traffic woes in Cebu City. To provide another means of transportation aside from land-based mass transit, the RDC Infrastructure Development Committee is studying the possibility of using five existing ports along the Mactan Channel for intra- and inter-island travel. This proposal is now pending approval and funding from the Department of Public Works and Highways.
Other plans to improve mass transportation in Cebu include a five-line, 25-km. railway and the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.
Renovation under way for Terminal 2 of Mactan airport
Façade of the Mactan airport (Image: Mactan Cebu Airport)
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 is currently undergoing renovations, which is set to make it the world’s first resort airport by mid-2018. Top designers and architects, including international furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, were tasked with creating the new 65-square-meter building which will have a wave-shaped design made of glulam wood, said to be a first in Asia. Solar panels will also be installed in the terminal.
The construction of the new terminal will coincide with plans of MCIA management to open more routes to Europe, Australia and other ASEAN countries in the next two years.
Bigiw paddling at Mactan
A bigiw sails across the sunset in Mactan (Image: Island Buzz Philippines)
Locals and tourists go to Mactan to take a dip at the beach, especially during summer. But Island Buzz Philippines, a Mactan-based tours and adventures company, is offering a unique water activity, which is not only a form of sports or exercise but also a means to discover local heritage.
Buzzy Budlong, surfer and owner of Island Buzz, aims to revive the lost art of paddling using a bigiw, a kind of small boat propelled by oars which ancient Filipinos used to travel across the islands. Island Buzz holds basic bigiw paddling and sailing lessons at Mactan Newtown Beach, as well as stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking classes.
All-day breakfast at Camden Café
The white neon sign at Camden Café (Image: Angelica Ann)
Eating a morning meal in Cebu usually means going to a breakfast buffet at a hotel or a 24-hour tapsilog spot. But standalone all-day breakfast places are slowly changing this, including newcomer Camden Café. Their menu includes different kinds of omelets, Eggs Benedict, pancakes, and other breakfast and brunch fare. Aside from the food, diners visit the café for their white neon sign and Instagram-worthy industrial-chic interiors.
Cebu is famous for danggit (rabbitfish or spinefoot fish), which tourists buy as pasalubong (take-home gift) for family and friends. While this Cebuano delicacy is available at most supermarkets, the Taboan Public Market is one of the best places to buy dried fish at reasonable price points.
The market is accessible by taxi or jeepneys marked 04C, 17B or 17C. It is advisable for shoppers heading to Taboan to wear simple clothes, as the smell of dried fish can stick to one’s clothing.
Practicing ATM safety tips minimizes chances of skimming incidents.
The recent incident of automated teller machine (ATM) skimming which compromised 50 Landbank accounts in Cebu City has made the rounds of local and national news. While the police have nabbed the suspects, it is still advisable for locals and tourists to practice some ATM safety precautions to avoid falling victims to such schemes.
One of these is to feel the card reader and the PIN pad areas for skimming devices, which should easily fall off. Bank clients should also choose an ATM in a well-lit area, and cancel their transaction if they spot suspicious people nearby.
Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.
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