This Week in Cebu (April 10 to 16, 2017)

In observance of Holy Week, major malls in Cebu City will be closed plus more news!

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | April 10, 2017
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As Cebuanos and tourists prepare for Holy Week, they should also brace for possible flooding and scheduled power interruptions.

Meat-free meals for Lent can be had at a vegetarian café, while a garden within the city allows the faithful to retrace Jesus’ journey to the cross. For those heading outside the city, there are eco-tourism attractions worth seeing in the south of Cebu.

Celestial Garden

Cebu things to do Holy Week

Two of 14 stations in Celestial Garden, Banawa (Image: Cebu Rent A Car)

Many Cebuanos come to Celestial Garden in Brgy. Banawa to pray the Via Dolorosa or Way of the Cross for Holy Week. The 14 stations with life-size statues take up two kilometers in the 12-ha. property owned and managed by the Tanchan Foundation, Inc. Since the garden is in a hilly area, visitors can also get a glimpse of Cebu City and the Mactan Channel. The garden is open to the public with no entrance fee.

Holy Week mall hours

In observance of Holy Week, major malls in Cebu City will be closed. SM City Cebu, SM Seaside City Cebu, Ayala Center Cebu, and Parkmall are all closed from April 13, Maundy Thursday until April 14, Good Friday. However, Metro Gaisano Department Store in Ayala Center Cebu will be open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM on April 13. The said malls will resume operations on April 15, Black Saturday.

Easter eggs, live band

Cebu things to do Holy Week

A costume contest and other events are lined up for the Eggteractive Easter event at SM Seaside. (Image: SM Seaside City Cebu)

On Easter Sunday, kids can join egg hunting parties in the city. SM Seaside City will hold their Eggteractive Easter 2017 event on April 16 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM. On the same day, Parkmall will have an Easter Bunny Party from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

On the other hand, fans of American Christian rock band Switchfoot can catch them perform love at Ayala Center Cebu on April 19, 7:00 PM.

Holy Week blackout in Mactan

Cebu things to do Holy Week

Scheduled maintenance by the National Grid will lead to blackouts in Mactan. (Image: National Grid Corporation of the Philippines)

Officials from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) have advised that during Holy Week, there will be a blackout in Mactan Island, which covers Lapu-Lapu City and the municipality of Cordova. This will occur on April 15, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM, which follows the scheduled power interruption last April 9.

The Mactan Electric Company (MECO) has likewise announced that there will be rotational power outage from April 10 to 14 which will last for three to four hours. MECO officials have called on the public to prepare rechargeable flashlights and do tasks requiring electricity prior to the blackout.

Heavy rains cause traffic jams

Cebu things to do Holy Week

Jeepneys wade across flooded streets in downtown Cebu City. (Image: Writer’s Own)

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Mactan has advised that there will be periodic rains until Wednesday this week. With this, commuters and motorists should brace for moderate to heavy traffic similar to what happened last April 3.

Last Monday, heavy rainfall led to flooding in Mandaue City and downtown Cebu City which then caused traffic jams in major highways. PAG-ASA Mactan Chief Alfredo Quiblat said with the above-normal rainfall they have recorded for April, floods are most likely to occur.

Heightened security in ports, airports

Cebu things to do Holy Week

People traveling for the Holy Week will experience heightened security at Mactan airport. (Image: Mactan Cebu Airport)

Locals and tourists can expect beefed-up security in airports and ports in time for the busy Lenten season. Five thousand security personnel were deployed for the recently concluded Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit meetings held in Cebu. From April 10 to 16, or during Holy Week, uniformed personnel will still be seen around the city to guard checkpoints and inspect routes.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak has asked the public not to be alarmed with the additional police presence. On the other hand, Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Joel Doria has asked the public to cooperate at checkpoints.

No-meat fare at Planet Vegis

Cebu things to do Holy Week

View of Velez St. where Planet Vegis is located (Image: Planet Vegis Cebu)

Diners giving up meat for Lent can head to Planet Vegis, a family-owned vegan and vegetarian café in Brgy. Guadalupe. They offer plant-based meals made of fresh, organic, and natural ingredients, using veggie meat in place of meat in their dishes. This Holy Week, they are open on Maundy Thursday and Black Saturday. They also serve lunch and dinner buffet at affordable prices during weekends.

Alternative Lent destinations in Southern Cebu

Cebu things to do Holy Week

The 77-year old Escuela Catolica in Boljoon, which used to be a children’s dorm and primary school (Image: Mitoy Oh)

Making last-minute vacation or staycation plans in Cebu City will prove to be difficult as hotels, resorts, and package tours are now fully booked for Lent. One alternative is to go down south to Boljoon, Oslob, Samboan, or Santander, collectively referred to as the BOSS cluster.

Oslob is famous for whale-watching, Samboan is home to numerous waterfalls, Boljoon has many heritage sites, and Santander has many under-rated beach resorts. Tourism officials have noted the rise in popularity of southern Cebu towns among local and foreign tourists.

Click the store names to see their exact addresses and contact numbers.

Schedules of power interruption may change without prior notice.

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About Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon
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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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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