|Tiki-tiki (whaleshark) in Oslob.|
For travel bugs and car aficionados, the New Year brings bucket lists of things to do or places to go. With new car models coming up and exciting destinations, 2020 will be another promising year to hit the roads less traveled. We will feature 20 spots to explore on four wheels, public transport, or two if you may, across our enchanting chain of islands and realize why road trips are more fun in the Philippines.
|Danasan Eco Adventure Park in Danao City.|
Cebu. Most of us may have been to the Queen City of the South for the annual Sinulog Festival, one of the country’s most popular and well-attended religious festivities. But Cebu isn’t just a southern version of the metropolis, but a huge province of 9 cities, 44 towns in an archipelago of some 167 islands spread out in a 4,945-sq. km. land area. It also has island clusters such as Camotes composed of 4 towns, Bantayan with 3 municipalities, and Mactan with a city and a town which are dotted with luxe beach resorts and boutique hotels.
The circumferential coastal and radial roads are splendid and four lanes in most parts, with many roadside spots worthy for your social media posts. Public transport is organized with airconditioned buses plying the entire province almost round-the-clock. There are also rent-a-car services which can take you anywhere within Cebu, as well as motor shops on key urban areas for a worry-free driving.
|Carcar City Museum.|
As the archipelago’s oldest province, it is lined with well-preserved Spanish-era houses, churches, coastal fortresses and other heritage structures. A mainstay in the World’s Best Islands list by prestigious lifestyle websites, the Cebu is teeming with powdery beaches, dive and snorkeling spots, enchanting waterfalls, mountain peaks, farm and garden resorts, and classy restaurants offering international and local fare.
As the bastion of Catholicismin the south, the province is host to Spanish-era churches which are architectural wonders such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, Sto. Niño Basilica, Danao, Oslob, Argao, Bantayan, Daanbantayan, Samboan, Ginatilan, Minglanilla, Carcar, Naga, and Boljoon, a National Cultural Treasure of the National Museum.
|Patrocinio de Baljoon Church.|
Frolic at the enchanting waterfallsof Mantayupan (Barili), Inambakan and Kampael (Ginatilan), Binalayan Hidden Falls, Dao and the seven-tiered Aguinid (Samboan), Cambais and Cancalanog (Alegria), and Tumalog (Oslob).
|Canyoneering in Badian by Johnny Manabat.|
Go scuba diving into the marine wonders in the islands of Mactan, Malapascua, Pescador, Nalusuan, and Sumilon or even in the lesser-known spots in Medellin, San Remigio and Santander.
|Shangri-la Mactan's Marine Sanctuary.|
For family-oriented recreation, hie off to Cebu Safari and Adventure Park in Carmen, Danasan Eco Adventure Park in Danao City, Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark in Lapu-Lapu City, Papa Kit's Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Carmen, and the newly-opened Waterworld Cebu in Mandaue City.
Venture into the upland barangays and live life at the slow pace at the farm resorts of Cebu City such as Sirao Gardens, Adlawon Nature Farm, Terrazas de Flores, Lava Mountain River Farm, Serenity Farm, and Valentin Farm Resort.
Where to stay: Bai Hotel in Mandaue City, a five-star hotel near the sea, which is strategically located if you want to go south, north, or just within Metro Cebu. Up north, there Golden Sands Destination Resorts in Daanbantayan, while down south, the Moroccan-themed Maayo Stay Argao will transport you to a Mediterranean-themed vacation. For a beachfront accommodation, Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort is highly-recommended.
|Golden Sands Destination Resorts in Daanbantayan.|
|Maayo Stay in Argao.|
|Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort.|