Hello, WordPress followers! If you also follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Litsy, then you would know that I was on vacation on Cebu for a few days. Cebu is one of the provinces in the Visayas region in the Philippines, and I went to Moalboal and Cebu City. It was my first time in Cebu and I had a great time! Also realized that the last time I traveled on a domestic flight was in 2011 when I went to Bohol. I’m hoping to be able to do more local travel in the near future. While I was in Cebu, I was able to do some #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy posts so I’m including those in this update.
In Moalboal, we stayed at the gorgeous Hale Manna resort, which is owned by Liana’s family. Liana blogs at Will Read for Feels and I met her through the circle of romance readers in the Philippines. It never ceases to amaze me at how I keep meeting awesome bookish people, both online and in real life. I was able to meet with Liana while in Cebu, first at Moalboal and then we traveled together back to Cebu City. Here are some pictures of Hale Manna in Moalboal, swipe left to see all of them:
#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy: Bought this book because it was recommended by @jen_hallock and is currently only 0.99usd. Read it in one sitting, on the flight from Manila to Cebu. Really enjoyed my first introduction to @thebiancamori's writing. I had some minor quibbles but those are more personal preferences, and I was still rooting for Sue and Sam. The book has a bittersweet second chance romance storyline with Manila's old rich society in the backdrop. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy: The Interim Goddess of Love trilogy by @minavesguerra is on sale now for just 0.99usd. I just realized I don't have the Kindle edition so I bought it right before taking this pic. Fun read with a college setting, with characters who gods and godesses based on Philippine mythology. And there's romance in there. The main character loves Philippine mangoes just as much as I do so I thought this would be a fitting shot. Love this breakfast of homemade bacon, scrambled eggs, mango pancakes and fresh mangoes.😋💖
#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy: Loveless. Childless. Clueless. by @mirenbflores. #HustisyaParaKayEnzo . . . "The sea is for me. I make this declaration silently, standing chest-deep in the water, staring at that point where the horizon meets the sea. I close my eyes and revel in my favorite natural sound in the world - the waves. It's a hypnotic rhythm, a soothing rhythm, the sweetest, I'm-so-glad-I'm-alive rhythm."
In Cebu City, first stop was Liana’s book cafe called Books and Brews. I love book cafes and if I lived in Cebu, I would definitely be a regular in this one. The cafe has an extensive selection of books written by Filipino and foreign authors which you can read while hanging out at the place. It’s also cozy and comfortable and a good place to study or work in, if you would prefer not to read.
First stop in Cebu City: @booksandbrewsph in Mango Square Mall, a book cafe with an extensive selection of #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy and #romanceclass titles. This is an excellent place to read, relax or even work in. If I was based in Cebu, I'd probably visit the cafe everyday like @alveel_cake does.😂 Thank you so much for the warm welcome, @booksandbrewsph! Loved spending time in your cozy and bookish setting.
When I was researching on what places I’d like to visit in Cebu, I knew I would want to check out ancestral houses if there were any in the area. We got to visit two of them: Casa Gorordo and Yap-Sandiego House. I’m a sucker for historic places and these two were a pleasure to view. They’re both typical “balay na tisa” or “bahay na bato”, built in the 1800’s with a mix of Spanish, Chinese and Filipino influences.
I love the old world charm of ancestral houses. Maybe it's the reader in me being curious about what kind of stories have these houses witnessed. So visiting Casa Gorordo was a must when I was planning our Cebu City itinerary. Casa Gorordo is a typical 'bahay na bato' or 'balay sa tisa' with a mix of Filipino, Chinese and Spanish styles in its design. It's such a beautifully maintained historic house. I had great time walking around its halls and rooms and grounds. Would love to visit more places like this.
Walking around Casa Gorordo strongly reminded me of @jen_hallock's books because she writes historical romance set in the Philippines, and in the Visayas region specifically. I could imagine her characters living in a house like Casa Gorordo. And because I'm such a book nerd, I took pictures of her books in the library. The Gorordo clan clearly had their priorities in order because their library is gorgeous. It even has a first edition Noli Me Tangere.
We also got to see Museo Sugbo, which is Cebu’s provincial museum. It was previously a provincial jail but has been converted to showcase the history of the province.
Museo Sugbo was a city jail before it was converted as Cebu's provincial museum. It has galleries showing Cebu's history, as well as its prominent residents. I liked the old books that they had on display, and also the postcards depicting Old Cebu. I wish they'd recreate replicas of those (like how Singapore has done it) because I would have loved to send them to friends.
Last, but certainly not the least was getting to try the food options in Cebu that aren’t available in Manila! I loved both The Chocolate Chamber and AA Barbecue, and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell why based on these pictures:
Went back to @thechocolatechamber earlier today to see if their jasmine and hibiscus hot chocolate tin cans have been restocked because I really wanted to bring them home to Manila. TCC's very own Raquel Choa was there and she had production deliver the two flavors I wanted! We were served complimentary rose-flavored hot chocolate while waiting.🌹☕ That's excellent service right there. Definitely recommend visiting TCC if you're planning a Cebu trip. In Manila, you can try their delicious drinks (and maybe also order their tin cans?) in @tweedlebookcafe.
I hope you guys enjoyed this update post. I had an amazing time in Cebu but it’s always good to be home in Manila. 🙂 If you’ve been to Cebu, please feel free to share your own experience. Also, would be happy to hear suggestions on what ancestral houses in the country should be included in my bucket list. For those who haven’t been to Cebu, I hope I’ve made you more curious about the province, and that you’ll get to visit it eventually.