Stripping away all my boundless enthusiasm for Sinulog-related posts on this website, personally—personally—I would rather just follow my friend Micah’s advice and skip the street parties altogether. Maybe I’m just concerned about my safety, or I’m wary at how things always end up out of control, or that I’ve just celebrated one too many times (having lived in Cebu all my life)… who knows, really?
My sentiments, of course, don’t diminish the quality of the celebrations, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who feels the same way. Luckily, the Queen City offers a lot of things to do besides partying it up on the streets. Here are some suggestions for when you don’t want to Sinulog this year, whether you just want to avoid the crowds or want a change in scenery.
Cebu is home to a number of beautiful islands, and while on a normal day you’d be competing against eager tourists, Sinulog would be the perfect time to have them all to yourselves (or, okay, at least less people). We highly recommend Nalusuan, Pandanon and Olango Island for their turquoise waters. If you’d like to go a little farther, Sumilon Island in Oslob is worth the two hour trip.
A relatively new attraction, canyoneering in Badian has drawn quite the crowds during peak season. While there’s an influx of tourists in town for Sinulog, you might want to take advantage of everyone hitting the streets instead on Sunday to have your own canyoneering adventure. Drive two hours south to the town of Barili and find your way to Barangay Matutinao.
GOING TO THE BEACH
Cebu takes pride in having beaches 30 minutes away from the city, and while realistically it’s at least an hour because of the traffic, the fact remains you don’t actually have to go far to find yourself at sea. Real estate developer recently opened the Mactan Newtown Beach (née Portofino) to the public, while those more inclined to resorts would love Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa and Movenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu.
Shangri-La is offering a special rate of Php 2,080 nett for lunch buffet for two at Tides on January 14-15, while Movenpick has their Sinulog Festive buffets on Sinulog Friday (dinner) and Sinulog Sunday (brunch) for Php 1,900 nett per person. There will also be cultural shows throughout the hotel that weekend, while Ibiza Beach Club’s cocktail of the month, Fizz Senor, is a tribute to the festivities.
Besides beaches, did you know Cebu has a lot of gorgeous waterfalls also? They may not be as majestic as the more famous ones throughout the country, but they’re breathtaking nonetheless. Head down to the town of Alegria in Cebu for Cambais Falls and Cancalanog Falls, both of which are sure to thrill adventure-seekers, or to the more popular Kawasan Falls in Badian.
- Chasing waterfalls in Cebu (via zeelifestylecebu.com)
When you’re not really inclined to bodies of water, Cebu also has a variety of mountains worth climbing. The most famous one is Dalaguete’s Osmena Peak, which resembles the iconic Chocolate Hills of Bohol and gives enviable views of Badian, Pescador and Negros. Other worthwhile peaks include Mount Manunggal in Balamban and Kabankaya in Catmon.
- Top five mountains in Cebu that are worth the climb (via zeelifestylecebu.com)