If you’re like me, you’re always looking for excuses to spend weekends at sea. And although Cebu is an island with several beautiful beaches just a short drive away, locals are often confronted with two options–having to book a room at a resort in Mactan to enjoy their shoreline, or driving at least two hours to the nearest public beach (which can get pretty crowded, if you’re unlucky).
The third option, I feel, is the one we city-folk overuse: the favorite Sunday activity of island hopping. Just a short drive across the bridge leads to an entire day on the water, jumping from one spot to another–and if you’re really barat (read: cheap), you can just ask the boatmen to stop in the middle of the ocean instead of docking on the many islands to avoid paying entrance fees.
It’s relatively easy, yes, but it’s not THAT easy. I’ve done it often enough to know that there will be a few issues that will come up, whether that’s in terms of provisions or of company. Here’s a short list of the things I believe you should remember to take care of before hopping onto the boat:
- Confirm and re-confirm your headcount. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has friends who cancel at the last minute, so before you book a huge boat, make sure your friends give a firm RSVP. (And if you’re worried they might flake on you, ask them for their share of the payment so they have to show up)
- Buy ice in the city. I’ve spent too many Sunday mornings driving around the 7-Elevens in Mactan because they’ve all run out of ice. Save yourself the headache, and pack your cooler with ice before you cross the bridge.
- Eat breakfast, and resist the urge to rush your tagay (drink rounds). As much as downing that rum Coke is tempting when you’re looking out onto the horizon, doing so repeatedly on an empty stomach is a recipe for passing out before noon. Trust me, I know this from experience.
- Don’t forget a knife. Do not underestimate having a good kitchen knife onboard. From slicing up the cooked pork belly to moving hot charcoal around, it’s something that too often gets left behind, but would actually be the most useful to have around.
- Have fun. I mean, when you’re jumping from the boat into the shimmering blue waters, how could you not?