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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Cebu and Bohol on a Budget

IMG_9616 The fact that exploring the provinces of Cebu and Bohol in a very tight budget is by travelling light as you may always have to carry your back packs with you all the time.

Cebu known as the queen city of the South and one of the most develop city in Visayan Region while Bohol has been one of the most picturesque and post card pretty among any other Philippine destinations. We tried to visit this two provinces on a very tight budget.  And the key to explore this provinces is of course, be friendly with the locals, dare to hitch for a ride if you have the guts to do it or rent a motorbike which is I think the best way to drive around as it only cost you Php400 to Php800 a day, to go anywhere as you want provided that you bring with you other proof of identification aside from your driver’s license.  But for me since this is a family adventure, I opted to rode a motorbike and choose to hire an SUV for safety. So our budget went high as expected.

Day 1

First stop is the province of Cebu. Upon arrival at Mactan International Airport, head directly towards Lapu Lapu Shrine via Airport Taxi for Php120 or you can walk 1 kilometer away from the airport to get a white colored taxi where you could pay for less as Airport Taxi’s (Yellow taxi) cost Php70 flag down rate and Php4 per 300 meters.

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Lapu Lapu Shrine is built to honor the heroic effort of  Lapu Lapu to defend his tribe against foreign invasion headed by Magellan in the Battle of Mactan on 1521. Not far from the bronze statue of Lapu Lapu lies the Magellan’s memorial tower where also believe to be the exact spot where Magellan was killed by Lapu Lapu.


There are tiange shops at the side of the park which is well organized by a cooperative selling various souvenir items which I think is the cheapest among other souvenir shops across Cebu. Souvenir magnets cost Php100 per 3 pcs.


It’s time for lunch and craving for the best lechon in town, so head directly towards CNT Lechon at the back of SM City Cebu.  From Lapu Lapu Shrine, ride a multicab jeepney towards Park Mall  and alight another multicab towards SM City Cebu. Walk towards Jose Briones Street just right besides CIFC Tower of the Cebu International Finance Corp which is a 5 or 7 story building at the back of SM City.

With a full stomach, stroll around SM City and care for a take out meal at Café Laguna for an order of Pancit Canton and a delicious Bibingka with Banana Shake all for Php350. Then ride a multicab towards Sto Nino.

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An old city center known as the religious site where you can find the Cathedral, Basilica de Sto Nino, Magellan’s Cross, and not far enough is the Fort San Pedro. Spend a night at the elegant but budget friendly Sampaguita Inn just across the Magellan’s cross for Php800 with refrigerator and an air conditioned room with own hot and cold bath and toilet.

Budget Spending For Day 1: Php 1,511

Day 2

At 6am call time, a quick morning meal at Sto Nino Market, then  ride a multicab towards South Bus Terminal going to Sibonga via Ceres Bus for Php50. Drop off at Sibonga intersection and ride a tricycle towards Simala Shrine for Php25. Pay for a priceless solemn prayer and thanksgiving for all the blessings received.


Simala Shrine is located at the Upper Lindogon, barangay Simala, Sibonga, Cebu. Thousands of devotees and visitors from all walks of life climb up hill bringing their faith, most come here for petitions for cure, others pray for divine interventions.

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At 10am go back to Sto Nino to get your bags and have an early lunch at Chowking for Php49  Chowfan. Then walk directly towards the Ocean Jet terminal bound to Tagbilaran for Php600 and Php20 terminal fee. Enjoy an hour and a half ferry ride with a nice movie in a big screen on board. Upon arrival at the Tagbilaran port, hire a tricycle for Php100 towards the Panglao bus Terminal. For about 2 hours stop and go ride in a minibus full of passengers even on top, drop off at Panglao and pay only Php25 ride. Take a rest and save your energy for a while at Cherry’s At Home Too for only Php1650 with a very spacious matrimony bed. At night, Panglao turns alive as bars and restaurants full of tourists flock the bars and eateries nearby. Dine at Aloha Grill Restaurant for Php85 grilled chicken with 1 piece barbeque stick and rice and a glass of iced tea.

Budget Spending For Day 2: Php 2, 747

Day 3

Countryside City Tour with Mang Cito, the ever helpful driver drove us around town for only Php2,000.


First stop is the Blood Compact, no entrance fee. Second, Baclayon Church, no entrance fee again, however, you may visit their museum for Php50, no cameras allowed and when inside the church, sleeveless and shorts, skimpy dresses are not allowed. We pass by the Bilar man made forest going to Chocolate Hills, entrance fee to Chocolate Hills is Php50, Tarsier Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary in Corella is Php50, Hanging Bridge Php10. For a half day’s itinerary, it’s time for lunch while cruising the Loboc River for only Php450, with environmental fee of Php100. Meet and greet the colorful insects at the Butterfly Farm for Php25 and Snake Farm at Php30.

Budget Spending For Day 3: Php 1, 860

Day 4

Care for a peaceful and less crowded beach, leave Alona Beach to party people and proceed to Dumaluan Beach for swimming. Tricycle for hire cost Php100 round trip to Dumaluan as you are also paying for the tricycle’s return trip twice from his terminal to pick you up in the afternoon.


Care less for a huge amount entrance fee at Bohol Beach Club for Php350 for a day pass consumable, instead proceed into nearby resort at Dumaluan Beach Resort for an entrance fee of Php25, lunch costing around Php400 with Sisig, Chicken, Buko Loco on the menu.



The powdery beach sands was just like the sands of Boracay and the shoreline is so wide, the clear waters and peaceful atmosphere is so relaxing. This place is like no other.

Budget Spending For Day 4: Php 710

Total Spending: Php6,768