Thursday 4 December 2014

Cebu, Philippines II: Around Mactan Island

Can you tell what word we are forming? :)

After breakfast at our hotel, we headed to BOYLA dive shop where we got our goggles for snorkeling at Hilutungan Island. There are numerous islands surrounding Mactan Island as you can see from the map above, providing ample snorkeling and diving opportunities.

The first thing I noticed when we were going to our boat was how clear the water was! Well you've heard me gush about the blue waters in New Zealand, Philippines waters can easily rival. We had to take a small row boat out to the bigger one cos it couldn't come any nearer to the shore due to the low tide. The small row boat immediately started sinking after Smith stepped on board HAHA kidding. But water did seep through a hole and I worriedly asked whether we would sink. His reply, "There's only one way to find out."

We reached the big boat safely and the captain heaved up the heavy anchor while posing for the camera. :D


That's me holding onto the side of the boat for dear life. The current was so strong, I was afraid of being swept away. Also because Kenny told us there were trigger fishes below us, a.k.a. scary fishes that can bite off your flesh. :S

Finally I calmed down and stuck my head into the water and I gasped. It was like a whole new world~ a new fantastic point of view~~~ *burst into song*

There were so many fishes right below me!! Too bad I had no underwater camera which is a big regret of this trip. I can't really tell you what fishes I saw but there were seriously SOOO many.

Then Kenny said that there were more fishes at the other side of the boat so I swam over with him and he was right! I think I saw some swordfish..? Or was I only dreaming~~?

We bought fresh coconuts from the locals who would row over to the coconut trees on the island, climb up the tree and row over the coconuts to us.

And then we went to Nalusuan Island for lunch! There was a lonnnggggg walkway and we stopped for photos about a thousand times? YM, our chaperone, was super pek chek (Singlish, meaning frustrated? It's not really a translatable word). Would you just look at how beautiful the island is, I felt that I had no urgent desire to go to Maldives after seeing what Philippines has to offer, at a fraction of the cost!

Our lunch contained a lot of things I cannot eat hahaha. Grilled marinated chicken, fish, squid and prawn. There was a band singing songs for diners and we had a good time swaying along to the rhythm.

Then we went to the sandbar which floods during high tide and is a beach on low tide to bond via a photo taking session. First picture of this post was taken there! There were many small fishes swimming around us, I tried to catch one but failed miserably.

Finally it was time to say goodbye to the amazing blue waters and head back to shore.

All of us were pretty tired and I dozed off. When we were reached, Joshua left his GoPro behind on the boat and happily went off! Hazel saw it and secretly pocketed his GoPro. This seriously blur man only realised when we were on the minibus to our next destination. Even our guide played along, he was like "Oh ok, I'll call the dive shop to let them know. If they find it, they'll send it to the hotel." But the others burst out laughing at his depressed expression and gave the game away, but not before getting him to guess who had his GoPro. We got closer over little things like this haha.

Since The Philippines was occupied by the Spanish once upon a time, the guitar making industry in Lapu-Lapu City (on Mactan Island) started when the Spanish friars assigned in Cebu needed to repair their guitars. They commissioned the locals to make and repair guitars which marks the start of the guitar industry in Cebu.

Most of the guitar manufacturers are family-owned enterprises passed on from one generation to another, including the one we visited, Susing's Guitar. You can go the backyard to see the craftsmen at work, to understand how the guitars are made step by step.

I'm sad to say I left Cebu without a guitar though I want to learn how to play it. Kenny bought a cocolele though which is like a ukelele but the backing is a coconut shell. It's so cute! He let me play with it during the rest of the trip and I had a great time annoying everyone with a repeat telecast of "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars. Just the chorus by the way HAHAHA.

Next stop was Avatar jewelry shop, we were too late to see how they make the jewelries unfortunately. There are necklaces, rings, bracelets, bags, etc. Heaven for the ladies...

...but hell for the guys.

We were extremely late for our visit to Ralfe Gourmet Chocolate Factory, felt so sorry because they waited really long for us. We were allowed to sample all the chocolate around the room which is like a dream come true! :D

The roasted cocoa nibs are pounded into cocoa mass or cocoa liquor which is 100% unsweetened chocolate. We tried it  and it is extremely bitter so imagine how much sugar is added to the chocolate we eat. :(

The beautiful lady in the photo is the president of the chocolate factory, Ms Raquel. She's extremely warm and she told us that how her grandmother taught her how to plant cocoa and make chocolate. Oh she drinks unsweetened hot chocolate every morning!

We also visited their cafe, TCC where they sell their chocolates, chocolate cookies, cakes.. :d It's a really cosy place, great place for dates!

I'll end off the post with a video done by about our trip in Cebu! Brings back happy memories whenever I watch it, enjoy and listen to me speak in Chinese hohoho.

This trip was made possible by the lovely people from Philippines Tourism Promotions Board, SilkAir, and Singapore Blog Awards 2014.

No comments:

Post a Comment