Monday, March 11, 2013

Cebu, Philippines Trip

The past month brought lots of travel for work, a bout of bronchitis and very little workouts.  I am finally getting around to documenting some of the details of the trip for next time.  I will focus more on the fun stuff & omit the majority of the work stuff!

We left for Asia on 2/13.  The first stop was Cebu, Philippines.   The travel day was FOREVER.  I got up at 4AM for my first flight at 6:15AM to Detroit.  We then flew from DTW to Incheon (Seoul, Korea).  Our last flight was from ICN to Cebu City.  Our driver picked us up at the airport & took us to our hotel the Marriott in Cebu City.  Total travel time 29 hours, 54 minutes!  Yep, I started a timer prior to leaving.

Since we crossed the date line we arrived at the hotel on 2/14 at midnight.  Our plan was to work on Friday & Monday in the office but we would have the weekend to explore.

The main person I was meeting with, Noel, in Cebu arranged a boat ride & island lunch on Saturday for us.  There were 2 other Lexington co-workers besides myself going as well.  Our driver took us to Mactan Island where we would start our boating experience.  You can see from the maps below that the Philippines are nothing but lots & lots of islands.

Cebu detail
You never know what to expect when you are overseas.  You put a lot of trust in your local hosts to take care of you.  We got dropped off at a very busy marina.  We walked out on this pier & then down some stairs to walk to the boat.  I didn't realize it but it was low tide - the water was only a couple inches deep.  We walked until the water was about a foot deep.  At that point we got picked up by a guy with a floating wooden box that pushed us to our main boat.  We then got on our main boat.  It was a perfect weather day & there were tons of folks heading out to go diving/snorkeling/swimming.

The boats were pretty interesting.  They are made out of bamboo held together with twine then painted, wooden boards, a tarp for shade & what appeared to be a dingy sized motor.  Oh & a super awesome 'head' that I actually had to use for, you know, girl stuff.

Wooden floating box
This boat looked just like ours 
The Head - It was awesome b/c your head sticks up over the top. I was too mortified to have a photo taken of me in it!
Bamboo Outriggers
It took about 30-45 minutes for us to get to one of the islands so we could swim with the fishies.  The water was so clear & beautiful.  One of the guys that was working on the boat swam with us. You could tell he was a natural in & near the water.  He even swam in flip flops!

Our Boat

Look at all the fish!  See the flip flops?
Blue Coral
After an hour or so of swimming we hopped back on the boat to head over to Nalusuan Island for lunch.  Noel & his family prepared an amazing BBQ lunch.  This island you could bring all your food & cook it on the island.  The lunch was amazing.  The view was pretty sweet too!

LXK Crew
After lunch we headed back to Mactan Island.  The water colors were so amazing.  Here are some different shots of the water just because I thought it was so cool!

On Sunday we went on a Cebu City tour.  Our driver picked us up around 9AM & we first headed to the Taoist Temple.  The temple was so beautiful & very similar to the ones I had seen in China on previous trips.

Our Awesome Driver / Tour Guide
We then headed to see Magellan's Cross.  I had no idea about this part of history.  Did you know Magellan was killed in Cebu?  Neither did I before this trip!

We then went to the oldest Catholic Church in the country. I didn't realize Catholicism was so prevalent here either.

Founded April 28, 1565
Our next stop was Fort San Pedro.

Our final stop for the day was back to Mactan & the city of Lapu-Lapu.  The city was named after the ruler of Mactan that killed Magellan in 1521.

One the way back to our hotel I snapped this photo.  The reason why I was in Cebu.

At dinner on Saturday night I captured the current weather.  Remember this is winter.  I'm not sure I want to visit during the summer!

Writing this post I realized how much we crammed into this one weekend in Cebu.  I originally named this post Asia trip but quickly realized I needed to break it into 3 different posts.  Stay tuned for Guangzhou & Hong Kong posts.

Thanks for reading!


  1. wow that water really is crystal clear! so beautiful! do you get to travel for work often?

    1. I used to travel a lot & got burned out so I took a few years off. I am in a new role & will be traveling more often. This was a fun trip since all the destinations were new & I was meeting lots of new people. Although, I hope to not travel to Asia more than once a year. The jet lag is horrible!

  2. Oh wow, that looks like so much fun!!

  3. I'm sitting here with my fingers on the keys. There are no words for how pretty that water is!!! Bet you didn't need your wet suit either?? HAHAHA! This will make Cave Run look like a sewer system! Keep the posts rolling! I'm ready for Hong Kong!

    1. HA! You are so right! Sometimes it's best to not know how much nicer the water is elsewhere :-)



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