A first-time travel experience in Cebu

Believe it or not, I can really say that social networking sites made the world smaller and countries even closer, in a positive way. You can meet friends from other continents and learn about their culture and food and their language. It’s fun. And now is the right time for me to share with you a travel experience story here in Cebu.

Meet my friend, Jinyoung Chung. He is a Korean who is currently working with the largest maker of mobile phones in South Korea. I guess you all know what company that is. Well if you don’t, it’s Samsung Electronics. You can call him Bob (that’s his English name) and we first communicated on Twitter around November or December 2010. He was introduced to me by a friend from Indonesia (also on Twitter) and we exchanged tweets after that.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Jinyoung during his first night life experience at Cebu IT Park last February 2011.

A first-time travel experience in Cebu

I have been studying the Korean language since 2006 and I am so amazed by the Korean culture and food. So, making friends with a Korean is not bad after all. I thought it was difficult at first but weeks passed, I can say we, Filipinos, somehow have similarities to Koreans. Probably because being Asian is in our veins.

For Jinyoung to share his travel experience with us, I gave him questions to answer. He is so kind to reply to all of them and he even didn’t miss sharing some of his photos.

Question and Answer: Travel Edition

1) What made you decide to come and visit Cebu?

To be honest, I went to Bacolod City first to take English lessons for 2 months before I will start working. When my English classes were about to end, I decided to visit Cebu City because Philip lives there.

2) Tell us something about your recent stay here in Cebu?

My last visit was last February 2011. At that time, I could feel something different compared it to Bacolod City: Cebu City has the crowd, the sound (Bacolod is sort of quiet when I stayed there) and lots of buildings.

3) Where did you go during your stay?

We went to this big and tall tower, which we had the ride at the top-most part of the building. It was awesome. When we were inside the transparent glass elevator, I nearly peed my pants! Seriously. Well, I don’t own the pants, so if I did pee, I guess it would be fine. Just kidding. We also went to SM, Ayala Mall, Jollibee, IT Park, and Bantayan Santa Fe Resort.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Jinyoung (right) and another Korean friend, Yongwoong “Steve” (left) trying the Sky Walk at Crown Regency Towers for the first time.

Jinyoung brought with him a friend, Yongwoong (English name is Steve) whom he met in Bacolod during his English studies, to Cebu City. They arrived at the Mactan International Airport around 8 AM and we went straight to SM City Cebu for breakfast at Jollibee. It is to my surprise that he loves the N2 Value Meal: a burger and spaghetti meal, which I don’t know at first it’s called N2. He knows his Jollibee better than I do.

After some short talks and strolling around the mall, we went home to take a nap and off we went to Crown Regency Hotel because I told them they need to try the Sky Walk and Edge Coaster. And so they did. At first, they were scared because the tower is so high (40-storey hotel tower) and the view below was clear as we were there around 4 PM.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Scared? Not scared? Bob and Steve at the Edge Coaster.

When the Sky Walk and Edge Coaster fun was over, we headed to the tower ground floor and had Starbucks. Then we decided to go to Ayala Center Cebu and had dinner at Bigby’s.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Jinyoung’s photo when we first set foot at The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu. [Photo credit: Jinyoung Chung]
A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Dinner for 3 at Bigby’s! That’s a lot. The frame doesn’t even capture everything. Let’ eat! [Photo credit: Jinyoung Chung]

After Bigby’s, I invited them to go to Cebu IT Park and went to Ilaputi for some music and beer. It was raining that night so we had difficulties getting a vacant taxi cab. Thank goodness we managed to get one or else we would have been drenched in the rain so badly.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Chillin’ at Ilaputi, IT Park.

They love the local beers. And they prefer San Miguel Light to Red Horse.

We didn’t stay there too long as we need to wake up early for our 5 AM travel to Bantayan the next day.

4) What specific place in Cebu did you enjoy the most and why?

Santa Fe Resort. Absolutely. I have a wonderful time talking and laughing with Philip and Yongwoong (Steve). We have a nice room on the 3rd floor next to the balcony and had outdoor activities like snorkeling and swimming at the beach and at Ogtong resort. Furthermore, we had Philippine-style seafood for lunch after our island hopping and ate at a local restaurant near the village market. At night, we stayed near the beach area under one of those white umbrellas and talked about different cultures both of Korea and [the Philippines] and everything. We had so much fun with beer!!!

I told you they love alcohol.

I asked Jinyoung for photos and he was willing to share more with our CebuFinest readers.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Our room at the 3rd floor right next to the open area balcony.
A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Jinyoung having fun snorkeling and island hopping. We had this on our 2nd day in Bantayan.
A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Filipino style lunch. No chopsticks. Used our hands to eat.
A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Eating only with the hands was fun. We finished everything.

We were so full. Lunch was fantastic and we hurried back to our bangka and went to Ogtong Resort for a swim at the pool. It was fun having the island hopping that after everything we have done under the sun; diving, snorkeling, eating, and all before we had dinner they started to complain a little about one thing: Sunburn.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
We own the place during that time. Nobody’s using the pool but us.

We were looking for a nice place to eat. Forgive me but I am not also familiar with everything Bantayan as it’s my 3rd time visiting the place. We usually ate dinner at Sta. Fe Beach Club during my previous visits but Jinyoung, Yongwoong, and I wanted to try and explore the area so we decided to have dinner near the market.

So we ended up riding motorcycles to the market and stopped by this Spanish Restaurant with unique interior decoration. T-shirts fixed at the ceiling with signatures from visitors perhaps. I don’t know if they were from celebrities or something but we find it amazing. We forgot the name of the place, so if you have any idea, please leave a message below.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Whoever got the idea to pin those shirts up there is a genius.

After the whole day activity, so tired from roaming around, and with all the sunburn and stuff, we decided to spend a lot of time talking about everything. Accompanied with a lot of bottles of cold beer and more food, the night was full of laughter and jokes and a little argument because they taught me some Korean words and my pronunciation was awful. I was drunk I didn’t have the liberty to take more photos myself. So, what happened that night was off-limits to public viewing.

The next day is our time to go back home to Cebu City. But before we check out, Jinyoung had a small favor to ask from me. He said that he wanted to try to eat something before we head back to the port and back home. It was not balut because he already had lots of them when he stayed in Bacolod (and he hated it). But something else you won’t expect he would be asking. He wanted to try to eat coconut and drink coconut water.

The pleasure is all mine for a friend and he got his first coconut meat or “butong” fresh from the coconut trees near the beach. The crew was so generous to get a couple of coconut for us. We thank them very dearly for the awesome and warm accommodation.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
The happy kid with his coconut.

More question and answer

5) What makes Cebu different from where you are from?

Cebu has lots of palm trees and we don’t have them in Korea. Cebu has Jeepney, too. I can’t see one from Korea. I learned to ride one when I was in Bacolod.

6) Which part of your travel that you want to go back to and why?

Of course, I want to go back to Santa Fe Resort because I was so happy there and I was treated kindly by the crew.

7) Are you excited if ever you have opportunities to return to Cebu City? Tell us something about it?

Yes, If I can have the opportunity to return to Cebu City, I really want to go back. I want to feel the equator heat again.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
We stayed to one of those white umbrellas during our last night at Sta. Fe talking about Philippine and Korean culture and a lot of stuff.
A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Our last glance of Sta. Fe Beach Club before going back to Cebu City

We went back to Bantayan port and returned to Cebu City from a trip of almost 3 hours. I joined them at the airport because Jinyoung needed to go back and travel to South Korea via Manila so I guess, for now, we need to say our goodbyes.

A first time travel experience in Cebu | Cebu Finest
Jeepney is fun. Waiting for our taxi going to the airport.

Yongwoong, on the other hand, traveled back to Bacolod to finish his English lessons. He went back to Cebu City 2 months after. I will be sharing with you his own story, so you better keep a lookout for our updates very soon.

To wrap up Jinyoung’s story, I gave him this last question as a conclusion to this marvelous travel experience story.

8) Please invite your friends from where you are from to have the chance to visit Cebu in your own language. Don’t forget to have a translation in English.

If you want to have a vacation that will be unforgettable and will be memorable forever, Cebu is the best place. You don’t need much money to stay here. If you’re Korean and you can speak a little English, you will feel easy to stay and you can receive kind treatment from the people.

만약 영원히 기억에 남을만한 휴가를 갖고싶다면, 세부가 최고의 장소입니다. 당신은 그곳에 머무르기 위해 많은 돈이 필요하지 않습니다. 그리고 당신은 그곳의 사람들로부터 친절한 대우를 받을 수 있습니다. 만약 영어를 조금 할 수 있다면, 당신은 그곳에 머무르는 동안 큰 불편함이 없을것입니다.

ALSO READ: Melvin’s Reef Black Light Mini Golf at Crown Regency Hotel Cebu

If you happen to read Jinyoung’s travel story and loves it, please leave a message below or share this on your Facebook wall or post on Twitter.

Wait for our next Travel Experience stories from our good friends around the country and abroad.

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