Next up, we have Edrian from Cebu to tell you all about living in Cebu and how to travel better in Cebu! I met Edrian when I was travelling in the Philippines and we had grilled chicken together in one of the restaurants in Cebu together. Conversation was flowing and good memories were formed. I can’t wait to meet him again!
Being a Cebuano for almost all his life, Edrian can definitely provide some of the best tips that others might not have known! So here goes!
Who are you, where are you from and how long have you lived in Cebu City?
Hi! My name is Edrian and I am from Cebu (Cebu City to be exact). I was born in Manila but moved in the northern tip of Cebu with my family when I was 1 year old. I spent most of the years in the province where I finished my secondary but have been in the city for university for practically six years now.
Why did you choose to live in Cebu City?
The city is not new to me. I’ve lived here for two years when I was 5 and have been visiting back and forth growing up. Cebu City is where the opportunities are and it continues to prosper in creating better comfort for everybody.
What do you do for a living?
I am in my 4th year in college but also do part-time to earn extra income. I am a freelance travel agent, a writer in a student publication, and a freelance copy editor.
Do you speak the main language (Cebuano & English) that is spoken in Cebu? If not, what are the main difficulties that you faced while you first lived there?
Yes. Although Cebuano isn’t my first language but growing up, it is the medium I use at home. I can’t even remember the time I had a difficulty learning Cebuano and through the course of time, it has become my home language. But Cebuanos, in general, are highly skilled in speaking English, no doubt in that and it’s consistent with the proliferation of English academies in the city.
Do you like or hate the public transport in Cebu? Why so?
I may believe that Cebu can have a better transport system than thousands of jeepneys operating on the road every day, but since I started college, jeepney has been my go-to transportation most of the time because it has the cheapest fare.
Tell me 1 must-do thing in your Cebu.
When you are in Cebu, you should not miss the dose of vitamin sea. Cebu is known for its rich ecological nature as well as its tropical beaches and resorts. You should also check out some heritage sites, old churches like Sto. Nino, the famous Magellan’s Cross, the army garrison in the 18th century which is the Fort San Pedro, and the Roman-inspired museum Temple of Leah.
Tell me 1 thing that you wish you had done but haven’t done so in Cebu.
I wish I had started exploring and wandering when I was younger. I was too afraid to meet different people from all walks of like. But it’s never too late.
What are your 2 most-loved neighborhoods in Cebu?
My family loves to drive uphill and enjoy the weekend at Mountain View. We normally go swimming at Mountain View Nature’s Park. It’s an unwinding park with different levels of pools and of course, an infinity pool.
Tops Lookout. Just a few-minute drive from Mountain View, Tops Lookout has an observation deck where you can get a magnificent picture of the entertaining and bright city at night. You may be paying Php 100 entrance fee, but the view of the city is surely breath-taking. The place also has an impressive lawn of Bermuda grass and snack bars where you can chill with friends.
Tell me your top 3 restaurants in Cebu.
I always love to eat at Jollibee. It’s a fast food chain that serves great food not only for kids but customers of all ages. I have no doubt why it is almost everybody’s favourite. Special mention: Jolly spaghetti
I wish to dine in at The Port again. I love their made-to-order pasta and the mouth-watering baked oyster, crab, and other seafood.
Sugbo Mercado is also one of the places I always go to if I need to taste a variety of delicacies. It’s a food market that exhibits diversity with the food choices, Spanish, Italian, Chinese and other cuisines across the world.
Your favourite bar in Cebu?
Recently, my friends and I went to Pipe Line. It’s a new bar in the city and it has a good architecture and lighting. I liked the security of the place and the people weren’t rowdy. This upbeat bar is a great place to loosen up after a long day’s work.
What is the the cheapest and the best alcohol you can get in Cebu?
While some of my friends like to drink tequila, I prefer Red Horse beer. Not only is it cheap but also really good especially when it’s served extra cold. I am not sure if it’s the cheapest but it’s the drink of the masses. Cheapest is probably Tanduay, which is a Filipino rum and it costs around 100 PHP for a bottle.
Tell me 3 local specialties that you must get in major supermarkets in Cebu.
Dried Mango. Mango shakes, mango float, and especially mango float. It’s obvious that mango is my favourite fruit and dried mango is my perfect snack anywhere I go and whatever I do.
Silvanas. A frozen cookie layered with buttercream, silvana is a famous delicacy from Dumaguete. Its successful marketing has reached Cebu and allured the Cebuanos by its undeniably delicious flavour.
Banana cue. Fried bananas and covered with caramelized brown sugar usually skewered on a bamboo stick, banana cue is a famous street food across the country.
Where do you normally shop for clothes?
Cebu boasts some of the biggest malls in the country. There are many choices when it comes to shopping centres but I normally buy clothes at Cotton On and Pull & Bear.
I always prefer the quality of the clothes, regardless of the price.
Where do you normally shop for food?
I don’t really shop for food as I don’t know anything about cooking. When I shop for clothes, I just eat anywhere in the mall just to calm my loud stomach.
How much do you spend for a month living in Cebu?
I live with my family so I don’t really pay anything for accommodation, utilities, and groceries.
I use Uber sometimes but most of the time I take jeepneys for my daily transportation going to uni. It would roughly cost me a thousand pesos every month.
Do you use Craigslist? If not what classified advertisement website do you use?
I don’t use Craigslist. There are facebook pages where you can find items on sale, but I’ve tried using our local ad zalora.com.
When it is sunny, how do you spend your day?
I love going to the beach during summer. I hate strolling around the city when it’s humid and sunny, so I always prefer chilling and unwinding at the beach that’s just few minutes or an hour away from the city.
When it is rainy, how do you spend your day?
I stay at home. I can get a cold easily when it rains so I just stay dry and binge watch my favourite TV series.
Let say you are taking a small trip over a long weekend, where would you go and what would you do?
I’ll see to it that there are good places to visit over the weekend. Cebu doesn’t run out of wonders but in case I happened to be disinterested, I would probably visit my hometown and meet some friends.
Let say you are taking a small trip over a week-long holiday, where would you go and what would you do?
I would probably fly out to Puerto Princesa. If I had money and a long holiday, I would probably be there and witness first-hand the beauty of an island once part of the “7 Wonders of the World.”
What souvenir would you buy for your family or friends from Cebu?
There are many things I could think of giving for my fam and friends. But since I’m very much a dried-mango eater, that’s probably what I would buy for them, aside from the common choices, the bracelets and purses.
A habit that you have picked up while living in Cebu?
During the years I spent in the province, I never had a full view of what life in the city is like. In my six years here, I got interested in being a foodie. I have become interested to try and eat food I’ve never tasted before. So now, I’ve been indulging myself and spending a big portion of my money on food.
1 must-have app in the city.
Uber is my alternative when I don’t feel like taking a jeepney. You don’t need an app in looking for restaurants. You just walk around the city and you’ll find great food markets and cheap restaurants with palatable food.
The biggest culture shock that you have seen in Cebu?
I still see kids begging for money and food in the streets. I never thought this case would still be rampant granting the fact that the city is the place where you can find better jobs but I guess it’s a personal choice to not get themselves a decent job. No offense meant, though.
If not Cebu, where then?
I have seen so many wonders in Cebu—many opportunities I can seize time and time and its growth as a modern city continues to surge. I am happy and proud to be a citizen of the Queen City of the South. I can’t see myself yet living outside Cebu. And if I had to move somewhere else, it would only be in the province where I spent my teenage years.
What advice would you give to someone who is planning to move to Cebu?
Make the most out of it. Cebu has so much to offer. There are tons of things to do in the city albeit it’s bustling every day. Cebu has taught me many values and hopefully it will, too, to the people who plan to move here.
Your worst experience/ memory in Cebu?
It is and always has been getting stuck in traffic. Cebu city is a bustling metropolis so a notorious traffic really happens in some places.
Your best experience/ memory in Cebu?
It’s definitely having the nicest people in my circle. It’s not hard to make friends. Living in Cebu is already a great experience and to be with smiling and caring gals and lads is a treasure.
Anything that you would like to add?
Cebu will always be a home for me. It’s the place where I grew up as an individual and as a dreamer. To be in Cebu is a great experience, an experience you won’t forget.
So that was all from Edrian! That was really insightful of him and I hope that it will help in planning your trip to Cebu! If you need more in-depth guides, be sure to check out the Ultimate Cebu Itinerary! It includes details like costs, journey time, transport options, food and more!