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Locals Know Best: Cebu Edition

The ‘Queen City of the South’ may be best known for its white sand beaches and mouthwatering lechon, but there’s so much more to discover than its usual sites.

Esoy Hotspring in Catmon. INSTAGRAM: @sushipoi13

So where do you start? We’ve gathered insider tips from the locals themselves—and here's what they recommend!

Jenifer Martinez

“Cebu has the best of both worlds. Exploring Cebu is like living in a paradise that is full of adventure with hundreds of interesting destinations to see. Go with what sparks your interest the moment you visit Cebu. There are a lot of exciting places to see here!” Jenifer Martinez, Wellness Advocate and Founder/Director of YogaHub Cebu

Patty Taboada

Although shopping may not be on your list of things to do in Cebu, there are definitely a few things worth the exception. I would suggest two brands that are sustainable, culturally-relevant, and definite conversation-starters! The first is ANTHILL Fabric Gallery, a social and cultural enterprise that promotes traditional weaving techniques by turning byproducts into fashionable pieces. AMANO Craft Creations concentrates on hablon, a weaving technique native to the town of Argao, Cebu. Local designer Dexter Alazas has made it his advocacy to promote it!
Patty Taboada, Captain of Platform Socials & PR

JP Chiongbian

“Indulge in its destinations and culture. The beaches, mountains, trekking, canyoneering, and historical landmarks most especially! The Cebuanos love to eat too. Drop by Sugbo Mercado, the biggest open-air food market in Cebu. Enjoy night entertainment and choose up to 70 different kinds of cuisines, including the top favorites of Cebu! ”
JP Chiongbian, Marketing Director

Laurice Alaan Chiongbian

“See (and buy) firsthand the Cebuano creativity on display. Stop by Holicow to pick up some unique furnishings and home accessories. Visit Qube Art Gallery too, where they can view the latest exhibition by local artists. Don't forget to sample Cebu’s own craft beers too!”
Laurice Alaan Chiongbian, Co-founder/CEO of Qavalo

Rina Go

Go outside Cebu and Mactan and explore the really good parts of Cebu Island. The best part of Cebu would be that there's something for everyone who wants to visit! Whether you’re into adventure, the chill beach life, mountain relaxation, food trips, or the party scene, there's always something for everyone!
Rina Go, Supply Chain Director

Mike Solon

“Cebuanos are very proud. Be humble, appreciate Cebu, and be yourself. Then, you will experience the Cebuano hospitality like no other!”
Mike Solon, President & Radio DJ of Y101FM Cebu

Cara Riña

Visit the beaches in Moalboal or go canyoneering in Badian if you want to head down south. Carcar Town is good for a solid food trip. They have lechon and other local delicacies. If you want to head north, I suggest you visit Esoy Hot Springs in Catmon. There's a nearby waterfall that's just a two-minute trek up the hot spring. You can drop by this place called duko duko in Catmon that has native chicken and other native home-cooked food. Really good stuff!
Cara Riña, HR and Finance Manager

Val Ypil

If you're looking for a breath of fresh air and some time with nature, take a trip to the mountains of Balamban in the west side of Cebu. You can go for a trek at Foressa Trails which covers over 200+ hectares of lush forest and natural open spaces. The hike is definitely worth the view!
Val Ypil, Relationship Management Specialist

Jaymes Shrimski

Try to get out of the city. See how far up Busay you can get. There are a few restaurants along the drive up the mountain that you can stop by. This drive isn't the sort of thing you usually see on travel sites–and that's why you should do it!
Jaymes Shrimski, Freelance Writer

Kaira Osmeña

One tip for people visiting Cebu: never miss out on the beaches! It doesn't even have to be in a fancy resort! Take a bus and head South to Moalboal or North to Daanbantayan. Cebuanos are also the nicest and the most accommodating, so you don’t have to be shy about asking around!
Kaira Osmeña, Postgraduate Medical Intern

Malou Mozo in Bantayan Island

"Be prepared with Cebu's diversity! Our culture is steeped in rich Spanish, American, Chinese and Japanese influence and people see it in places they visit. Also, Sinulog is synonymous to Cebu so it's best to come in January to experience the best of Cebuano hospitality, culture, and diversity."
Malou Mozo, Communications Professional

Still itching for more adventure? Get some inspiration from our Travel Guide for a list of things to See, Eat, and Do in Cebu! Check out our other exclusive partner resorts in Cebu.

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