Cebu City

Jomtien Beach
June 22, 2023
Sunny, Breezy and Warm
I am disappointed.  I decided to shorten my trip to the Philippines last month.  After a day or two, I was not myself.  I felt lethargic and demotivated.  Was it physical or mental or a combination?   After several days on Cebu, I returned to Bangkok.
I did manage to visit lovely places:  Plaza Sugbu, Magellan's Cross, and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.  Later, the Heritage of Cebu Monument and the Cebu Taoist Temple up on a hill with a view the city. 
I never miss a local market so I also visited the Carbon Market.  I'll post photos from the market in a few days.
By the way, my 'funk' had nothing whatever to do with the Philippines.  My Philippines Airlines flights were excellent.  The Manila Airport staff was kind and considerate as they wheeled me from counter to counter. 
The Quest Hotel and Conference Center was modern, clean and comfortable with a good view of the downtown malls and office buildings.  The housekeeping staff greeted me with a sincere smile every morning. The concierge arranged for the local drivers.  The massive breakfast buffet offered traditional Filipino specialties and international choices.
I chose this large hotel because I anticipated meeting other colorful travelers and local people.  In fact I met fellow retirees Bruce from New Jersey and a rotund Buck from Texas who claimed he was a successful trainer of racing greyhounds.
At breakfast one morning, at the next table I met an elderly Filipino couple. Ferdinand, slim and elegant, volunteered that he was born in 1935.  He remembered the Japanese invasion and occupation and later the American return.  
The restaurant staff brought my new friends a plate filled with dark, jumbo potato chips?  Actually each round "chip" is a small fried fish - from head to tail - a local delicacy! They insisted I try one.  I honestly don't remember if I ate the whole thing or not.
I am well. I'm back at my dacha at Jomtien Beach where I enjoy the sea breeze from the Gulf of Siam and the mostly sunny and clear weather.  
Cebu City
(pop 1,100,000)
Cebu Province
May 20, 2023
On my first day in the Philippines I hired a driver for a three hour tour of  Cebu City.
Magellan's Cross Pavilion is a stone kiosk in Cebu City, Philippines. The structure is situated on Plaza Sugbo beside the Basilica del Santo Niño, It houses a Christian cross that was planted by explorers of the Spanish expedition of the first circumnavigation of the world, led by Ferdinand Magellan, upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines on April 21, 1521.
Along with the Basilica del Santo Niño's church and convent buildings, the pavilion is a declared National Monument.
The Basilica of the Holy Child and commonly known as Santo Niño Basilica was founded in 1565. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church in the Philippines allegedly built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño was found during the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi.

The Heritage of Cebu Monument also known as the ParianMonument was made by Filipino sculptor Eduardo Castrillo and architects Heradio Español and Idelfonso Santos.  It is the centerpiece of the Parian Park which was the site of the Saint John the Baptist Church which was demolished in 1875.

The artwork is a tableau depicting several of Cebu's involvement in Philippine history: the Battle of Mactan, inauguration of Sergio Osmeña as President of the Philippines, and the canonization of Pedro Calungsod as saint by the Roman CatholicChurch. 

The monument consists of a mixture of concrete, bronze, brass and steel sculptures.


The Cebu Taoist Temple was built by the substantial Filipino-Chinese Community in 1972.[ At an elevation of 110 metres (360 ft) above sea level, the temple is a towering, multi-tiered, multi-hued attraction accessible by three separate winding routes.

TheTaoist temple is open to worshipers and non-worshipers alike. A ritual among devotees is where one prays to the gods to grant one's wish. The ritual includes washing hands, going inside the chapel barefoot and dropping two blocks of wood. If the wood blocks are both face up then one could make a wish.  If not then it is not yet the time for one's wish to be granted and one has return to the temple at another time.



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