Monday, January 31, 2011

Taoist Temple, Cebu City

Taoist Temple was one of the city tour spots I missed on my past Cebu trips. So when cuz' Che insisted on going up there, I didn't hesitate to be led. She had been there a year ago and as super fanatic of Chinese traditions as she is ( only a fan and trying hard to practice most of Chinese beliefs to better her life ), she wanted to do some ask- throw-answer (don't know how it is called) stone ritual which she had on her prev visit inside the temple.

Approaching the temple made me realized how grand it was really.

It's nestling on top of Beverly Hills ( a posh elevated subdivision in Cebu City).

To reach the main temple, we had to climb hundred of steps. I was surprised by cuzin's eagerness to reach the top. Usually, she is averse to taking flight of stairs especially if the numbers go beyond 5 steps. But there she was_ pushing her lazy legs to go up. haha. Motivated by faith.

Almost there. I always find Chinese architecture awesome.

Usually dominantly red and very detailed. I know, everything is properly positioned in harmony with their religion and beliefs.

Is this a  Chinese pagoda? See how clueless I am and my friendships with Chinese didn't even help. hehe.

This one too? How do you call this? Looks like the same as one of my daughter's dream catcher collections.

Cuzin'  went inside to do the ritual. She invited me to do the same but I declined. I don't do things I don't believe in. If I did, it's like fooling myself. Taking photos was prohibited inside the temple. I stayed at the hall right beside it.

There was a huge stage with a photo of the whole Taoist Temple as a back draft I thought it was such a huge challenge to be able to achieve that shot.

There was also a souvenir shop. I was too tired to squeeze in to that small crowded shop. I didn't bother even a peek.

Already, the view showcasing the city of Cebu was fantastic from here. There was another higher level but I didn't go up there. I'm sure, it got more awesome view. Can you spot another Chinese temple in this photo? That one was closed to public viewing..

On our way out, we passed thru this beautiful bridge . .

with a dragon so animated. .

bridge like this always makes me imagine to be at the Great Wall of China. .Will I get there?. . ever??

loving the landscaping of the garden. .

We exited from a different gate we entered. This way required fewer stairs to take. . .

So that was why these buses-ful of European senior citizen tourists took this entrance.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shangri-la, Mactan : A Bird's Haven

Shangri-la Resort (Mactan) is a bird sanctuary.While having breakfast at the Tides, I enjoyed watching them around. Look at my photo below :


See the white arrow? Over there was a flock of birds feasting on the luxurious breakfast left-overs on the table.

Let's take a closer look. . . If  I could give you a bird's eye view of the foods they were eating_ you'll get envy.

I did try, expectantly, (clueless me:(  the birds got disturbed and started to dis-flocked.  Look at the doughnut on the left , that was sooo freshly baked and yuumm. Anyway, when I got back to my table, the birds got back to continue their feast.

Kindly read :

If you were too lazy to read_ the gist of the story is that_ no matter how cutees these birds are, feeding is pro-hi-bi-ted!!!!
Ok, no one fed them. They voluntarily helped themselves with the  International cuisines left-overs at the Tides, one of the restos of the resort.
Oh well, I give you the keyboard to end this post  . .  . my lips are now temporarily sealed. See you on my next post ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chi Spa, Shangri-la, Mactan

My recent marathon visit to Cebu was really tiring. The only saving grace was the complimentary (courtesy of an online friend) spa for two I shared with my travel buddy_ cuz' Che.

After breakfast at the Tides, still inside the Shangri-la, Mactan, we roamed around the hectares resort looking for Chi, the flagship spa of this luxurious resort.

We let ourselves be guided by the markers , directing us to the location of the spa.

We passed through this beautiful passage.

Until we reached this huge, palace like structure_ the Chi.

The walkway was really zen and I was loving it!
Sorry, photos were only up to here. This photographer needed a break too. But wait before I entered my villa, here I scored two photos for you courtesy of the website of  Chi. I guess, they won't mind.

This is how the interior of  that beautiful Asian structure pictured like.

A private villa. A-a-a-awesome!!

Anyway, I had element vitality massage. We were given separate private villas. Mine was called Badkan Villa. While waiting we were offered with cold water drink matched by cold hand towels. We answered some questionnaire regarding our sign/ element. The therapist then explained the particular massage that I was about to undergo, as well as the oil to be used , correlating them to my own element.

Everything was perfect! The more I was in awe of this spa experience when I learned later how much this cost. So expensive, I thought I would never afford it in this lifetime. C'mon, you can try to google it how much;)))

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mactan Shrine

We landed at Mactan Airport (Cebu) at 5:30am and had 4 hours to kill while waiting for another cousin coming from Davao at 9:30 am. It was raining but we didn't take the earliest flight just to sit still inside the airport. We actually planned to check a bit around Mactan_ rain or shine!   

We took a multi cab (P7each) outside the departure area of the airport, then hailed a taxi at the first stop away from the airport vicinity.We got to our first destination for a minimal P75 taxi fare.

The rain stop pouring when we arrived at the Mactan Shrine. It was our first time here. I've been to other historical sites here in Cebu but always Lapulapu Shrine was missed.

It was so early, the park was quietly empty. All establishments inside/around the park were still close. There was no entrance fee, just a donation box greeted us right after the entrance gate.

We passed by this  old monument without any hint what was this all about. It reads Glorias Espanolas.

One other side reads the name of A. Hernando De Magallanes.

Cuzin' Che started to get bored with this Sibika thingy and was blurting out that she was not amused by the unassuming park.

Until we saw the historical marker of Lapu-lapu and Magellan's 1521 face to face spot. It was a back to back stone marker commemorating all there were in our Philippine History 101 of  Lapu-lapu and Magellan. From here on, we kinda had the feel of the historical site and awaken our makabayan (patriotism) hearts  which are shamefully often asleep.

The highlight ofcourse was the Lapu-lapu bronze statue. We found him standing handsome and mighty at the far end of the park, facing the low tide sea. Sure I saw a lot of other statues of  Lapulapu (being the first true Filipino hero) around our country, but what made this one truly endearing was the authenticity of the location.

I imagined some scenes from my Phil. History_ Magellan and his big ship on this sea and Lapu-lapu's tribe in this soil. . . <*abrupt cut of the scene*>. .

We saw some colorful wooden mask statues at the nearby side of Lapu-lapu's statue. Similar to Ati-atihan figures we see during Sto, Nino festival.

We also found this locked House of Gloria (former President Gloria Macapagal) which purpose we failed to gather.

It was locked so I just took a peek-shot of the inside through the glass door. It had living room and bed room. There was also a portrait photo of the former president.

There were lots of this pretty flower scattered around the floor of the park. Cuzin' thought they were some kind of  sea creatures like sea urchin. I had to point to her the siblings of this flower still blooming on the tree above us.
 The rain went back and this time was quite strong. We decided to run to the souvenir shops (already open at this point) inside the park and check their stuffs while waiting for the rain to stop.

T-shirt, accessories, ornaments and so many others could be bought from these shops. I found these shops  pretty reasonable in price compared  to other tourist destination shops around the country.

We ended the visit with a tap on the shoulder to Lapu-lapu_ gud job hero! Numerous Lapulapu busts were planted around the park.