Cebu City: Food, Shopping, Relaxation, and Transport

My previous posts about Cebu City have details on historical sites and religious (mostly Catholic) places of worship. Something I enjoyed about Cebu City was the leisure time we got to have away from our home (away from home) in Korea. Cebu is so close to South Korea, yet so different, from its tropical environment to clothing styles and food flavors. Here are some other aspects of the city that we explored:


FOOD: Mexican food everywhere! We really enjoyed Mooon Café, but most places had tropical, Latin American-esque dishes. Funnily, our only Filipino dish was at a restaurant at the airport–delicious bistek (beef steak) and giniling (ground beef with tomatoes, bell peppers, and rice).

fajitas at mooon cafe cebu


mooon cafe tacos and cocktails philippines

street market food cebu


SHOPPING: There are tonsssss of malls in the Philippines. We went to SM Cebu City Mall. Unlike malls in America, malls (and shopping centers, banks, grocery stores, hotels, apartment buildings, etc) have armed security guards at all times. You usually need to walk through a metal detector at the least, and have your bag searched at the most. It’s kind of jarring at first, but they were actually pretty friendly and conversed with us with a smile (that, or they were just trying to scope us out, but at least we weren’t being followed around and profiled…or worse).

We also hung out at the Ayala Center in the Cebu IT Park, which is a popular shopping and entertainment area.

sm cebu city mall

cebu mall sinulog


RELAXATION: We stayed in an Air BnB in Cebu IT Park, which is like a large complex with restaurants, shopping, and condos or apartment high-rises. Everything we needed was within walking distance, from restaurants to 24-hour karaoke and game centers, to convenience stores to bars.

cebu it park philippines

sunny cebu philippines palm trees

cebu city philippines skyline


TRANSPORT: We used the Grab Taxi app and it served us pretty well. You need a Philippine phone number (we got a sim card at the airport) but it works similar to Uber or Lyft—enter your location and destination, and the app shows it to drivers near you. Once a driver decides to take your ride, they’ll come pick you up. You have to pay with cash though—no cards.

As far as hailing a cab, just be sure they turn on the meter and don’t ask “how much?” because it implies that you’ll pay a (usually unfairly high) flat rate…this is the rule no matter WHAT country you’re in. Go for the white taxis.

More free sites to visit in Cebu City (in less than one day) here.

Check out our vlog of our trip to Cebu City here!

Read more about historical sites in Cebu.

Read more about the churches of Cebu.

About Atembe

Atembe is a Cameroonian-American who is exactly 27 years old (because saying "20-something" is SO 2016) and currently teaching kiddos art and English in South Korea. In her free time she's dancing, drinking too much celebrity tea, living vicariously through characters in her favorite TV comedies, or [sometimes] letting her husband Eric beat her at Wii. Catch her on Twitter or Instagram via @sothisisfate, and for a faster response, tweet her a "TAR!..."

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