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Hangouts in Cebu

Cebu’s Nightlife
The measure of cosmopolitan capitalism should be Starbucks, something Cebu acquired in recent years to ride the wave of booming commercialism. Its first branch just opened outside of the Ayala Entertainment Center. Annexed to the Ayala Mall, the Entertaiment Center is an area full of bars, restaurants and other late night joints where the partying begins as soon as dinner ends.

Crossroads in Banilad offers the same mix dinner and dancing, but with a different flavor. The bars there carry a steadier groove, and the coffee shops are more appealing to the younger crowd because of the social leverage they serve, rather than the coffee.

The Village – in Lahug has a courtyard in the middle of a block surrounded by bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Bands perform regularly in the courtyard, while other establishments attract customers with breezy outdoor set-ups. The latest to join in the Cebu nightlife directory is the Banilad Town Center, a commercial complex that includes a gym and boutiques in its lineup of bars and restaurants.

One of the better options Cebu’s nightlife offers is the backdrop of a breathtaking nightscape amidst a round of drinks. Drinking stops, hangouts and lookout points dot the elevated setting of Busay Hills, making it a great place to chill and catch the breeze under a brilliant nighsky while appreciating the expanse of Cebu’s horizon.

Not all of Cebu’s nightime joints are congregated together, in fact some of the better ones are in a place all their own somewhere in the heart of the city. Most of them can be spotted alongside city streets-just look for bright lights and a crowd.

Shopping

Filipinos have a penchant for enormous shopping malls, and Cebu certainly isn’t exempt from this surfeit of merchandising madness. SM City is one of the many gigantic shopping malls of the SM line in the country. Ayala Center is another representation of yet another of the Philippines’ mall magnate’s metropolitan fixtures. More known for its department stores are the Gaisano branches, with its Metro Ayala branch being the most popular and convenient source of inexpensive and imported goods.

Shopping for local products and delicacies will take the earniest traveler to the unglamorous marketplaces of Cebu. Carbon market is located in downtown Cebu, and it consists of a number of streets that are packed with street vendors hawking everything from used clothes to vegetables. It’s cheap place to buy the famed Cebu mangoes and the well-reputed Cebu guitar. Tabu-an is a separate area that sells anything and everything dried under the sun. Dried salted fish, popularly known as dangit, is cheapest in Tabu-an market.

Diving

Cebu is renowned for its exceptional dive spots. Many hotel guests of Mactan resorts dive in and around the area, particularly in the nearby marine sanctuary of Gilutungan and Nalusuan. A few hours away from the city, there is Moalboal Reef -famous for its colorful coral reefs and cave diving. To the north of Cebu is Malapascua Island, a favorite among more adventurous divers because of the roaming thresher sharks.

Water Sports

Since Cebu is an island, there are all sorts of water sports and activities offered in the different beaches and resorts. One can go kayaking, water-skiing, parasailing, banana-boating, snorkeling or just plain swimming in the beach. The seabreeze around Mactan makes winsurfing a popular sport among tourists.

Island Hopping

Smaller islands surround the main island of Cebu, and some of them are definitely worth visiting. Taking a banca (outrigger) from Mactan island is ideal as it makes visiting the neighboring islands accessible and easy. Sandbars, rock islands, mangroves and other marine treasures can be seen while riding the waves along the coastline. Island hopping is particularly fun with food and drinks inside the boat, and one has the luxury of swimming wherever and whenever the water is clear and enticing.

Adventure Trips

Hiking, rappeling spelunking and all those adventurous activities can be arranged with the right contacts. The hotel concierge should be able to help out in arranging for a licensed or freelance guide to show off Cebu’s rich natural wonders. The south of Cebu has caves, mountains, springs and waterfalls that are exciting to explore and discover.

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