#TBT: Old Opon Church or the Nuestra Señora Virgen de Regla parish

OLD OPON CHURCH. This photo taken in 1910 shows the old Opon Church, which is known for its Virgen de Regla devotion. This church, however, was torn down in 1960 and replaced with what you see now in its location in Lapu-Lapu City. (Photo used with permission from the Cebuano Studies Center)

Since the devotion to her started in Africa, this church’s patron – the Patroness of the Rule of St. Augustine – has been depicted as dark-skinned. Lucy Urgello Miller, in “Glimpses of Old Cebu: Images of the Colonial Era,” wrote that this church’s first parish priest way back in 1735 brought with him an original…

Top 6 pasalubong or bring-home gifts from Cebu

Philippine Brand. This brand of dried mangoes is among the most popular in the market.

Are you travelling to Cebu for the Sinulog Festival 2015 celebration? It’s never too early to be on the lookout for the best pasalubong to bring home to relatives and friends. Cebu is known for such native delicacies as dried mangoes, otap, rosquillos, and masareal. Many tourists consider them the best bring-home gifts. The secret to…

Robberies, murders and disasters: Top 10 Cebu news stories of 2014

Police go over the vehicle lawyer Noel Archival was riding when he was ambushed and killed in Dalaguete. (Photo by Mark Luzano)

With the opening of 2015 we look back at 2014 with relief that we made it through and with a fervent wish for a better year. Crime and the fight against it hog the headlines of Cebu news organizations. With 2016 approaching, politics is starting to heat up. This year, politics will start to dominate…

Pizza Republic Cebu offers Pick + Mix options

Pizza Republic Cebu Pick + Mix counter features rows of toppings.

That particular night we decided to have pizza at the Pizza Republic Cebu branch along Salinas Drive, the place was crowded, loud, and chaotic. I don’t know if it was just because we picked a particularly busy time, 7 p.m. on a Friday, or this place really draws a big crowd, especially the younger population.…

Samboan is home to natural, heritage attractions

The town center of Samboan from the third level of the Spanish period belfry and watchtower named Campanario de Antigua.

As one of the few towns located at the southernmost tip of Cebu, Samboan is an unspoiled gem of natural wonders and ancient stone monuments. It is home to rivers, springs, waterfalls, caves and clean coastlines as well as structures that are hundreds of years old and bear silent witness to Samboan’s early years. Here…

TBT: Fuente Scandal

Fuente Osmeña. This Cebu City landmark was built in 1912 to mark the opening of Osmeña Waterworks, now known as the Buhisan Dam. This photo was taken in 1915, close to the time of the murders discussed in this article. (Photo used with permission of the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

It’s hard to imagine today but the Fuente Osmeña circle was considered dangerous in the 1900s because it was far from the city center. Fuelling the fear in that period was what author Lucy Urgello-Miller described in her book “Glimpses of Old Cebu” as a “scandalous, melodramatic case” that happened in the area. On the…

Grand Majestic offers buffet promo leading to grand launch

Roast beef. Period.

Good food at an affordable price is what Grand Majestic, one of three restaurants at the Grand Convention Center in Cebu City, aims to provide customers. With their selection of varied cuisine, iHoldings Inc. president Winglip Chang said they’re offering what Cebuanos are used to in a buffet without them having to pay a lot.…

Be Resorts Mactan introduces Boodle on the Boat

BOODLE FIGHT ON THE HIGH SEAS. Be Resorts Mactan brings the boodle fight dining experience to the seas off Mactan Island. The package combines 2 of the top things to do in Cebu: hit the beach and sample the delicious local fare. (Photo by Max Limpag)

Island visits, fish feeding and snorkeling, and food make up the fun experience called Boodle on the Boat that’s now being offered by Be Resorts Mactan. The sea off the island of Hilutungan is the best place to do the feeding and snorkeling since it has been declared a marine sanctuary and schools of fish…

Bigby’s brings back old favorites as it opens at The Terraces

Ribs, chops and calamares in Bigby's Family Platter.

Bigby’s Cafe and Restaurant features new dishes and brings back old favorites as it opens at a more visible location on the second level of The Terraces in Ayala Center Cebu. Although smaller, the new spot beside BonChon Chicken provides better access to guests and can operate for longer hours because it’s no longer inside…

Lambug Beach in Badian offers perfect, peaceful getaway

Lambug Beach in Badian offers a peaceful respite from the hubbub of city life.

Fuel cost for a three-hour drive from Lapu-Lapu City to Lambug Beach in Badian, Cebu and back for three vehicles carrying 16 adults and kids. P3,000. Dinner and breakfast. P2,000. Overnight stay in two of the resort’s huge rooms. P3,000. Our fun and enjoyment at the powdery fine white sand beach of Lambug. Priceless. The…

Pepper Lunch Ayala introduces new dining concept in Cebu

Chef Jeoren van Straten of Benmark Group Holdings, Inc. pours Pepper Lunch's signature sauce on its bestseller dish beef pepper rice.

My first time at Pepper Lunch soon after it opened in Ayala Center Cebu, they brought my beef still very red and looking raw. When I told the waiter I wanted my steak well done, he explained I was still supposed to cook it on the hot plate. This “zizzle-it-your-way” serving style is a distinctive…

Cafe Namoo provides different cafe experience

Cafe Namoo in City Time Square, Mandaue City is filled to the rafters with messages on post-it notes by customers.

If you want a place where you can drink coffee and do some work or business on the side, then Cafe Namoo is not for you. Cafe Namoo, which labels itself as a dessert cafe and bistro, is more for lounging around or hanging out with family and friends. My son describes it the coolest…

6 Boljoon centuries-old attractions you should visit

Aside from being picturesque and postcard-perfect, historic is also another word that locals and even historians use to describe the southwestern town of Boljoon in Cebu. Other than the quaint picture it presents as it sits on a narrow strip of land between the placid blue sea and tall mountain ridges, the settlement of Boljoon…

5 Carcar delicacies you shouldn’t fail to try

Carcar Chicharon

From food to dry goods, Carcar delicacies and specialties are created with the Carcaranon values of hard work and creativity. Take for example the Carcar lechon. While it is roasted the traditional Cebuano way, the Carcar version comes with a strange and delicious twist – its own special sauce. This special mix of ingredients –…

Santa Catalina de Alejandria Church in Carcar

The Santa Catalina de Alejandria Church in Carcar was built from 1860-1875.

One of the very first things people notice about the Santa Catalina de Alejandria Parish Church is the life-size statues of the 13 apostles perched on the columns of the structure’s fenced patio. Another is of a similar sculpture of the fourteenth apostle, the betrayer Judas Iscariot, standing apart on a pillar near the rectory.…

Tuburan named Sinulog sa Kabataan-Lalawigan 2014 secondary division champion

Tuburan National High School dancers portray their town in their Sinulog sa Kabataan-Lalawigan 2014 performance.

What does it mean to be a Tuburanon or native of Tuburan town in Cebu? The Tuburan National High School showed the audience in its Sinulog sa Kabataan-Lalawigan 2014 performance and won the top prize in the secondary division of the competition. Raul Dura, who received the trophy for Tuburan’s win, said they wanted to…

Rich symbolism in Argao’s St. Michael the Archangel Church

Like other Augustinian structures built in the late 18th century in the Philippines, the San Miguel Arcangel or St. Michael the Archangel Church of Argao is an edifice of impressive dimensions. This structure set in stone is 72 meters long, 16 meters wide, and 10 meters high. It is adjacent to the Argao town plaza…

Argao torta is best made using traditional methods

Argao torta is best paired with the town's signature sikwate (hot choco).

Argao torta is delicious but I have my favorites from among the town’s many bakers. If you want to know who makes the best torta de Argao, you need to find out what the bakers use when they create this Cebu delicacy that is a popular pasalubong or take-home gift of town visitors. One of…

Coal Mountain Resort in Argao is retreat heaven

Coal Mountain Resort in Argao offers a wide view of the surrounding mountains. All three of the resort's pools get water from a mountain spring.

On our way to Coal Mountain Resort in Argao, Cebu, we missed a turn and ended up taking a much longer route. What should have been an hour’s drive through scenic (though narrow) mountain roads took the better of two hours. The first thought that came to my mind when we arrived, wearied from our…