By Marymil M. Cabrera
Cover illustration: Dexter A. Duran
Cebu is not just a place with crystal clear beaches and for gastronomic adventures but also a place that allows you to travel around the world without booking a plane ticket or multiple ones. With just minimal fees and fares, you can feed your wanderlust and be transported to notable foreign destinations at these stunning spots in Cebu.
Bali at Sundaze Farm
Address: Brgy. Valencia, Carcar City
Business Hours: Wednesday to Sunday
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Entrance Fee: P50 per head; P40 for students, PWD and senior citizens; no entrance free for children two years old and below
Dreaming of taking photos at one of the famous Instagram spots in Bali? Just take a bus going to Carcar and a habal-habal (motorbike for hire) going to Brgy. Valencia and you will be at the 1.7-hectare farm where you can enjoy the lush greenery of the mountainside of southern Cebu while chilling at its Bali corner featuring one of Bali’s popular hanging birds’ nests, its own version of the Bali Swing and its own take on the bamboo lookout. What’s more, once you’re on this corner, all you see and hear is nature.
The Venetian Macao at JCenter Mall
Address: Food Court of JCenter
Business hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Get lost in a food haven, walk under the blue skies, roam around the romantic streets of The Venetian and take photos in between. Just like The Venetian, JCenter Mall’s Food Central has colorful buildings which house its food stalls and government service offices, trees and street lamp posts. Though this Venetian-inspired food court is tucked inside a mall, it’s still as jaw-dropping as the real thing minus the gondola ride experience.
Morocco at Maayo Stay Argao
Address: Brgy. Suba, Poblacion, Argao, Southern Cebu
Wear your djellaba like how Moroccan men and women would, or your favorite kaftan and get ready to wander around Maayo Argao, a Moroccan-inspired boutique resort. With arches and pillars of the Moroccan veranda, geometric tiles and decorative interiors reminiscent of a Marrakech home with a symmetrical mini courtyard and a colonial-style touch at the main reception, this boutique resort will surely bring you to a whole a new world.
Amsterdam at Sirao Farm
Address: Brgy. Sirao
Business Hours: 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Entrance fee: P50
The flower farmers in Brgy. Sirao have been growing Celosia flowers for a very long time. Thanks to social media, its fiery red and bright yellow blooms caught the attention of the people especially the netizens and what used to be a flower farm is now dubbed “the Little Amsterdam of Cebu.” With locals and tourists flocking in recent years, the owners developed the farm and added some attractions and decor such as the towering windmill and Dutch-inspired traditional wooden house that mimics the picturesque Zaanse Schans.
Santorini at Issa’s Haven
Address: Brgy. Looc, Oslob, Cebu
With its iconic blue and whitewashed structures lined along the coast, dramatic views, rich history and stunning Oia sunset, Santorini is definitely on the travel bucket list for most. One can now have a little piece of Greece at Issa’s Haven, a Santorini-inspired resort in the southern part of Cebu. Here you can soak in their pool, stay in one of the blue and white villas and enjoy the beautiful sunset – all with a touch of warm Filipino hospitality.
China at Taoist Temple
Address: Beverly Hills, Lahug
“Ni hao!” Experience China at the heart of the city. Built in 1972 by the Chinese community of Cebu, Taoist Temple is the center of the Taoism religion in the province. The multi-tiered temple on top of a small hill retained its ancient Chinese architectural style with a predominantly red and green color scheme, massive statues of dragons, well-sculpted guardian lions, Bianzhongs (ancient Chinese bronze bells) and pagoda-style roof. Aside from worshipping at the temple, you can take a walk on its smaller replica of The Great Wall of China, too.