Author Topic: Cebu City and Dalaguete  (Read 1434 times)

Offline Vicks

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Cebu City and Dalaguete
« on: March 11, 2014, 01:01:31 PM »
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Cebu City and Dalaguete. I flew directly from Puerto Princesa to Cebu. The flight arrived at 6:15pm so I stayed the first night at the Andy Hotel in Mandaue as I do not like to travel at night if at all possible. Andy Hotel is a very clean and affordable place to grab some rest before continuing my journey. The housekeeping was meticulous and the entire staff was attentive to my needs. Every floor has a mineral water dispenser that provides both cold and hot water. This works out great for me because I normally drink Decafe coffee. I have never yet to find a restaurant that had Decafe so I always carry single serving sachets of Decafe with me. Each room has coffee cups and drinking glasses, so it was easy for me to make a cup of my favorite brew. And each room comes with two bottles of mineral which I always appreciate. Their café is small but the food was quite good. My breakfast was tasty and inexpensive. The meal included coffee and I have to say that it was the best cup of coffee I have had in the Philippines. (Starbucks is for yuppies without taste buds).

After settling in I wanted to stretch my legs so I walked to a nearby mall. I discovered an exceptional restaurant: Tao Yuan Seafood Restaurant. The menu was loaded with choices! They offered Chinese, Malaysian, Singaporean, Filipino and Korean cuisine to appeal to a wide range of taste buds. Most dishes here in Asia will accommodate 2-3 persons depending on one’s eating habits. So if you are traveling solo (yes, people still do that) you may want to stick with appetizers and make a meal from those selections. I have never found any bartender here in the Philippines that could make a Cosmopolitan properly. It is my all-time favorite! In Puerto Princesa the bartenders think a mixed drink is Rum and Coke. I once tried a Strawberry Daiquiri at a restaurant in Puerto and it was like drinking lighter fluid mixed with Strawberry Jam. As tourism is a major industry on Palawan it would seem logical that restaurants would properly train their bartenders and stock the necessary supplies to offer their guests a drink that actually resembles the real thing. My previous best Cosmopolitan came from a restaurant on one of the Florida Keys, but Tao Yuan made me one that was a very close second.

The next morning I took a taxi to the South Terminal to catch a Ceres Liner bus to Dalaguete. Ceres has a huge fleet of modern aircon buses with on board WIFI and movies. Seriously, we passed a Ceres bus heading in the opposite direction every 15 minutes. Make sure to buy some warm Buko pies when the vendors come into the bus to sell their wares. Delicious! The trip takes about 2 hours depending on how many stops the bus makes to pick up passengers. Only one small glitch as I had asked the conductor if he could stop the bus in front of the resort so I could get off there. The town of Dalaguete is 2 or 3Km on past the resort. He said that he would, but when I saw the sign welcoming us Dalaguete…well, it is the Philippines. And he knew that he had not done as he promised when I exited the bus. Fortunately there was a tricycle driver parked adjacent to the bus stop so I hailed him and we were off to Dakong Bato.

Dakong Bato means “Big Rock”. They literally excavated a wall of rock to make this resort. I like quiet so I typically book midweek days to avoid the crowds. They offer 22 rooms, two swimming pools, a restaurant, snorkeling, tours, kayaking and a grand view of the ocean. It is not a typical ocean resort with a white sand beach, but it is tranquil and serene. Besides, I have access to the best beach in the Philippines on Palawan so I was not looking for sand. The staff could use a little more training. I was the only person there for two days and while watching the news in the restaurant one of the guys picked up the remote from my table and changed the news over to a basketball game. He never even made eye contact with me or asked if I would mind. This also happened to me in the Ipil Hotel in El Nido. Hotel owners need to remind their employees that the TV, radio or any other services are for the guests! There is also one other drawback to staying at this resort. You had better have a good set of legs for walking because there are many steps to traverse when going from your room to the restaurant or to the pool area or even to the office. It literally wore me out going up and down and down and up during my stay. It is not a resort for the elderly or anyone with physical limitations. The town of Dalaguete has a decent market for those who like to browse, a few good bakeries and some decent finger food vendors. I forgot to bring my swimming attire so I went into town to purchase a replacement. The people were very friendly and polite. That area of the island is the vegetable mother load! They ship 50-60 tons of fresh veggies to Cebu City every day. I had a great veggie dish at the hotel and the market in town was filled with delectable selections of fresh vegetables.

On the return trip I just stood in front of the resort and in 15 minutes I flagged down a Ceres Liner headed back to Cebu. There was only two other passengers on the bus at that time so I got a front seat. A few Buko pies later I arrived back in Cebu City at the terminal. Then another taxi back to Andy Hotel and a little shopping at the SM Mall to buy pasalubong for all of my friends; later on another Cosmopolitan and then a good night’s sleep. The following morning I had another great breakfast and a delicious cup of their coffee before departing in the afternoon on my return trip to Puerto Princesa.

Now it is time to start doing some research for my upcoming trip to Kota Kinabalu. If anyone has suggestions about hotels, restaurants, places to see, etc. in Kota Kinabalu I would welcome your experiences there.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 01:12:28 PM by vickytolentino »
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Offline Lee2

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Re: Cebu City and Dalaguete
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2014, 01:15:29 PM »
Great trip report, thank you for posting it, as my wife and I might take a trip that way one day in the future and you filled in whatever questions I might have had.
:) Happily married since 1994 & live part of the year in Cebu and the rest in S. Florida.