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- Category: cost of living
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Arrived at Cebu Mactan airport. Again, you have to pay a departure fee of 200Php per person every time you travel in country. This is a familiar city for the wife and I, we have been to Cebu about 6 or 8 times over the years. She is originally from Cebu, some 25 years ago. Airport was no problem quick and easy. After picking up your luggage, you can get a taxi outside the main doors. Look for the Friends taxi / rent a car service. You will pay twice as much as a normal taxi. I think it's about 375Php from the airport to the center of town 30 min- 1hour depending on the traffic. If you don't want to pay that much you can walk up to the arrival area and jump in a taxi that is dropping someone off. We normally have her family pick us up.
We stayed at the Golden Prince Hotel, which is a 2 min walk to the Ayala shopping mall. New hotel, good food, across the street from a nice coffee shop. Cost: 1730Php per night.
Party Time: normally we stay low and relax in Cebu. But you can take a taxi to Gaisano Mall and visit a few small pubs in the area. From Gaisano walk over the bridge and look for Badges dining pub on the right. Good food, live music. Good beer.
For those military travelers. The Cebu RAO is located across from the SM mall. Look for the Sun Gold building (furniture store) behind the Sun Gold you will find the crown building. The RAO is of the second floor room 207. Ask for Lee. Very helpful. The RAO will help you if you need assistance. Phone 232-3556 Taxi in CEBU: Shurie taxi: 422-7723 (cell: 09194715867) or Four C: 342-5495.
We stayed in the City for a week mainly relaxing. Picked up a rental Van from her brother-in-law (800 Php per day) normally you will pay 1800 per day or 2500 per day with a driver. (I drive myself, but would not recommend it for a first timer). I tell everyone I learned to drive at 15 years old in Boston. Cebu driving is similar for I know Cebu pretty good so I rarely get lost. But a new visitor can get confused with all the traffic and one way streets.
Before I forget: Bathroom alert; The McDonalds at the Ayala mall is private, clean, and has toilet paper and seats. What do you think: I was thinking about writing a book on clean toilets with paper and seats in the Philippines? It seems it is a daily concern search these out were ever we go. No so much me, but the wife plans her day around bathrooms. Not really but pretty darn close.
We left CEBU city and travelled south passing through Talisay, Naga, and Carcar and stopped in Argao. Carcar city of shoes. Good bargains if you haggle. We have a friend that owns an apartment in Argao so we stay there (empty most of the year). It's a good half way point between Cebu city and the southern tip of the island. Most likely we will be settling (retiring) somewhere south of Carcar towards Santander. I really like it down there and close enough to Cebu (2 hours max) if we need to visit a hospital or big malls. (ANYONE HAVE SOME GOOD LAND FOR SALE?) After a week, we moved on to Moalboal. I am a big SCUBA diver and love the water. Military diver for 22 years, diving since I was 12 years old off the coast of Cape Cod Ma. In Moalboal you have a dive shop on every corner. It's a small diving community / village. Lots of bars, restaurants, tourist sales, and Diving.
For a treat you have to visit the local disco on a Saturday night (after 1000PM). Hard to find if you don't know about it. Basically walk down the main street until it looks like it ends. Walk through a small alley, as it opens up again, keep walking along the beach wall. Just ahead up the stairs you will see the disco. Everyone and her sister go there on a Saturday night. LOUD, CROWDED, but good people watching place. Left Moalboal and headed back to Cebu.