Cebu is the second largest city in the Philippines, and it is also a transit point for many island tourists to other islands in the Philippines.
The small island where Cebu Airport is located is called “Mactan Island”, and the island has a long and narrow “tail” at a 45-degree angle. The location of this tail is called “Punta Enga?o”, which is literally translated in Spanish as “wrong” Horn”.
The accommodation we booked is at the end of the “wrong corner”. After getting off the plane and taking a ride online, you can see Mactan Island has many luxury chain hotels along the way. These high-end hotels are located at the beginning of this “wrong corner”. After the car drove us past several luxury hotels, the scenery outside the car window changed 180 degrees.
The “wrong corner” of shanty towns coexisting with resort hotels
The car drove very slowly on the narrow road, and the roadside scenery was gradually replaced by low and ruined houses. Some houses looked shaky. I began to worry about whether our homestays would be “spoofed”.
The car drove us forward. There were several tall buildings far inside a wall, and the opening of the wall was a security booth. After talking to the security guard at the entrance of the security booth, the driver drove us downstairs to the apartment.
The location of the apartment we booked is remote and there are no food and beverages nearby, so we must walk through the shanty town just now when we go out to search for food.
Jeepney buses have been used as national business cards to foreign exhibitions
The jeepney, decorated with flamboyant decorations, has become a cultural symbol of the Philippines.
This time is the rainy season in the Philippines, and the sky is gloomy. We were walking on the road, and soon it started to rain heavily. The rain water rushed to the ground along the low eaves like an unscrewed faucet. Some children playing with water let the rain run down the eaves and onto their heads; adults rarely use umbrellas, and a wooden door hangs and fades. Colored “United Nations Children’s Education Fund” flag.
People on both sides of the road showed great interest to the two of us walking strangers. We walked hard for more than 20 minutes in the heavy rain, and found a small pavilion where we could hide from the rain. We looked up and found that there was a Korean restaurant on the opposite side.
It was late after dinner and we decided to try the local bus “Jeepney”.
The first time I saw this kind of bus was at the airport in Manila, the capital of the Philippines. A jeepney decorated with flamboyant decorations was displayed in the international passenger arrival area of the airport. This unique means of transportation has also been used as a national business card for foreign exhibitions, and it has become a cultural symbol of the Philippines.
Its origin starts after World War II. Thousands of scrapped Willis jeeps were left behind by American soldiers when they left the Philippines. A businessman named Leonardo Sarrio saw a business opportunity. He founded his own car company to modify these jeeps so that they can carry more passengers.
He painted eye-catching colors on the car body, and some even put the logo of a famous car on the front of the car. This kind of transportation quickly became popular throughout the country, and many other companies joined the ranks of refitting jeepneys, and the modified car prototypes were no longer limited to the Willis Jeep left by the American soldiers. On the streets of Cebu, we also saw a Jeepney modified from a van.
We imitated the actions of the locals and waved to the oncoming jeepney from the side of the road, and the car stopped. The fare is charged in sections according to the length of the journey. After inquiring, we learned that it only costs 8 pesos (about 1 yuan) to return to our residence.
There are two rows of benches in this luxuriously decorated vehicle. Passengers sit face to face. The windows of the vehicle are not glass and are well ventilated. The passengers in the car were all locals who looked at us curiously and kindly. Everyone moved their buttocks, and two more places were vacated on the bench that seemed to be full. We handed the collected change to the driver through the passenger hand-to-hand relay.
After diving, it is conservative to say that you can only fly by another day.
Since then, our transportation on Mactan Island has basically been contracted by Jeepney. Although there are fixed driving routes, the time when the jeepney appears is unpredictable. Every time we ride, we waved when we saw it, and we walked while waiting for the car to appear when we didn’t see it.
Lapu Lapu Statue (front) and Spanish Monument (rear)
Mactan Monument: National Heroes and Magellan’s Death
The next day, we took a jeepney trip again. After getting off the bus at the slightly prosperous “Corner of the Error”, we came to the square where the Mactan Monument was located, where the Philippine national hero Lapu-Lapu who resisted the aggression and the navigator Magellan were also commemorated here.
After entering the gate, you can see two conspicuous statues, one of which is a bronze statue of Lapu Lapu, standing against the wind with a knife in his left hand and a shield in his right. A few meters away from the Lapu-Lapu statue is a monument built by the Spanish ruler in 1866 to commemorate Magellan’s spread of Catholicism to the Philippines and his fleet’s first global voyage. The monument has four sides. On one side, Magellan’s name is written in his native language, and on the other three sides are written in Spanish “The Glory of Spain”, the name of the Spanish Chief Executive in the Philippines and the name of the Spanish Queen who was in power at that time.
On November 20, 1520, Ferdinand Magellan led five ships with about 250 crew from the Spanish port. The purpose of this voyage was to find a new route to bypass the American continent to East India. After arriving in the Philippines in 1521, he began preaching in the Philippines, persuading the locals to be baptized and surrender to the authority of the Spanish king.
Lapu Lapu, one of the local leaders, refused to obey. At dawn on April 27, 1521, Magellan and about 60 European sailors and soldiers planned to attack Mactan Island, and more than 1,000 rebels led by Lapu-Lapu were waiting on the shore. Magellan’s ships were too large and had many reefs on the shore, which prevented them from docking. The range of their guns and cannons on the ships was limited, which prevented them from taking full advantage of their advanced weapons.
The soldiers led by Lapu Lapu rushed into the water and attacked the Europeans’ unarmed legs and feet with weapons. The battle ended with the death of Magellan and the retreat of the Spaniards. After Magellan’s death, his subordinates continued to sail and achieved their original goals.
It is said that the location of the monument is just beside the ford where the Battle of Mactan took place. The side of the monument that is close to the land is at the head of the “Angle of False”, which is the bustling area of the airport island. The newly-built high-end commercial district “New Town” is about an 8-minute walk away from here. When we came over, the old and run-down shanty towns on the roadside seemed out of place with these brand-new buildings.
The windmill in the garden overlooks the entire garden
The underwater world of Olango Island
Around Mactan Island: Orango Islands and Bergamot Garden
Bohol Island, famous for its Chocolate Hills and Tarsier, is a two-hour boat ride from Mactan Island. For tourists who don’t want to take a boat, the nearby Olango Islands, located between Mactan and Bohol, is an ideal choice.
The Olango Islands is about 5 kilometers away from Mactan Island and consists of 7 small islands, of which Olango Island is the largest-it is a place where some birds must pass through for migration, so it has become a holy place for bird watching.
We signed up for a one-day diving trip as planned, and went to two diving spots on the northwest side of Olango Island. The people at the dive shop told us that the Olango Islands is a marine protected area, and fishermen cannot fish here, so there are more marine life that can be seen underwater than non-protected areas.
During the two dives, we saw shoals of Jack fish and flounder in the sand at the bottom; when we were about to finish diving and stayed at a depth of 5 meters for 3 minutes, a golden butterfly fish came to us. , Swimming around, seeming to want to play with humans but not very embarrassed, very cute.
In order for the body to have enough time to eliminate the small bubbles generated by diving in the body, it is conservative to say that after diving, you can only take a plane every other day. On this day, we plan to go to Sirao Garden (Sirao Garden) on the outskirts of Cebu City.
The bergamot garden is divided into a large garden and a small garden, which are publicized as “Little Amsterdam of Cebu”. The big park charges 100 pesos (equivalent to RMB 12) and the small park charges 60 pesos (equivalent to RMB 7). Part of the layout of the garden can be seen outside the garden. The scale of the garden itself is not large. There are many decorations for taking pictures. Before it became a scenic spot, it was originally a flower field for a couple. The flowers they planted were mainly for Sold on “Spirit Festival”.
All Souls’ Day in the Philippines is November 2nd every year. This holiday is to commemorate the dead relatives, similar to our Qingming Festival. Marigold is the main flower used for decoration on All Souls Day. Its bright color is believed to guide the dead to find their way home. Although it is known as “Little Amsterdam”, there are no tulips here. Marigolds and cockscombs, two flowers related to All Souls’ Day, are the most planted in the garden.
Speaking of marigolds, one would think of the “Day of the Dead” just over in Mexico, and there are many similarities with the “All Souls Day”. And this Cebu mini holiday also ended in the bright colors of marigolds.