Friday, September 23, 2011

Cebu Salimpusa Fullybooked!

Salimpusa. Ang salimpusa, saling-pusa, salingkit o salingket ay isang katawagan sa isang "bisitang" manlalaro sa anumang uri ng laro. Isa itong manlalarong bata na hindi pa totoong kasali sa laro sapagkat, dahil sa kaniyang murang pag-iisip at pisikal na gulang, hindi pa makasusunod sa mga patakaran at batas ng laro. Kunyari lamang na totoong kasali o tunay na manlalaro ang panauhing bata. Karaniwang isinasali nang ganito ang bata para mapagbigyan ito at maiwasan umiyak.

In this trip, I am a salimpusa in the group of my perennial travel buddy and colleague Ate Liezl. She’ll be meeting her college buddies. I just tag along and be the great salimpusa. Haha! The four women- Ate Emily,Liezl, Rachel and Bingbing became my new friends and travel companions in the Queen City of the South.

It is said that every person should maintain at least 3 kinds of friendships:
1. friends of your own age whom you can talk over your problems, plans and goals with confidence;
2. friends older than you to whom you can confide and be assured of wise counsel;
3. friends younger than you to whom you can share your life’s experiences.

It is not only in being helped but in helping others that you can find true friends.

Cebu, originally called as Sugbo prided itself with so many things. It has a lot of stories to tell. Before the coming to the Spaniards, it was the center of trade and commerce in the south. Trading with Chinese ships arrived with silks and porcelains bartered for honey, gold, wood and spices.

In 1521, the Spanish troops headed by Ferdinand Magellan arrived in Cebu and presented a Santo Niño (image of the Child Jesus) as baptismal gift to Rajah Humabon and his wife, Hara Amihan. Magellan converted most of the locals Catholicism.

But when Magellan reached the narrow strait to Mactan Island, Lapu Lapu, the chief, resisted his entry and fought against the Spanish troops killing Magellan in the famous Battle of Mactan. Cebu’s invasion was delayed until Legazpi and Fray Andres de Urdaneta arrived in 1566.

Cebu embraced Catholicism with great fervor. It’s no wonder old churches abound here. Ate Emily, our host, the Sec. of Tourism (hehe!) prepared our iterinaries. For the first day, we are the pilgrims. We visited Marian Hills in Simala, Municipality of Sibonga (located between Argao and Carcar City). It is around 2 hours travel from the Cebu City center.

Called as the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, this is the church for the Marian devotees. It is very popular among believers for the miraculous Virgin. devotees are not just women but also men! :) I was astounded by the place. Just after a decade, the place improved tremendously. The ‘Mga Monghe ni Maria’[Monks of Mary] supervises the Monastery.

Personal letters addressed to the Virgin Mary are also displayed. Try to read them and you’ll be inspired. You can also write your petition letter or thanksgiving letter. People from different places flock to the church everyday!

From Simala, we passed by Carcar town public market and tried the famous lechon and puso (rice wrapped in coconut leaves) and softdrinks! One kilo of tasty lechon is only P300! Ate Liezl’s father cooks lechon too and as a lechon 'expert' taster , she swears it is one of the best lechon! The lechon’s tasty, you no longer need any condiments.

Aside from lechon, Carcar also is home to chicharon (not made of intestine but of pork skin), ampao, banana chips and coconut jam.

Carcar also houses the biggest shoe! Guinness World record holder which stands 3.6 meters, length of 7.6 meters and width of 2.9 meters!

Time to shop for shoes, but not for me, but for my inaanaks! (heard that Baby Kelon and Shan-shan loved those cute espadrilles!)

Then stop-overs to the old churches from the cities and municpalities we passed going to Simala. Churches in Minglanilla, San Fernaado and Carcar is just a-m-a-z-i-n-g! I always love old churches. I can get lost in the depths of its history, the power welded in the name of religion and people's manifestation of faith.

Santo Tomas de Villanueva or Pardo church

Minglanilla Church looks like a cake. It's already renovated.

San Fernando Church

Carcar Church (also known as Santa Catalina Church)

The next day is for the beach!! I love love loooooooove the beach. And it’s the reunion of Ate Liezl’s college barkada. Everyone was smitten by Clarke Isaac, ate Bingbing’s lovable son. While they keep abreast with their lives I and Clarke just milled around.

Sino ang tunay na ina?

The beach is the best place for modeling and jumpshot lessons! Hehe

By night, we visited Mactan shrine and shop for little trinkets as pasalubong. This is where guitars are made. For P1,500 , you’ll have your own guitar. I really wanted to but one for myself but I don’t know how to choose and I still don’t get the time to have guitar lessons. In time. 

But they kill starfishes to be used as ornaments! This made me cringe! :(

The island is also known for its danggit and sutokil (sugba, tola, kilaw). Fresh seafoods at Mactan Shrine is a must for seafoodies like us!

One could not leave Cebu without visiting it's historical landmark: Magellan's Cross and Basilica of Sto. Nino.

I just realized that Cebu people are really good with handicrafts. But with its fast development, nature is compromised. Water is one big problem here. The taxi driver told us their government made a dam for drinking water (is that possible?) but people from Leyte said, Cebu gets water from them. Bohol also is one supplier of potable water for Cebu as the latter continues its "development". Not just water, but also their fishes and trees! Hhhhmmmm….And as the city is fast developing and the land is now becoming limited, the solution? Reclaim large parts of the seas and make it an industrial zone!

Cebu has a lot of potentials. It is fast developing and becoming like Manila- in terms of skyscrapers and traffic! I hope Davao will not suffer the same fate in losing its potable water.

Enough with the negativity. Better dwell with positivity. This trip is finding new friends. Friends and ates who showed me that despite the societal pressures, one should be firm, enjoy and live life as it is.

Thank you mga ates for this wonderful South Cebu trip! :)



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