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ARRIVAL IN CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES

Cebu City- Philippines

Cebu City- Philippines

Quite unfortunately, I arrived in Cebu City, Philippines.  I’d flown in from Malaysia for my first visit to the country,  in search of scuba diving work.  Taking a cab from the airport through the city and then walking around during my first evening left me thinking, “Uh, oh. Am I going to like the Philippines?” The entire city seemed like one big dirty, faded, messy, broken-down ghetto.  There was no architectural interest whatsoever.  No parks, greenery or other scenic sights.  Nothing beautiful that caught my eye. I’d thought Thailand and Malaysia had become pretty bad on icky nondescript towns, but they’re nothing on Cebu City!

Cebu City- Philippines

street scene

Everywhere, I walked past broken-up roads and sidewalks, rubble, vacant lots, boarded-up buildings, construction sites, barbed-wire on walls and buildings and other hideous eye-sores. Many roads didn’t have sidewalks, forcing pedestrians to walk directly on the streets with roaring traffic whizzing by.

Philippines traffic- exhaust

Philippines traffic and exhaust fumes

Traffic was horrendous.  Exhaust fumes spewed out, creating a thick toxic cloud throughout the entire city.  A huuuugge number of taxis crowded the roads- probably about 40% of the vehicles.  In contrast, there were very few motorcycles, especially compared to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.  I discovered that instead of driving motorbikes, many Philippinos actually walk. That amazed me after spending so much time in other S.E.Asian countries.

Philippines street scene

Philippines street scene

As for the Cebu people, store clerks were formal and polite, always addressing customers as ‘ma’am’ or ‘sir’, and trying to help out. They carried people’s bags, opened doors, and so on. Overall, locals were stiffly polite but not overly friendly. Nobody smiled easily, nor did they seem interested or impressed by anything around them. They didn’t respond much to anything.  It was like they were sleep-walking.  No facial expressions, no excitement or surprise or interest.  It was very odd to me, especially after interacting with the very expressive Indonesians, Thais and Malays.

LashAnother oddity was the absence of young people wearing hip fashions, hairstyles and make-up.  In contrast, all over Thailand, Malaysia, Singpaore, and Indonesia, teens and young college-age youth are sporting all kinds of super-cool hairstyles and fashions. In Cebu City, everyone was wearing really boring clothes and hairstyles: simple t-shirts or polo shirts with jeans, shorts or skirts, all in plain colors and designs. Hairstyles were equally plain and very conventional. Cebu City seemed to have no fashion whatsoever. Dullsville.

What was really very odd was that people had no reaction to me- at all.  They’d look at me, briefly, then look away with no expression, just as if they’d simply seen another Philippino. No curiousity, no surprise, no worry or fear, no hostility, nothing.  Considering how commonly and similarly they were all dressed, I found it very very peculiar that they had no reaction to a solo western woman with short platinum blonde hair, facial piercings, bright pink sunglasses, and a silk halter-style dress!

I was so accustomed to S.E.Asians responding to me somehow- usually with smiles and ‘hello’s, certainly with curiousity,  sometimes with surprise, but always something.  My experience in Cebu was so odd that it left me wondering: Do they dislike foreigners? Are they afraid? Shy? Just sleep-walking? Fortunately, I did’t feel any hostility, so I couldn’t believe they disliked me or were afraid.  I just didn’t get it.

Philippines- security guard

Philippino bank security guard

Meanwhile, security guards carrying automatic rifles and pistols, with extra ammunition strapped around their belts, were everywhere. They were posted outside almost every store, hotel, bank, and shopping mall. In just one block there were easily 10 well-armed security guards. To enter any mall, hotel, major store, or bank, customers have to undergo a bag inspection and sometimes a full body rub-down. Shopping becomes quite tedious as you must repeatedly take off your bag, open it, re-close it, and put it back on, over and over and over again, all day long.  Apparently, theft and robberies are serious issues in Cebu?

On the positive side, Cebu City has loads and loads of bakeries- at least 1 or 2 in every block. They sell great little rolls, danishes, and other breads. One curiousity (for us Americans) is purple gobs.  For non-Americans, gobs are a type of midwest USA cake snack, a cake version of oreos. I’d never even seen gobs outside the US  until then.  But there they were in Cebu City,Philippines, in purple.

Philippines bakery

Philippines bakery

One really funny thing, especially considering it was October, was the presence of Christmas. Stores were selling Christmas decorations. Malls and grocery stores were playing xmas songs.  I realized that the Philippines was the first Christian country I’ve ever visited in Asia. Coming upon Christmas displays and music was so exceedingly strange.  Making it even stranger, lots of Halloween stuff  was also on sale. How BIZARRE IS THAT IN S.E.ASIA?

As for costs, I was lucky to get a room for 400P (45P = $1). That was nearly double what I was used to paying everywhere else in Asia. I hoped costs would be lower outside the city.  Although my room was expensive, I liked Cebu’s little ‘pensions’ ( guest houses) and the room itself. My first room was cute: a long narrow room with 3 single beds lined in a row against one wall, an extensive shelving unit on the other wall, and quiet enough to sleep. Very unfortunately, I could only stay one night, since it was already booked the following night. I had to move out!  They didn’t have any more rooms.  Nor did any other pensions in the area. I found myself  roomless.  Finally, one pension located a room for me in their sister pension in a quiet old house off the busy roads. That room was a bit more upscale, with a/c, which I didn’t need, and a tv, which I didn’t need, a bathroom, and a spacious bedroom. It was the cheapest room I could find-  500p (which was usually my entire day’s budget).

Luckily, I was able to find some cheap local food markets and restaurants, so food prices were about what I was used to paying.

Just before I’d left KL, I’d met a Philippina girl. She’d told me everything was cheaper in the Philippines, especially with the current $US exchange rate. Once I reached Cebu, I didn’t find that to be true.  For example, I’d been planning to buy some BodyShop facial cleanser in KL, but thought I’d wait and see the price in Cebu. Guess what? It cost more! Ahh well, you win some, you lose some.

Philippines jeepney

Philippines jeepney

Still, there were some good points about Cebu:

*Despite the huge number of security guards, Cebu seemed quite safe, as far as I could tell. (Or maybe because of the security guards?) Nobody tried to pick-pocket me on the streets or on the jeepneys. Walking at night was fine.

* great bakeries

* lots of cheap eating places

* internet was fast and cheap

* no touts hassling pedstrians to buy stuff.  (That was quite a relief after Bali.)

* a few  decent attractions: old Spanish churches, a fort,  monuments, and a huge produce/ handicrafts’ market

* bright and highly decorated ‘jeepneys’- trucks that serve as public buses. They add some color to the otherwise dull city.

Despite it’s good points, though, Cebu City was really quite dull.  Dull architecture. Dull people. Dull fashions. Dull street life. In fact, the best thing about being in Cebu was looking forward to leaving!  Therefore, I decided to get out of that city as quickly as possible. I was headed to the Philippines’ fabled islands. From what I’d read and heard, they are beautiful, and scuba diving is great.

Perhaps it was just Phiippino city life that was so dull? I’d soon find out.

Catch me on my next Philippino adventure: Ferry to Boracay.  coming soon…

QUESTIONS:

Have you been to Cebu  City? If so, what were your impressions? 

If you’ve been to the Philippines, which places did you like best? 

(* photo credits from Flckr Creative Commons:

87 comments

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  1. Kristin

    You are so fun and generally awesome. I love reading about your travels and observations. St. Pete misses you!!!

    Interesting about the sleep walking bit, is the Philippines known for being culturally stiff like that? I had never thought so, but i haven’t been there either.

    Very interesting writing Lash!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Kristin,
      wow, thanks for stopping by and reading! awww, thanks. Nice to know people notice I’m not there in St Pete. :))

      I have no idea if PHilippinos are known for being unresponsive or less friendly to strangers than other SE Asians. BUt I did find it very interesting the affects of the USA there- Christmas, Halloween, boring clothes, and lots of guns n security. YOu don’t find any of those things in other SE ASian countries! It was very different.
      Thanks again for visiting! cheers, Lash

  2. Suzy

    I know that feeling of arriving to a new place and just feeling depressed by it all, from architecture to style. Sounds like Cebu City won’t be making my list of must see destinations, but the bakeries do some delicious.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Suzy,
      THanks for coming by as usual. Ok, so I’m not the only one who’s arrived in a place expecting great things.. then finding you didn’t like it. always a bummer. But, at least we can leave. and as soon as we want. :)) cheers, Lash

  3. Micamyx|Senyorita

    I think the reason why most reacted that way is because they’re used to seeing foreigners in the area. Have you been to IT Park or Ayala Mall? Mactan in Cebu offers some of the best resorts in the country and some of Cebu’s beach destinations include Moalboal, Malapascua, Bantayan and Camotes. You can also do a sidetrip in Bohol :D

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Mica,

      Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the explanation about Cebu City locals’ lack of reaction to me.
      sorry I didn’t paint a rosy picture of Cebu City! Maybe some other people like it beter than me!
      I’m sure there are many wonderful places in the Philippines… unfortuntaley, I didn’t see many of them. But I did go to Panglao island, which was wonderful! I also went diving there. GREAT reefs!
      Your travel blog is also very nice! enjoy your writing and blogging! Nice to meet you. cheers, Lash

  4. Noelfy

    Hi Lash,
    I just found your blog today as I am following Sexy Crazy Fun traveler too… I am reading all the articles until I found that and I decided to answer your questions myselfs too :)

    Finishing 12 amazing days in Bohol with my Filipino friend, facing myself Cebu was quite depressing : Dirty streets,cockroaches everywhere, kids begging for money or trying to sell stuff I didn’t need ( I am surprised you didn’t have the same impression! They always have something in their pockets that definitely needed to be sold to me :P)

    But the comment that most surprise me is the one that they didn’tn pay attention to you! How lucky you were!! I was stopped every 3 steps to be offered a ride, sold something or asking for marriage! Sometimes they really piss me off!

    Cebu definitely was for me the worse city ever from the Philippines! I couldn´t wait to leave! However, Palawan, Mindoro, Boracay, are unforgetable places to be, especially to dive!!

    Thanks for sharing your adventures! take care!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Nolefy,

      thanks for reading and for taking time to share your experiences and impressions of Cebu City. OH, great, I’m not the only traveler who found Cebu quite unpleasant. Ok, I’ll count myself lucky that everyone there ignored me! That’s certainly much nicer than being pestered all the time! sorry for you. :)

      That’s great you found many wonderful places around Phillippines. Yes, I’m sure those other islands are beautiful. Maybe I’ll get to go back and visit them one day soon. Thanks for the tips.
      cheers, Lash

  5. John Harding

    How I enjoyed reading about your travels to Cebu
    I have been going there for over ten years now to meet the wife’s family
    Crazy at the airport traffic is heaving at peak times getting over the two mactan bridges
    We stop at a house near robinssons maul you have found the cheap hotels at 500p
    We,l done ,carbon market is packed out and I love to stroll round the luxury Ayala mall woth london prices in some of the shops and you can spend a day in the Hugh SM mall people watching the strage thing is there is thousands wandering eyes ahead and yet they never seem to buy anything l
    Your comments on jeans and t shirts is correct but what you must consider is people work for 220 pesos per day which is about £15 GbP or say 25$ per week so money is tight when a McDonald’s or jolly be costs 60p so doesn’t leave much money for clothes

    It’s good that you walked the streets and experienced life in Cebu although it can be scary at night down town or near mango avenue
    If you had been a man you would of been hassled non stop for money and marriage and friendship
    It’s a culture shock some parts of Cebu but it is developing very fast into a major city for business so I would recomend you return one day

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi John,

      Thanks for stopping by to read. And thanks for all your comments, suggestions, and reminiscences.
      Great for you that you seem to enjoy Cebu, since your wife is from there!
      As for clothing styles, yes, I realize people make a very small wage. But so do people in neighboring countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia. Yet in those countries, young people have really cool and diverse clothes, hairstyles, fashions. I don’t believe it has anything to do with lack of money. More with taste, religious influences? and perhaps what’s available.

      Enjoy future visits to CEbu.

      cheers, Lash

  6. bongzkie

    you can visit davao city maam

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Thanks bongzkie.

      cheers, Lash

  7. ric robles

    You’re a crazy liar pathetic woman. Shame on you talking nasty things about Cebu.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Lovely Ric!

      You’re setting an excellent example of Cebuans and Filipinos. Good job.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I’m allowed to write mine. Just because I did not enjoy your city, there’s no reason to call me nasty names. That’s very immature, angry and hostile, In fact your comments are called’ verbal abuse’. I don’t’ deserve to be abused because my opinions differ from yours.

      Please consider the example you’re leaving of Filipinos to EVERYONE who reads this article.

      Have a great day.

      cheers, Lash

  8. xrx

    Looks like you picked out all the nasty scenes of Cebu. I am not from Cebu but what you did is an unfair depiction of the city. How would that make your blog reliable? Did you go to the Ayala Centre? Mactan Beach? Taoist Temple area? The Basilica? The Mactan shrine? I have been to all the countries you mentioned and the fashion choices arent exactly hip as you claim.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Ryan,

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your views.
      Everyone is entitled to their opinions and views. I just happened to dislike Cebu City, for all the reasons I mentioned.
      The reason that makes my blog reliable is that I give my honest opinions. Sometimes that means I talk about why I DON’T like a place.
      Everyone has their own taste in fashions, too. I gave my opinions in this article. YOu’re certainly entitled to yours, too.

      Best regards, Lash

  9. barukdok

    Hi Lash,

    As a Cebuano, I found your comments interesting. I know that fellow Cebuanos tend to be defensive whenever confronted by negative criticism. But I agree with you on many points, particularly on cleanliness, pollution, traffic and “dull” architecture (zero modern iconic structures).

    As a resident of this metropolis, that’s the bad part. The good news is that at least in Cebu City, there is a real effort between the city government and the private sector to gradually revive particular districts, especially those of historical importance. And there are gems under all this grime and dirt.

    For instance, the sidewalks of Omeña Blvd. a.k.a. Jones Ave. are being widened, and just recently there is a move to rid the city of unwanted overhead spaghetti wires so that the older (heritage) buildings won’t be obscured (if you look closely, there are actually interesting neo-classical buildings along that stretch.)

    Also, the historically important downtown area will be going through major conservation efforts, spearheaded by the influential Cebu Chinese community.

    Now, regarding your observation that they didn’t pay attention to you, hence you considering them (us) “stiffly polite,” all I can say is that you were probably given the “deadma” treatment. They intentionally ignored you. And yes, it’s true, we do have our fair share of foreign visitors, so we don’t get too jumpy and excited about seeing visitors from other countries.

    No offense meant here, but while Cebuanos are not alien to quirky, over-the-top fashion (check out the Koreans, for example), yours, well, probably just wasn’t to their liking, and instead of being rude about it by staring at you from head to foot, they just pretended to ignore you. But I bet they probably took a second look while you weren’t watching. The odder a person looks, the more deadma he/she gets. That’s lesson number one.

    Now, the reaction Cebu gets from foreigners is often mixed. And the more negative comments about our place can be a bit unpleasant. Some Westerner even calls it a “charmless” place. But many others who had an initial distaste for this metropolis often end up saying that “Cebu grows on you.” Many find themselves extending their stay, or coming back, for some odd reason. It’s a love-hate relationship for these visitors. You may or may not be one of them. (On the other hand, the Koreans are coming here in droves, you might want to ask them why.)

    Anyway, Cebu is a work in progress (it has been for the longest time). I doubt it would change that much the next time you visit, if ever. But I do hope you get the chance to look at the right places, especially the ones outside of yourself. Guaranteed you should be delighted.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi BAruktok,

      Nice to have you here. Thanks for your mature and non-defensive response to my views on Cebu.

      Thanks very much for explaining about the ‘deadma’ response and possible reason for that. Yes, I suppose it’s better to be ignored that to be stared at wide-eyed from head to toe. Your guess that perhaps the locals just didsliked my fashion style goes along with my whole point that I think Cebu is just not the place for me and visa versa. I think for everyone, some places just ‘fit’ and some don’t.

      Thanks much for telling us about Cebu’s ongoing improvements and renovations. Sounds like it’s getting cleaned up! cool.

      Thanks again for your comments and information.

      cheers, Lash

  10. eds

    Sorry but you are obviously not an American or a foreigner what so ever, the truth is you are one of the many haters of Cebu somewhere down the south. There are a lot of words you choose that obviously makes u Filipino. Sorry another epic fail, hater’s gotta hate.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello Ed,

      Thanks for stopping by.
      I’m afraid you’re completely wrong with your accusations.
      If you read anything about me on this website, you’ll see that.
      Sorry I did not enjoy Cebu. But everyone is entitled to their opinions, including me. I think I stated clear reasons for my opinions.
      If you disagree with my views on Cebu, that’s fine. Like I said, everyone is allowed to have their opinions.
      have a great day.
      cheers, Lash
      cheers, Lash

  11. Lemski

    First of all, I respect your views, and I applaud your honesty, save for one thing: the photos. Obviously, some, if not all of them, don’t reflect Cebu but areas in Luzon such as Tagaytay. They are therefore irrelevant to the main subject of your post. Let’s just be fair, all right? Thank you.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello Lemski,

      Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for respecting my personal views. As you clearly know, everyone’s entitled to their opinions.
      Thanks for pointing out the potential photo inconsistencies. Let me go double check that!
      I’m certainly happy to be fair. :)

      cheers, Lash

      1. Lemski

        Thanks, Lash. I appreciate it.

  12. Merito

    Why do you need to double check. the pictures you have posted.. would that mean you are not sure of what you’re doing.. Those pics are not of CEBU except the first one and you are clearly misleading your readers!!!!

    To be honest with you are such a typical tasteless, bargain hunter who doesnt have an idea of what you are doing… telling the world your a blogger…. My dear, you are an American.. but we can write better than you!!

    You are so amazingly an asshole!!!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello Merito,

      It’s very clear that you are unhappy with my article and are angry.

      This week I’ve had a dozen angry Philippines, like yourself, make angry and rude comments on this post, attacking both myself and my article.

      I would certainly appreciate a more mature and less volatile response to my article. Are you aware that:

      1. Calling me names and attacking my writing abilities is extremely immature.

      2. Your anger is very clear, not only to myself but to everyone on the internet who happens to read this article.

      3. Responding in such an immature and angry manner mainly reflects on you as a person, not on me or my article.

      4. By responding this way, you are displaying angry and immature Philippine behavior. Is that how you want to portray yourself and your countrymen?

      Although I deleted several other angry, attacking comments on this post, I’ve decide to post and reply to yours so that everyone can see the kind of comments many Philippines are leaving on my website in response to my personal views and opinions on Cebu City.

      I hope that perhaps the many other angry readers who are inclined to make more immature, angry and insulting comments to me here will pause to consider what image they are making of themselves.

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and views,including myself. I’m sorry if your views do not match mine in regards to Cebu City.

      Thankfully, several other Philippines have responded in a much more mature and level-headed manner. You can see their useful comments and my responses to them here.

      Please consider their comments as examples before you decide to continue attacking me.

      Also consider this: I happen to love Singapore city. However, I constantly meet people who hate the place and make negative comments about the city. I do not get angry at them for disliking Singapore or for having a different opinion than mine. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I’m more surprised that they don’t see how wonderful Singaopre is and I’m curious about why they dislike it. That’s nothing to get angry about, in my opinion.

      Please show the readers to this site that you, too, can make mature, non-violent responses to my article.

      Thank you very much. cheers, Lash

  13. oldwhore

    Are you sure you’ve been to Cebu? Coz’ those pictures are obviously not in Cebu. Those pictures above are obviously in Luzon.

    Also, I have observed that you don’t have a sense of fashion. Look at yourself you ugly old whore. You looked so cheap on what you wore. Obviously, you can’t afford luxurious brands like LV, Gucci, Hermes, Prada, etc. Your fashion is nothing compared to Cebu’s elites.

    Damn you asshole. You don’t have any credibility bitch!

  14. kolambirai

    this is nonsense….posting pictures which are not in Cebu? you are crazy fugly old woman…

  15. mystique

    FUCK YOU OLD UGLY BITCH! GO TO HELL AND ROT!!!

  16. Noelfy

    Guys!

    I cannot believe what I am reading!! Are you really filipinos?? I can’t believe that either. It seems like a troll for me. Filipinos are the sweetest and honest people I ever meet.
    Why are you attacking the blog owner? Is there kind of jealousy about her blog?

    I am Spanish. Also solo traveler. And also, I didnt like Cebu. I spent 2 horrible days there trying to survive. I liked Sto Nino Church, Fort San Pedro… Ayala Mall is ok, but I dont have any interest with Shopping Mall. They dont represent a city.

    Too much dirtiness, corruption and hassle. I am not that lucky as Lash, they completely harasses me begging me for money, selling stuff or just trying to flirt with me and get my phone number.

    Other cities/ islands in Philippines are amazing Bohol, palawan, Mindoro, Dumaguete… These are only examples of places I love and I will always be back.

    Sorry amigos cebuanos. Your city didnt attract me at all. Does it make me less reliable?
    Let’s just behave like adults! If you dont like this or any blog just dont enter. There is many other blogs and for sure you will find another that will show how beautiful and fascinating Cebu is! ( if not, instead to attack Lash, consider starting your own blog about Cebu right now!)

    But I like this blog and I dont tolerate such behaviour against a human person. Everyone has their own opinion. And I just stated mine.

    Peace

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Thanks Noelfy,

      Well said.

      cheers, Lash

  17. whatever

    obviously,you haven’t seen the entire cebu yet.you’re a budgeted traveller.tha’s all that i can say.adios

    1. Lash WorldTour

      That’s true. I haven’t seen ALL of Cebu City. I’m sure every individual traveler to any destination gets their own personal, and different perspective, based on their interests, type of travel, and random things that happen.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  18. AngryBird

    Guys,

    I cannot understand where the hate is coming….Yes, the owner of this blog criticized Cebu and used photos that is not of Cebu, but it does not give us the right to bash her…She just did not like Cebu and that’s all.

    Let’s face it that our beloved place – Cebu, has still a lot of flaws and things to be fixed. In fact I can write more criticisms about my place than the owner of this blog, because I know there are still a lot of things to do in Cebu. However, I don’t have a blog. What I do, is each time I ran into a forum, I always comment about the shortcoming of Cebu. I even sent a letter/opinion to our local dailies.

    I can accept criticisms/I do criticize Cebu because I want Cebu to be better. I dont want it to be another poverty stricken city trying hard to become a modern metropolis…No…I don’t like it…What I imagined of Cebu, is a place of harmony and balance between being modern and being rustic…being urbanized but laid back…between having tall buildings and nice street-level views…It’s about progressing without losing our culture, history and identity.

    I am not sure if i am making sense here. But bottom line is, let’s accept the criticism of Lash World Tour…That is her opinion…We should learn to respect it and accept it as her way of wanting our place to be better.

    To the blog owner, thanks for spending your time in our place. You may not have the best experience in Cebu, and for that, I’ll say that if ever you still have the guts to visit again, I hope you’ll have better experience next time.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Well, thanks Angry Bird.

      To be honest, that’s my question, too. Why get so pissed off and express so much anger just because someone’s opinions of a place – even your own place- are not the same as yours and/or are not favorable?

      As I mentioned before, I happen to love Singapore, but I meet lots of people who hate it, listing all sorts of reasons. I dont’ feel angry or hateful towards them just because they dislike my favorite city in the world. It just makes me curious why their views are so different.

      For every city in the world, there are going to be people who love it, those who like it alright, and those who dislike it. That’s normal.

      cheers, Lash

  19. Karz

    Girl! Please low down your tone. I am a very proud cebuana. Is that what you do when you explore or visit other countries. You are pathetic. I think u should appreciate the good or positive things that u see instead of saying awful words that could hurt other cebuanos/cebuanas. U are out of control. Ur being disrespectful and ur mean. If ur a traveler u should see and experience wonderful and exciting moments NOT by discriminating and telling that our place is dull or whatsoever. I don’t like u and ur full of freckles!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Karz,

      Thanks for sharing your honest views. It’s definitely good to be proud of your hometown.

      Sorry I don’t agree with you about Cebu. I think my job as a blogger/travel writer is to report honestly how I feel and what I think about places I visit. Most places I do like, and I say so. A few I don’t like, so I also say so. My job is not to think how my views might impact that place or to lie about my impressions. After all, I’m writing real facts and my personal opinions. In this article, I did also mantion many things I liked about Cebu, not only negative points. I think my article was well balanced.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinions. And should not have to be verbally abused or personally attacked because someone else disagrees with them.

      Calling me names and attacking my character just because you disagree with my opinions is very childish and immature.

      I’m glad to see that other Filipinos are more mature and level-headed.

      In case you’re trying to insult me about my freckles…many Americans and Europeans find freckles very cute and charming. If you don’t like freckles, that’s fine by me.

      Have a great day. cheers, Lash

      Ever

  20. gihigugmakoangCEBU

    H!..i have read your comments about Cebu, but i have seen a lot of bitter views than good points.Well, if you think that you were not paid attention that much, well sorry for that, they are used to those walking aliens, and where have you been by the way? i think you were misled with your map(you better buy a good copy of it, or have it “googled” before you engage yourself into the unfamiliar, ’cause you consider yourself a TRAVELER right, you must be equipped with those preparations) like me, for instance, i search those nice places in a certain area so that i can save time,money and energy. And as a traveler, we don’t just stick in one area/place, we should stroll, discover its origin,its heritage and its history,we should explore, Cebu has 5star-hotels where you can stay with,if you have a BIG budget at hand, MOVENPICK,SHANG-RILA,WATERFRONT,BE,IMPERIAL PALACE, is for you., if you have a low budget at hand, well go for SOGO hotels,
    you can also buy good products in Cebu, you can complete your collection of girly shades in 100php only, they call it a wholesale…Cebu has very rich museums as well..all located in the downtown area..they have this very sweet dried mangoes, you should have eaten that, every tourists that i’ve met tasted it as well! and they loved it! well sorry if your expectations were mot met up. but rest assured Cebu is just a nice place to live, i love the faith of Cebuanos, i love their festivals, i love the foods, i love them!, i arrived here last 2008, and still counting for more beautiful years with this place whom they call, THE QUEEN CITY OF THE SOUTH!
    well it’s your story, and i felt sorry for that, if it ended so DULL?,
    but mine for sure will have a happy ever after!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi there,

      Thanks for telling us all the great places and things you like about Cebu.

      cheers, Lash

    2. barukdok

      it always hurts to listen to negative comments about our beloved Cebu. unfortunately, many of these are true. during my travels (just came from siem reap and bangkok recently, and kuala lumpur and singapore last year), i meet fellow travelers who have visited Cebu, and their first impressions are mostly as follows:

      1. it is boring
      2. it is unsafe
      3. the food is “bad”

      i know their are wrong, and perhaps misguided, but i do not engage them in a debate, but rather, if time permits, try to point out what they might have missed. i admit it is an exercise in futility, to argue with what their five senses and sensibilities impressed upon them upon visiting our place.

      like it or not, fellow Cebuanos, first impressions last and with all honesty, Cebu does poorly in this respect. one foreign traveler even calls our city a “charmless place.” ouch.

      but i know they are wrong, and perhaps misguided. they went to the wrong places, engaged with the wrong people, etc., etc. surely, we are not like KL, SG, SR and BKK that offer great first impressions.

      then again, shouldn’t us Cebuanos ask ourselves why can’t give a good first impression in the first place, instead of attacking every visitor who isn’t that impressed with Cebu City?

      if other cities can give a good, often great, first impression, why can’t we? this is the question we need to ask ourselves.

      1. Lash WorldTour

        Thanks for your honest input, eventhough your fellow Cebuans might get angry with you.
        Excellent idea about working to make Cebu City provide great first impressions. Maybe the Cebuans, city council and tourist boards could work together to give Cebu a face lift so that vistors like the city instead of finding it boring or dangerous?

        One point I’d like to add is that when Cebuans react with anger, verbally attack people who have negative things to say about Cebu, their reactions enforce the BAD impression thos people had in the first place. Responding with anger and name calling just makes Cebu seem even worse! Not the best way to improve your image.

        Would be great if Cebu works to improve its image for visitors . :))

        cheers, lash

  21. leslie

    hi. i am a Cebuano. I respect your opinion about Cebu, yes some of it are right.
    As a blogger, i always give justice to what I write. I do not just write solely about what I feel. I do consider (esp. writing about places) the pros and cons. In writing, there should be balance no matter how much you hate something.

    In your case, you only blurted out the negativity of the city and too little about the good side. The natural impact of the society of course will be negative. Cebuano’s, Filipinos (just to correct your spelling), usually defend what we have.

    Yes you are entitled to your opinions but do consider the responsibility of it. It would have been better if you started your article with a little on the good side and not directly on the negative ones because that is really unfair to your Cebuano readers. You see, everything about your article is unfair. And that reflects who you are.

  22. ChrisW

    Greetings Lash,

    I love reading your blog and the stories about the countries that you were in, but I just can’t help but notice that you seem to be stuck on the downtown and the ghetto part of Cebu which is also present on every countries in the world, personally speaking as a Solo traveler myself, I’ve been to Cebu a number of times.

    IMHO, since you’re in a third world country you can’t expect much like architecturally sound builds and so on and so forth, I agree it’s polluted there, they have beggars and the likes but aren’t there any pollution,beggars and the likes also in the cities in America? Europe? and also about the fashion of people around, as what I’ve checked you were stuck on the downtown and ghetto parts of Cebu, so don’t expect people there to have a high sense of fashion as you’ve expected.

    About the people doesn’t seem to mind you at all because people in Cebu are already accustomed to seeing foreigner such as myself and you around Cebu, and it’s better that way because they know how to deal and interact with you, if you want attention that badly just try to start a conversation with some locals and you’ll be surprised how well they speak in English.

    Anyway, keep up the good work.

    Cheers Chris.

  23. definelynotahater

    Hello. I’m a Filipino, and from Cebu.
    I think the same too about this place.. although not everything.
    I’m not really a traveler.. but I’ve been to other parts of the Philippines.. and yeah, Cebu is one of those overcrowded places here.
    But I believe that you’ve never been to the southern part of our place.. it’s better there.. though not fashionable as what you think maybe..they’re just cleaner and the beaches or mountains are so good..
    Filipinos BEFORE are friendlier or hospitable.. and I think it’s because of the influences of other countries that they misunderstand them and instead of using them to make this a better place, they just become “weapons” and become the opposite.
    Come on people who commented before me.. you shouldn’t hate.. why not just accept them and instead make it an inspiration to be good? Let’s accept the fact that OUR place isn’t any better than the other country. That’s their opinion.. and we should get over it by accepting it.
    I mean, I don’t hate this place either. It’s not the place that’s wrong.. it’s the people who live within them. There are good people, but mostly are not. We keep on bashing people who criticize our country but we don’t do anything to make them change their mind.
    I’m sorry ms blogger –Lash, is it? But you should go to other parts of the Philippines, like Palawan or Boracay.. it’s really good in there. ;) I’m sorry too for the haters..
    Thanks by the way for your opinions. I just hope that my fellow Filipinos will learn how to deal with them in a good way. :)

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi there,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      What I found most interesting about people getting so upset about this article is that I also mentioned several good things about Cebu. I wrote my honest impressions, both negative and positive.

      I do believe there are many GREAT places in the Philippines that i would really love, like Palawan and northern Luzon, perhaps even southern Cebu island.

      Thanks for your support. It’s great to see that many Filipinos are more calm, level-headed and can accept the opinions of people who don’t agree with them.

      cheers, Lash

    2. barukdok

      “There are good people, but mostly are not.”

      The opposite is true. Same with other places, here or abroad.

  24. crazyabie

    Hello Lash,

    It was just a honest comment…i hope when you get a chance to visit PI let me know and i will tour you around so that you will get to see the other side of the Filipinos :)

    Take care!
    crazyabie

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello again,

      Yes, if/when I head to Palawan, I’ll be sure to let you know! Do you liver there?

      cheers, Lash

  25. TravellingTheWorld

    “I found it very very peculiar that they had no reaction to a solo western woman with short platinum blonde hair, facial piercings, bright pink sunglasses, and a silk halter-style dress!”

    I know the Philippinos will not react seeing you or will not even bother looking. It is entirely because they are used to tourists coming to their city. Are you in Cebu to catch locals’ attention? Well, you won’t get it in that city.

    “The entire city seemed like one big dirty, faded, messy, broken-down ghetto”.

    I have not been to hell, but your description sounds like one, minus the Fire.

    And yes, Cebu is not a place for you. Do a careful review of a country before coming over so that you will see what you are looking for.

    And by the way, Philippino is spelled correctly as Filipino. Cheers!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HI there,

      Thanks for your input.

      No, I don’t travel trying to get attention. It’s just my own style. But I was jsut surprised, like I said, because everywhere else I go in Asia people react one way or other. it was jsut odd to get no response what-so-ever. No biggie, just odd.

      cheers, Lash

  26. Brit-Fil Couple

    I have had a very odd reaction to Cebu, although we came to Cebu after spending a month in Palawan, after originally being in Manila and Legazpi for some time.

    The first thing I MUST say is that Cebu is NOT typical of the Philippines, and Cebuans are NOT typical of most Filipinos.

    I am currently here in Mactan island, Cebu, with my Filipino partner from Bicol. Her reaction to Cebu is much worse than mine, and she seems to agree totally with you.

    We came here with high expectations, with both of us thinking that the place would be as nice as many websites portray it to be.
    But no, we have seen many unsmiling faces, and shop staff that just ignore you. Manila, Legazpi, Boracay and Puerto Princesa are so different, so much nicer, so much more friendly. I found it hard to believe. I had read on one website that Cebu City is the Queen City of Smiles. I like to see smiling people, but it just isn’t working here.

    My first reaction, on checking in to our first hotel was that very few people here seem to smile, unlike in most other parts of the Philippines, and after two days I mentioned this to my partner, and she then told me how much she was disliking this part of her home country.

    She even had trouble being understood and understanding the local Cebuan language, as many did not understand the Tagalog language which I understand to be the closest to the national language of the Philippines.
    We now wonder if it is taught in schools, or are Cebuans so arrogant that they just refuse to accept any other dialect other than their own.
    I do not usually use the word “arrogant” but my Filipina partner has been using it here so much, that I seem to have picked up its use.

    Her comments, almost every day, revolve around the apparent arrogance of many of the locals, the tricycle drivers, the taxi drivers and many shop staff. Her attitude has never been like this before, not in Palawan, Manila or even in Australia while we were there.

    I made a mistake in coming to Cebu, we should have gone to Boracay.

    Reading the comments of some of your readers has made our feelings of Cebu even worse. My plans had been to stay here for two months, but, after one week we have been thinking of cutting it short. But now, we are wondering if it is worth trying to stick it out, if the locals are this bad.

    If the Cebuan that attacked you for your freckles is an example of the attitude of Cebu, then I should not stay long here, as I too have freckles (I am British).

    I can’t blame them for defending their place. That is only a normal reaction. But one should defend their area by LOGIC and not by attacking someone personally, which is a sign of stupidity. These kind of people are a shame to Cebu. Instead of defending with anger, just recognise the real problems as described by visitors, and try to change for the better. Unless of course you do NOT want any non local visitors to Cebu.

    My partner had never been so aggravated with people of any area. There has not been a day that we haven’t witnessed this arrogance and insensitivity, other than the day that we didn’t leave the room and that made Cebu perfect. There are also some nice people in Cebu of course but they are outnumbered by the not so nice people.

    [Partners words]
    As a Filipino, and Cebu being part of the Philippines, and Filipino language being the national language, and being taught in schools, I would expect people from Cebu to be able to speak our common language. And I can’t understand why most of the people in Cebu cannot speak the national language. I am from Bicol, we also have our own dialect but we all speak the national language. This adds to my curiosity why the Cebuanos cannot do the same.

    They promote their place as a tourist destination, so do they consider other Filipinos visiting Cebu as tourists or not? If they do, then surely the national language is very important, as it is after all supposed to be the language of all Filipinos.

    There are also some that try to converse in Tagalog, but they seem to find it difficult, and I wonder why. They learn Tagalog in school, and most TV programs are in Tagalog, so why??? Why do they seem unable to understand and speak this National language.

    Some have said that the only important languages in Cebu are Cebuano and English, but that is wrong. The NATIONAL language should be the prime important language, NOT a local dialect. Other Filipino regions recognise this, what is different in Cebu ? One answer we have heard is that the Cebuanos speak good English, so it is OK, however, I have found that this is not the case when compared to other Filipino regions. The percentage of GOOD English speakers seems lower in Cebu than in the other regions I have visited, in my 87 days in the Philippines during the last year.

    [me again]
    As a generalization, maybe 1 out of 10 people is Okay compared to like 7 out of 10 in other parts of the Philippines, in my opinion.

    A thought just occurred to me. All my previous reviews in the Philippines have all been positive with just a few negatives. This is my FIRST mainly negative review in the Philippines. This says something in itself about our experiences here.

    That’s all for now, but we still have 2 weeks left here, but do we need to be here for so much longer, to experience the positives that other areas show in the first day or so.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi there.

      Thanks for all your comments and sharing your experiences. Very interesting to hear the response of your Filipino partner.

      VEry good to me to hear that other places you’ve visited in PHilippines are quite different. I’ve always suspected that many other places in the country must be wonderful and I should head back over to visit some of them.

      Enjoy the rest of your travels around Philippines.

      cheers, Lash

    2. barukdok

      dear “Fil-Brit” other half. there you said it, why resentment for the “National” language is so strong in these parts. it’s only national by virtue of law and by virtue of Imperial Manila, not by consultation. check again what percentage of the Philippines speaks Cebuano. the resentment to use the “national” language is not as simple as you think and the last thing us Cebuanos need is somebody from up there who lectures us about this deeply seated problem. then again, you sound more like you’re from Davao than Bicol and/or Brit.

  27. anthony

    I find it odd that some pictures posted in this blog are not of Cebu. While some are not the recent pictures of Cebu when this blog was posted. Could have been more authentic and credible. Plainly bad taste. What a shame.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HI Anthony,

      Yes, sorry about that. Those are the closest photos i could find to illustrate what I was saying. The photos ARE ALL from the PHilippines and, to my eyes at least, are good representations of what Cebu City looked like when I was there.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      cheers, Lash

  28. Marie Van Rensburg

    Hi Lash, I am from Beautiful Cape Town SA,! I do not have an option,I have to live in Cebu. My son is married to a Phillipno,they work abroad ,I am looking after there house here in Cebu. I am terribly sad and lonely here,and do not get on with the helper,,I have been divorced for a very long time ,this is no place for a white single ag womanat all! My son means well, but wow wow ,huge surprise,big no no! Barocay amazing,I must say! M

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Marie,

      Oh, dear. I’m sorry to hear that you’re ‘stuck’ in Cebu if you don’t like it there! That’s really a pity. I hope you can soon live in a place you like better – maybe return to Cape Town?

      Best luck! cheers, Lash

  29. Juan

    Unbelievable…

    I’m a Filipino, born and bred in Manila, a traveler, and I also have freckles.

    so far –
    (-) Manila is the worst city in my list; next is Cebu
    (+) Philippines is still best at powdery sand beaches

    To Lash’s readers who still love to see the best of PH, there’s a direct flight now from SG to Boracay. Check out TigerAir.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      hi Juan,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting… and for your support.

      I will have to get back to other areas of the Philippines like Palawan and northern Luzon, both of which I think I’d love.

      Thanks for hte tip on Tiger Airways, too.

      cheers, Lash

      1. Juan

        Glad to know that the abuse here isn’t stopping you from visiting PH again.

        I can’t say for sure you’ll be impressed with Palawan. I’m guessing (I hope I’m wrong), that it will be like Boracay by the time you get back. Palawan, just like Boracay, are great places to visit 10 years ago.

        Far north (check out Batanes) and south (don’t be intimidated by the terrorist attacks; they’re not true. Check places like Siquijor, Camiguin, Guimaras) are surely the best places to visit. You’ll know why I say our beaches are still top of the line.

        The culture in these places is still Filipino, unlike the main cities that is more like “American Idol” inspired.

        1. Lash WorldTour

          Hi Juan,

          No, the abusive comments from loyal Cebuans haven’t put me off from visiting Philippines again. Those people are very immature and I’m sure they don’t represent all Philippinos or Cebuans. I didn’t even publish the most abusive comments! …of course I have no interest in returning to Cebu, comments or no comments.

          Thanks for hte tips on visiting your country.

          cheers, Lash

  30. Juan

    Unbelievable comments…

    I am a Filipino, born and bred in Manila, a traveler, and I also have freckles.

    So far…
    (-) Cebu is the 2nd worst city in my list, next to Manila
    (+) PH still has the best powdery white sand beaches

    To Lash’s readers who still want to see the beauty of PH, check out direct flights from SG to Boracay (TigerAir) or Clark.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hey, Juan..

      thanks for the back up. Glad to hear that even some Filipinos have the same reaction to Cebu as I did. :))

      And thanks for the flight tips. :))

      cheers, Lash

  31. Sara

    HI Lash,

    I know this is kinda late reaction but I would like to chime in.

    First of all, thank you for not sugar-coating it. Im from Cebu and I have to say, it’s not the best city in the world. I feel sad reading comments from my fellow Cebuanos attacking you, I respect it. We have the tendency to flip out when we hear unpleasant comments about our city. I have to tell you, deep inside, we have complains about the transportation, pollution, cleanliness, etc but still, we love this city. This is where we grew in and there are lots of memories here.

    Please don’t take it personally when people ‘ignore’ foreigners like you, we are used to seeing all sorts of ethnicity around here. Some of us even have American, Iranian, Kenyan classmates at school.

    If only you had more time to go around the province, Im pretty sure you wold like the islands of Bantayan, Camotes, and Malapascua. Well, if there is a next time, I suggest you visit these islands at least. When my boyfriend toured around the Bantayan island with a rented motorbike, he was so amazed that everyone wave their hands and say Hi. See, it’s different in some parts of the province.

    I admire you for giving honest opinions about our city. Hopefully next time, you will see more of it to even things out.

    To my dear fellow Cebuanos:

    Everyone has mixed reactions about Cebu and it’s still no reason to call Lash names. It doesnt reflect on Lash but on you. She is not writing for a tourism magazine to promote places but she is merely giving her opinions and observations about the city.

    Sara

    1. Lash WorldTour

      hI Sara,

      It’s never too late to chime in!

      Thanks much for your level-headed and open-minded response to my post about Cebu. thanks also for explaining more about your city, the aggressive response of some of your fellow Cebuans, and the nearby islands.

      Yes, I’m sure there are many places in the Philippines that I would really love. Sorry your city wasn’t one of them. Hopefully I’ll get back to discover the great places in your country. :))

      It’s good to know that not all Cebuans are ‘hot heads’ and flip out at people. And as you can see from the comments, you’re not the only one who’s written in a more open-minded and level-headed manner.

      Thanks again for stopping by and pitching in.

      cheers, Lash

  32. mischa

    Hello there, I’m filipino but not a cebuano and I just read your blog. I’ve been to Cebu so many time since it is probably the city in the Philippines that I visit the most for various reasons. I honestly loved Cebu and had no problems there since I can also speak their dialect which was indeed convenient. But while I loved the place, I somehow agree with some of your posts. It is dirty but not as dirty as Manila though. But like what most posters here say, Cebu and Manila is not the representation of the whole country. And filipinos are generally pleasant to talk to, especially if they find you interesting. As for the fashion sense, a lot of cebuanos are fashionable especially if you go to the malls. But people have different preferences in that area. What is acceptable to you might not be acceptable to them and vice versa.

    I was even surprised that one poster said that he/she read in a website that Cebu is the Queen City of Smiles (not sure if i read it correctly though). Cebu is the Queen City of the South but the City of Smiles is actually Bacolod city in the neighboring island of Negros. I recommend that place by the way, though not as big as Cebu, but definitely cleaner, more relaxed, locals are nicer and more helpful, tasty cuisines and delicacies. I also loved Bohol but too bad, that place is in ruins right now due to that shattering 7.2 earthquake, destroying it’s main tourist attractions. Palawan is also another good place to visit. The capital, Puerto Prinsesa is the cleanest City in the country and it is developing really fast. El Nido town in Palawan probably has the most scenic view I have ever seen especially if you enjoy the nature. I really enjoyed touring the different nearby islands/islets and snorkeling. If you are fond of diving, it also offers a lot of diving sites. I heard Davao is nice too although I’ve never been there but I would love to go there someday.

    I do hope that in spite of the negative impression Cebu gave you, it will not hinder you from coming to our country again and visit other places. Because I myself do believe that even though this country has a lot of obvious imperfections, it has a lot to offer in terms of experience. But then again, people will have different perceptions. Some will like it and some will not. Wherever we go we will always encounter the negative sides of each places we visit. But should we let the negative outweigh the positive then we will never be happy with our trip which is a waste of expenses and effort.

    I wish you luck on your travels and expect more from it in your blogs. Have a nice day.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Mischa,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views about Cebu.

      Yes, I”m quite sure there are several other places in the Philippines that I would love! In fact, rolling through Negro by bus, I thought I would probalby like it there. Very quiet and rural. :))

      Yep, I hope to get back there and check out places more in line with my personal tastes and interests.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  33. Chango

    Hi Lash, I found your observations interesting. I am a single white male living here, and have lived here going on a year now. The City works for me because I don’t like attention, and want to be low key . I used to live in a part of Mindanao where almost every day I am being called “Hey Joe”, Hey Daddy”, Hey Dude” “Hey Man” etc all the time,, and called that behind my back; not a friendly greeting. And, that caused me to not to go out of the house much. I got tired of those encounters fast. Interestingly, when I was with my girl friend, I didn’t get those name callings, or if I did it was rare.

    At least here in Cebu City I don’t get that non sense at all. At seems like here in Cebu City, people don’t need so much attention, or not as much as where I came from. I can go out at night without drawing much attention. Overall, people don’t pester me much or pay me much attention, and that is the way I like it.

    There is however some subtle signs that people want me to pay attention to them here, but not so direct. Sometimes when somebody passes by me, they will start to sing in English for no apparent reason, and sometimes I do get alot of unnecessary staring from people, usually men.

    Your points about fashion didn’t connect with me, because I guess I am not so interested in fashion.

    You mentioned that people didn’t seem interested or concerned in things so much. I will tell you my observation about what I think interest them and that is cell phones. I always see people messing with their cell phone here constantly. So, there is something that fascinates them. Just my observation. Please Cebuanos and Cebuanas don’t be offended. It is just an observation.

    Pollution is pretty bad, and could be improved upon.

    There are some parks here, and I do live by one of them and enjoy walking around there in the morning to get some fresh air.

    Well that is my 2 cents. I did like your article and thought it was balanced with the positives and negatives. I was taken back by all those people attacking you personally. Yes, you are right immature.

    I enjoy living in Cebu City. There is some negatives, but many places here for me to retreat and regroup.

    Take care, and enjoy your travels.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      HI Chango,

      Welcome! And thanks much for adding your ‘2 cents’.

      So there you go – a GOOD reason to enjoy Cebuans totally ignoring you! Nice one. Glad you hear you enjoy living there. Everyone likes different places for different reasons.

      As you can tell, Cebu City was definitely not for me. But clearly it works well for some people, like yourself.

      Yeah, all the foul personal attacks were pretty bizarre. :)

      thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, lash

  34. Frank

    Hello Lash,

    I don’t know how I landed on your travel blog.
    But I find it hilarious and everything you said is spot on.
    I am an american and I have lived in Cebu on and off the past 8 years and it is really so humorous your initial impressions.

    I actually like Cebu for other reasons but I can relate to the accuracy of all your observations. I have also traveled over many parts of the world. We should compare notes sometime…

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello Frank,

      Ok, thanks for concurring with my observations… since you’ve been living there off n on for many years, you’ve got a much more experienced view on the city.

      I’ve heard a couple other western men mention that they like Cebu City, though they did not specify the reasons.

      Yes, would be great to compare notes sometime.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  35. Brenda Maige

    Hi Lash, I totally agree with your observations about cebu. On behalf of cebu citizens, I’d like to ask a sincere apology for them. They are the typical egoistic cebuano who always uplift their self and sugar coat the features of the city despite the nasty facts that surround it. Most of those people who bashed you are ignorants, just bare with them. Hihihi. You actually nailed it all the way you described cebu city. Its DIRTY and FILTHY, thats the fact they cant swallow.

    Regarding those tourists who like cebu a lot, they come there for sex. Cheap sex workers are everywhere in the city be it a girls, gays and transgenders so no wonder several foreign tourists love cebu a lot.

    In case you visit Philippines again, I encourage you to visit Davao city instead. Just google it for your own reference. Just lemme know and I would love to accompany you just in case you need. :) cheers!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Brenda,

      Welcome!

      Thanks for your support. Yes, I understand what you’ve said about the particular Cebuans who have ‘bashed’ me here due to my personal opinions about their beloved city. No worries – it reflects on them, not me or my opinions.

      Yes, I saw some of the very young girls out on the streets there, in very over done make up. It was rather heart breaking. I hope the guys who’ve commented here on my blog about loving Cebu are not in the habit of buying such girl’s services. In my opinion adult prostitution is fine IF all involved are there in a consensual manner, but child prostitution is abhorrent.

      I’m sure there are many places in teh Philippines I’d LOVE, as I mentioned. I hope I can visit them sometime in the future. Thanks for kind offer to accompany me. :)

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  36. Lovethebuzz

    Thanks for filling us in about Cebu city. I’m glad your not a brand slut like some of your detractors. The only reason you would want to go there is cause its cheap… They don’t have a great reputation of culinary achievement or cultural interest other than the their human meat markets. Sounds like a place to avoid.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi there LoveTheBuzz,

      Glad you appreciate my candid post about Cebu.

      Actually, I didn’t find it cheap at all compared to other SE Asian destinations! Accommodation was quite expensive! Street food about teh same price, but not as tasty as other countries’ cuisines. So I found ti expensive and not so interesting. :(

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  37. european jetsetter

    Hi lash,

    Cebuano people are very proud of their city and culture thats why theirs too much rage on your blog. Cebu and its people have strong connection with each other and consider their self family. So If one criticize one family member then they will defend it no matter what.

    I had been around the world and One of the destination i went to was New York. If I just had been only in Queens and The ghettos of new jersey then i could only Tell bad experiences, observations and conclusions about new York. I can only write how dirty it was smelly, ghettoed, dangerous and how poverty unleashed all over the place or how rude people are in China town in the lower East side

    So my point is as a traveller we cant generalize the place we’d been to and talking trash about it If we werent able to experience the whole package that this place has to offer. Maybe we just experienced 1/3 of it.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi there,

      Yes, I’ve noticed that Cebuans are very proud and don’t deal well with any criticism. That’s their priority, of course.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your perspectives.

      Yes, I suppose if you’ve visited Queens you might have the views you’ve mentioned here. And I think it would be fine and good, even, to write about your true experiences and views to let other people know what Queen is like / was like for you. Honesty is good in travel writing.

      I appreciate your point.

      In your case, if you were only talking about Queens and not the rest of NYC, it would be good to mention that. In my case, I think I saw most of Cebu City while exploring for a week. Perhaps I missed some areas, though? I certainly am not talking about the whole of Cebu Island. Just the city.

      In any event, thanks for stopping by and adding your perspectives. Much appreciated.

      cheers, Lash

  38. John

    I beg to disagree, I’m a Malaysian and been staying in cebu for quite sometime now and I found this place better than some cities in Malaysia. Well the author might have gone only to the downtown side of cebu and lapu-lapu city she might have missed out that the places she has been to were places that she can only afford on a tight budget. hahaha

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi John,

      Welcome!

      Thanks for stopping by to read and to add your perspectives of Cebu City as an expat Malaysian. I’m glad you like living in Cebu. Yes, I’m sure it’s quite different for those living on an executive or expat lifestyle there, as every place in the world is different for different classes of people.

      Thanks again for your comments.

      cheers, Lash

  39. nytes

    your blog is horrible, while mkre than 90% of the tourists were more fascinated about the whole Cebu Island, yours is completely in contrast. the casual tourists would usually go to touristy areas. one piece of advise tk you folk is, don’t go somewhere if you don’t have a comfortable amount of bucks in your pocket. i’ve been to some places in SEAsia, yeah it’s absolutely true that im fascinated with Singapore as it is the heaven for tourists but wasn’t impressed about Malaysia and Indonesia, yeah even KL looked third world to me.
    paying 400 or 500 pesos for pension i wonder what room room would look like, the cheapest Inns, Pensionnes or Small Hotels that i’ve known costs about 850 to 900 pesos a day.
    to sum it up, you’re a poor tourists who better jot to go there because you have nothing and money, how could you enjoy when you cant even afford to stay at posh Cebu City Hotels and ultra luxurious hotels and resorts in Mactan Island. You cant even afford to go to the more presentable malls in Cebu City and bustling modern business areas.
    reading your blogs is nerve-racking and jaw-dropping as it is the complete opposite.

    advise to you is, when you go somewhere, make sure to have enough penny so you can see and roam around better places in the areas you go to and not chose to stay in a rugged, dusty and freaking area because of your tight budget, that us an uncharacteristic if a tourist.

    hooe you won’t delete this comment.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello Nytes,

      Thanks for stopping by and for adding your persepectives. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and views. So are you. and so am I.

      As I replied to a few other angry commentors here, there’s no reason to attack me personally and call me names just because you disagree with my opinions. That is immature and not neccessary.

      As for traveling style…Everyone is also entitled to the way they want to travel. There are many budget travelers around the world. And that’s fine, too. Not everyone has to be a middle range or luxury travel. To each her own.

      Anyhow, hope you find some other blogs you enjoy reading.

      Best regards, Lash

  40. Joe Average

    Well Lash,

    What you are experiencing in these immature replies to your Blog, is the Filipinos` typical inability to accept reality.

    I`ve lived in Cebu City for 9 years now and run a corporation here. Small mindedness is rampant and almost universal. We can only hope that one day Filipinos might grow up a little bit and stop being so pathetic.

    Truly pathetic.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hello and Welcome.

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your views & insights.

      Yes, my article certainly has hit some nerves with local Cebuans. I have to agree that many responses show a clear immaturity and lots of anger.

      On a good note, though, several other people have expressed much more level-headed, mature views. So that’s a great sign.

      Congrats on your corporation and I Hope it continues to thrive there.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  41. OneCebu.com

    Hi LastWorldTour.com

    Good day. Nice to read your views on us. :)

    We respect your opinion but you need to know these points…

    Cheers!

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi One Cebu,

      I’m LashWorldTour, not LastWorldTour. :)

      Thanks for respecting my opinion. And thanks for adding your Cebu site info. so others can check things out from your perspective.

      I’ve removed the link from within your message as that’s too self-promotional, but I have kept the main link to your site.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      cheers, Lash

  42. Maria

    I really agree with this writer.I find Cebuanos to be very unkind,gossipy and jealous kind of people.If someone is fat they don’t hesitate to call them baboy which means pig and then they will all laugh about it.I’m a foreigner but have a Filippino spouse so I’m pretty much forced to stay here but if I had an option I would have left this place a long time ago.I even saw a Filippino making fun of a handicapped person and I just felt like hitting him.Really be very cautious to get married to a Filippino since you can’t own land as a foreigner.Let me give you an example what happened to an American guy I know..He met this woman who was extremely nice and caring and they got married.He bought a house for her put up a sari sari store etc for her to run and operate.After one year she reports him to the police and claims that he has been beating her etc.She also claimed that he was doing illegal staff,well he had to escape really fast and try to leave some of his things with his friends if not he could have got up to ten years in jail.There are countless of stories like this and I just heard so many of them because I have been here for 16 years.I have had Filippino friends borrowing money and never pay back,just find them very dishonest in general and very calculating.It’s almost like they are proud to marry off their daughter to a 80 year old foreigner just because he has money.Here we talk about the majority of them are Catholics but what kind of basic family values do you really have if you approve of that.

    1. Lash WorldTour

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for stopping by to share your views and experiences as a long-term expat in the Philippines.

      I didn’t stay in the country long enough to learn about the international marriages you’re talking about. However, I have seen very similar stories over and over again between Thais & foreigners and between Indonesians and foreigners. My personal observations have been that in such poor developing countries there’s part of the local population who set out to marry westerners in order to upgrade their lives. It’s basically gold-digging. Quite unfortunately, as you’ve pointed out, a lot of those gold-digging locals do terrible things to their western spouses such as take all their money, get them to buy local land/business/house and then take it from them, turn them in to police on false charges, etc etc.

      However, it’s certainly not a large portion of the local populations involved in such scams and gold-digging. Fortunately, it’s just a small percentage of people. Any westerners who visit such countries, and become interested in marrying a local, should really live in the country for at least one year to see what’s really going on. Otherwise, they’re putting themselves in a precarious situation…as unfortunately you found out.

      I also do know several western men who’ve married great Thai women and have long, happy successful marriages….as well as a few western/Indonesian couples. So there are some happy outcomes amidst the wreckage.

      I hope that if you really want to leave and get out of your marriage that you can do so. Go for it!

      Best luck and hugs to you, Lash

  43. wazwallaby

    hi there, just found this site n have some comments…yes, there is a stiff formality and even a shyness among filipinos paritcularly the further away from manila…u seemed a little unhappy noone was responding to you haha i am sure it wasn’t personal..i would suggest it was gender. As some readers pointed out, western men get stopped/attention/’harrassed’ all the time out on the streets, but women not. I have trvelled there a number of times on business with my sister, tall, blonde, blue eyes..she is invisible and I am targetted and bothered ceaselesly when we r out n about. There is though a good level of engagement in certain aspects..out on Bohol people are warmer and it feels more homely…about the architecture, yes, but that’s common all over SEAsia as capitalism consumes local traditions n aesthetics..for a range of reasons I find Cbu quite pleasant..and u don’t mention that the level of english is good n very helpful in business..well, keep on travelling

  1. Travel Bloggers Best Dozen Project - LashWorldTour » LashWorldTour

    […] to change people’s minds about this aspect of world travel…5. Most controversial: Arrival in Cebu City, PhilippinesOh, boy. I just happened to not like Cebu City, Philippines, so I wrote my honest perspectives on […]

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