Day 9: Cebu 

Breakfast at the hotel was a buffet with a selection of mainly Filipino dishes, rice, fried fish, tocino and some fatty meat. Too bad for my European friend who is very picky about food, he was lucky enough to have a toast and jam.

Since the smog and urban chaos already got into our nerves, we decided to have a day at the beach. Off we went to Maribago Blue Waters on Mactan Island which lies about 45 minutes from Cebu city. We first went to Mactan airport to see how much time we would need for our next day flight and also stock up some local currency in our portemonnaie.

Maribago Blue Waters looked very good at first. They have several pools, and if it weren’t so expensive, we would have probably stayed there. As a day guest, we still had to pay 1,500 pesos (inclusive of 700 pesos food voucher) and a towel. We wanted to have lunch there anyway. After paying for our day pass, the staff gave us a map of the resort and then we proceeded to the changing and shower rooms. There was very little water coming out of the showerhead, so I decided to just go to the outside showers.

We headed on to the beach as I wanted to check it out first. It was a man-made beach just like most of the beaches in Mactan area. I’ve read from our travel guide that the white sand of the beaches was extracted from other islands and brought to this beach. It was not necessarily a dream beach, but it was okay. On the other side was a man-made island which you can go to on foot during low tide. In the “lagoon” is quite full of seagrasses and algae. The type of green algae which only mean that the water is not necessarily clean.

From the island, we wanted to go down to the real sea but were not allowed by the staff since he told me that there was a Korean guest who was injured going down to the rocks. So we just lied there in the sun where the best seats were reserved for in-house guests.

Then we decided to just swim in the big pool. There were also loungers around. The food was alright, but unfortunately, we could only use our vouchers in one restaurant. It would have been better to restaurant-hop within the resort as one can have excellent choices of food. The service really needed some improvements. The waiter went off immediately even though we hadn’t finished ordering. Then we had to wait for over 40 minutes for our food. I’ve ordered a mango shake and got only a smoothie. In my experience, every “mango shake” I’ve ever had has either yoghourt, cream or milk in it. When I asked the waiter why their shake has no milk, he condescendingly told me that mango shake never had milk. Tsk tsk. I probably should have asked for mango juice with crushed ice. Buhuuhu!

When we’re done for the day, we returned the towels at the reception they were asked by the guards inside if we need a taxi. But what was the use of asking if you were just told to go outside the resort and take a cab from the street? Interested to see what other guests had to say? Check out the TripAdvisor review.
Next time, I would instead go to Panglao or some other cheaper but more beautiful beaches in Bohol if I would like to get away from the smog and chaos. Cebu City, by the way, is only ca. 1.5 hours from Cebu pier with Supercat and another 20 minutes with the van to Alona Beach!

On our way back, I asked the cab driver to stop by at a guitar making shop where I bought a pasalubong for my niece. Maribago is famous for its guitars, and there are countless shops around. Then we head on back to our hotel to change clothes and then, out again for dinner at the SM Mall. I accompanied my friend to a pizzeria, but I ate at the mall’s food court.

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