Three Spots in Cebu in Five Hours

Every time I visit Dumaguete, my outgoing flight to Manila is always via Cebu—at least most of the time. This is because flights to Manila from there are cheaper than from Dumaguete. There are also many natural and manmade tourist spots, including waterfalls and beaches, to visit in or outside Cebu. This option always disappoints some of my friends in Manila as they always ask for sansrival or silvanas (Now you know, friends! :D ).

This was actually about my trip last year. Before my flight, I and my couple friends were able to visit three beautiful spots in and near the city in 5 hours, almost. It was like an amazing race as I needed to catch my flight at 3PM.

The night before leaving Dumaguete, I asked my couple friends to tour me around Cebu since I had a few hours to spare—my flight was originally scheduled at noon. From Dumaguete, I took the 10:30 p.m. Ceres bus trip to Cebu and arrived in the city at around 3:00 a.m. 

Since it was still early in the morning and the couple were still asleep, I dozed at the bus terminal and woke up with a message that my flight was moved to 3 p.m. I immediately informed the couple that I had an additional three hours to spare. Our tour, however, commenced at around 10:00 p.m. because they woke up late. LOL!

The couple arrived with only one motorbike as the one I used during my last visit in the city was not available. Two were supposed to ride at the back but since we were not sure on how to get to our first destination, I booked a habal-habal (not sure what this is in English? Google will help you haha!) for PHP 400, roundtrip. 

Habal-habal drivers, located in JY Supermarket in Lahug near the IT Park, are familiar with how to get to most of the Cebu's top destinations.

First Stop: TIEZA Botanical Garden in Busay

Located in a secluded and elevated farm in barangay Malubog, it took us about an hour to get here as we had to pass by landslide-hit, narrow, and slippery roads. The farm, previously known as Kan-irag Golf Course, is now being managed by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

This spot offers a mini-lake, pine trees, unleashed goats and cows, fresh air, and a nice overlooking view of downtown Cebu. 

There’s no entrance fee here but you are always free to give cash donations. Thirty minutes later, we were off to our next destination. 

Second Stop: Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden in Busay

Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden is located along the highway on our way back so we stopped by and paid a visit. Flowers at this spot are perfectly arranged to form flower terraces.

These terraces are said to be the first and only in the country. They also have a cafe located at the top and homelike cabanas where you can relax. Entrance fee is at Php 100.00. We left here after 20 minutes.

Last Stop: 10,000 Roses Cafe in Cordova

Before heading to this spot, we stopped by at the couple’s apartment to freshen up. I booked Grab ride to this cafe for about 350 pesos (less 30% off - promo code) while the couple went ahead using their motorbike. It was traffic that time and I was still at the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge at around 12:40 PM. The driver said that I would definitely miss my 3 p.m. flight if I would still visit this cafe. 

I had missed a couple of flights already so I couldn’t afford to miss another one. I asked my friends if I could still make it on time to the airport and they confidently said Yes. So I proceeded and arrived at this cafe at around 1:20 p.m.

Built at the end of the Cordova Tourism Center, the 10,000 artificial white roses can be found at the front lawn of the two-storey cafe. Many said it’s best to visit this spot during night time since these are LED flowers. Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant is just beside this cafe but we were not able to grab some food since our time was very limited. Time was running, so we only took a few pictures and drove to the airport. The entrance fee, by the way, is Php 20.00.

I arrived at the airport at 2:35 p.m and luckily, the flight was delayed. The plane left at 4 p.m and landed in Manila past 5 p.m., took a nap at home and reported to work at 11 p.m. Amazing, eh?

That’s how we were able to visit three tourist spots in Cebu on very limited time. These are just among the many beautiful places the city of Cebu and its nearby areas have plenty to offer. Book a two- or three-day stay for you to enjoy and wander most of these places.

And oh, if you are going to visit these spots, try visiting Sirao Garden, the little Amsterdam of the Philippines, too. It is located just around 2 km north of TIEZA Botanical Garden. 

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