Day 2 is extra special because today is my youngest son’s 3rd birthday! 🎉
The little one smiled from ear to ear while we sang him “Happy Birthday” over and over. I want him to feel all the love we have to give throughout the day, so everything he wanted he got it—a bite out of his birthday cake, being carried across the hotel, a glass of mango juice, an extra three minutes in the bath tub, etc.
For Day 2, the plan is to spend the morning swimming at the beach and waterpark before heading out for our Cebu excursion. In between, my mother and her family would check in at the same hotel and join us.
Unfortunately, our excursion turned out to be a lot more complicated than what I expected.
After our morning swim, Jayson’s extended family picked us up around quarter to three in the afternoon. They brought their four kids, so we all rode a huge van to the sites we wanted to see.
Attraction #1: Mactan Shrine
We first stopped to see the Mactan Shrine, which is where the momentous battle between the chieftain Lapu-lapu and the Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan took place. It was low tide at the time so there was no water when we visited the beach where the fight ensued.
Unfortunately, Holly was cranky when we arrived, so she didn’t appreciate the place as much as I had hoped. We hurriedly took photos before leaving for our next stop: Magellan’s Cross.
Attraction #2: Magellan’s Cross
Magellan’s Cross commemorates the day when Roman Catholicism entered the Philippines. Below is a short description quoted from the website previously linked:
When he and his crews landed on Cebu island, a native chief, Rajah Humabon, met and befriended him. Rajah Humabon, his wife and hundreds of his native warriors agreed to accept Christianity and were consequently baptized.
Magellan planted a cross to signify this important event about the propagation of the Roman Catholic faith in what is now Cebu, in central Philippines.
Our visit, though, wasn’t so much for its religious significance as it was for its historical place in Philippine history. I’ve seen photos of this cross in different places—postcards, magazines, and photos on Facebook—yet I’ve not seen it up close or can’t remember ever seeing it as a child. Who knows when I’d be able to see it if I had decided to skip.
It was evening when we made our way to the plaza where the cross stood. As soon as we got down, vendors young and old approached us hawking keychains and trinkets with CEBU on them. We slowly made our way to Magellan’s Cross where two old women offered colorful candles to offer to the cross for fifty pesos. I bought one whole set, gave one to each kid, and let them offer it unlit to the cross that stood before us.
Seeing it up close was just silent and breathtaking, even if we were surrounded by the city’s noise. It’s as if I was transported back in time when the first baptism took place.
Attraction #3: Sky Experience Adventure
Since it was late, we walked back to the van for our last stop: the Sky Experience Adventure. I remember this place because Jayson and I tried their extreme attractions when we visited Cebu seven years ago. Having a daredevil as a daughter, I thought it would be a fun place to take the kids to.
Good news: We managed to brave the traffic and arrive at the building where Sky Experience Adventure was located.
Bad news: The place looked as old as it did seven years ago. The kids couldn’t enjoy the attractions because of their height. The 6D theatre was shit. The playhouse looked like something out of a suspense film. We waited for more than an hour before we could get out and have dinner because the cousins went on the sky walk.
In short, I spent a lot of money on things that couldn’t ease three very cranky kids. It was one of the worst travel experiences ever.
Dinnertime didn’t alleviate the situation either. Both of the boys fell asleep, and Holly wanted to head back to the hotel already. She kept fidgeting and whining to the point where I could only eat with one hand. We’re all super tired, yet it felt like it would take us years before we could get back to our hotel.
Overall, I didn’t get to enjoy most of the attractions in full, and I didn’t enjoy the food being served. I’m sure the kids felt the same way. 😔
It was easy for me to point fingers at Jayson for what happened, but I realized eventually that without his extended family’s company, we would’ve probably had it worse. I didn’t expect such intense traffic nor did I expect Sky Experience Adventure to be that far and awful. We probably would’ve spent 3-4x as much on GrabCars and food too.
Despite the mishaps, I decided to treat all this as experience for when I create local itineraries for future visits. One thing’s for sure, there definitely won’t be any sky adventures then.
Till then, here’s your serving of funnies courtesy of Jayson G. 😂