Wednesday, December 10, 2014

CEBU WEEKEND GETAWAY PART 1: Marie Lu Signing + City "TOUR?"

Last, last... last Saturday I went to Marie Lu's signing event. There have been plenty of authors who went here in our country for signings I badly wanted to be a part of. Unfortunately, both venues are too far from where I live and the closest of the two are usually during Sundays and I can't have that because of school. The first time I went, it was Gayle Forman's and that's because there's no way I'm not attending. Lucky for me, we didn't have class that Monday. Not so lucky for me, there was a storm (that was more than a couple of months after Typhoon Haiyan and in the same vicinity) and ALL trips were cancelled. I was stuck at the terminal for two freakin' days and was only able to go home Tuesday morning so yeah, at least I was only absent for one day instead of two.

The second one I went to was Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs and Veronica Rossi's book signing and that was last summer so no classes to worry about. I even got back right on time for work the following day!

Now, this. The dates were interchanged and the Cebu signing are now on Saturdays so I have plenty of time to get back home and study for my quizzes! At least, that was the plan until my sister told me she's coming (she's also a big fan) with her friend and then they started researching all the places they must see while there since this is the first time they're going to Cebu.

I freaked out when I learned that they plan to go to Oslob, a three-hour ride from the capital where the event is, to swim with whale sharks the following day. I told my sister we wouldn't have enough time for that and just go back during summertime because there's no way I'm missing class especially with the weather being funny days before our departure (deja vu?). I agreed in the end but not before threatening to choke my sister if I miss school.

And that weekend alone was more than the vacation I got last summer. Here are the places we went to:

Day 1

Marie Lu Signing, Ayala Center Cebu
Taoist Temple
Magellan's Cross
Basilica del Sto. Niño
Dinner at Zubuchon
Hangout at Cafe Talk Library

Day 2

Swimming with Whale Sharks (Oslob)
Tumalog Falls
Pump Boat ride to Dumaguete
Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries
Silliman University
Rizal Boulevard
Panda Ice Cream Haus

What an adventure! It all started at 3:30 Saturday morning when we met at the bus terminal. We decided to make it a road - and sea - trip since the view during sunrise where the bus passes is much more amazing compared to the 30-minute plane ride.

I don't have any pictures of the epic sunrise since the bus was moving but it was beautiful.

My first signing event, I went by plane so I arrived at the venue really early. The second time by bus and boat (but that was the day before signing) and by 9AM I was already at Cebu. So that was our estimated arrival provided we get to ride all the first trips aaaaand.. no, we didn't. It was already noon when we were able to register so we weren't able to hear the interview part of the event since we were getting lunch and depositing our bags and the 12 books we brought. But I got to meet Marie Lu - after 8 hours of travel! - so whatever.

Then we went to the Taoist Temple...

...and then the Magellan's Cross and to Basilica del Sto. Niño but we didn't take pictures since it felt wrong to do it inside the church.

We went back to the city to find a place to stay for the night because yes, of all the planning we made, this is the one thing that was not final. Three hotels and lodging houses later we found a cheap room where we left our belongings to, well, go to our next destination. We asked a few people if Zubuchon is near and everyone was like, "What? You mean, Cebu-chon?" And we're just looking at each other and shrugging because maybe we got the name wrong. We were tourists, after all.

Um, yeah. We have no idea why they kept saying it's Cebu-chon.

 Luckily, Zubuchon is in walking distance from the lodging house. On our way there, we passed a cafe with a library and promised to come back after dinner. But I'm going to save that trip for another post because I have a lot to talk about it. Anyway, that was our last stop for the day. I originally suggested to my sister that we try the Sky Adventures instead of going to Oslob but she told me:

"When you've ridden the Space Shuttle twice in a row, some things just kind of lose its appeal."

*borrowed this pic from

Yep. The same ride my male classmates have ridden last summer that, according to them, made them forget all the things they've learned in school.

We went back to the place we were staying in after the cafe to get two hours of precious sleep before we start another epic day. More soon!

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