When i went home from Terraces on Day 1, I was still up and about, inside my hotel room. I should blame my body clock for not adjusting very well because I really couldn't sleep. All night, i was just watching TV and munching on the food i took home. At around 4am though, i was starting to get sleepy. By the time i was ready to close my eyes, i was horrified to see blood coming out of my nose. No, my nose was not bleeding due to my inability to understand most of the people around me. It was a literal nosebleed. I immediately went online to check what could have caused it. I was because of blowing my nose so hard, everytime i couldn't reach dirt inside my nose. Sigh. Because of that, i stayed awake until 7am. So i woke up at 3pm again.
By this time, i resolved i will not visit the Taoist Temple, and it was a Sunday, so i figured i should attend church service. My stomach was grumbling so i headed out to AA BBQ along A. S. Fortuna.
From the hotel, it cost me 91 bucks to AA BBQ. It was the same set up as Larsian, but more open space. It was much more relaxing, that when it rained hard, i felt a sudden drop in the temperature.
Even before securing a table, i had to go to the front to tell the lady what i wanted to eat. Then i looked for a seat and gave my copy of the order to a waiter. Forgive me, i didn't really know anything so i didn't order their chorizo. What i got was the normal meal, a stick of pork bbq, liempo and chicken thigh. Again, the food tasted the same, but they had tomatoes (which i love) soaked in what seemed to be a mix of vinegar and a bit of soy sauce. I was torn between the yummy atsara and tomatoes when it comes to the better partner for the grilled goodies i ordered...
While eating, i was searching for the Victory site in Cebu. On the net, i found two, one in J Centre Mall and one in Escario. I didn't really know where to go and it was already 5pm. I took a chance on J Centre Mall since it was just along Fortuna. Thank God i made that choice because the service was just starting when i arrived. It was awesome to see that there's not much difference in the way the service is set up in Cebu. I felt like i never left Regis except for the part that i didn't join a small group session that day.
After service, i went straight to Sunburst along Mango Ave. Mango Avenue is like the night life hotspot in Cebu. I didn't go around though. After all the grilled stuff i ate, i was yearning for something fried.
Sunburst Chicken is like the answer to Jollibee, but the interior is set up for family dinners than fast food fare. There were chicken figurines lining the walls, and instead of a counter, i had to order at my table, which was great.
I asked what was their specialty and the server told me about their chicken (of course). One of my friends had told me about their coleslaw so i ordered the two-piece chicken set with fries and coleslaw, and of course, mango juice.
Their chicken tasted so close to Jollibee, and if i were to choose between the two, i would choose Sunburst. Although KFC also serves coleslaw, theirs tastes like something canned and frozen. Sunbursts' coleslaw felt fresh and light. I will go back to Sunburst. Soon.
It was raining kittens and puppies, so i had to go back to the hotel. I thought i could go to Tops that night, but the weather wasn't cooperating. I came back around 8pm. i was supposed to meet some Path friends at 930pm at Zubuchon just outside the hotel (they didn't come).
After a quick nap (forced my body to rest by lowering the AC temp), i went to Zubuchon for their lechon. People will really call me stupid if i went to Cebu without eating lechon.
Zubuchon is known for Anthony Bourdain's best-pig-ever quip on No Reservations. I remember watching that episode but i had forgotten it was about Zubuchon.
The place is right along Escario, in front of 7-11. The central theme is red and white and i couldn't decide whether to label it as fast food or resto-ish. Anyway, the staff will greet you soon as you enter the door and you will be given a seat with the menu ready at hand.
I wanted to try the Kamias shake and lechon but both were not available. Argh!
I ordered the mango shake and pritchon instead. Pritchon is just fried lechon. Same thing, almost. But not as tasty as lechon. I was quite disappointed so i made sure to ask what time they opened the next day so i could drop by before i went to the airport.
After the not so happy dinner, i stayed in my hotel room to watch more 90210 on Velvet. When i got hungry by 1am, i was surprised to see 7-11 and McDo closed! yes, both of them. I had to order from Mcdo delivery which, surprisingly, came around 45 minutes instead of the promised 1 hour wait. I got a double cheeseburger with fries and coke, and threw in an apple pie for sweets. Again, i stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, slept at 8am and woke up at 11am.
After checking out of the hotel, I went back to Zubuchon and thank God there was lechon! Finally!
No Kamias shake again, so i settled for their calamansi mint shake, which tasted like calamansi shake.
Anyway, more importantly, i got what i wanted. Lechon!
I ordered the half-kilo serving, and i wasn't really sure about that serving size until i got it. It was good enough for two people. I immediately ate the skin. Oh, that skin. I limited myself to 3 pieces of skin. I didn't wanna die on the plane. The meat was well cooked. Instead of mang Tomas, they recommended that i use their vinegar and soy sauce, which were perfect for the lechon. I didn't finish the whole plate and had to brown bag what was left.
I was bitin. I really wanted to taste their other dishes but i was running out of time. Yes, so far, Zubuchon is the best pig ever for me too. No words could ever describe the difference between the Manila lechon i'm used to and Zubuchon. Next time, i'll try CnT and see what the fuss is about too.
After the satisfying lunch, i had to get a cab to go to Gaisano for pasalubong. Most taxi drivers said no. One older taxi driver said yes right away. He was a bit chatty, although when i have established that i was from Manila, he still spoke a bit of Cebuano. Talking to taxi drivers is good therapy for me. I can know which ones are good natured, and which ones are just answering back in phrases. Well, most of the time.
I arrived at the Metro Gaisano in Mactan. I went straight to the grocery area at the basement and snagged the goodies while mentally announcing who they were for. It was a good thing the store offered to box my stuff, because i wouldn't know how to carry all those plastic bags.
After that, i went back to the airport. I had to check in my backpack and box, go through the security counters (where they asked me to remove my shoes!) and wait by the boarding area. There were some stores inside, but man, the prices were marked up so high. The dried mangoes i bought in Gaisano for 34 bucks was at 70 bucks at the airport. Good thing there's Gaisano!
Imagine my non-surprise when the flight was delayed for more than 30 minutes. Again, no airplane pictures. Sigh.
i arrived in Manila at around 7pm. Note again: take the airport taxi if you have extra budget. The fixed rate was at 600 bucks. When i arrived home, the meter was only at 200-ish. I paid 300 for just for the joy of being back home.
The lechon skin was already soggy when my cousins ate what i brought home. I should ordered the more, i guess.
All in all, this Cebu trip was a good way to get away from it all. At times, i felt like i was just in Manila, maybe due to the lack of city/culture tour, but the vibe was different. Whenever i heard people talk in Cebuano, i really felt like a tourist trying to imagine what they were all talking about. I even thought of living in Cebu, but nah, I will be where my family is.
God is good to me. This trip also made me realize how much blessed i am, that i was able to make this trip, and have the budget to go. I may have never seen the beauty and wonders Cebu may offer, but the food says so much about the city. I will come back, maybe with friends next time. But for now, i will still be traveling all by my lonesome.
Next stop: CdO or Iloilo.