Chasing the Sunrise: A Cebu Getaway

All my life I always thought sunset is the most beautiful thing in the world because it’s melodramatic and convenient, by convenient meaning you don’t have to wake up early. But I was wrong. [Travel vlog is at the end of this post]

So why travel to Cebu? 14 years ago, my mother deported me to Lapu-Lapu City a day after my father was buried. I was shocked and didn’t had the time to weep for him. Two weeks in Cebu, I got engaged to my first boyfriend at Starbucks Ayala Mall. Yep, it was also Valentines Day, oh puppy love. Then summer came, surprisingly my mother called and said: “Tomorrow na flight mo pabalik ng Manila. Do not tell your boyfriend“. To cut the long story short, I was in a Romeo and Juliet love story. Cebu will always be a place where I once called “home”. And I wanted to have new memories in the city.

First quarter of the year, how shall I describe it? Siguro masasabi ko, it’s not doing great. Emotionally unstable ako, I don’t know I guess, in this season GOD is teaching me the art of trusting HIM in a deeper kind of level. I try to detach myself to most people in my life, except the ones I know I can truly trust even in church. You could say, na-traumatize ako with circumstances. I also became cynical. Now you could say, my wall is truly higher than the wall of Jericho and the LORD is bringing it down.

So, I booked myself a round-trip ticket to CEBU. I needed to pull myself together and have a date with GOD.

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First time with AIR ASIA. Well, what can I say. I dislike the airport. TERRIBLE DOMESTIC AIRPORT. Flying with Air Asia isn’t as bad as the one with PAL last February!

Also, I’m now officially a FUJIFILM user! Wuhoo!!! I’d like to advertise PERFECT SHOT for helping me out on this one. I love everything about X-A5!

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I am a bit disappointed in this airport, s’riously, why would you show an international news instead of the local ones? WHY WHY WHY.

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I thank Air Asia ground crew for giving me a seat I wanted. Tee-hee.

Such a beautiful island in CEBU. S’riously guys, we need to save mother nature! How wonderful and fearfully made by GOD.

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First time to capture this beaut, FUJIFILM at its finest.

DSCF0048I was opting for Bantayan Island on which a 3-hour drive is needed but they were fully-booked!!! So I reserved a beautiful resort in Camotes Island but it scared me a bit because they have no GLOBE signal and they were honest that wifi is not properly working. I heard it’s a very secluded island too. As you can see, I still weigh on the pros and cons when traveling alone. So I went for Mactan Island instead and found a good recommendation from TRIPADVISOR about this gorgeous resort.

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Welcome to Costabella Tropical Beach Resort

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DSCF0080I stumbled upon a great deal at AGODA and they offered few more discounts on their standard room. I also called the resort (just to check and compare prices) and they gave a reasonable price on a pool-side room since their standard room’s fully-booked. Of course, I took the bait on AGODA because I don’t need a bigger room. What I didn’t expect was that I will have to upgrade to a better room and wish I took the offer of the resort. I didn’t have photos of their standard room but if you’re traveling alone and not paranoid on old-school antique vibes you can book that room, as for me, I didn’t want to stay longer in that room. The giveaway of the room was the door — there was a crack near the doorknob and all I could think about was someone got locked inside the room. So yeah. Too much tv, huh!

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Exploring the place. Top by Topshop | Pants by a tiangge store

Another disadvantage on their resort was the check-in time, 3PM. I indicated my request for an early check-in but it wasn’t heard. Oh well, I needed to freshened up before hitting the beach though, sayang time. On the other hand, they gave me a big discount on room upgrade. Yep, charm your way in. Also, the rest of the staffs were really accommodating and helpful all throughout my stay.

Sharing you the DELUXE Poolside room.

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DSCF0133After checking in to my room, I head to the beach hoping to catch the sunset.DSCF0097

They actually have three restaurants to choose from. From the main dining area named La Marina (you can also do room service and a bit pricey) to the pool area called Brisa and they also have a tapas resto named Luna. And they have a small FRUITAS stall in the poolside which was cool. Also, you can order drinks and food at the boardwalk. So many options, I didn’t get to eat a lot. REALLY.

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The resort has their own Fruitas stand.

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Day 1 of sunset chasing: Too bad it was low tide. DSCF0098

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Oh hello. This has been my favorite spot the whole time I was there.
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Swimwear by Beyond the Beach
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This is so yummmm!!! Mango Mojito
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Well, it’s not a great place for sunset watching. BORACAY still is the place to be.

This photo is one of my fave shots! It reminded me of my dad. A week before I left Manila, I had a breakdown – I was thinking of my father, terribly missing him. I felt like it was at that moment I let out grieving for him. You never get over a death of a loved one, really, you just get used to it.

A father and daughter moment is prolly the most beautiful thing any daughter could ever have.

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Also reminded me of the verse from Isaiah 44:3: For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

“GOD is a Father to the fatherless” Psalm 68:5. I’d like to say He really is a Father to me even when my dad was still alive. He was, He is and He will always be there despite the times I’ve become distant. “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” James 4:8. My greatest fear in life is abandonment yet the LORD keeps on reminding me “Joshua 1:9 – Be strong and courageous. I AM WITH YOU.” And if you are going through the same situation as I am, let’s be encourage of this verse from Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

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DSCF0191I spent the first night in my room and watch CINEMA ONE. I know, walang CINEMA ONE on CIGNAL TV (WHY!!!) and they’re showing Richard-Dawn love team. I’m a  fan. LOL. I thought of ordering room service but then konti lang sa menu, since the dining hall was just few steps from my room, I went there, ordered and asked if I could take it to my room. PS: Tipid pa ako few bucks because room service has always double the price.

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Spaghetti Bolognese! I wasn’t really that hungry.

Second day: A Quiet Time with GOD. I wanted to wake up early to catch a glimpse of sunrise but I was too sleepy so I slept until 8am. And first things first, BREAKFAST. In need of coffee. I didn’t have an add-on breakfast, it was so pricey at 700 pesos. And I don’t think it’s even worth it! Really. Instead, the ala carte menu made it more perfect. Ordered the same for 2 days.

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Cappuccino with love
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So I had American Breakfast with my faves! Plus I got a free Banana.
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The Dining Area

It’s a lovely day, indeed. Remember the drought photo and verse from Isaiah 44:3, the Lord turned things around. It was a beautiful day in MACTAN Island.

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I’d like to call this my private cabana. Tee-hee.
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I am grateful for a lot of things… REALLY. But I’m also drowning with my cynical mind nowadays.

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I say love your curves and stretch marks. That’s our imperfect perfect beauty.
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BTS: To be honest, my feet were in scorching heat!!!!
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Swimwear by Negritas
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Panoramic Shot.
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In fairness, galing ni koya mag shot. The bottom pants from a tiangge.

Morning ’til afternoon, I was just chilling by the beach, reading, taking time to really sink in God’s voice in my heart. I needed that time… A time to remember, a time to seek His face. A time to repent. Most of the times, I fail… I do. I AM FAR BEYOND PERFECT as most people stereotyped Christians to be PERFECT. We’re not that’s why we’re CHRISTIANS.

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I went back to my room to shower. And then catch the sunset on which too bad wasn’t a good place for sunsets.

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Scenic view at night.

I slept quite early that night. And my mind was set to watch the sunrise. SO glad I did. I realized what GOD has been telling me all this time.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good, Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in HIM! The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”          Psalm 34:8, 18

“For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now! I am ready to save Jerusalem and show my glory to Israel.”                                                          Isaiah 46:13

“The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”                                 Lamentations 3:22-23

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I can’t believe I did it. I woke up at 5AM to see this beautiful beginning.
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Such a wonderful revelation, indeed!

Since it’s my last day, I wanted to swim for the last time. Yes, swim. But really, tumambay lang sa pool. LOL. I wish to find time this summer to learn swimming with bestie! DSCF1367

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Thinking I wish I know how to do lapses. LOL. Swimwear by Billabong!!! I love that brand!!! I had this set for over 6 years.

Lunchtime came, I had to checkout at 1PM (Yes, I asked for another hour. THANK YOU, COSTABELLA!!!!). I had to do what bloggers would do, maximize photoshoot. LOL.

The towel series. I just had to y’know.

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Dress by Mango, Kimono bought in Taiwan and overused sandals by Purple Sole.

Also, I found a good lighting. Don’t have time for editing. RAW photos from FUJIFILM XA-5!

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My RBF.
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The look-away pose.
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And this one, for FB profile pic. Hihihi

Overall, I’d say Costabella is a good place for a quiet time!!! Plus, I’d rate them 4.5/5 for SERVICE. They gave their best effort to make you feel like home. Except the part of check-in time which doesn’t really matter now. LOL. The food though, quite pricey and so-so. Prolly 3/5 for that.

The last two days I had in Cebu, I spent it with people I haven’t seen for quite some time. And of course, I’ve been deprived of good food in the resort. I mean, I WANT A REAL FOOD. Hihi. One of my cousins works at Goldberry Suites Hotel nearby the airport and so nice of her to give me a free stay (Feeling blogger na talaga ako! LOL). I super love my room because of the view!!! Except the noise of the street though,  if you’re a light sleeper I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you’re like me – I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

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Yes, I woke up to this view. I want to live in CEBU right after staying here.
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The Mactan Bridge.

Just to give you a sneak peek of the people I was with and where we ate, so happy my cousin Faith said yes to boodle fight!!! Happy tummy!!! I’m doing an individual post for CEBU FOOD TRIP.

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They’re really young and pretty. I’m glad I blend in with their age, don’t you think?
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The last day in CEBU was one of the highlights, went wine and dine with these ladies and I gotten to know them!!!

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Also, how can I forget about the famous lechon restaurant recommended by my bff Krish. DSCF1798

Anyway, just to share with you how GOOD GOD really is… I almost lost my wallet at Starbucks, MACTAN International Airport. Imagine that, I left it at the edge of a table and got myself pretty comfortable with another seat. I would really like to acknowledge those people in the long table who btw, were Koreans, didn’t even bothered to snatched it. Yes, praise GOD. Imagine if I lost it. I had to cancel all my credit cards right away and had to file for stolen driver’s license. And some cash that I intend to pay for the remaining bills. GAAAAAH. God is indeed in control, isn’t He? Despite my rebelliousness this season. I couldn’t even fathom His grace and mercy in my life… Also, prayer is indeed powerful. I always say this, beneath all the circumstances in life, I would rather have one day in HIS court than a thousand days elsewhere. He is the only ONE who never abandoned me, who never hurt me, who never betrayed me. I praise HIM, bless HIS NAME. TO GOD BE THE GLORY through HIS SON JESUS CHRIST!

Chasing the sunrise gave me a new hope in the midst of whatever I’m going through. When I saw how it suddenly appeared, I realized how thankful I am to be alive for another day. To seek His face again, to live and love once more. That the Lord is really good and another day means — continue to live for your purpose in life.

PS: I had an encounter with a Pentecostal Christian who is a grab driver. At first I thought wow, must be a great day to meet someone in CEBU who share the same faith. Sadly, he tried converting me to be baptized again at their church. I don’t get it, really. These people converting another Christian, in the same faith they have, the difference he said is the baptism of Jesus name. I will not elaborate it all because it’s too unnerving. So to all CHRISTIANS out there, can’t we just be in one faith and scratch all those thoughts on converting people to your so-called religions?

Lastly, here’s my VLOG # 3!!! Don’t forget to watch it. Tee-hee.

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