My trip to the Philippines was short but sweet. This unique archipelago has a lot of gorgeous little secrets that makes it so special.
From Hong Kong in less than three hours with Cathay Pacific airlines, I arrived in paradise at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort.
A little oasis called Shangri-La Mactan Resort
As I landed and was leaving the airport, I had the chance to observe the everyday life of local people. There were little shop stands of food, clothing, and handmade items that the locals sell to make a living. The roads were crowded with traffic and people everywhere but what amazed me the most was the friendliness of the people. Everyone greeted me and this made me feel instantly welcomed. Arriving at the hotel Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa was such a nice feeling due to a genuine, kind, and helpful staff.
The view from Ocean Wing room where I was staying was so inspirational that it immediately drew me down to the beach.
The feeling of smooth sand made me felt connected to nature. As I put my feet in the water, I was suddenly surrounded by beautiful colorful little fish. The resort also provided some great relaxation activities such as yoga, snorkeling, jogging, and scuba diving. Of course, I took advantage of them all!
At the end of such a great experience and doing all kinds of activities, I spent some time relaxing at the restaurant Cowrie Cove and watching one of the things I love the most in life – the sunset. I did this while eating delicious fresh seafood and drinking a glass of wine.
Swimming with the fish
The second day I woke up feeling so alive and I started the day by attending one of the yoga classes provided at the resort. I took this class under the shadow of the palm trees where you can relax and listen to the waves of the ocean It was so amazing!
After my amazing workout, I went to the Acqua restaurant for the perfect post workout meal. They had fresh fruit and vegetable smoothies that give you a boost so you can go and enjoy another great experience.
After breakfast, I decided to go snorkeling. It made me felt like I was part of the ocean. Swimming with the fish just like the ones in the movie Finding Nemo and being able to feel the sea stars is absolutely priceless.
I was looking forward to going swimming with the wild sharks and visiting Kawasan Falls which are the biggest attractions on the island. However, due to safety concerns about possible tourist kidnapping, I was warned to stay away by the resort staff. I am sure by now that this situation has changed but always check prior to travel.
Instead of touring I ended up at Tea of Spring, a place where you can taste traditional Chinese cuisine and ended my day with a selection of a delicious loose-leaf tea.
Chilling at the spa
A new day a new adventure. I visited restaurant called Tides with my amazing yoga teacher with who I am keeping in touch. If you like various international foods, this restaurant is the place you must visit.
After a satisfying meal, I went to a Chi spa and I did not expect what was waiting for me. I was only expecting to get a spa room, but instead I got an entire villa which included a resting area, massage area, hot tub, and bathroom.
My treatment started with stepping into a hot tub filled with tea. After being asked to stand up, the therapist poured warm coconut milk into the hot tub. Combining this and flowers floating in the water made my skin feel so smooth and fresh. After the coconut splash bath, it was time for a chi balance massage.
After the amazing relaxing day, I treated myself to a light vegetarian dinner at Acqua.
Time for some exploring expedition
It was already the fourth day of my trip and after a quick breakfast, one of the resort drivers took me on a sightseeing tour. I had an opportunity to visit a historical military defense structure called Fort San Pedro where I took a walk around the walls.
I also got the chance to see the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cebu Taoist Temple that features beautiful cultural Chinese architecture.
During the tour, I met some great people. By their recommendation, we all went to a seafood restaurant which offers a catch of the day.
After dinner, me and my new friends were ready to check out the nightlife.
Always hard to say goodbye
The end of the trip arrived and after a crazy and fun night, I had to say goodbye to my Filipino friends and fly back to Hong Kong. Till next time my Philippine paradise where I hope to stay a bit longer…