Lets start first with the most popular of all....
When i say this is the most popular, i didn't mean that it was back by statistics and years of study, but from my point of view, everyone that does come here often will not forget this spot. Why? because they spend so much time getting there and usually its on a hot hot very hot noon time, while in the end the site often fails their expectation. I have to say Magellan's cross does not offer much when it comes to expectations, what you see in the picture is basically what you get. However, its usually the things, and people you will find when you go there that makes things a little more interesting. From street vendors, to the hundreds of devotees, the vicinity in which Magellan's cross is situated will not disappoint you.
Sto. Nino Basillica Church
This Church is one of the oldest churches in Cebu and in the Philippines. Built in the 16th century, itwas built on the place where the Holy Santo Nino(Small statue of Baby Jesus) was founded. It was said that the statue had miraculous powers since while its wooden box that held it got burned in a massive fire, the Santo Nino was still in good condition. Just in the vicinity, actually meters away from Magellan's cross, the church is also quite popular with tourists and local alike-though i must say in my opinion, this is probably one of the best "tourist" spots here in Cebu. One can see so much when walking inside the church, and even touch the statue of the Sto. Nino itself( fake one though, since the real one is kept locked away in some secret dungeon). Its interesting to see the hundreds of devotees lining up to touch and get a little of the miraculous powers of the Sto. Nino.
The best time to come would be on the third of January, which is also the Sinulog festival, the biggest festival in Cebu honoring Santo Nino. Literally, thousands of devotees pack the Church from day 'til night. However, if you are just the leisure traveler and don't want to be in a crowded place, i suggest coming here on weekdays when no masses are being held. Oh! come on early mornings or late afternoons so it wont be too hot to walk around.
photo by larcilla
photo by Squeeze!
For some reason, not a lot of tourist come to this place. I've also noticed that most itineraries don't offer Tops as one of the destinations to go to. Unfortunately people who don't know this will miss a part of their experience coming here to Cebu. You see, Tops is a viewing spot in the hills of Busai that makes you see the entire province of Cebu- okay maybe 90 percent of it, but you get the gist. Situated at 2000 feet above sea level, Tops offers a view of a city like no other. With an open area for picnics, and outings, Tops is an ideal place for families, romantics, and just about for anyone that wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The place has benches for people to appreciate the view, and believe me sunrise and sunset are the best times to go there when its cool and the view is just amazing. Moreover, theres a mini-restaurant there that serves barbeque and couple of snacks.
*Take note theres a bell over there that when ringed together by two people is suppose to bind them together forever- maybe something you might want to do once you're up there.
There are a lot of ways to get there. Most taxis in Cebu knows where Tops is. Its around 8km to get there from the bottom down, which is meters away from JY Square Mall. However, if you feel a little adventurous, the best and cheapest way would be to ride a Habal Habal( Basically, its the locals term to riding on the back of a motorcycle rider). There are a lot of habal habal in that area as this is the most popular way for locals to go and come back from the hill side. It is advise though that one should be really careful because theses habal habal drivers are known to be "crazy" when driving their motorcycles through the winding road at Busai.