To stay in the city on a weekend is rather rare. Most of the time, I would be on a bus or aboard a ship to pursue some places I have never been to. Or revisit some old hangouts like Moalboal. And my recent trip to Siquijor makes me want to include it in the growing list of my weekend affairs.
Despite its rarity, I do find myself staying in the city, either marooning myself in my little place and talking to my cats like a crazy cat lady that I am or meeting people that one way or another share one of my many passions. Poetry. Books. Cats. Places.
When Doi messaged me if I would be in the city one weekend, I hesitated to give an answer. More often than not, my trips in the Visayas and Mindanao are haphazard and unplanned. But she encouraged me to open the weekend for that rare chance of meeting travelers who usually find themselves somewhere else on weekends.
Quest Hotel hosted us. And staying here for the second time fascinated me. Doi and I were roommates and we were lucky to have an all-glass window overlooking the neighborhood I walked on weekdays. Doi pointed out the streets she walked to her alma mater, which is my workplace on weekdays for the past two years. I did not know that the Osmeñas have a house at Escario—that black-gated house with the emblem O on the gable roof. I have been meaning to have an #ootd shot by its gate where the bougainvilleas bloom all year round. And the house I appreciated a lot for its coconut and mango trees belonged to the Lhuilliers. I know, you would not understand the gushing of Cebu’s “Whos who,” but what I am trying to say is that this area of Cebu City is historical and storied on its own rights.
Molave is my weekday affair, a little street that encapsulates the current state of Cebu City: too excited to erase the remnants of the past yet the old keeps on persisting its worth.
Escario Street is named after Nicolas Escario Sr., a mayor, a doctor, and CIT founder in the 1940s. Nowadays, Escario Street is one of the many canvasses of the thriving community of street artists in Cebu.
The streets in Cebu should be included in the consciousness of many travelers. Aside from visiting Magellan’s Cross, Basilica del Sto. Niño, and Taoist Temple, Cebu City has a lot of places worth experiencing. Especially the creative and the adventurous. There is a monthly poetry reading in Handuraw where you can share and listen to poetry. You can trek Mt. Kan-irag and experience dipping in Kabang Falls. Or try something new, like yoga at Surya Nanda.
From Quest Hotel, downtown area, where the historical meets the kitschy, is one jeepney ride away. You can walk your way to Handuraw and listen to Cebu’s musicians sharing their own creations. Ayala Mall is a stone’s throw away, say a minute walk from Quest. To have a glimpse of locals enjoying their afternoon after work, head towards the yard behind Pioneer or Maybank building, where locals jog, bike, stretch, exercise against the dying afternoon light.
We Filipinos are known for our craziness over karaoke [Fun fact, it was a Filipino who invented the karaoke and sold it to the Japanese]. A karaoke in a hotel? Surprising, I know. Even I was surprised when I saw the setting. The hotel’s function room is transformed into a living room, complete with sofas, a center table, and pillows. It makes you feel at home while belting out your all-time favorite song. To complete the festive air, order some sumptuous dishes and drinks.
Our weekend staycation at Quest Hotel was more than pleasant. I love our room, perhaps because I see windows as a necessity for a writer. A wide window is where your mind wanders while writing. When in Cebu, always go for a place where you can have a room with a view of the past and of the present. At Quest.
Address: Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines
I missed our room. See you on Instagram! 😉