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QUEST HOTEL | A Room with a View

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.


Book your room at Quest here

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.

Escario Street
One of the many street arts at Escario Street.

Insider’s Guide

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.

Budlaan Falls, Cebu City
Biggest Fall, Kabang Falls
Mt Kan-irag Camp Site, Cebu City
Mt Kan-irag Camp Site, Cebu City

READ: 18 Things to do or More in Southern Cebu

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.

Only at Quest Hotel

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.

The karaoke room at Quest Hotel
The karaoke room at Quest Hotel! I sang badly! Issa had the voice!
Puso Bistro Restaurant at Quest Hotel Cebu
A trove of desserts at Puso Bistro Restaurant


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.

Quest Hotel Cebu

Address: Archbishop Reyes Avenue, Cebu City, Philippines

I missed our room. See you on Instagram! 😉

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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  1. We did not know that there are so many places in Cebu to experience, the Kabang Falls looks beautiful. Definitely window with a view is awesome and inspiring too if it opens up to nature.

  2. Jen Morrow says:

    Beautiful view! Food looks great and nice, clean rooms. I have a love/hate relationship with karaoke, and I would probably sit and watch for hours!

  3. Sheri says:

    This looks like a fun place to spend the weekend. Staying at a place like this with friends could be fun especially if for any reason you just want to stay indoors at the hotel you can go down for drinks and sing karaoke. Aside from that it looks lovely!

  4. Liana says:

    The more I read you and the more I enjoy your stories and your writing. You have such a gift. Anyway, on the matter of Cebu and Quest Hotel, the place seems just amazing! There are so many places I want to discover and I’m so far from Southest Asia! The view is just incredible and I totally get your reactions!

  5. Epepa says:

    You are right about the windows, we writers love them! And the panorama of the city from your room is gorgeous, if I will plan a trip there I’d love to choose that hotel. It looks really nice!

  6. such amazing photos. thank you.

  7. Kat says:

    I haven’t heard of Kabang Falls and Mount Kan-irag prior to reading this. I guess Cebu has so much more to offer than those commonly featured in blogs. Oh and you seemed to have enjoyed your stay in Quest Hotel, I guess I should take note of that in case I’m suddenly in need of a staycation.

  8. Lance says:

    Thanks for sharing this post. I was a but surprise that it was Phil who invented karaoke. I thought it was Japan. Now I know. hehe
    Nice photos by the way:)

  9. star lengas says:

    Staycations are the absolute best. I visited Lapu-Lapu a few years ago in route to Bangkok and now I wish I had spent more time outside the resort and exploring the city. Your descriptions are so inspiring and now I want to visit so I can write more! Just subscribed to the newsletter 🙂

  10. It looks like a terrific staycation! I had no idea there was so much to do in Cebu! I also had no idea that a Filipino invented karaoke! I’ve actually never tried karaoke myself but it looks like fun!

  11. This looks really beautiful. But i believe in living on the road. for me , the hotel hardly matters as long as it has a bed, a blanket and a washroom. I am most excited by the places i visit and photographying them.

  12. Andra says:

    Me and my husband are planning a trip in the Philippines and I have bookmarked your article. This hotel really looks nice. And I cannot wait to try the karaoke 🙂

  13. Voyager says:

    The Quest Hotel seems to be a great place to chill in the city. I especially loved the room with the glass window. I would love to watch the World go by. Another interesting feature was the Karaoke room, that is indeed unique.

  14. Tamshuk says:

    You know I love Filipino folks for their love of karaoke. I myself had several fun times when I went for karaoke session with my Filipino friends 🙂
    Thanks for listing out a a few “off the beaten track” things to do in Cebu city. I will surely take that trek when I am there

  15. Cebu is one of my favorite places in the South – very clean, and local people are so friendly. even their hotels are very competitive and very nice.

  16. Ana says:

    What a beautiful view from the window! I’d love to work from there. Recently I stayed in Westin Peachtree Plaza at Atlanta and it also had the similar view of downtown!

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