Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cebu : D-I-Y 2-Day Pilgrimage Tour

Cebu Pilgrimage Tour

The queen city of the south attracts throngs of pilgrims and devotees to visit its century-old churches. Having visited this beautiful city numerous times before, I was tasked in the office to organize a pilgrimage tour in Cebu. At first, I thought why not just engage  the services of a travel agency and let them do all the works from arranging airfare to land transportation, accommodations and meals. But when I learned how much the budget was, well I have my work cut out for me.

Booking Flights:
To maximize your time, it is advisable to book an early flight not later than 7 am. That way, you can spend your first day productively. You can also book for the last flight to leave Cebu so that you can also maximize your second or last day there. In our case, we decided to spend another night in Cebu so our exit flight was booked early morning of our third day.

Booking Land Transportation:
In order for you to conveniently move around Cebu and follow your itinerary, contracting a van is a wise decision. The van will fetch you, to and from the airport and will even adjust to your schedule. Please note that this is ideal if you are coming to Cebu in a group because bigger number means lesser share in expenses. We are group of 8 so hiring a van is a good choice for us.

Booking Accommodation:
One thing good about Cebu is that they are never short on accommodations. From high-end to backpack inns, they have all sorts of accommodations that will suit your need. What's even more nice is that some of them have on-line reservations where you need to deposit only a portion of the total bill and pay the balance when you arrive. Booking an accommodation ahead of your arrival is a must if you don't want to spend precious time looking for one. 

Research on places to go:  
This one is the fun part because itineraries change by the minute once you acquire information about a particular place. This is where blogs and the internet come in but there is nothing more valuable than the tips and inputs given by your fellow travel bloggers.

Our itinerary follows after the photos:

Church 1 - Our Lady of the Rule

Church 2 - St. Joseph the Worker

Church 3 - Metropolitan Cathedral

Church 4 - Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino

Sidetrip - A Dancing Prayer Warrior at the Magellan's Cross

Lunch by the seaside at Lantaw

Saint Pedro Calungsod

Church 5 - San Pedro Calungsod Chapel

Church 6 - Our Lady of Guadalupe

Side Trip - Temple of Leah

Sidetrip - Taoist Temple

Dinner at STK

Church 7 - St. Catherine's Church in Carcar

Church 8 - Simala Shrine

Color-coded Candles in Simala Shrine

Church 9 - San Miguel Arcanghel Church at Argao

Argao Church Interior

Sidetrip - Chitang's Torta


Day 1
7:45 AM – Arrive at Cebu
8:30 AM – Breakfast at Zubuchon
9:00 AM - Pilgrimage Tour around Lapu-lapu, Cebu City and Mandaue
1.       Shrine of Our Lady of the Rule – Mactan (Offer prayer and light a candle)
2.    St. Joseph the Worker – Mandaue City (Life-size marble statues of Jesus and His Disciples)
3.       Metropolitan Cathedral – Cebu City (Elegant and beautiful cathedral with a museum where sacred treasures are well-preserved)
4.       Basilica Minore Del Santo Nino – Cebu City (a coral stone church and home of the original statue of the Child Jesus the baptismal gift of Magellan to Queen Juana).
12:00 NN Lunch at Lantaw
2:00 PM – Check in at Crown Regency Hotel
3:00 PM – Continue Pilgrimage Tour
5.        Pedro Calungsod Chapel – Cebu City (a chapel with seaside view)
6.       Our Lady of Guadalupe – Mandaue City (Visit a small cave where the original statue was found)
5:00 PM – Side trip to Taoist Temple and Temple of Leah
7:00 PM – Dinner then back to Hotel

Day 2
7:00 AM – Breakfast at Crown Regency
8:00 AM – Pilgrimage Outside Cebu
7.       St. Catherine Church – Carcar (A beautiful heritage church.) 
       Sidetrip at Carcar Public Market to buy Lechon and Chicharon
8.       Simala Shrine – Sibonga (a castle-like church)
12:00 PM – Lunch at the Park with the Chicharon and Lechon bought at Carcar
9.       San Miguel Arcanghel Parish Church – Argao 
       Sidetrip at Chitang's and try its native delicacy Torta
 4:00 PM – Back to Hotel and Free Time

Day 3
5:30 AM - Breakfast at Crown Regency
6:30 AM – Head to the Airport and go back to Manila

Van Rental Inclusion - Php 9,300.00
Day 1 – 7 am to 7 pm or 12 hours
-          Pick up from airport
-          Pilgrimage Tour around Mactan, Cebu City and Mandaue
-          Travel to and from Crown Regency
Day 2 – 8 am to 6 pm or 10 hours
-          Pick up from Crown Regency
-          Pilgrimage Tour in Carcar, Simala and Argao
-          Back to Crown Regency
Day 3 – 6:30 am to 7:30 am or 1 hour
-          Pick up from Crown Regency to the Airport

Hotel Accommodation for 2 nights at Crown Regency (Twin Sharing) with breakfast included – Php 4,800 per room.

1    1)  It's a pilgrimage tour so be ready with your prayers and intentions. Of the nine churches we visited, only the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod has a prayer book for station of the cross available to be borrowed by church goers.

2    2) It's quite hot in Cebu so wear comfortable clothes. However, shorts, sandals and short   sleeved shirts are not allowed on some churches like Simala.
3) If you will buy cebu lechon in Carcar, be sure to bring sealed container. 

*** all photos above were taken using Samsung Galaxy S5 phones.

All-in-all, if you go by travel agency, you will be billed at least Php 8,000 (exclusive of airfare) per person, but if you go for a d-i-y adventure, you could cut the damage by more than a half.


  1. Always good to see your posts, Oman, and what a wonderful trip!! Thanks, as always, for sharing!! Great to see you online!! Hope your week is going well!!

    1. Thanks Sylvia and have a great week too :)

  2. You can have a sideline business as a travel agent.

    1. That would be a dream job. Now, of it only pays a lot haha but I do dream of becoming a tour guide.

  3. I love Cebu and will never get tired of getting back. Better than Manila.

    1. I love Cebu too... and Manila too haha.

  4. You will never run out of churches to visit in Cebu and some of them are heritage sites.

    1. I agree, I particularly like Bantayan Church and Boljoon Church both of which I have visited in previous occasions before.

  5. It looks to me that you have planned a great trip. I wouldn't mind going on something like this.

    1. Thanks Yogi. The trip went well for all of us.

  6. Thanks for your visit.! I think your blog is very beautiful!
    Wil, ABCW Team

    1. Thanks for the compliments Reader Wil.

  7. Good luck! I'm sure you'll work it out and be able to take some marvelous photos, too!

    1. Thanks Lowell, I didn't bring my trusted dslr and just snapped some photos using my fone :)