100 Days in Cebu, Part 4

Although tricycles are not popular, the ubiquitous “habal-habal” or motorcycles can take you to any part of the city or even to farther destinations like the mountains of Balamban or the beaches of Mactan. A short ride from IT Park to Gaisano Country Mall may cost P30, while longer distances may take a few hundreds depending on distance. At whatever cost, habal-habal is cool. The thought of touring the countryside in open air, with a little sprinkle of rainshower on the face, THAT is so much thrill for a hobbit. Just don’t have qualms about wearing the driver’s smelly helmet, because that is everybody’s helmet. Yikes!

Jeepneys are also aplenty and they are peculiar in many ways. The routes of these colorful jeepneys come in codes like 04L, 62B, 62C, 17D, 13C, 14D, etc. The first two digits are assigned to a specific origin. For instance, 04 for all coming from Lahug and 13 for all jeepneys coming from Talamban. The letter represents a specific way or route, like 62B for Pit-os to Carbon through Sikatuna St, and 62C for Pit-os to Carbon through Junquera St.

Cebu’s jeepneys can get very crowded, too, although not as jampacked as the trains of Manila. Most jeepneys are spacious, but there are small ones where passengers can only sit at knee to knee distance. On rush hours, you need to get a little creative by hitching a ride. Either you take a half-a-butt-sit or hung yourself close to the entrance by grabbing the bars. Say “palihog” when you ask the passenger beside you to pass on your fare to the driver, and say “lugar lang” with a gently roaring sound of R when you want to get off. Other terms that can come handy are “gikan” (from), “usa” (one), “ubos” (under the flyover). When you run out of words, just say it in hobbit-tongue, aka English.

For longer trips, you can take the buses at the north and south bus terminals. A ride to the port of Hagnaya can take three hours. From here, you can catch a ferry to the mezmerizing Bantayan Island. Going to Oslob at the southern tip of the province, where you can swim with the giant whale sharks, can also two or three hours.

Of course, you can flag down a cab anytime you want. The taxi lines are definitely shorter than those of Manila. The cab drivers, too, are honest (in general) they take only the exact fare and give you change.

Photos taken with Cherry Mobile Flare


ArisMape is a travel insider at ABS-CBN's Choose Philippines. He loves orange, halo-halo, and PowerPoint, and hates beef, slow internet, and long taxi lines. His pastime is watching people watch other people. He swears on the power of smartphone. His half-life? Thirty.