Gio Ruiz runs sustainable ecological and adventure tours in the Philippines, working with local communities to give something back. Here he shares his favourite hometown spots
Cebu is a splendid place. Home to over three million people, the island offers something for everyone, from centuries-old buildings to white sandy beaches, majestic corals and breathtaking marine life – not to mention the perks of being.
Centrally located in the heart of the Philippine archipelago, Cebu is a cultural melting pot shaped by centuries of tradition. I’m proud to call it my home.
Whenever I visit, I make a point to enjoy some downtime with my friends and family in Compostella, a municipality just north of the city. In my opinion, this is where you can find the best Filipino hospitality in the country. Make sure you schedule time to check out one of the local markets where you can sample the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste. Cebuano cuisine is also famous for its Spanish-influenced dishes. Menus are packed with everything from adobo to paella and kare-kare – try it all.
Next, drop by Carbon Market to pick up the freshest Carabao mangoes and get a taste of Cebuano street-food – the tasty chicken barbecue and puso is a must.
Cebu is also blessed with a wealth of diverse natural resources, which keep tourists flocking to the island. From the gorgeous corals off Moalboal to the thresher sharks of Malapascua and the amazing whale sharks of Oslob, there is plenty to admire.
Adventure seekers can try a spot of canyoning in Alegria and Badian, or be brave and take a wild plunge into the majestic Kawasan Falls. Alternatively, take it to the extreme with a skydive over Bantayan island.
Nature lovers will delight in the mountains of Osemeña Peak or by taking a trek around Mount Manunggal, the highest peak, in Balamban.