An ideal day in Cebu

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Produced by SilverKris for UHRI

6am: Catch the sunrise from the SRP Bay Walk

Start your day bright and early at the SRP Bay Walk, immediately south of the NUSTAR Resort and Casino on Kawit Island. The Bay Walk is a favourite early-morning haunt for Cebu’s active set; from 4am onward, bikers and joggers work up a sweat here in full view of the sunrise over the Cebu Strait. From here, you can get an eyeful of NUSTAR Resort and Casino’s graceful profile, its lower levels and three towers recalling the tall-sailed Spanish galleons that dropped anchor here centuries ago.

NUSTAR Resort and Casino
The NUSTAR facade is a handsome addition to the Queen City

8am: Enjoy a silog breakfast at Fina

NUSTAR Resort and Casino’s signature Filipino restaurant Fina offers a mouth-watering introduction to the local cuisine. Surrounded by tropical plant artwork and solihiya (woven rattan) and fabric finishes, you’ll tuck into a traditional Filipino silog breakfast: chorizo de cebu paired with garlic fried rice and a fried egg. More daring diners can explore Chef Martin Rebolledo’s full menu at Fina, including a crispy “bellychon” and super-fresh kinilaw na tanigue (raw Spanish mackerel cured in vinegar).

Art Deco dining room at Fino
Art Deco touches and an elevated Filipino menu await at Fina

10am: Visit the oldest Catholic church in the Philippines

See Cebu’s strong Catholic heritage up close at the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño, home to the namesake Holy Child icon that stands near the altar. This ancient statue is the focus of Cebu’s annual Sinulog Festival on the third Sunday of January. On regular days, long queues of worshipers visit the Santo Niño to pray for favours or to give thanks. After exiting the Basilica, head to the Plaza Sugbo south of the church. A hexagonal pavilion here houses Magellan’s Cross, planted by the famed explorer n in 1521. The painted ceiling depicts Magellan’s conversion of a local rajah to Catholicism, from which the rest of the Philippines is said to have followed.

Magellan's Cross, Cebu
Magellan’s Cross is located just south of the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño, the oldest Catholic church in the Philippines

12 noon: Enjoy lunch with a view in Busay

Rent a car and head northwest from Cebu City into the highlands of Busay, where a selection of restaurants takes advantage of the cooler air and the panoramic view of the metropolis. You’ll find Cebu’s best international cuisines at these heights. But for local street-food-style fare, head over to the Gaslamp District, a Busay food park that covers a broad spectrum of Cebu favourites, such as lechon, silog and deep-fried seafood, as well as international comfort fare such as burgers, pizzas and smoothies. The space is also worth a visit in the evening, when the fairy lights come on and local bands take to the stage.

Daily Grind coffee shop, located at Gaslamp District in Busay, Cebu
The Daily Grind coffee shop is just one of many delicious booths at Gaslamp District, up in the hills of Busay. Photo: Gaslamp District

1pm: Visit Balamban’s flower farms and coffee shops

Take your rented car further west into Balamban in Cebu’s central highlands. Balamban’s best flower gardens rival anything you might find in the Low Countries: Sirao Pictorial Garden’s manicured celosia invites comparisons to the Keukenhof in the Netherlands, while the Buwakan ni Alejandra carpets Balamban’s slopes with over 200 varieties of dahlia and other flowering plants. On your way back, wind down with a cuppa and a view at one of Balamban’s many hillside coffee shops. Establishments like Maharlicup serve coffee with a local treat on the side, like puto maya (fresh mango and sweet sticky rice).

Flowers and windmill at Sirao Gardens, Cebu
A drive up to Cebu’s highlands delivers breathtaking views such as this one at Sirao Garden. Photo: Canva

5pm: Have merienda at Fili Lobby Lounge

Make your way back to NUSTAR Resort and Casino and unwind over merienda (Filipino afternoon tea) served fresh at Fili, an authentic Filipino luxury hotel attached to the resort. Enjoy the Lobby Lounge’s danishes, pastries, and Filipino delicacies, along with the right drink to suit your mood and your company.

Fili Lobby Lounge, NUSTAR, Cebu
The elegant lobby at Fili is a great spot for afternoon merienda

7pm: Dine at Il Primo

We don’t usually associate steaks with Italian cuisine, but Il Primo will change your perspective. Try the braised Angus short ribs with marble potatoes and chianti sauce; or splurge on the Japanese wagyu, ideally paired with a glass from the restaurant’s selection of Italian wines. Chef Luca Angioletti’s pasta and seafood creations use authentic cheeses and olive oil sourced from Italy; and the day’s catch, locally caught and as fresh as you can get.

With its own Josper grill serving up premium cuts, Il Primo is Cebu’s first Italian steakhouse

9pm: Freshen up for an evening of luxury nightlife

You don’t have to venture far for a taste of Cebu’s nightlife. At NUSTAR Resort and Casino, private dining rooms, spectacular live performances, and exclusive events are a multi-sensory treat for guests. You can also try your hand on the Philippines’ largest gaming floor outside Metro Manila, and make every visit to the premier integrated resort more rewarding by signing up for NUSTAR Rewards, its official lifestyle rewards program that allows you to earn points and enjoy priority access to events exclusive offers.

NUSTAR Resort and Casino’s state-of-the-art gaming floor is an exciting new addition to Cebu’s many attractions

Cebu can be easily experienced by guests at the NUSTAR Resort and Casino, a luxury hotel and gaming complex well-located in the gleaming new South Park Road development. Explore the Philippines’ Queen City by car, with NUSTAR as a jump-off point – or stay close and enjoy the resort complex’s upscale amenities, from its five-star dining options to the luxurious suites and world-class casino.

For more information about NUSTAR Resort and Casino and its many amenities, or to book a room, visit the official website.

 



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