Cebu Reporter's Blog

A reporter's ramblings on the latest news and happenings in Cebu

Monday, August 20, 2007

Robbers Hit PenBank in Mandaue

Barely a week after robbers hit bank employees onboard an armored van and carted away P2.7 million, robbers hit again and robbed PenBank in Mandaue City just this noon.

Four armed men barged inside the PenBank branch located along Estancia, barangay Ibabao, Mandaue City, and announced the robbery. No one was hurt during the incident police said.

The robbers, who fled onboard two motorcycles, carted away a still undetermined amount of cash.

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Around Cebu in Minutes

A lot has been written and said about Cebu's top tourist destinations, including its sugary-white sandy beaches, the historical Magellan's Cross, Fort San Pedro, and the Sto Niño Basilica.

But more than those places, Cebu still has a lot more to offer than you think. When you come to Cebu, you might want to visit the following places for a change:


The first of its kind in the Philippines, the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary is an all-natural haven of butterflies with no enclosure. It exists since 1974 as a result of a personal passion of artist Julian Jumalon. You can find 53 kinds of butterfly species flying freely around the garden sanctuary including the beautiful Daedalus with a least 10 to 15 kinds guaranteed to be spotted within a day.

The garden has at least 100 kinds of butterfly food plants, the source of attraction for these graceful creatures. The sanctuary also houses complete life histories of butterfly species - a precious tool for biology students working on their theses - and the oldest existing collection of butterflies with specimens dating back to the 1930's and some of the most wanted butterflies in the world.

The sanctuary also has an Art Gallery featuring a description of artist professor Julian Jumalon's dedication to art and a collection of the paintings including a number of his lepido-mosaics, cottages utilizing butterfly wings as its medium. The sanctuary and gallery is located along the Basak Elementary School Side Road in Basak, Pardo, Cebu City.

Witness the deep faith of the Cebuanos as they line up to enter a little cave and cover their heads with Our Lady of Guadalupe's blue veil to heal their sorrows. The story of the image found in the cave narrates that Cebuano forefathers hid the image there for fear that it will be taken back by the Spaniards or dishonored by non-believers. The image in the cave was eventually forgotten until a local trapper of wild chicken accidentally found it. The image was placed in a chapel where the present Guadalupe Parish Church now stands.

For many years, the cave was left unattended until an unknown benefactor offered to renovate it. On December 8, 1977, parish priest Rev. Msgr. Esteban S. Binghay had it blessed. Dripping water from the cave is said to possess healing powers and pilgrimage to the cave is said to grant a believer's wish. The Guadalupe Cave is located at Langub, Kalunasan, Guadalupe, Cebu City.

A pride of USP President Dr. Ronald Duterte, the University of Southern Philippines Museum showcases original personal belongings of Philippine National hero Dr. Jose Rizal. 1890 Cerrada coats, undershirts, summer clothes, polo shirts, pants, socks, and a classic sketchbook, featuring Josephine Bracken as his model, were all donated by Doña Trinidad Rizal during her visit to the USP-Mabini branch in February 1951. The museum also has and original KKK Flag donated by Doña Marcella Agoncillo.

Other priceless collections are also on display like the original letters of Josephine Bracken-Rizal, a report card of Doña Trinidad Rizal, 1899 and 1900 copies of the classic books Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo with its original receipt from the Chofre Printing Company, a complete set of 1906 Jose Rizal Memorabilia postcards, a 1906 handkerchief with prints of the song "Canto Patriotico de Maria Clara", and photographed manuscripts of Noli and El Fili. You may visit the museum at the USP Campus along Salinas Drive in barangay Lahug.

A 19th century ancestral house formerly owned by the Gorordo Family and acquired and restored by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. in 1980, the Casa Gorordo Museum offers a collection of fine antique furniture, small and life-size statues of saints and other effigies as well as the historical grandeur of the house itself.

Upon entering the museum, one is transported into the 19th century with the nostalgic architecture and house design, rooms with specific ancient lifestyle functions and furniture types. Among the generations of Gorordos who lived there was Bishop Juan Gorordo (1862-1934) known to be the first Filipino Bishop in Cebu.

Located at 35 Lopez Jaena Street, Cebu City, the Casa Gorordo Museum is also host to a varied array of cultural events and exhibits.

A general museum of local artifacts and antiquities, the Quijano Museum carries an interesting mix of displays that is sure to be of interest to any local or foreign tourists. It showcases old wooden implements like the duwang, old lamps, and cavans. It also holds authentic old ethnographic materials like gongs and jewelry.

The museum also offers a collection of priceless memorabilia of World War II like American and Japanese troop canteens, helmets and medicine boxes, even ammunitions and a bomb. It also offers memorabilia of former Philippine President and Cebuano Sergio Osmeña Sr., like the original photos of the grand old man himself and his son Serging. Paintings and sculptures can also be found at the Quijano Museum, which is located in Cabancalan, Mandaue City, Cebu.

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Cebu Fisherman's Lunch

A fisherman enjoys lunch (rice and pork adobo) while waiting for his catch in Cebu.


Will an LRT Save Cebu's Road from Traffic Congestion?

Cebu Congressman Eduardo Gullas has filed House Bill 310 seeking the establishment of the province’s first Light Rail Transit system to keep pace with Cebu's rapid population growth and economic expansion.

It was not clear yet, though, where the LRT will begin and end (although there were talks before that the LRT will travel from Carcar City in the South to Danao City in the North, with various stops).

If this plan pushes through, will the LRT prevent Cebu's traffic woes?

Traffic in Cebu is still not at par with that of Manila. The roads here might be congested at certain hours of the day but compared to Manila, I should say that our roads are still not really congested. The opening of the South Road Properties has also decongested the traffic along Natalio Bacalso Avenue, although commuters will still have to go through the traffic in N. Bacalso because SRP is not for public vehicles.

The North Coastal Road project is also underway and when it is finished, commuters and motorists travelling from Cebu City to Consolacion and Liloan will finally have a diversion route that will free them from the traffic at the North road.

Indeed, an LRT will surely prevent traffic in metropolitan Cebu but I guess it will take years before it will come to reality, although the administration of President Arroyo has approved P60.8 billion worth of fresh infrastructure spending for Cebu up to 2010.

The mass transport system that Gullas envisions for his province would be the country’s ninth and the first outside Metro Manila, which now has eight LRT lines that are either fully operational, under construction or in the drawing boards.

The Department of Transportation and Communication actually has an initial plan for the project. However, project execution has been stalled because the DOTC had difficulty getting from interested investors the lowest possible cost.

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Travelling to Cebu

Have you ever planned of travelling to Cebu to experience the sand, sea, and sun that this island province offers? Well, here is a short glimpse at what you can see and do when you visit Cebu.

Arriving in Cebu via plane, you will be landing in Mactan Island, the Island that once accepted with open arms Ferdinand Magellan and his army of conquistadors. Mactan is laid back. Quiet. Although few signs of progress can be seen around. Mactan houses two export processing zones, international airport, and the famous (notorious sometimes) makers of firecrackers.

From Mactan you will then be travelling via taxi or a rented van to Mandaue City, passing by the new Marcelo Fernan Bridge, the bridge that links Mactan to the mainland island of Cebu. At the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, commonly known as the new bridge, you can see the first Mandaue-Mactan Bridge on your left.

Tell your driver to take the North Reclamation Road on your way to Cebu City. It's less traffic there. Plus, you will get to see the controversial Cebu International Convention Center, the venue of the 12th Associatin of Southeast Asian Nations Summit last January.

When in the City:
Proceed to the Sto. Niño Basilica. Pay homage to the child Jesus first before doing your rounds here. The Basilica is one of the oldest church in the country. It was in the church's ground that the image of Sto. Niño was discovered, paving the way for the baptism of Rajah Humabon and Queen Juana.

Nearby is the Magellan's cross. It was here that Magellan planted the cross of Christianity (although there are historians who do not agree with this claim).

You can then proceed to Parian where you can see a giant sculpture that depicts the rich history of Cebu. Don't worry, there a lot of locals who are willing to answer your question about Cebu's history if you have any.

I will discuss more spots in my future blog so keep visiting this site if you don't want to lose your ways while in Cebu. :)

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