Cebu City, Philippines

Flying to Cebu was no problem, and getting a taxi to take me to the Marco Polo hotel was no problem either.  Although a nice place, it is guarded pretty well since the area around is not as nice:

But it does have a great view down toward the water, and of the city.

The breakfast buffet is quite expansive.  I ate well, and had no problem with the juice or water.

Like any developing area, some of the wiring is surprisingly complex:

Cebu has some significant historic sites which are worth seeing.  One is Magellan's Cross, which was planted by Ferdinand Magellan when he arrived in Cebu in 1521.  Things didn't work out that well for him, as Magellan was killed a few weeks later when he was battling one local tribe on behalf of Rajah Humabon, whom Magellan had just converted to Christianity.  Anyway, the original cross he planted is supposed to be within the modern wooden cross you can see today, to help protect it from elements and souvenir hounds.

The cross is outside of the 16th century Minor Basilica of Santo Nino, which is shown below.  The Santo Nino, which is a religious relic left behind in Cebu by the original Magellan expedition, is likely the oldest Christian religious artifact in the Philippines.

Nearby is Fort San Pedro, which has parts dating back to the 1700's.

You can get almost anything delivered in the Philippines.

Coming home, the Mabuhay lounge in Cebu doesn't have as much to offer as the one in Manila:

After landing at the domestic terminal, I discovered why Aquino International is considered one of the worst airports in the world.  After getting out of the domestic terminal, with 2 hours to go before my flight to Japan, I found that the only way to get to the other terminal was to get a taxi or other ground service, since it's several miles between the two terminals, with no internal connection. But because it was raining, there were no taxis to be found.  It took 45 minutes and some "charitable donations" to get someone to drive me to the international terminal, which is not nearly as pleasant looking as the domestic terminal I showed earlier.  I was successful and made my flight, but not without some undue stress.  At least I got a decent meal on my JAL flight to Tokyo!

So, the Philippines.  A nice visit, definitely worth seeing.  But plan for frustrations at MNL airport!