First time in The Philippines 🇵🇭 Flying Scoot & Arrival into Cebu

So much has happened since I last wrote a post, however I have no time for a life update as I’m currently on Day 1 on my trip in The Philippines!

I’ve never been to The Philippines and to be honest, I hadn’t thought much about going. I’ve never done much research on this beautiful place in Southeast Asia, however my friend Bree is getting married in July and she mentioned she was thinking about doing a trip to Asia as a pre-wedding celebration so I jumped on board! She’s a bit like me where she could hop on a plane and travel solo anywhere so when she said she thought she’d tick off a country she hadn’t been to, it would have been rude of me to let her go all alone…. (Well, that’s what I told the husband anyways 🤫)

So Thursday evening, Bree’s fiancé Jack dropped us off at the airport where we had a smooth check-in with Scoot Airlines then made our way to the Airport Aspire lounge for drinks, dinner & some yummy little carrot cakes for dessert 🍰

Thank god we had the lounge because our flight was meant to depart at 9:45pm but was delayed until 11pm so it was nice to have somewhere to relax to pass the time. By the time we boarded the flight and everyone had taken their seats we took off for Singapore around 11:30pm

When we looked at going to The Philippines originally, the flights were around AUS$480 each. By the time we decided on dates, I got time off work and we booked online the flights came to around AUS$800 per person. When you add your seat selection and baggage etc… it’s not as ‘cheap’ as advertised but still not a bad price. We considered going with Singapore Airlines instead of their budget airline sister Scoot, however the flight departure and arrival times weren’t ideal so we stuck with Scoot.

The flight was scheduled to take 5 hours, 50 minutes however it only took 4 hours 30 minutes which was a relief because it was definitely in the top 5 worst flights I’ve had. Not because the weather was bad or anything but because it was a red eye flight and I barely slept. Firstly both Bree and my seats wouldn’t recline at all, then it was too hot in the cabin so I started fanning my face with the emergency instruction card when we had taken off. THEN I started thinking about how hot it was and started to feel claustrophobic and got anxious feeling that I would pass out. This has happened to me in the past (like mini panic attacks) and usually I put my head between my legs and I kind of come right but because the seats were tight and my belly is 6 months pregnant 🤰 than it was all just impossible! I even got up to ask a flight attendant if there was an empty row I could just lay down as I felt like fainting and she just said “no sorry” then went back to preparing the meals people had ordered. I wasn’t expecting her to find a row out of nowhere but at least act concerned 🙄

Anyways, it was not an enjoyable flight so I was relieved when we finally arrived in Singapore. As we only had an hour before our connecting flight, we found our gate and I found a little spot on the floor to have a 30 minute nap before we boarded.

Luckily our flight was on time and we got into Cebu exactly at 10:04am, 1 minute earlier than originally scheduled. This flight i actually had a seat that reclined and I got a tiny amount of sleep to make me feel normal again so it was automatically better than the first!

Once we’d collected our suitcase, we headed outside and grabbed a taxi to our hotel. The taxi was about 650 pesos which works out to be around $17-18AUD for the 30-40 minute drive. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the currency here as I’m so used to going to Bali and automatically knowing how much things are in AUD.

One of the first things I noticed here was everyone drives on the right hand side like they do in America. And the cars are all left-wheel drive. The roads are similar to Bali in terms of its infrastructure however I didn’t feel Cebu was as full on as Bali was with the traffic. Plus they have traffic lights that people actually wait at haha!

We had booked 2 nights at Citadines Cebu which was a serviced apartment type accommodation in the city. Check-in was easy and the room was nice. They even decorated the room with some balloons and cupcakes to celebrate Bree getting married which was nice of them. Unfortunately though the ants got into the cupcakes a little but we were so hungry we blew them off and ate them anyways 😂

Once we had both showered and made ourselves look a bit normal after not sleeping for 24 hours, we went downstairs to the corner store and bought a couple of SIM cards for our phones. There was also this cute lemonade stand/store outside our hotel and I got us a couple of lemonades for like AUS$2 each which were yum!

The SIM cards were a bit of a nightmare to figure out how to work but we tried setting them up anyways and Bree ordered a GRAB car for us (like Uber) to somewhere nearby where we could get our nails done. The first place we went to looked super quiet and we weren’t 100% sure on the treatments so we went to another place a couple of doors down that looked a little better and asked if we could get two pedicures.

This was not the finished result, this was when I started haha

It wasn’t until we sat down that they said only one lady could do us so we would have to go one at a time. (Which was weird as I’m not sure what the other 5 ladies who worked there were doing) I went first and it was a terrible Pedicure! 😂 she took my old gel colour off with a nail file and when she was doing my cuticles she made me bleed. Bree and I were messaging each other while we sat there and quickly agreed that she wouldn’t be getting one. The pedicure was only about AUD$24 altogether but I wouldn’t be going back.

My toes didn’t end up looking too bad in the end – even if it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. After the pedicure we took another GRAB to the biggest mall in Cebu, Ayala Center. It was definitely big! I think there were about 4 levels and every time we explored one level there were just more and more corners or shops we hadn’t explored yet. I bought myself a dress, crop jacket and crop shirt (for after pregnancy haha) and Bree bought some pants & a top.

We had barely eaten apart from some lollies when we were boarding the plane to Cebu and the ant cupcakes so we had a semi-early dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant at the mall. For 2x plates of spring rolls, veges, rice, satay chicken and 2x drinks it came to around AUD$50 which wasn’t bad. What was funny were the staff kept yelling out something to the other staff members and they all responded at once with “YES!”. We’re not sure if they were saying something like “Asked customer if they would like desert?” “YES!” And they did it every time they did something customer service-wise but it was so random that we kept laughing through our dinner. Not to mention we were asked about 3 times if we wanted more cutlery. Even a spoon was offered a couple of times when we weren’t eating anything that really required a spoon. As soon as we started the dinner too, they came over and asked us if we wanted to look at the menu for dessert. I felt like saying “can I finish my first meal first and then decide?” Haha. Filipino people are very helpful and kind but also lack a little common sense/need to read the room a little better 😂 (I have more stories regarding this to come)

Once we’d finished dinner we went and had the most delicious gelato’s afterwards – I think we tried about 5 flavours each before settling on 2. I ordered a white chocolate and caramel flavour along with a chocolate Malteser flavour.

We had said we were going to try and get as many massages as we could so we went to a massage place in the mall and paid about AUD$10 each for hour long massages 😅 as I’m pregnant I couldn’t sit in one of those massage chair so they just had me sitting on this stool which if I’m honest probably made my back ache more. The massage wasn’t terrible, she could have gone a little harder but I also don’t want to complain for $10 haha. I nearly fell asleep as I was so tired so it must have relaxed me anyways.

After the massages, we thought we would check out the Metro Supermarket in the mall and it did not disappoint. They had soooo many types of groceries from around the world. Bree was especially impressed as there were heaps of things from Canada that she can’t get in Australia. As we have a night in Cebu before we head home, we said we’d definitely come back for a grocery shop before heading back to Australia 🇦🇺 hopefully we don’t over-do our luggage limit with Scoot Airlines!

A quick GRAB ride back to the hotel and we were asleep by 11pm. To be honest, we were wanting an early night but we spent way too much time at the mall! We decided we wouldn’t set our alarms and wake up at whatever time the next day so we could catch up on some sleep.

Next post: Beauty treatments & yummy bagels 🥯

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