A Trip Around Cebu City and Cordova: Twin City Tour

Great food, rich traditions, wonderful and strong people; Cebu is known as the Gateway to a Thousand Adventures. Cebu has a lot of different tourist spots for locals and foreign visitors. There are so many places to go. Even a Cebuano local hasn’t visited all of them yet. It’s time for us to get to know Cebu City and Cordova. Fortunately through the help of South Shores, we can have our own private tour! South Shores is a business owned by a young entrepreneur Joel Torres. They offer a variety of tours all over Cebu and Bohol. Cebu has a lot to offer to tourists. The city tour is just the beginning. There is still much to explore in northern and southern Cebu.

It was our first time traveling to the most popular spots in Cebu City and Cordova in one day. We were picked up by one of South Shores cars and enjoyed a private trip around the city. Our route started in Downtown Cebu City, then we went up to Busay and beyond, and back down again to go to Cordova.

Magellan’s Cross & Santo Niño

We started the day by visiting Magellan’s Cross. Magellan’s Cross is near the Santo Niño basilica, one of the oldest churches here in the Philippines. Inside Magellan’s Cross, you can find a few women dressed in yellow carrying candles who will dance Sinulog for you. Dancing Sinulog is a form of worship and prayers are said while dancing. You can buy the candles for Php 10.00 each stick and place them near the cross.

Magellan's cross
Magellan's Cross

Santo Niño is well known to be the center of the activity during the Sinulog festival. Every 3rd week of January, Cebu celebrates Sinulog which begins with a 9 day novena. The church gets really packed during those days. On normal days, a lot of people still visit the church to light some candles or attend mass. The earthquake back in 2013 destroyed the bell tower of Santo Niño. Thankfully, the church itself didn’t crumble and no one got hurt badly when the bell tower fell.
Sto. Niño church
Santo Niño basilica

Cebu Heritage Monument

The Cebu Heritage Monument located in Colon is a monument of the history of Cebu. The great monument shows different scenes relating to the history of Cebu, like how Lapu-Lapu fought for freedom, the baptism of the Cebuanos, and the first catholic mass in Cebu. The construction started in 1997. The monument was completed in 2000.

Cebu heritage monument
Cebu Heritage Monument

Yap-Sandiego House

The Yap-Sandiego House is the oldest house in Cebu. Even if it is open to the public, the elderly couple who owns the house still spend their nights there. Not a bad place to sleep, don’t you think?. The Yap-Sandiego House doesn’t have rules. Humans always get compelled to touch the things they see. So they allow their guests to touch the things found in there as long as nothing gets broken of course. The house made of old bricks and wood still stands strong. We found a really old radio and it still works well. The Yap-Sandiego House has been well taken cared of through the years. It withstood the test of time and has a cozy welcoming aura.
ancestral house
Yap-Sandiego House

Fort San Pedro

Fort San Pedro is the oldest fort in the Philippines. It was constructed way back in 1738 to be used as a temporary refuge by the Spaniards. Inside Fort San Pedro, you can find pictures of Cebu and how it used to look like in the past. The Fort San Pedro today accommodates people who want to have their events or parties inside the grounds.
Fort San Pedro
Fort San Pedro

Taoist Temple

Taoist Temple is one of the most visited places in the city for believers and nonbelievers alike. The temple is a tourist spot for its intricate and colorful architectural design. The stairs up to the temple was quite a climb up but the view on the top was great. Visitors of the Taoist Temple will feel like they’re strolling in China because inside is a small replica of the Great Wall of China. Aside from that, there is also a wishing well inside. But instead of a well, it looks more like a pot and it takes quite a bit of skill and precision to throw your coins successfully inside the three differently sized pots.

Lantaw Busay

We had our lunch at Lantaw Busay. Lantaw Busay offers a wide variety of Filipino cuisine while you enjoy the view of the entire city. If you want to have lunch with your friends or a romantic dinner with your special someone, Lantaw Busay is the best place to go. You have to call them up in advance for reservations because the place is always packed. Since we didn’t have a reservation we had to wait for empty seats near the balcony. While waiting we decided to take photos from the balcony (and of course a lot of selfies). When we were finally seated, we ordered the best dishes of Cordova which was suggested to us by Sir Joel. It was a sumptuous feast and we can’t wait to go back there to try some of the other food that Lantaw has to offer. Lantaw has a branch in Cordova and SRP where you can enjoy eating while enjoying the sea breeze.

Tops Lookout

Tops is a little further up the hills from Lantaw Busay. Tops is a circular open space. The place was chilly because it was a rainy day. Tops Cebu is a great place to chill with friends and have a few drinks, be it alcoholic or not. If you have tents, you’re free to bring them and stay for the night. Tops has a really great view of the city and it was refreshing to be able to inhale the fresh air.


Sirao Garden is a popular garden that grows numerous Celosia flowers. During our visit, it was raining a lot so we expected a muddy garden. As expected, it was really muddy. Our shoes were caked with mud. Nevertheless, a lot of people visited Sirao Garden despite the mud. The flowers were colorful and we took a lot of photos. We enjoyed the place without the worry of getting sunburned because of the cloudy skies.
flower garden
Sirao Garden

10,000 Roses Cafe

Most of the time, people forget about the café part of 10,000 roses. 10,000 Roses Café offers 10,000 man-made flowers with small bulbs inside them. These LED-powered roses light up in the darkness of the night are their main attractions. A lot of visitors are diners from Lantaw Cordova either before or after enjoying their lunch or dinner. It was a good idea to make 10,000 Roses as our last destination for the tour. The flowers are just better in the dark.
10000 roses
10000 Roses Cafe

The Twin City Tour of South Shores was just completely fantastic. It was nice to get to know more about Cebu. We were comfortably seated throughout the entire tour in the car they provided us. The owner Sir Joel is really friendly and knows a lot about the places we visited. The driver treated us very nicely as well. For those who are planning to have their own private trip, you can call up South Shores now and inquire on their available packages. They offer tours not just in Cebu but also in Bohol.
Note: This article was written by Edelyn Codera. South Shore Tours was the sponsor of the twin city tour.
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