October Visit To The Philippines

Arrived in Cebu from a ferry ride.  The ferry ride was enjoyable once the seating was sorted out.  A bunch of kids on a school field trip took over other people’s berthing spots.  School teachers rounded up the kids and got them into the correct places.  A short van ride from the dock to Hotel Fortuna in Cebu had us at our lodging.  First thing we wanted was a hot shower.  They used on demand hot water heaters.  Both our room and the room the room the adult children stayed in had defective hot water heaters.   A call to the front desk had a maintenance fixing both hot water heaters.

The next morning we went down for the free breakfast that came with our rooms.  Stingy (Kirupot) does not begin to describe the portions.  A fruit plate was delivered with three bites of fruit on it.  Three-in-one coffee, juice and tepid foods.

Off we went on a guided tour.  We saw where Magellan got whacked by Lapu-Lapu.  Saw where Allegre makes musical instruments, saw Magellan’s Cross, and a very old home turned into a museum.   All in all, if you have the time, rent a car and do this tour of Cebu on your own.  Back to the hotel we refilled our water bottles and went out shopping.  We were in a department store when everyone and everything just ground to a standstill.  After everyone began moving again I asked the GF what was up with that and she said “Catholics having a radio prayer.”  Wanted to try some Korean BBQ but it was the display that had set out all day at room temperature.  Not wanting to experience LBM or worse we went elsewhere for dinner.

The hotel public areas were clean, as were the rooms.  Privacy?  Forget it.  You could easily hear conversations down the hallway.   The rooms were spartan with few amenities.   We had a room with no view of the outside.

Hotel Fortuna has some rough edges, but is livable.  The tour?  Hmm, a bit overpriced for what you got, but it was good to see these things.


Published in Tourism


  1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

    Theres a term I use called “getting ambushed”

    you know when the cousins all turn up without even the decency to ask “is it ok”.
    that is filipino style. Just, hes a foreigner, rich man, kind heart, kind…. lets take
    everyone along as Mr. Foreigner will pay.

    Well, speaking of tours
    Ambushed examples;

    1. tour guide – quotes – xxx pesos to go for an overnight trip. Along comes the drivers son.
    ok, ok, so he brings the son.
    turns up at hotel and expects another room. expects food, now for two. then runs off
    to the family house and stays the night and eats .. so where did the money go for payment for the drivers room?
    he turns up to the excursion and expects foreigner to pay for the kid …
    he gets money for his payment as he also wants to go …then opts out
    you see what Im saying…
    he goes in low… gets the business
    and puts his hand in every way along the way grabbing the tourists money and then he fails to go ahead with what he said he would do.
    in the end I said you got ambushed – you paid way way more than you should have.

    he gave his gf money to go and find a car. She comes back .. no cars (blank blank)
    so she said she has a answer
    next morning up turns the cousin in an old car
    like wtf? and she said ive given him the money (the same amount that would have paid for a new car to hire!!)
    and so cousin wanted to stay in the hotel room also and there was feeding and watering of this mongrel also

    3. SKIN TAX
    these filipinos can be racist when they want.
    have you been to a place where the locals pay 20p and foreigners 200p and they do some bullshit
    accent test to work out whether your Tagalog or Visayan or Foreigner (if they cant see)
    fuck i hate that
    then you get …
    local price of filipinos accompanied by foreigners
    fuck them. I paid not 20p a head but a lot more and what would have been
    300p for a bunch of people the owner wanted 3,000p i said
    no way. lets go. LOSE LOSE.

    1. Profile gravatar of Johnny

      Filipinos are the first to call racism against any other nation or when they stumble on a blog with comments like this one. They have no idea.
      Charging someone different prices for the same service depending on their nationality or skin color is definitely racist. Also, shows they just want tourists to take advantage of, not to actually provide anything substantial worth a shit.

    2. Profile gravatar of TightWired

      Everything you’ve mentioned, is the reason why I rarely take true holidays in this country. I’ve taken a couple 2 day trip up North, and a few overnight trips to the coast. I’m not saying I didn’t have fun, but their was usually some type of Fili-fail stuff involved.
      I like No-Brainer holiday’s.
      What is a No Brainer…Having Hot water at all time of the day. No Brown outs, Not having to argue with the hotel or Locals about stupid shit, not Fighting the Taxi/trike Mafia when ever I want to go somewhere, not having to worry about breaking a leg on a crumbling sidewalk, or being hit by drivers. not paying an excessive “Foreigner Tax”, and enjoyable locals food. I can go on…but I’m sure you get the picture.
      I’m assuming their are 4 – 5 star resorts out there…but for about the same price of Fili-Fail holiday (air faire, taxi, nice hotel, good food) I can catch a budget flight (Clark airport) for a couple extra bucks…and enjoy myself not having to worry about the Fili-fail stuff we see every day. I also call these trips….a Breathe of Fresh Air.
      Additionally, because I’m still a relatively Young Lad…I have to play the 30 – 59 day VISA game Outside the RP holidays also match my visa requirements. I detest having to give visa extension fees to a failed gov’t.
      Oh well…My next trip will be during Xmas – New Years…outside the Fili-Fail that is.

      1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

        To Tightwired
        You can buy a 30 to 59 visa when you enter the country,, right at the airport,, same price and only takes 1/2 hour.. Just the immigration BEFORE you get your passport….
        HOWEVER, save the paper receipt, and make sure they print the 2 receipt numbers under the 30 to 59 days visa stamp.
        They do not trust the stamp,, but trust the paper receipt when you go back out the country????

  2. Profile gravatar of Johnny

    Btw, I know they claim Cebu is such a great place for tourists, but I don’t see there is all that much to do. I went to Magellans cross and I said, “thats it?”. There is Mactan island, but there is no beach unless you go to the hotel. I did the whole high-rise walkaround thing too.
    Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things to do, but its not such a tourist place they claim. Or maybe I’m missing something.
    I asked the last time I was there what are the tourist things. They mentioned what I have already done, a couple of other things, and of course they mentioned all the malls. I’m so sick of malls in the Philippines. I did not even go to the nicer, better stocked malls in the USA. Malls in the Philippines are all pretty much the same.
    I do like Cebu. It’s a cool city, especially if you come from a shit-hole province city like I do. It’s so much better than Manila without the headaches, so many scammers, and less traffic. I just don’t see much of a tourist angle on it. Maybe bohol has the nice nature and beaches.
    And trust me, if I had to choice of where to live in the Philippines, I’d pick Cebu.

    1. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
      Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

      These fucking idiots think that a mall is some kind of attraction. I live in the heart of a high end mall precinct. Being Christmas, we are currently having bus loads of these fucking imbeciles delivered here – all day, every day. I can’t walk my dogs for the throngs of self-absorbed morons taking selfies in front of the fountains, and standing in groups to discuss who the fuck knows what. It’s a mall for fucks sake. Get over it!

  3. Profile gravatar of Don Quixote
    Don Quixote

    Father Bong,
    What is it about flips and malls????????
    They must think they are fucking churches the way they seem to venerate them, Come to think of it they are everywhere like churches
    I think to myself ho hum just another fucking mall. In the real world they are ripping them out, renovating them re opening thoroughfares to traffic knocking them down, I haven’t seen or even heard of one being built for some time
    .Unless part of an apartment complex
    Maybe it is the sign they crave that all that new modern shiny shit from China is just sitting there waiting to get bought by some one with money.
    I can tell you the only places that are full in every mall I walk through in the Philippines are the food halls.
    98% of stores will be lucky if they have one customer, they will have 3 to 5 staff trying to get that one customer to buy something, anything??????????
    If I go near Sm I know what I want and am in and out real fast, 20 min I’m gone max, unless I have to pay at SM, then the shitfight starts, maybe it is because they have so few customers , they actually don’t know what customer service really is.
    What is it with their FAKE SALES ?????????????? Flips rush to these bullshit sales crowd everything and think they are getting some sort of deal. SEE IF YOU CAN SNIFF OUT THE REAL PRICE that is the real game there.

    1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

      I was at a sale in Moa…. The food courts and restos were full to the brim. So of course, Heny Sy gets a cut of the gross sales of the restos.. so he is the real winner.
      I have seen retail outlets who never have a customer when I happen to go there! I do not know how they stay in business.. Even a small food cart cost 40,000 in rental fees to operate in the aisles or walkways, Oh well , the OFWS or rallies abroad pay for the losses anyway.
      I see lots of businesses here where the owner is an ofw or has relations abroad.. Not too mention the houses that are crammed full with extended families in their rabbit hutches. All paid for by OFWS,, relatives abroad or the grandparents are pensioners.

  4. Profile gravatar of Sarah

    Don, I think it’s because Flips looked down on anything that’s associated to rural life, in case they get teased for being “Probinsiyana” (from the provinces), so they congregate in the malls to show off, even though many probably don’t have any more than P100 on their pockets, if that! Take photos and post it on FB “look at me, I’m in MOA!, I’ve become a city girl!”. Not just that, but also Malls are air conditioned, so they hang out there to cool off. Remember, Flips are scared to get dark skin. What better places to protect your skin, stay out of the sun than the Malls?

  5. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    Yes, the mallsare full of these turds on weekdays. Very slowly shuffling (waddling) and clogging up the aisles. They maybe have one brand name paper bag to show off with.
    SM is very smart. There are very places to sit,, so they either sit in a resto getting fat,, or waddle…..

    1. Profile gravatar of JamesR

      There will be a major correction. The madness of continuing to build mall after mall… the Philippines has the highest per capita rate of malls in the entire world. Like mentioned above, how long will shop owners continue to pay first world rates in rent… I saw prices for rent at $20 USD/1,000 pesos per square meter per month for malls in the Philippines, that’s what many stores pay in the United States. Why pay that when your store is empty 99% of the time? Apparently the Philippines is the actual economic center of the world.

  6. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    Filipinos hate an empty space. Does not matter if 5 businesses have gone bankrupt there, some flip will come long and rent it for a high price,. The kano will pay for it until he gets tired of shoveling good money after bad.

    1. Profile gravatar of FHPS

      @jackson As you know, you cannot ttust the word of a Filipino. The other thing is the “FOMO” feeling (fear of missing out).

      Filipino’s cannot see opportunity and therefore when a foreigner comes along and transforms something then the FOMO comes into play with Filipinos that they play dirty tricks.

      Take a friend who found a restaurant that was dirty and had no people going in that part of the shopping mall. It was in a basement. he rented it for around 3,000 a month. Totally unwanted space. Did the place up, repaint etc.
      FOMO Filipino comes in and sees all the people in there and goes to the owners mind “im missing out on rent here, why should i get 3,000 a month this is now good”.

      The owner then wants him out and said you have to keep all your fixtures here . “you dont know the laws in the Philippines” the FOMO filipino says. They love to use this line the stupid filipinos.
      This is common FOMO. Filipinos will stoop to the lowest standards and lies to save face and get their fuckups rectified especially at a foreigners cost.