Mandaue is among the 7 cities that form up Metro Cebu, and compared to my previous visits at the South Road Properties (SM Seaside City), near the Port Area (SM Cebu), Cebu City (Fuente Circle) and even as far as Sirao Gardens, I can safely say that I had a fleeting time here.
On this post, I will be talking about my journey to Mandaue, as well as the budget I had set for my weekend stay here as I went there for ARCHcon Cebu 2019. So here’s how it went:
At the time of booking, the flight I had to and from Cebu is around Php4,500 including the prepaid baggage over at Cebu Pacific (If you are a frequent Cebu Pacific flyer, please have GetGo rewards already if you don’t have it).
I really recommend having prepaid baggage as you don’t know if you will go over the 7-kilogram limit (I do). I mean, that’s around Php1,000 but rest assured that you won’t have to embarrass yourself sorting out things in your luggage just to fit that bag in.
On a side note, I am happy that the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is halfway in finishing the renovation of its domestic terminals – the last time I got there, it felt neglected as the International Terminals are hailed as one of the best airports not just in the country but the whole Asia continent.
The only beef I had with the airport is its stricter security and luggage-checking measures as I depart there which forced me to take out the gadgets I have and place it on a separate tray. It seems someone took advantage of their security enough to warrant that hassle, no?
I stayed at Maanyag Pension House for 3 days and three nights (which cost me Php2,000 all-in). I got a two-bedroom unit with its own toilet and aircon.
It also has this countryside feeling, it’s kind of far from the bustling crowd and traffic. The thing is, I can walk all the way to J Centre Mall which is the venue for ARCHcon Cebu 2019 – maybe around 10-15 minutes away by foot, 5 minutes by jeep.
Maanyag Pension house is OYO Hotels’ partner #166 and is located at F.B. Cabahug St. in Mandaue City. You can book through OYO directly or through my Agoda partner link here.
J Centre Mall has a food court just beside the convention hall, and they have lots of choices ranging from the casual ulam at kanin (viand and rice) up to pasalubong (treats you can carry home).
Best of all, it’s designed differently – look up and see the ceiling painted with clouds; look left and see a special elevated part of the food court. I ate Balamban Liempo and Orange Brutus there. I got my treats at Linn’s which are so delicious.
The day after ARCHcon, I ate lunch at Kawaii Cafe, only to find myself immersed in finishing my ARCHcon 2019 story just before I go to my next destination.
Kawaii Cafe is among those rare places where you can immerse into weeb stuff, eat Japanese food and have good conversations with your peers. If that’s not enough they have specialty drinks named after key otaku words, all of which I won’t spoil just because.
My next destination is Parkmall, which I find interesting as it has a different way of treating itself. While it has its own park-like spaces inside the mall, the facade boasts of activity. I mean, they have Zumba at night!
My actual destination is the Choobi Choobi branch there. Yes, we do have Choobis in Pasig and Marikina, both of which I have yet to visit, nothing beats the feeling of dining in an alfresco area. I got stir-fry noodles (pansit) for myself, which cost me around Php200 depending on the serving.
If you are going around Mandaue and don’t want to hassle yourself, hailing a Grab car or Angkas bike ride is the best option. In fact, Angkas even has its own pick-up points in Cebu, akin to what Grab has in most malls in Manila.
Best of all, as I am only a few kilometers away from the venue and even the church, I get to hail Angkas rides for as low as Php30 versus Manila’s Php60 flat rate.
Jeeps in Cebu don’t look like jeeps in Manila – most if not all of them are converted multi-cabs with their respective route indicated in front (like 14D, 23D, 15, etc).
I also felt that Cebuanos love to shorten things, as much as we Tagalog do. They don’t call J Centre Mall as is, they call it “J-Mall.” Also, if you will hand over the fare to the driver, you don’t say “makikisuyo po,” you say “palihug po.”
Mandaue City in Conclusion
I believe I’ve said this before, but with its proximity to the airport, I treat Mandaue City the way I treat Pasay City. Combined with a well-thought plan, you can experience a few places without breaking your bank.
This time, I settled for the places I can afford my time to spend to, but if ARCHcon will be held at J Centre again, we know what to do. I hope you enjoy reading this guide, and I thank you for your patronage.