Thursday, January 21, 2016

Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino: My Special Sinulog Weekend Home in Cebu

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Sinulog is a very much anticipated event in Cebu every January. It seems like an extension of the holiday season for many since the preparations involved in the almost two-week-long festivities are done nearly simultaneously with the Christmas and New Year celebrations. In fact, the celebration of Sinulog festivities may even be equal, if not more grandeur, compared to the holiday activities.

As reported by the local government of Cebu, the number of tourists, both local and foreign, have been constantly increasing that it has become an amazing tourism attraction for the province. The fully booked Cebu hotels and airline flights shows very well that many people find Sinulog a very worthy event to witness.

I joined the thousands of people from all over the country, and the world, to spend the last Sinulog weekend in Cebu. This is the time when the celebrations are more phenomenal. This is the time when Cebu goes full blast with all their glorious activities especially on the last Sunday where they hold the grand parade.

Thus, you should not miss this weekend when everything becomes more joyously colorful and vibrantly explosive, not only from the parade or fireworks, but from the people themselves when they finally let out everything and shout their loudest "Viva Pit Senyor!"

For my stay at Cebu, I made Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino as my temporary home for the weekend. The hotel was very convenient for travelers who wants to be a few steps away from the Mactan Cebu Airport. It is literally just beside the airport so you don't need to fetch a cab going to this hotel.

Upon entering the hotel, you'll be greeted with a lobby decorated by a female mannequin dressed in a Sinulog festival queen attire. It changes color because of the lighting effects and thus attracts a lot of photo ops attention from the hotel guests.

Just beside the lobby is the UNO restaurant that you would need to check put for their amazing buffet spread during breakfast, lunch and dinner. I had the opportunity to have breakfast and lunch there and happy to report that they were both very satisfactory experiences.

I even met one of the most notable TV personalities from ABS-CBN network who host and produce the Swak na Swak TV show. She and her team are also staying at the same hotel. So privileged to be dining with her during lunch time at the hotel. I'm sure everyone in the country knows Kat De Castro, who is also popularly recognized as the daughter of former Philippines Vice President Noli De Castro.

This is my second time to meet her - first in Manila during an awarding ceremonies at the World Trade Center where her Swak na Swak program won an award, and now in Cebu where I joined her and her SWak na Swak team for lunch at Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino. Always the cheerful, smiles a lot, and very approachable lady who's very willing for some photo ops with her fans. Now I know she loves pork belly, hates malunggay because she's allergic to it, and definitely loves to party with her friends!

I also met the Marketing Communications Officer Hanski Garcia and Hotel Manager Rex Benhur Caballes. Also with us are Chef Renz and Executive Chef Bien who just recently joined the hotel just a few days ago. There was also Chef Peter who demonstrated the preparation of their special Sisig dish.

I will share you the videos and photos soon on a different blog post where I will share my dining experience at the hotel and all over Cebu.

I was given room 708 located in the premier (7th) floor with access to the Ambassador Lounge. The room has two beds (so I just used the other one to put my stuff) and a bathtub (spent the Friday night planning for my Saturday while half-submerged in it), aside from the usual amenities.

Yes, I am obviously traveling alone since this is one of those adventure trips of mine where I aim to explore and discover a destination by my lonesome. I traveled light with only 1 backpack and a body bag to put the basic necessities like my camera and smartphones.

The Ambassador Lounge gives you access to their function rooms where you can hold meetings with your friends or colleagues. It has three computers with Internet connection and comfy seats just to hang out or relax.

I was never really alone since I had the people of Cebu as my companions - strangers that served as my guides within the province of Cebu. You'll be surprised which parts of Cebu I've been too.

But I'm not going to tell the entire story in just one blog post. I will be spreading my stories in several blog posts so you can join me in my special Sinulog weekend adventure.

I enjoyed the huge pool of the hotel. They even have a jacuzzi at the elevated part just beside the pool, plus a billiard and table tennis table. There's a path going to the pool from the elevator so it is very convenient to access the pool area at anytime of the day.

My visit to Cebu was not only about Sinulog. It was also about a food tripping adventure going from one restaurant to another. It was also learning how to commute using public transportation aside from taxi cabs. I experienced taking the jeepneys/multi-cabs and riding the habal-habal motorbikes, interacting with the locals and asking them for directions and schedules of Sinulog activities, church visits, partying, and a lot more adventurous activities that would make you think I'm crazy.. Lol.

My Sinulog weekend in Cebu was miraculously successful, exciting and enlightening. I got lost going to certain destinations because sometimes the drivers couldn't understand my Tagalog, or I couldn't understand their Bisaya (more likely). But I eventually found my way through the help of other locals who graciously guided me towards the right direction. 

Nevertheless, I want to do the same thing again on the next Sinulog....and other festivals in other destinations within the country.

I would like to thank my sponsors for this special Sinulog weekend namely Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino, Lamudi Philippines, Go Go Cafe, Canvas Bistro Bar Gallery, Room for Dessert, The Suite Room, and also to Tokyo Table Cebu, Big Tom's Charbroiled Burger, and Tequi-La-La.

All photos used in this blog post were taken using the Alcatel Flash 2 "mobigraphy" smartphone.

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