Cebu Days 1 and 2: Kukuk’s Nest, Turtle’s Nest, Jo’s Chicken, Mae Krua, and The Outpost

Day 1.

It was sunny when we arrived in Cebu Thursday afternoon but it had started to drizzle when our cab pulled into Kukuk’s Nest’s driveway in Lahug City (I did not take note of how long the ride was but it’s pretty far from Mactan-Cebu International Airport). After checking in and settling in, my friends headed to the hostel bar while I stayed behind to fix up a bit, connect to the internet, and order online flowers. The rain had gotten considerably stronger and this is what greeted me when I went to the main entrance.

Oh, boy. I went back to the room to rummage through Erwin‘s backpack, looking for his umbrella. No dice. For 800/900 a night, our room had a king-sized bed, air-conditioning, our own bathroom, but not enough lights (it was pretty dim which I hated). It had a TV but the reception was terrible. I was not in the mood to wait the rain out and it’s a good thing Erwin was intuitive enough to come get me with an umbrella he borrowed from someone at the bar.

Kukuks Nest

Unfortunately, we had to move to the second floor because the first floor gets flooded when it rains too hard. For 700 a night, we got two single beds and air-conditioning. It was brighter but we had to share a common bathroom which wasn’t really so bad (except for the lack of hot showers but really, what was I expecting?).

Lonely Planet describes Kukuk’s as “A tired old wooden building at the end of a long courtyard offering simple rooms with paper-thin walls and bamboo furnishings. There’s a jungle-themed outdoor restobar at the front that tends to fill up at night with foreign males and prostitutes; hence noise and security are concerns. Mealtime offerings are very good: calderata de cabrito (goat in spicy sauce) goes for around P130, and banana pancakes for around P85”.

(Funnily enough, I noticed a man without both arms the entire time we were there but I didn’t bother to talk to him mostly because “What’s up with your arms?” isn’t the most polite conversation opener. It turns out his name is Lino and is the resident artist. That guy is amazing, I saw him texting and drinking without help from anyone AT ALL.)

Anyway, I’m not sure what to say about Kukuk’s except that I both liked and disliked it. Kukuk’s was recommended to us by my friends’s friend. I had my reservations about the place after reading less than stellar reviews about the accommodations online yet we still ended up there. The rooms are how you would imagine the rooms at your great-grandmother’s house would look like. It looked dusty but seemed clean except my eyes said otherwise because they would itch and burn like crazy whenever I was in the room (my friends were fine). Other than that (and the terrible music), the restaurant/bar is a pleasant and chill place to hang out at. They have wifi (but SmartBro is unstable) and you can ask the staff to plug in your laptop. Oh, and the food was excellent, though I only had their bacon and egg sandwich and the jager schnitzel.

And then we went to SM.

We needed to get some supplies at Watson’s and decided to eat lunch at the food court. We saw Marina’s Lechon and wasted no time trying out the much vaunted lechon Cebu for ourselves.

Cebu lechon

I got a serving of adobong kangkong along with it and it was too salty =/

We took a jeepney back to Kukuk’s (I like how Cebu jeepneys are alphanumerically coded. To get to and from SM Cebu, all we had to do was ride a 4L jeep!). As we got off the jeep and started to cross towards Kukuk’s, Erwin went the opposite direction because he had seen a place that reminded him of Mogwai. Hipster senses, lol.

Turtles Nest Book Cafe

Kukuk’s Nest and Turtle’s Nest are one and the same except are across the road from each other. I knocked back a couple of vodka tonics before we crossed the street back to our hostel. I showered, changed into sleeping clothes, and then went down to the bar to drink some more.

Day 2.

Plans to hit the beaches at Mactan were canceled due to the weather. I had just turned on the shower when the rain started pouring and all I could do was groan in agony… mostly because the water was cold.

Jo's Chicken Inato

My boyfriend told me I had to eat at Jo’s Chicken so I pretty much decided that we would all have lunch there (there was one nearby at Salinas Drive). We were off to a slow start because Erwin got carried away chatting with our hostel owner. On a full stomach, I wouldn’t mind; I mean, we’re on vacation and have all the time in the world. Anyway, I was a little irate and I apologize for that lol.

Jo's Chicken

Not the best photo but I was starving and there was chicken right in front of me. Can you blame me?! This was DERISHUS~!!! I wish we had Jo’s Chicken instead of Mang Inasal peppered everywhere in the metro, heh.

Jo's Chicken Pancit Macau

Pancit Macau.

We went back to our hostel and had a couple of hours (which we spent drinking beer and Tweeting lol) before heading to Ayala to meet up with Kaith and Krist’ll. I have “known” Krist’ll since my Livejournal days and it was awesome to finally meet her!

My view for most of the trip lol.

Tin and I being dorks on Tumblr. We honestly had no idea what to do because we weren’t really up for doing touristy things.

Mae Krua

For dinner, Kaith and Krist’ll took us to their favorite Thai place, Mae Krua.

Mae Krua Roasted Duck Thai Salad

I ordered the Roasted Duck Thai Salad and OMG, I forgot to tell them not to make it so spicy. This set my tongue on FIRE! It took all I had not to gulp down my tamarind juice in one go. I also had some of the red curry and the crispy squid and all of them were delicious. I passed on the pad thai, though, because I’m not a fan of it AND NOW I REGRET IT, heh.

It was raining pretty hard when we left Mae Krua but that didn’t keep us from heading to The Outpost, an outdoor bar of sorts which we were told was “the most hipster place in Cebu” or “The Saguijo of Cebu.” I’m not too sold on that comparison but the vodka tonic was strong and the beer was cold.

Such an attractive face and pose, Helga.

Kristine later joined us at The Outpost and we all left for the nearest McDonald’s for curly fries!

I’m a Disney princess!

Left to right: Kaith, Krist’ll, me, and Kristine! Surrounded by Ks!

After a fattening Cheeseburger Meal and more chatting, Krist’ll and Kaith dropped us off at our hostel where we drank, Tweeted, and Tumblr-ed some more before getting some ZZZs.

Just a few more photos:

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  • Reply John Steven October 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Princess Helga! ^_^

  • Reply Len October 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Nice underarms picture of you and Tin!

    How sad :( I’ve never seen a rainy Cebu in my three visits there :(

    You look like Ariel the mermaid hehe

  • Reply Ero October 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Lahug is not a city.. :P

  • Reply Kaith October 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    the pictures are lovely but i just have to say this: i am so fat. must stop eating starting er, tomorrow =P

  • Reply Dea October 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I was born and raised in Cebu but I haven’t been back in forever! I miss Cebu!

    Small world, Krst’ll and I were classmates/orgmates in UP Diliman, while Kristine was my high school batchmate in Cagayan de Oro.

    I’d love to meet you and Kaith someday. :)

  • Reply Lurchie October 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Jo’s Chicken Inato! hehehe

    I’ve enjoyed following your tweets during your vacation in Cebu as well as Tin’s. You’ve managed to visit the places I wanted to visit (Turtle’s Nest & The Outpost) for a year now.

    Oh and I just have to throw this in, but the first ever Jo’s Chicken Inato was constructed here (Dumaguete)! LOL They have another branch called “Jo’s By The Sea”. :)

    Kaith is so nice! I met her in person last August. hehe

    Great pics BTW! :)

  • Reply P October 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Jo’s Chicken Inato: there’s one in Congressional QC

  • Reply Krst'll October 23, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Helga! Come back already!

  • Reply Kristine October 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    My gay friends were amazed that we just met online and we’ve been talking like we knew each other for so long. :) I’ll have your laced Belgian cookies next time nalang!

  • Reply Kaith October 26, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    helga, i’ll copy some pics ha. eyeball entry =P thanks!

  • Reply junjun mcjunjun October 26, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    lechon :(

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