THE WEEKLY #187: THE MOVE TO CEBU
Things have changed a lot over the last four years on this travel and blogging journey. One thing that has never changed though has been the constant travel. And despite what this blog title may suggest, I am by no means stopping the constant travels.
The way my blogging business is set up, I’m required to have a home base set-up. In 2019, I decided it would be the Philippines. This was a country I loved traveling in so it made sense to spend more time here. It’s also very cheap, incredibly safe and the locals are super friendly.
I rented a place in Moalboal in 2019 for about $5000 USD per year. It was a small 1-bedroom apartment near to the water. Nothing fancy but very comfortable for while I was there. It was a good spot but not very convenient as it was a 3-hour drive from Cebu International airport. I fly in and out a lot so being near the airport made more sense, especially if sometimes I was just back for a few days in-between trips.
So, for 2020 I changed things up and decided to head to Cebu City and rent an apartment. It was actually pretty easy. I asked some local friends which apartment building I should try and base at and then contacted a lot of online listings to set up viewings in my first few days in Cebu City. I actually stayed in an Airbnb where I was trying to rent to test it out and for convenience at the viewings.
After seven viewings over two days, I had seen all of the apartments and settled on a nice studio apartment near Ayala Mall. It’s a similar price to my apartment at Moalboal at just $6,000 per year. It’s small with just a bed, couch, table and a kitchenette but that’s really all I need. I filmed a short video below so you can see what my small studio in apartment looks like.
Within a week I had fully moved in and settled myself in Cebu City. I’d even bought a road bike, which became my favorite part of the whole situation. Riding around Cebu was pretty crazy but I find it fun. I never wait in traffic as I weave my way to the front of the lines. It’s not the fourth week in a row I’ve put in more than 100km’s on the bike so it’s a great way to transit around. The toughest rides I did were the ride to Tops Lookout, which is 750m of incline and a 45km-loop around Mactan Island.
So now that I was fully settled in… what to do? I leave for my next trip on February 16th to Japan. That left me with more than two weeks at my home base here in Cebu City. I quickly formed a routine of gym, bike, jog and working hard during the day on the blog. I wanted to use this period to catch up on everything I fell behind on during a busy 2019. I’ve been writing 2 blogs a day on average and if I keep this up till I leave I will be almost caught up and can enjoy a relaxing trip to Japan without too much laptop time.
I also got out on a couple of adventures with my friend Kia, who lives here. We headed one day down south to Moalboal to collect my stuff from my old apartment. On the way, we stopped at Mantayupan Falls, which is the tallest waterfall on Cebu. It was a Tuesday morning so no-one was there despite it being quite popular normally. It’s one of my favorite waterfalls in Cebu.
After Mantayupan, we headed to the lesser-known Lusno Falls, which was small but quite beautiful as it was hidden away in the jungle and farmland of central Cebu.
It was a great first week in Cebu City ticking all the boxes of things that needed to be done but also enjoying the luxuries of a routine and some adventures, of course.