Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 17): A Great View of Cebu City from Tops Busay

A view of Cebu City from Tops Busay

“The best way to end the night is by looking at the stars above and stars below.” - this is exactly what me and my buddies did when we went up to Tops Lookout in Busay, Cebu.

Tops Lookout, which is also called as Tops Cebu and Tops Busay, is located on the mountains at the back of Cebu City. It is one of the highest points of Cebu City at a height of around 2,000 feet from the mean sea level.

Our generous host, who also brought us to this Chinese restaurant in Cebu City, provided the shuttle that brought us to Tops Busay. It took us more than 30 minutes to reach the spot from the Gaisano Country Mall.

Our host also paid for the entrance fee. I read in other blogs that the entrance fee for Tops Busay is 100 pesos. I guess that our host paid a hefty amount.

We were welcomed by a very good view of Cebu City!

Cebu City from Tops Busay

The lights from the Queen City of the South resembles a galaxy. This is a city that never sleeps.

We were lucky that there is no rain nor clouds during that night. Thus, we had a very nice view of both the city and starry sky.

Budoy on Top on Tops Busay, Cebu City

Tops Busay is a good place to drink beer so the only bar in that place, named Budoy on Top, is perfectly located.

We spent our time on Tops Busay drinking a few bottles of beer. We didn’t drink much since the beer in that place is quite expensive.

Budoy on Top Bar on Tops Busay, Cebu City

Aside from the city lights, another nice place is the covered area that have these circular posts:

Circles in Tops Busay, Cebu City

I guess this is an Instagrammable spot in Tops Busay.

Tunnel in Tops Busay, Cebu City

Tops Busay has a small old bell that I enjoyed banging. I do not know the purpose of that bell. I guess it is there for aesthetic purposes or maybe give visitors something to do.

Old bell on Tops Busay, Cebu City

I read in some blogs that people also go to Tops Busay to have a good view of the sunset. I am not sure though if they can see the sunset since Cebu City is facing the east.

Tops Busay is the second tourist spot that I visited on the mountains of Cebu City. The first tourist spot is the Taoist Temple, which I visited in 2010. The third tourist spot on the mountains of Cebu that I visited is the Temple of Leah, which I will post about later.


Read more of my latest adventure in the island of Cebu!

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 19): Temple of Leah - The House of Vanity
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 18): A Better Stay in Bayfront Hotel in Cebu
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City
Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 14): My Accidental Visit to Mt. Carmel Church

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 16): A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City

As someone who frequents Binondo Chinatown, I am very familiar with the Chinese dishes. I posted previously about some restaurants that I dined in Binondo Chinatown such as the Lan Zhou La Mien and Ho Kui Tea House. Eating Chinese food is already passé for me that I am not keen to try one during my trips to Cebu. However, our generous host invited us to a dinner in a Chinese restaurant called A Taste of Mandarin.

A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City

It is my first time to dine in a big (and I daresay upscale) restaurant in Cebu City. I usually eat in fast foods and food courts to save money. A Taste of Mandarin is comparable to Golden Bay Fresh Seafood Restaurant, where we held our wedding reception.

Red tables in A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City

We are a big group but our generous host said that we can order anything.

So we ordered Fried Lapu-Lapu in Sweet and Sour Sauce…

Lapu-lapu dish in A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City

…Shredded Beef with Green Pepper…

Beef dish in A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City

…and these fried noodles.

Fried noodles in A Taste of Mandarin in Cebu City

I was not able to get good photos of the food because my friends are very quick eaters. I had to take quick shots lest I will not get any food.

All in all, our group had a good time in this Chinese restaurant. The food is quite nice and it reminded me of the good dishes that I had in Binondo Chinatown.

During the Spanish Era, the Chinese were a given the Barrio de Pari-an, which is the area north of the ciudad (or the Spanish settlement). Majority of the Chinese were merchants and the center of commerce is along Calle Colon, which is the oldest street in the Philippines. Unfortunately, much of the old Chinese stores and houses along Calle Colon were tore down and replaced by modern commercial buildings.

The hidden Chinese heritage of Cebu City explains why there is such place as Taoist Temple in the city. Aside from that temple, the only reminder of that lost heritage are the Chinese restaurants such as A Taste of Mandarin.

Laag-Laag sa Cebu (Part 15): Taboan the Pasalubong Center of Cebu City

Taboan Market Pasalubong Center of Cebu

"Bili ka ng danggit" - is the usual spiel of my Beloved Wife Lei whenever I have a trip to Cebu.

What the wife commands the good husband obeys so I dedicated a day to visit the pasalubong center of Cebu City, which is none other than the Taboan (Tabo-an) Market.

Taboan Market in Cebu City

I have been to Cebu so many times but I still have a hard time going to Taboan Market. There was an instance that I reached Carbon Market instead of Taboan. Losing my way was not a total disaster since I got the chance to visit the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.

My visits to Taboan Market are dizzying experiences not only because of the strong odor of dried seafood but also of the variety of dried fishes for sale here. First time visitors will be amazed by the sheer volume of dried goodies.

Dried seafood for sale in Taboan Market, Cebu City

I thought that Taboan was so called because dried seafood is "tabo tabo sa sobrang dami!" Well, I was wrong.

I read from the article of Clarence Paul Oaminal in Freeman that Taboan Market was established after the Tres de Abril Battle between the Katipuneros and the Spaniards. The revolutionaries lost the battle and the colonial government arrested almost all the residents of the San Nicolas District where many of the Katipuneros came from.

San Nicolas became a ghost town since the residents fled to the mountains to avoid arrest and interrogation.

The responsibility for reviving the town fell to a certain Teniente Indong and some San Nicolas officials who were released from the prison in Fort San Pedro. They revived San Nicolas by establishing a market in a place called Tagbu-an, where the consumers from the city and the vendors from the mountains would meet.

The place eventually became the center of trade in the Visayas where produce from the seas and mountains are sold. In time Tagbu-an became Tabo-an.

Buyers of danggit and other dried seafood in Taboan Market, Cebu City

I thought that danggit is the Visayan word for "dry" or "dried". Lei laughs at me whenever I ask if she wants the "danggit na pusit" aside from "danggit na isda". I was wrong because danggit is the local name for rabbitfish.

Dried Danggit in Taboan Market in Cebu City

I bought dried danggit for Lei and I also bought dried squid, which is my favorite. We usually fry them and then dip then in vinegar. It is best paired with sinangag.

Aside from dried seafood, I also saw other Cebu pasalubong like the langgonisa hanging like fat hair strands.

Longganisa for sale in Taboan Market in Cebu City

Those sausages are enticing but Lei didn't want it because they are exposed to the elements and flies.

I also saw Cebu pasalubong sweets from like broas, otap, and dried mangoes. However, I didn't buy from Taboan because I prefer to buy directly from Shamrock. Souvenirs such as key chains and ref magnets are also available in Taboan.

Souvenirs for sale in Taboan Market, Cebu City

A visit to Taboan is truly overwhelming. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of dried seafood. I was also overwhelmed by the fishy odor that sticks to my shirt.

If you are a visitor to Cebu, I suggest that you drop by Taboan and buy all your Cebu pasalubong in one go.