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Dusk, Evening in Cordova, Mactan Island

A stunning view of Cebu at dusk as the city makes an urban backdrop and images of the simple and carefree life is in the foreground.

A stunning view of Cebu at dusk as the city makes an urban backdrop and images of the simple and carefree life is in the foreground. A surreal scene.

Mangroves separates the sea and sky as the reflection of the moon makes a bright streak in the water

Mangroves separate the sea and sky as the reflection of the moon makes a bright streak in the water

Speak of Cebu and images of the Sto. Nino, the province’s patron, comes to mind. And so does the valiant Lapu-Lapu, sweet mangoes, the famous lechon, guitars and beaches. But it is more than that. Cebu is a special and beautiful place. It is also my home.

Cebu’s twin bridges provide a spectacular view of the city whether it’s dawn, day or night. However, if you want the solitude, the quite murmurings of the waves as a banca paddles near or have dinner with a special someone, without losing the bright city lights, then the tongue of road jutting out less than a kilometer into the sea, terminating at a seaside restaurant in the municipality of Cordova, at the southern tip of Mactan Island is a must.

It’s out of the way, takes almost an hour from the city to reach and the roads can be confusing that it’s easy to miss this place.

A wooden footpath seem to go on forever to the sea but is actually just a few meters from the road where one can go up and down to a waiting banca

A wooden footpath seem to go on forever to the sea but is actually just a few meters from the road where one can go up and down to a waiting banca

Photo enthusiasts sometimes gather here as it provides a spectacular scenery as the sun sets over the hills of Cebu. Have a wide angle lens and you can capture the breadth and span of mangroves, still waters and the island province at a distance while the skies are tinged with red and orange and pink and purple as the day is ending.

The view of the sea and southern Cebu at dusk

The view of the sea and southern Cebu at dusk

Change to a telephoto lens to compress the view and you’ve got a surrealistic scene of boys swimming in the shallow waters faintly illumined with the dying light, a couple of fishermen manoeuvring their bancas as the urban structures of buildings, towers, steel and cement form a backdrop (top photo).

Cebu City lights cast an orange hue as dusk settles in.

Lights cast an orange hue as the city begins to prepare for the night. A thousand bulbs and lamps illuminates, giving off a radiance that is just dazzling to the eyes.

However, it is easy to miss the sunset if you procrastinate in going as you might be tied up in traffic in Mandaue City. But if you do come late, just sit back and wait as the city awakens. Slowly, lights go on, creeping at both directions sideways at the horizon until it has stretched almost from one end to the other with the brightest concentrated a little past the center to the right.

Stars shine as night finally settles in the city.

Stars shine as night finally settles in the city.

As the night deepens and the sky is clear, stars shine out. Its one spectacular scene. There’s no pollution or smog to blot out the skyline and mar the view. Depending on the time of year, it is easy to see Orion flee into the horizon upon sighting Scorpio rising. Or the familiar Big Dipper in constellation Ursa Major circling Polaris, the northern star in Ursa Minor. Reflections on the waters ripple and dance and you just stare into the distance, entranced and wide eyed.

Surely, its a view that you can never forget.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications.

He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces.

I’m open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

18 Comments

  1. dong ho
    November 29, 2008 @ 2:47

    the urban citylights of cebu amazes me the most when i was there. and it has a great view from the island of cordova. nice shots estan.

  2. jose mansueto
    November 30, 2008 @ 1:06

    Just one word. Stunning!!!!!!

  3. acey
    December 5, 2008 @ 22:10

    wow, this is cordova?! beautiful shots, estan.

  4. dyosa
    December 6, 2008 @ 23:28

    Spectacular shots! I love the last photo. It was incredible.

  5. estan
    December 18, 2008 @ 10:50

    thanx guys 🙂 Cordova is a must go to see another spectacular view of Cebu City

  6. Menchie
    December 25, 2008 @ 19:23

    WOW…and to think sa Cordova ra diay na…thank you for sharing these photos Stanley…Have a blessed New year!

  7. estan
    December 26, 2008 @ 10:10

    Have a happy new year ahead to Mench and thanx 🙂

  8. Cordova pabuto | langyaw
    December 31, 2008 @ 18:32

    […] in Mactan Island is not only a good vantage point for scenic views of Cebu City but, foremost of all, it is the acknowledged pabuto or firecracker center of the province. The […]

  9. JUlyPHILippines
    January 3, 2009 @ 5:15

    Bai, thanks for sharing these photos…great shots. I will try this place when I take my vacation this year.

  10. fedge
    January 6, 2009 @ 21:32

    wow i miss visiting cordova… although i practically live in the same island of mactan, i haven’t quite find myself some time to visit it again. i should visit cordova again and maybe take some photos while at it.

    great photos btw.

  11. Fast, cheap cruise, why didn’t I try this before? | langyaw
    January 10, 2009 @ 10:56

    […] Channel thinking that it’s old and dilapated until I was forced by necessity when I visited Cordova doing research for my pabuto post. And oh boy, I was in for a surprise. Why didn’t I try this […]

  12. pinoyapache
    January 10, 2009 @ 12:23

    wow what a view. i have never been to that side of the island at that time of day. you captured those images beautifully. it’s just amazing! my hats off to you.

  13. Outrigger
    January 8, 2010 @ 4:28

    “Mangroves separates the sea and sky as the reflection of the moon makes a bright streak in the water” this is just beautiful. Thank you!

  14. Mark
    October 19, 2011 @ 13:34

    Wonderful shots!

  15. estan
    October 19, 2011 @ 13:38

    thanx 🙂

  16. EDMARATION
    October 19, 2011 @ 13:40

    grabe, ganito na ba kaganda and skyline ng Cebu now? amazing.

  17. estan
    October 19, 2011 @ 13:46

    @ed, of course 🙂

  18. Beautiful view of Cebu City from Cordova | Langyaw Travel Photography
    November 8, 2011 @ 13:48

    […] more photos of this place. Share […]

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