Cebu Ocho, around the island province in 2 days

An electric post amidst the wide expanse of sugarcane fields that marks the landscape of northern Cebu, legacy of the sugar industry started during the second half of the 19th century when the province was one of the top suppliers of sugar during the Spanish colonization period.

An electric post amidst the wide expanse of a sugarcane field that marks the landscape of northern Cebu, legacy of the sugar industry started during the second half of the 19th century when the province was one of the top suppliers of sugar during the Spanish colonization period.

The island province of Cebu can be toured around for two short days with minimal stopovers.

The island province of Cebu can actually be toured around in two short days with minimal stopovers. And that's what we did.

Speak of Cebu and images of the Sto. Niño , the province’s patron, come 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.

The slice of island that is Cebu province can actually be toured around for two short days. With minimal stopovers, it’s a wonderful opportunity to familiarize oneself with the various terrains, towns, people and heritage treasures that abound. What’s more, except for some few kilometers in the northwest, the roads are well maintained and comfortable.

This was what we did when me and my family decided to do a road trip. Nothing planned or strict itineraries to follow but we just had the road before us to trace and kilometer after kilometer, we did the, what I will call, the Cebu Ocho or Cebu Eight.

Setting forth at around 6 early in the morning from our home base in Talisay City, we started out to the south, rounded off the end at Santander and continued to Barili where we crossed to Carcar and back to base in the afternoon. The next day, we started off again and this time, to the north. The road is much longer and had lunch in Daan Bantayan at the northern tip. In late afternoon, we rounded to Carcar and back by around 6 in the evening. Tiring for my brother, who was the one driving, it was well worth the trip, a good way to bond as well as just know more about my province.

More details to follow in the succeeding posts.

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.


  1. Cebu Philippines
    May 1, 2009 @ 10:08

    Cebu is a wonderful, peaceful place to take a road trip and explore island life. I have been traveling around Cebu island and central Philippines for the last 10 years. Friendly people, always helpful, never any problems or danger. Cebu Philippines continues to be one of my favorite places in Asia!

  2. Zer
    May 1, 2009 @ 21:51

    This is awesome! Which area is the most scenic? So far, I did the Cebu City to Santader route. The coastal view there is very scenic with several old churches along the way. I wasn’t able to take photos of these places though since I was just taking the bus.

  3. estan
    May 1, 2009 @ 22:19

    @zer, abangan ang susunod na kabanata 🙂

  4. reena
    May 2, 2009 @ 20:18

    i didn’t know cebu had sugarcane plantations. i’ve never been to cebu’s rural areas. it’s nice to see it here. ii look forward to your succeeding posts.

  5. estan
    May 3, 2009 @ 12:42

    @reena, yes, sugar was one of the major industry of Cebu which started during the late 19th century when it was introduced by the Spaniards. There used to be an extensive train network in the province to transport the product

  6. dong ho
    May 4, 2009 @ 15:56

    ive never been to the southern part of cebu. the farthest ive been to south is i think labangon or talisay whatever is farther. that’s why on my next trip ill include carcar, moalboal and badian.

    we’ll look forward to the upcoming posts.

  7. Lantaw
    May 4, 2009 @ 16:28

    must be quite a road trip! Will wait for more photos 🙂

  8. gonli
    May 6, 2009 @ 6:31

    Im excited for the succeeding posts. You always take the best shots of your native town.Being in Cebu only twice, I want to learn more about the place and what it has to offer.

  9. Nomadic Pinoy
    May 11, 2009 @ 10:02

    How I wish I can go back to Cebu. It’s been years since I went, visiting Malapascua island in the north. I’d be happy to see the south – looking forward to your photos.

  10. A ritual of faith | langyaw
    May 11, 2009 @ 22:46

    […] guys, I’m really very busy right now with a deadline. Cebu Ocho will continue, hopefully, by next week. For the meantime, enjoy and reflect on a semana santa […]

  11. An enjoyable ride around north Cebu | langyaw
    May 30, 2009 @ 15:25

    […] more rough and more interesting for me. Earlier, we did the southern end. This, I fondly call Cebu Ocho, in reference to the route we took that resembles the number […]

  12. Langyaw in 2009 | langyaw
    December 31, 2009 @ 20:35

    […] featured touring around the island from north to south and visiting beautiful, not so known natural attraction. There’s also the […]

  13. All Inclusive
    January 8, 2010 @ 4:02

    Love the picture. thanks, I needed that!

  14. Cat
    January 9, 2010 @ 0:44

    Can you send me a road map of this 2day trip? Planning to do 1 soon.

  15. estan
    January 9, 2010 @ 0:58

    Cat, no need for a special road map. Just follow the national road around Cebu and you get to do what I did.

  16. Cat
    January 9, 2010 @ 1:06

    me wonders how much you spent on gas. 😀

  17. estan
    January 9, 2010 @ 1:20

    hmmm, gas, what i remembered was just we had a full tank, Isuzu Alterra, which is not a gaz guzzler for each day of the trip. it really depends on your kind of vehicle. well, there’s always the alternative of commuting which offers a different kind of fun (and some inconveniences) when traveling. Much, much more cheaper.

  18. mike
    January 15, 2010 @ 10:11

    I’m planning my first trip to Cebu. Any ideas? I’d like to see as much as possible. Can I hire a driver with a car? Thanks. Mike

  19. estan
    January 15, 2010 @ 16:10

    Mike, check out my articles on cebu:

    You can always hire a car with driver so that you can go to places and stop wherever you want. It would be much better also if you can have a companion who knows the province.

  20. Outrigger Vacations
    January 16, 2010 @ 11:54

    Great post, I would love to visit. Thank you.

  21. Sealand
    January 22, 2010 @ 3:40

    Thanks for the articles. Very interesting! Beautiful.

  22. Jaja
    October 15, 2010 @ 16:18

    we did the bottom half of the Cebu Ocho last weekend. We will be touring the northern part this weekend. Hope the weather cooperates. Thanks for sharing your experiences through this blog. keep it up!

  23. » Rugged but beautiful South Cebu | Langyaw: Sojourns and Off-the-Beaten Path Travels
    January 19, 2012 @ 22:10

    […] vehicle sped, tracing the wide cement and asphalt road down south in the first leg of our Cebu Ocho. Concrete houses and buildings gave way to wooden ones, open fields and rolling hills. As we pushed […]

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