Mac­tan Is­land: Ideal mix of ur­ban, ru­ral

Philippine Daily Inquirer - - FRONT PAGE - —STORY BY ERIKA MAY D. FLORENDO AND VIT­TO­RIA LOU MAWIS-ALISTON

The ris­ing level of ur­ban­iza­tion has both push and pull forces com­ing from cities. Ur­ban dwellers of­ten travel to prov­inces for a quick get­away from the fren­zied city life, while those liv­ing in the prov­inces flock to cities for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties. Mac­tan Is­land can offer that unique dual­ity of ur­ban and ru­ral ex­pe­ri­ences, mak­ing it among the most ideal ad­dresses.

The ris­ing level of ur­ban­iza­tion has both push and pull forces com­ing from cities. Ur­ban dwellers of­ten travel to prov­inces for a quick get­away from the hus­tles and bus­tles of the city life, while those liv­ing in the prov­inces flock to the cities for bet­ter liv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

In­deed, choos­ing where to live is a dif­fi­cult choice. Should I leave ev­ery­thing be­hind for a peace­ful, pro­vin­cial life where I wake up to a stun­ning view of the beach ev­ery day? Or should I just go back to the con­crete jun­gle where ev­ery­thing is ac­ces­si­ble in just a few steps?

For­tu­nately, a few lo­ca­tions in the coun­try get to offer the dual­ity of ur­ban and ru­ral life and Mac­tan Is­land is among them.

AC­CES­SI­BLE TO LO­CAL, FOR­EIGN VIS­I­TORS

Going to Cebu via air travel, the first place you’ll set foot on is Mac­tan. This city opens its doors to for­eign and lo­cal tourists alike as it houses the lo­cally-in­spired, yet world­class Mac­tan Cebu In­ter­na­tional Air­port. A warm Ce­buano wel­come awaits you upon step­ping off the plane.

Trav­el­ing in and out should be easy for back­pack­ers and busi­ness­men alike given the reg­u­lar lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional flights. Mac­tan may also be reached via sea and land travel. Though no di­rect modes of sea trans­porta­tion are avail­able from Manila, ves­sels may dock at nearby ports. Com­ing from Cebu City, dif­fer­ent modes of pub­lic trans­port are ac­ces­si­ble as well. The main air­port of Cebu is in Mac­tan, af­ter all.

As for trav­el­ing within the city it­self, usual PUVS such as tri­cy­cles, jeep­neys, buses and taxis ply Mac­tan’s roads.

BUSINESS, BUSINESS, BUSINESS

Aside from Metro Manila, Cebu prov­ince is eas­ily one of the top choices of com­pa­nies and business process out­sourc­ing (BPOS) com­pa­nies look­ing for new lo­ca­tions. The crowded streets of Cebu City pave the way for set­ting up of­fice eas­ily, all leading to a bustling business cli­mate in Mac­tan Is­land.

Eco­nomic zones, of­fice build­ings, shop­ping malls, and busi­ness­men dressed up in for­mal cloth­ing make up the ur­ban life in Mac­tan Is­land.

If you’re too afraid of leav­ing the cor­po­rate life, your ca­reer path may be sought in the city’s business dis­tricts as var­i­ous em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able. The work life wouldn’t be com­plete with­out af­ter-work drink­ing with your col­leagues as pubs and bars also fill the city’s nightlife.

BEACH PLEASE!

With the beach just a few min­utes away from Mac­tan, you can have those much-needed va­ca­tion week­ends all-year round. Cebu is pop­u­lar for its pris­tine, white sand beaches as well as re­sorts and Mac­tan is lit­er­ally sur­rounded by them. Even if you al­ready have a place of your own in the city, you can still take ad­van­tage of the re­sorts with the ser­vices they have to offer. You have the op­tion of just laz­ing around un­der the sun with a mar­tini on hand or try­ing some­thing new. Thrilling wa­ter ac­tiv­i­ties like is­land hopping and jet ski­ing also abound.

If you think Mac­tan is al­ready beau­ti­ful on land, wait un­til you see what’s un­der­wa­ter. The coastal ar­eas out­lin­ing Mac­tan Is­land are a haven for divers. The ma­rine sanc­tu­ar­ies teem­ing with life boast of thick co­ral cov­ers and col­or­ful fish.

Whether you are an ex­pe­ri­enced or an am­a­teur diver, you wouldn’t want to miss out on tak­ing a dive here. If you’re not into div­ing but still want to wit­ness the ma­rine life, snor­kel­ing is an al­ter­na­tive ac­tiv­ity.

Don’t let the tourist at­trac­tions dis­tract you though. If you want some peace and quiet, wait for the sun­set at the beach and bask in the joy of pro­vin­cial liv­ing.

CUL­TURE AND CUI­SINE

Get­ting to know the his­tor­i­cal back­ground of your new place of res­i­dence adds more ap­pre­ci­a­tion to it.

You can’t miss the strik­ing, 20-me­ter tall bronze statue of Lapu-lapu just out­side the Mac­tan Air­port. The first Filipino hero earned his place here for his success in bat­tling Fer­di­nand Mag­el­lan. Mean­while, his op­po­nent is also given his­tor­i­cal recog­ni­tion in the is­land for spread­ing Chris­tian­ity. The Mag­el­lan Shrine can be found near the Mag­el­lan Port.

Most usually, tourists en­joy buy­ing trin­kets as sou­venirs. Some of the most fa­mous sou­venirs from Cebu in­clude ukule­les and even gui­tars. In par­tic­u­lar, the Ale­gre Gui­tar Fac­tory is highly pop­u­lar for its qual­ity crafts­man­ship. You can even watch how the in­stru­ments are made at the said fac­tory.

Mov­ing in, you also have to try the lo­cal food. Cheat meals will turn into cheat days as au­then­tic Cebu le­chon is just around the cor­ner. Le­chon found in Manila just do not do jus­tice to this fine but sin­ful del­i­cacy from Cebu. If you’re hav­ing a hard time de­cid­ing which restau­rant to eat from for le­chon, Rico’s Le­chon is a pop­u­lar choice. More restau­rants may be found around the Lapu-lapu Shrine for quiet even­ing din­ners near this her­itage site.

For a unique dining ex­pe­ri­ence, the Lantaw Float­ing Na­tive Restau­rant is def­i­nitely worth the try. It serves your fa­vorite Filipino food amid a scenic lo­ca­tion. Once you’ve fin­ished dining, you can head over to the 10,000 Roses Café next door, which has been fea­tured in nu­mer­ous In­sta­gram posts and sto­ries.

SAFE AND QUIET STREETS

A very important fac­tor ev­ery per­son wants in their neigh­bor­hood is safety. Some flock to ru­ral ar­eas to avoid crimes com­monly found in cities. How­ever, tourists and res­i­dents can at­test to the safe streets in Mac­tan. They claim that they can roam around alone at night with­out any fear of en­coun­ter­ing any crimes, which is re­as­sur­ing for the wor­ried mother or the ad­ven­tur­ous night wan­derer.

Af­ter get­ting to know your new home­town, all you want to do now is just kick back, re­lax and ad­mire what this city has to offer. You won’t re­gret mov­ing to Mac­tan Is­land to en­joy both ur­ban and ru­ral life.

The beach of Mac­tan of­fers a re­lax­ing at­mos­phere that is con­ve­niently lo­cated to mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties.

The Lapu-lapu Shrine on Mac­tan Is­land pays homage to our coun­try’s ear­li­est hero.

Jet ski and other sports ac­tiv­i­ties abound at the Mac­tan beach.

The Cebu le­chon is renowned for its crispy taste and suc­cu­lent fla­vor.

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