For some reason, downtown Cebu has received bad rep over the years. The risk of being robbed, garbage and pollution and not to mention the congestion already makes going there a bad idea. We can't blame you especially when you're a tourist. But once you get the hang of going around downtown, you'll discover the distinct beauty our lovely island has. Here's some reasons and tips on how and where to explore, because tbh, you're not a real Cebuano if you don't know your way around downtown!
Suppliers and cheap bargains of goods
Where do I begin...those tees you see at the mall, those cute fashion jewelry at some boutiques, trendy and surplus clothing, not to mention beauty parlor, baking and cooking suppliers at low prices can be found here. Even tempered glasses and cases for your smartphones and tabs available at major malls are sourced here too! Go to 138 mall and it's going to be a starting point on where to go. On the left side of the mall's strip, you can see a commercial complex selling supplies and goods for your trade. The best accessories and add-ons for your smartphone are located along the strip of where UC Main is located. There are several gadget shops which lead me to my next point
Yes, you can negotiate prices with these vendors who sell accessories for your gadgets and even stalls where you can find fashion jewelry along downtown in general. Just be careful when dealing with Muslim vendors, of you haggle without buying anything, it greatly offends them! As a general etiquette regardless of seller, if you're gonna haggle better make sure you'll buy!
Street Food and Local Cuisine
There are loads of places to go when it comes to food. Almost every night and most especially during peak seasons, a night market at Colon Street will have several local street food vendors selling the likes of tempura, sweet corn, refreshments, ginabot and saang. It's a good place to go if it's your first time here! Make sure to bring a friend who's a local so that you won't get lost in finding different shops and vendors. A good place worth noting as well is the food strip between Gaisano Metro Colon and Sto. Nino Church. Several makeshift tents house carenderya stalls that serve local cuisine such as adobo, larang, and bbq among many others.
Another tip worth mentioning is to dress down when you plan to explore. Leave your expensive jewelry at home because firstly, you want to protect yourself against the risk of having your belongings snatched and lastly, you can't haggle if you look too dressed-up! So if you're a tourist that plans to visit this part of Cebu, it's a great first-hand experience of culture. If you're a local that's weary of coming here, you're definitely missing out.