Vacation Medellin, Cebu

Medellin, Cebu: Juvy and I on vacation.
Juvy and I on vacation.

Sometimes, you don’t know you need a vacation until you’re on one. Staying focused at work can be good until you let that focus blind you to other needs.

My wife’s niece, her husband Jilmore and their son visited us for a few days. When they were ready to go back home, at the northern end of Cebu Island, my wife asked if we could take a day off to visit them. I had just finished a job and didn’t have a new one lined up. “Sure,” I said.

We packed and made our way to the main thoroughfare—the highway which connects the entire island—North and South—with Cebu City in the center. The island itself is 196 km (122 miles) long, and 32 km (20 miles) wide at its broadest point. Cebu City is the oldest city of the Philippines and its first capital (1565–1569). Nearby Mactan Island is where Magellan died before his crew finished the world’s first circumnavigation of the globe. Not a nice way for Magellan to finish his vacation.

Juvy and I live in the Cebu City metropolitan area with a population of 2.5 million people. I’ve lived in this area for over 8 years and loving it more each year. Sometimes it seems I’m on a permanent vacation.

Vacation: Medellin, Cebu

Medellin, Cebu
Kalanggaman Island, Camotes Sea, Leyte

The municipality of Medellin has a population of only 50,000, near the northern tip of Cebu Island. It has a population density of only 680/km2. Along the coast, where our niece and her husband live seems almost rural. Their house is only about 30 meters from the Camotes Sea. The western side of the municipality faces the Visayan Sea.

Every meal comes with rice, even breakfast. Many Filipinos could not understand why an American would love rice so much. But I grew up eating rice—not every meal, but at least once a week. Sometimes breakfast is rice and fish or rice and egg. Simple, but tasty.

The family began to prepare a picnic for our planned trip to Kalanggaman (bird sanctuary) Island. While I jotted down ideas outside, looking out over the sea, Juvy had acquired a chicken. Jilmore’s uncle held it up by the feet for me to see. The chicken, upside-down, looked at me with innocent, but dazed eyes. Yes, lunch! Thank you, chicken.

As it turned out, our vacation picnic became a late afternoon snack.

Medellin, Cebu: Vacation, Rod on boat trip at sunset
Rod on the trip back at sunset on the Camotes Sea. Still 30 minutes from home.

We got a late start—roughly 1:00 pm. Two boats carried the family East toward Kalanggaman. Even starting out, I could see the ghost of faint blue hills on Leyte across the strait. But Kalanggaman has no hills, so it remained invisible throughout most of the journey there. We got back to Medellin about half an hour after sunset. The small resort island is about 26 km (16 miles) from Jilmore’s home. It took close to two hours to get there. New ownership wouldn’t let us land unless we paid an entrance fee. After two hours to get there, we landed anyway, but stayed on the beach long enough to rest before returning. Even so, it was well worth the trip.

Despite keeping my face and hands in shadow for most of the trip, they became extremely red from the sky and sea. One of my nieces from America said I should have used suntan lotion, but I told her I had stopped using the stuff when I learned that skin cancer became prevalent about the time suntan was being first promoted. No thanks. A little apple cider vinegar on the burn helped quite nicely. This felt far more healthy. A badge of honor for my vacation.

The video, below, gives a taste of the trip there and back, plus our short walk the next day to Medellin Hideaway on the peninsula jutting out into Bogo Bay.

Vacation Video

Or you can view the video at my YouTube channel—Vacation 2016:02 – Philippines, Cebu, Medellin.

More Vacation Pictures & References

Medellin, Cebu: Vacation, Rod Martin on boat to Kalanggaman Island
Me on the boat trip to Kalanggaman Island
Medellin, Cebu: Vacation, Juvy and Rod at Medellin Hideaway
Juvy and I at Medellin Hideaway.
Medellin, Cebu: Family
Family just outside Medellin Hideaway. Left-to-right: Lordelegene (niece), Juvy Martin, Rod Martin, Louie Jay (nephew), Jilmore
Medellin, Cebu: Map of Philippines and Cebu
Map of Philippines and Cebu. Locator Map: © Eugene Alvin Villar, 2003 ( Cebu Map: Magalhães (CC BY-SA 3.0).



This article was originally published 2016:0303 on


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