The fastest and most convenient way to get to Mandaue City in Cebu is to travel by air. Most airlines, like PAL, Cebu Pacific, and Air Asia have daily flights from the major parts of the Philippines to Cebu. From Manila, travel time lasts for about one hour and 20 minutes. All flights to Cebu land at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. From there, Mandaue City is just minutes away by car.
You can also travel by sea to Mandaue City, though it takes a lot longer. 2GO Travel, Philippine Span Asia, Weesam Express, and Cokaliong Lines are some of the shipping lines that offer rides to Cebu. If you’re coming from Manila, sea travel takes about 23 to 24 hours. From the port in Cebu City, you can take a cab to Mandaue City.
How to Get Around
The iconic jeepneys are the main mode of transportation when in Mandaue City. These vehicles usually have their set routes and destinations, which are displayed on their windshields. Feel free to ask the driver or the locals for assistance if you’re unsure which jeep to take.
Riding the tricycle is also another option when going around Mandaue, though this option is applicable for shorter travels, usually from one barangay to the other.
By Taxi or Ridesharing Services
Cabs are available all over Mandaue to take you to the different parts of the city. Likewise, ridesharing services like Grab and Uber are also available—you can book a ride with just a few taps on your smartphone.
What to See
The National Shrine of Saint Joseph in Mandaue was said to have been founded by the Jesuits in the early 17th century. The church has an impressive façade, but much of it has undergone renovations because of the damages it suffered from calamities over the years. The church is also home to the image of Saint Joseph the Patriarch the oldest publicly venerated religious image in the country.
San Miguel Corporation has also set up a brewery in the city in 1967. The San Miguel Brewery is the landmark most locals use when giving directions. Jeepneys also often pass by the brewery so it is really easy to spot.
The Mandaue City Hall, also known as the Mandaue Presidencia, is also one of the city’s important landmarks. It serves as the seat of the city government and is most notable for its Neo-Grec style of architecture.
Mandaue City is also home to the Cebu International Convention Center. It is a three-story structure built to host the 12th ASEAN Summit, which was held in January of 2007. The convention center, however, was closed down in October of 2013 following a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that left the building with damages amounting to almost PHP 32 Million.
Learn more about the city’s history, art, and culture with a visit to the Luis Cabrera Ancentral House and Museum. This old structure was built in 1909 which houses artifacts that reveal so much about the historic past of the city. It’s one of the American-era structures that have been well-preserved in the city. Another place to visit to know more about the city’s past is Quijano Museum.
Another notable establishment in Mandaue City is 856 G Gallery found along Fortuna Street. Built in 2003, the gallery serves as a space open for artists of various media, style, and form to showcase their creations. The gallery has a noble goal of “preserving, exhibiting, fostering, and collecting Filipino artwork.”
The Mandaue Bridge Park is found beneath the Marcelo Fernan Bridge, one of the two bridges that link Mandaue City to Mactan Island. This relaxing area is often visited by families every Sunday afternoon for picnics and sightseeing by the Mactan Channel. It is also perfect for those who want to get fit: joggers are common in the area, while Zumba classes are held as well.
Many sporting centers are found throughout the city to promote health and wellness for the locals: Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Complex, the Mandaue Tennis Complex, the Aboitiz Sports Field, and the Portside Badminton Plaza to name a few.
Events and Festivals
There are a number of festivals celebrated in Mandaue that showcase the culture and long-standing traditions of the Mandauenon people. The Mandaue Fiesta, celebrated in honor of Saint Joseph, is held every May 8. The Panagtagbo Festival is held every January; its highlight is the meeting of the patrons of Cebu: Santo Niño, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and St. Joseph, of course, the patron of Mandaue.
Other festivals to witness are Kabayo Festival, a horseracing event held every second week of February and Pasigarbo sa Sugbo Festival, which is celebrated every August with lively street dances marked with colorful costumes.
Where to Eat
Dong Juan is a family-owned chain of restaurants that serves delightful yet affordable Filipino and American dishes. Must-tries include their burger steak in gravy sauce their mushroom cheeseburger.
Luca’s Test Kitchen is also another recommended dining place when in the city. Aside from its scrumptious Italian food, the restaurant is located on a rooftop, where guests can enjoy the cityscape. When dining at Luca’s, don’t forget to order their fall-off-the-bone ribs.
Meanwhile, Café Racer is the dieal place for some American grub. As its name suggests, car racing is the theme of the restaurant. You’ll spot some novelties like an old Volkswagen combi van that was turned into a cashier and an old Beetle that is being used as a grill. Guests can even enjoy “gas-pumped” beer onsite. Try their bacon bombs, Philly cheese steak, and chops with BBQ sauce.
Dining staples like Buffet 1010, Ramen Yushoken, Tao Yuan Seafood Restaurant, and well-known fast food chains are also available in the city.
Where to Shop
There are quite a number of shopping spots in Mandaue. The most popular ones include J Centre Mall, Park Mall, and Super Metro Mandaue. There is also S&R Cebu, located in the Subangdaku district.
The #iammandaue shop at the City Time Square is where you can buy authentic Mandaue products as a souvenir from your trip to the city.
Another landmark store in the city, known for its proudly Filipino-made furniture and home store items is the Mandaue Foam. Its main branch is located along H. Cortes Street in the Tipolo district.
Fare: PHP 3,000.00++
Regular airfare to Cebu usually costs PHP 3,000.00 for a roundtrip journey. If you’re planning to travel by sea, the boat fare will set you back PHP 1,200.00 for a one way trip if you’re coming from Manila.
When going around the city, the base fare for a jeep ride is PHP 7.00. When riding a taxi, the flag down rate is PHP 30.00 with additional PHP 3.50 for every 500 meters or 90-second waiting time.
Food: PHP 100.00 to PHP 2,000.00
Value meals worth PHP 100.00 are common in the city, especially in the fast food chains. If you’re dining at restaurants, the average budget is about PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00 per meal. There are also some fine dining restaurants available, where meals can go as much as PHP 2,000.00.
Shopping: PHP 50.00 to PHP 10,000.00
You’ll have plenty of options for shopping in Mandaue. Whether you’re looking for new clothes, pieces of furniture for your home, or souvenir items and pasalubong for your loved ones back home, you’ll definitely find a place to shop in Mandaue.
Key chains, ref magnets, and other trinkets are sold for about PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 apiece. Shirts in the malls cost about PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00, while a pair of jeans is worth PHP 500.00 to PHP 800.00. Meanwhile, pieces of furniture and home decors from Mandaue Foam can also be bought for as much as PHP 10,000.00 depending on the item.
Accommodations: PHP 1,000.00 to PHP 2,500.00
Budget accommodations in the city are available for as low as PHP 1,000.00 a night. There are also more high-end rooms for PHP 2,500.00 or more a night.
Activities: PHP 200++
Most activities that you can do in the city don’t really require much of a fee. If you’re planning to catch a movie at the mall, the cost of the ticket is PHP 200.00 per person. Hello Hans Movie House is a unique movie house in the city. The fee is only PHP 350.00 for two persons.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00++
When dining in restaurants, leaving tips is no longer necessary since a service charge is already included in your bill. But if you insist, a small amount of PHP 20.00 to PHP 50.00 is acceptable.