10 Popular Cebu Spots That Are No Longer Around

Anyone else miss Glico's at Ayala Center Cebu?

places we miss in Cebu
PHOTO BY Facebook/Ayala Malls (Ayala Center Cebu), Rudy Alix ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) There are some places from our past that could never be replaced. These could be your go-to restaurant for special occasions, your favorite childhood amusement park, or even your favorite college hangouts. Let’s take a trip down memory lane with these places in Cebu we wish we could still visit.

Also read:
10 '90s Childhood Hangouts That We Miss

Feeling nostalgic? Here are places in Cebu that we miss:

The Old Ayala Lagoon

Ayala Malls (Ayala Center Cebu)
PHOTO BY Facebook/Ayala Malls (Ayala Center Cebu)
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Before The Terraces, there was the lagoon. This place was a classic hangout spot for everyone. Families made it a Sunday habit to bring leftover bread for fish feeding, while lovers were spotted having a romantic stroll. Friends had picnics and conversations while some enjoyed their own company, just watching the turtles come up for air in the murky water. But don’t think it was all picture-perfect—everyone came ready with mosquito repellant or suffered a zillion bites!

Glico’s Ayala Center Cebu

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For most of us, spending our weekends in Glico’s, the amusement arcade inside Ayala Malls Cebu, was one of our fondest childhood memories. Our parents would hand us tokens one by one, so we wouldn't lose them. Then off we’d go on our favorite rides—the Flume Ride, the Bug Buster, the play pit filled with plastic balls, and that “canoe” ride. Let’s not forget the bumper boats that got all of us wet at the end of every round! 

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Handuraw Pizza Gorordo

Handuraw Pizza
PHOTO Courtesy of Handuraw Pizza

Handuraw Pizza along Gorordo Avenue was more than just a home-turned-restaurant. This was the go-to place for all sorts of gigs and collegiate events, as well as poetry readings and screenings of Cebuano-made movies. On weekends, local bands gathered either to play or just chill, and we enjoyed the music with a bottle of below-zero beer on hand. All kinds of music were welcome in this place—heavy metal, indie, Vis-pop, and reggae, to name a few. The fact that there was limited space also gave off a more intimate vibe. Handuraw Gorordo’s community was very diverse but it always welcomed everyone, making it one of the homiest local places we miss to this day.

Sunday 2 PM Cafe

Sunday 2pm
PHOTO Courtesy of Ana Gonzales
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Sunday 2 PM was probably a lot of Cebuanos’ first experience of an actual Korean café. It had all the elements for a Korean vibe—-colorful sticky notes from customers decorating the place, K-Pop songs playing on the speakers, and various stuffed toys and board games you can play with your friends.

Despite having a small area, the coffee shop gave off a cozy vibe that made the place conducive for studying and cramming papers. Customers were also allowed to borrow books from their wide collection of novels and manga. This place was well-loved by Hallyu fans, and we were sad to see it go in 2020 because of the pandemic.

Baseline Restaurant and Recreation Center

The old Baseline was basically a country club of sorts. People went there to play tennis, billiards, ping pong, or join aerobics classes. Some rented out function rooms for meetings and parties. A few of us have good memories of the yummy quesadilla from the outdoor snack bar. It was a bit too spicy for our age at that time, but was still too good to pass up. 

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Another thing everyone remembers is how Baseline transformed into the OG Sinulog party place every third Sunday of January. It was the area where street parties merged and people freely danced to the Sinulog beat while shouting “Pit Senyor!” Everyone was smiling from ear to ear, covered in paint, and booze was readily shared. 

La Belle Aurore Bookshop

La Belle Aurore Bookshop
PHOTO Courtesy of Rudy Alix

If you’re a fan of romantic places filled with stories from the past, La Belle Aurore Bookshop could have been your favorite escape. Despite how tiny the place was, it was filled with so many secondhand books of various genres. You could lose yourself just browsing the entire collection and taking in the smell of old books. Their walls were also plastered with the most intriguing things—photographs of both the famous and the unknown, handwritten poems and letters, and random newspaper clippings from decades ago. People fondly left traces of themselves, and you could feel that magic just by being there. 

La Belle also held poetry reading sessions from time to time. Not many might have known about this quaint place, but those who did surely felt a great loss after it shut down.

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Texas Chicken

Do you have a favorite dish from your childhood  that you can’t ever forget, and when asked why you love it as a grown-up, you just can’t explain? That’s Texas Chicken for some Cebuanos. Most young adults remember it as their “childhood chicken,” the one they had with their parents every Sunday after going to church. 

What made their chicken most memorable, apart from it being crunchy and juicy was its size: It was so big that those who recall it say they haven’t seen any other fast-food chain serve chicken as big as Texas Chicken's. It’s sad that it closed, considering how long the lines were and how affordable their food was.

Sprockets Café Escario

Sprockets Café Escario
PHOTO Courtesy of Bryan John

This artsy café caught the attention of young Cebuanos in 2012 because it opened right at the moment when Instagrammable spots were slowly becoming a thing. College kids came to take snapshots with its famous photo wall filled with Lomo-inspired film photographs. 

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Sprockets was the venue of choice of some social groups. On some nights, the Cebu Board Game Society held their games here. Sprockets was also the first home of Slogos Night. On Wednesday nights, the suki teams arrived one by one and took their usual tables. By 9 p.m., the whole place was already crowded with familiar faces and raised whiteboards with answers. The questions had the most random topics such as imported junk food and Christmas songs as well as pop culture. Though Slogos lived on in different venues, we still miss its birthplace.

Revolving Restaurant at the Ludo and Luym Building

Revolving Restaurant
PHOTO  Courtesy of Skyscraper City- Cebu

Did you know that Cebu once had a revolving restaurant? Back in the '80s, a revolving restaurant sat on Cebu’s first skyscraper, the Ludo and Luym Building in Downtown Cebu. At one point, you’re facing the ocean, and then later, you’re facing the mountains. There were even binoculars installed in the resto should guests want a better view.

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The Outpost at Lahug

The Outpost was once considered the hub for Cebu’s local music scene. It was the home of some of Cebu’s well-loved musicians—Urbandub, Cattski, Missing Filemon, Sheila and the Insects, and Powerspoonz, to name a few. It also wasn’t just a place for the big names, though. Other local bands, new and old, were also welcome to share their music with the crowd. Sometimes regulars would end up taking the stage with their own impromptu set, making it an ideal place for anyone who just really loved to play music and share it with others. You could go alone and end the night befriending a few people thanks to how close everyone became during the gigs there.  

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