Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Urban Sketching : Cebu
Aissa and I went to Cebu with the in-laws last July to celebrate her birthday. It was the rainy season (and still is) so it afforded me a lot of time to sit down somewhere and just sketch. The sketches above were done while hearing mass inside the Basilico de Sto. Nino. The Basilico is a historical church that was originally erected in 1565, burned down, and replaced with a stone structure completed in 1739, which is what you see today.
A short walk from the Basilico is Fort San Pedro, one of the oldest Forts in the Philippines. It has a curious history, being at one time a fortress for both the Spanish and the Philippine revolutionaries, a garden club, and a zoo. Thankfully the fort has been mostly restored and is under the care of the city government. It's reminiscent of the Intramuros area of Manila, though curiously rather devoid of life. We were there during a Saturday so you'd think there'd be more people strolling around the fort, but but it was rally rather sleepy. Cebu could do a better job of integrating and promoting its historic tourist destinations, in my opinion. The sleepiness of the fort is personified in this sketch of two minstrels who play traditional songs for tourists. I gave them a little donation for serving as (unwitting) models.
Cebu is famous for its lechon, and the hotel we stayed at suggested Zubuchon, which was a 10 minute walk away. The place was packed, which was a pretty good indication of its popularity among the locals. When we finally sat down we noticed quotes from Anthony Bourdain extolling the virtues of Cebu lechon, although we weren't sure if he meant Zubuchon in particular or Cebu lechon in general. To pass the time while waiting for order I sketched the Zubuchon kitchen. It's a little sloppy since I wasn't really going for exact details, but the kid sitting at the other table seemed pretty impressed with it.
As with any Philippine city retail establishments abound, and we spent quite a bit of time in Malls staying out of the rain. The sketch of the guy cleaning up their window display was done in Robinson's Mall while the sketch of the old man (with a fancifully drawn astronaut helmet) was done in Coffee Bean at the Ayala Malls.