*This article was originally published on ABS-CBNNews.com on April 11, 2014.
CEBU CITY -- While it may not be the capital of the country, Cebu City definitely ranks a place as one of the top destinations for tourists visiting the Philippines. Its rich heritage and Spanish colonial influence is one great reason to visit the island; its abundance of white sand beaches is another. But for the culinarian in me, there is one other reason as to why this should be a top tourist spot: the food.
I consider Cebu City as the Mecca of cultures, the gateway to the rest of the country. When you’re visiting the Philippines, you simply cannot leave without taking the time to explore the islands down south. And to do that, you will need to make a stopover at Cebu.
Whether you’re staying for a day or a lifetime, it makes no sense to lock yourself in your hotel room and forget about exploring the Queen City of the South. With numerous flavors, sights and sounds all waiting to welcome you, it’s important that you take the time out from your schedule and explore the different restaurants offered in the city.
One establishment that’s always a pleasure to visit no matter what time of day, is where the latest hype is -- La Vie Parisienne.
Pastries at La Vie Parisienne. Photo by Trixie F. Torralba
As part of the compound of the famous French restaurant, La Maison Rose, there are plenty of reasons why you should include this establishment in your itinerary. While others enjoy visiting the restaurant for its incomparable wine offerings and soulful ambience, there is another reason why people pay a visit to this part of the city: the pink trees.
Resembling the famous pink cherry blossom trees in the City of Lights, this is exactly what La Vie Parisienne hopes to encapsulate and bring to the local Cebuanos.
Pink trees cheer up the ambience. Photo by Trixie F. Torralba
My favorite time of day to visit is during breakfast-- when the sun isn’t too painful and the staff is just setting up for what the day holds. Armed with a couple of croissants and a mug of freshly brewed hot coffee,I feel transported to another city far from Cebu.
Croissants. Photo by Trixie F. Torralba
You can also visit at night, where these trees light up into luminescent pink and white lights; their glow the only light for a lively night in town with a glass of wine in tow.
Ah, if this is what they call the "Parisienne life," it looks brighter than my reality.
La Vie Parisienne is located along Gorordo St., Cebu City. It is open starting at 7 a.m.