A trip to Cebu City would be incomplete without a visit to the iconic Tops Lookout in Busay. Standing 2,000 meters above sea level, this mountain park gives you a panoramic view of Cebu and its neighboring islands.
Commonly called Tops, you can consider this the city’s gold standard for sightseeing, thanks to its stunning view of the city and the surrounding mountain ranges. Every Cebuano has their own favorite memory of basking in the beautiful scenery.
Sadly, it may take a while for us to see the city from this vantage point, as Tops Lookout closed its doors for the first time in 37 years, albeit temporarily.
The iconic tourist attraction will look much different when it reopens, as management announced that major renovations are underway.
The park’s new management consists of two construction companies, joining together to bring a world-class look to this iconic location and make it a more spectacular landmark in the city.
Management plans to turn Tops into an incomparable icon like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France to bring more investors and companies to Cebu and the Philippines.
TOPS LOOKOUT BEFORE THE RENOVATION
Tops Lookout was opened in 1985 by Lito Osmeña before he was elected the Governor of Cebu. With its breathtaking view, it immediately became a go-to hangout spot along the Cebu Transcentral Highway.
This mountainside super highway has spawned several famous tourist attractions in Cebu, including flower gardens, restaurants, food parks, and even temples.
Tops Lookout has several benches stationed around the area and towards the edge for visitors to enjoy a view of the horizon and witness famous landmarks, like the newly constructed Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).
You can also take part in recreational activities, as there is a huge open space in the middle. You can have a picnic, play cards, or simply relax and bond with family and friends. Taking in the cool countryside air is already a worthwhile experience in this fascinating attraction.
Food and drinks are sold at stalls along the entrance in case you want to purchase your snacks at the venue.
Most people also love taking snapshots of the arches by the entrance. Cebuanos recognize this as a popular backdrop for photos and selfies to remind you of your visit.
As you make your way to Tops Lookout, you will pass by several fine dining establishments. Each has a mesmerizing al fresco dining setup, taking advantage of the stunning city view.
Balay sa Busay and Tops of Cebu Restaurant offer Filipino food dishes. You can also indulge in French pastries and delicacies at La Vie in the Sky.
Most people go to Tops Lookout at night, as the city lights glimmering in the distance are a sight to see. The view becomes even more spectacular during festival season, when companies hold simultaneous firework shows all around the city.
On October 21, the management set up a concert featuring Cebuano DJs and local musicians to commemorate the iconic tourist attraction before it officially started renovation.
They also held several competitions for dancing, photography, and storytelling, inviting Cebuanos to experience Tops for the last time before its temporary closure.
Management revealed that renovations may take as early as six months, but as long as a year or even longer. Developmental plans have not yet been released as well.
However, they assured that the observatory itself will remain, but will be improved with a new setup to make it stand out among the many other Cebu tourist spots.
The food stalls and concessionaires will be relocated to the lower part of Busay, near the fine dining restaurants, so that they can continue to operate.
As you wait for the much-awaited reopening, reminisce about the most memorable times you have gone to Tops Lookout to witness the magnificent view or to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
There is indeed a lot to look forward to in this stunning location.