Having looked around, Mactan has no beaches worthy of the name, and Marigondon has no restaurants outside of resorts or within easy walking distance of the apartment. We became carnivores, surviving on roast chicken and rice (rice cooker provided in the apartment), cooked vegetables were not available for sale.
We were picked up from the airport and taken to the apartment. When we walked into the apartment the first impression was a bad smell. This disappeared after a while, so it's possible that It had been unoccupied for some time. The apartment felt dirty and sticky, despite the fact it was probably cleaned for our arrival.
Don't believe the photos of this apartment. Overall, it is a poor design, 3 bedrooms with AC but Lounge area 3*2 (no AC in the kitchen/lounge area, just pedestal fans), 42" TV, 1.5M viewing distance. The Kitchen area is bigger than the lounge area, a bench but no table to use laptops. Tall bench chairs were flimsy and felt dangerous, OK for kids, maybe.
Necessary accessories are missing, a frying pan (to fry eggs etc.), no kettle (although there is a water heater/refrigerator, but for coffee especially, I need boiling water rather than warm which I can get out of the water heater). No cleaning detergents for floors, dish washing etc. The apartment has three bedrooms but none has a wardrobe! Not even basic shelves or dresser. We ended up using the drying rack from the balcony to hang our clothes (fortunately we carry our own clothes hangers). There is no hair dryer, iron and ironing board. The bed linen and towels look worn out, like have been not the first year of use. To use it is just unpleasant.
The apartment came with it's own resident pet, a very cute little mouse that I took multiple photos of as it scurried around the floor, up the TV power cable and down again. When it started to get into the cupboards and bench to eat our bread, the fun stopped and it met an unfortunate end in a mouse trap that we bought. There were also a few cockroaches, millipedes and a scorpion that succumbed to insect spray.
Opening (and closing) the door to the toilet creates a loud obnoxious noise that woke my wife up at night. It is very dim in the apartment. The apartment is on the first/ground floor and we had to keep the curtains closed, to protect our privacy from the neighbors. The apartment is located 200M from the main road and walking along it (especially after sunset) feels dangerous, with no footpaths and stopping for traffic to pass.
We nearly walked out the first day after arriving and seeing the apartment, but the only places worth moving to were 5* resorts with 5* prices. We sneaked into Plantation Bay Resort one day (very nice but also very expensive, as you would expect from a 5* resort) and lay around the extensive pool area despite the sign which says it is only available to their resort guests (take green towels if you want to blend in).
The car/driver is available for PHP1800/day (nearly as much as the apartment costs) - more if you wanted to go outside the local area. We didn't take advantage of it, taxis cost us an average of PHP600 to go to Cebu City and return.
The majority of tenants in this apartment block are Filipino residents and the pool, when open, was full of children and noisy, not particularly welcoming.
We stayed for 4 weeks and spent a lot of time in the apartment, mostly because there wasn't much else to do. Our laptops became truly laptops, sitting in the bum numbing settee or connecting one to the TV via HDMI cable to watch pre-recorded video (the cable TV offered very little in the way of English language media, except for Deutche Welle news).
The WiFi was OK and we could stream NetFlix/Amazon Prime Video most times except for when the Miss Universe women were touring when the WiFi disappeared, returning only after 7pm.
The washing machine was VERY manual (a la 1950's) and slow. My wife complained that it takes ten times longer than to wash things by hand. The outflow flooded the balcony which meant that my wife was going in and out to start the next stage of washing and getting wet feet several times per wash.
As you might expect, over time we got used to the apartment and after my wife had cleaned it to her satisfaction, it was tolerable but not very comfortable and hard to sit back and relax. It felt like living in a cage with negative energy.
On a brighter note, Walter has tried his best to provide a satisfactory experience. He organized the pickup from the airport for us and when the Internet disappeared he arranged for it to be reset. The Filipino people we passed were friendly and often said 'hello' (including one child about 2 who's first English lesson apparently included the words 'Give me some money') and the guards (complete with rifles, shotguns and pistols) were very accommodating, cycling along to Marigondon to call a taxi, delivering water to the apartment and just generally nice to talk to.
The apartment is only just acceptable but the surrounding district of Marigondon and Mactan Island in general are best avoided if you are looking for a relaxing holiday, even in a 5* resort.
Location - out of the way, have to pass through dirty streets I would not feel safe walking in.
Unit - small, somewhat dinghy, funky smell, chintzy covered furniture, thin mattresses, cheap bed sheets, toilet felt like an outhouse
Too muggy inspite the aircon-- not working well?