My search for a capsule goes on and this one at Cebu became my second. Only an island away from home, the overnight stay in short notice was a pretty easy endeavor.
Shejoje Hostel, fondly nicknamed the Posh Packers Hostel (as printed in its receipt), is located in front of Zapatera Barangay Hall along Dionisio Jakosalem Street. For easier navigation, also check the street view at googlemaps.
This place is haven for foreign backpackers. Rarely will you see Filipino guests. In my stay, I saw only one and he was already checking out. He looked like an amateur vlogger with his handy video cam.
The staff is composed of the hostel manager and two all-around personnel. They are accommodating and hospitable even to a local like me. They’re used to arranging trips for their guests. Since I had specific places in mind, I respectfully declined. They were a great help though when I needed to get the numbered jeeps for the commute around the city.
So for the record, I never hailed a taxi during this visit. Only used jeep and city habal-habal. Funny thing was I would always give the minimum fare of PHP 7 for the jeepneys no matter how far the destination. Luckily, the drivers did not complain. The habal-habal from pier to hostel was PHP 50 and PHP 300 for the tour to the mountainside.
Here’s some handy routes I was able to take note during the stay: The 62B and 62C jeep pass by the hostel and around the Ayala mall area. To go to JY Square, choose the 017 jeep. There you’ll find the city habal-habal. Treat them like a taxi, because they will go to wherever you want to. The 04L jeep is also useful because it is said to go around SM-Ayala-JY malls. For onward destinations by sea, take 14D jeep then wait for 02B jeep to take you directly to Pier 1. If in doubt, always ask the driver or fellow passengers for directions.
At the hostel, amenities included more than 10 capsule units, 3 bath rooms, 1 changing room, 1 long narrow sink, reception area, sala and veranda. All fit in a relatively small but stylish place. Bath towel and slippers is provided. A lock for the capsule may be requested from the reception counter. This is the only way to secure your other belongings that you cannot bring during your adventure outdoors.
The capsule units are stacked in two levels: an upper and lower. There are double sized and single sized capsule beds. When available, the manager would occupy one of the double sized beds, while one of the in-house staff would sleep in the bean bag. That makes them available 24 hours.
The capsule is just right for my size. It also looked okay with the tall and lean foreigners. But the single sized capsule could be uncomfortable for the larger built person, in terms of width. I’m not sure if the double sized rooms are good for two occupants though. The older guests, however, are assigned the lower capsules in consideration for their age.
I was assigned a capsule at the upper level. A wooden ladder, the only access, was awkwardly positioned so that it can be used by two neighboring capsules. The process of climbing up and down took a while to get used to. It took me an hour to settle down during the first hour in the hostel. Besides, I find the height too high. Anyone may acidentally fall off from the ladder either by a misstep or by slippery socks.
Inside the simple capsule is a pair of electric socket, an exhaust fan (so air conditioning from outside may spread inside the capsule), a large mirror and switch for the lights and fan. A picture of a half opened window showing a great outdoor scenery is strategically placed on the head wall to create an illusion of open air and more space.
The sliding door to the capsule, on the other hand, is made of paper like material that easily folds, like in Japanese homes. It can be locked from the outside, but definitely no lock from the inside.
For PHP 588 a night, this hostel can easily make one of the top choice for budget travelers and backpackers alike. Cebu has so many destinations to be explored. And if a basic bed and simple rest is all you need to renew your body and spirit for the next day, this one is for you.
This hostel also boasts of fast internet. They have a PLDT fiber optic plan. That was my first time to surf the internet at 6 Mbps. With the flock of foreigners at Shejoje Hostel, it would be a shame to have only a fraction of the internet speed they used to have in their home country.
One challenge though is navigating through the small and cramped bathrooms. I found them a bit small by my standards. What more with the taller foreigners around. The narrow space between amenities would seriously create traffic if everyone used the facilities at the same time. So waking up the earliest could be an advantage.
Overall, the idea of slumber in a capsule is a welcoming thought. The pros still outweigh the cons.