5 Cheap and Effective Flu/Cold Remedies When in Cebu

Summer is officially over in the Philippines and the rainy season has come. In case you don’t know, rainy season is almost synonymous with Flu/Cold season in the Philippines.

Getting sick on the road can ruin your trip in an instant and some of us travel without the luxury of having a travel insurance so falling ill might take a huge portion off of our travel fund.

I’m proudly from Cebu, an island right in the middle of the Philippines and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. A visit to the Philippines just wouldn’t be complete without spending some time in Cebu. I’m not hoping you’d get sick when you visit my hometown but just in case you do, here is my personal remedy for colds and flu. I guarantee it’s cheap, quick and effective or at least it has worked well for me over the years. I came up with these through my medical background(being a Nurse by profession), a little bit of superstition and a whole lot of experience.


1. Water
Cost: PhP10-15 (US$0.25)/500ml of Bottled Water
Where to Find: Sari2x stores(Local convenience stores), Supermarkets, Practically

Let’s start with the basics. We definitely need water in our body. You might have heard your doctor tell you to drink lots of water especially when you’re sick. And of course the doctor is right. Water helps flush out toxins and bacteria from our body. The average person drinks about 2-3 liters of water everyday but when you’re sick drink at least 3. Don’t worry, I’ve never heard of anyone who overdosed on water. And NO, soda and beer does not count as water intake.
Quick Tip: Drink water at room temperature, stay away from cold water it irritates the throat even more.


2. Sip That Hot Soup
Cost: PhP 40-80 (US$1 – 2)
Personal Preference: Batchoy(Noodle Soup), Pochero(Beef Soup)
Where to Find:
Batchoy – Ask anyone where Carlos Batchoy is
Pochero – Any restaurant that serves Filipino Food

Photo Credits: Doi Domasian of The Travelling Feet

Batchoy by Doi of The Travelling Feet


Pochero Soup

Pochero Soup

Flu and Colds usually come with sore throat. Sipping on hot soup will help soothe your throat and help you rehydrate. You can even add this to your daily fluid/water intake. Not only is it healthy, it’s so delicious as well that you have to try it even if you don’t have the flu.
Quick Tip: A little spice wouldn’t hurt but too much of it can irritate the throat too.


3. Double Dose on Vitamin C
Cost: Php 5-8 (US$ 0.12 – 0.20) for a 1,000mg capsule
Where to Find: Any drug store

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C strengthens our immune system, our body’s defense against infection. Give it a boost by double-dosing on Vitamin C. I usually take about 500mg per day but as soon as I feel the first signs of flu or colds, take 1,000mg or I can even go as high as 2,000mg. Although a Vitamin C overdose is possible, it is very unlikely but 2,000mg should be more than enough.
Quick Tip: Don’t take Vitamin C on an empty stomach. The generic name for this is Ascorbic ACID. Take note of the the word “ACID”. It might give you an upset stomach.


4. Drink Warm Calamansi Juice
Cost: PhP 20-40 (US$ 0.50 – 1)
Where to Find: Served in almost every restaurant in the Philippines

Calamansi Juice Photo Credits: Allan of Silkenhut

Calamansi Juice
Photo Credits: Filipino-dishes.org and Allan of Silkenhut

Calamansi, or “Lemonsito” in Cebuano is our version of the Lemon/Lime. It’s less than half the size of the average lime but trust me, it’s just as sour. Citrus fruits are good sources of Vitamin C. Having warm Calamansi juice not only soothes your throat but also helps strengthen our immune system.

Do It Yourself Calamansi Juice Recipe:
Squeeze 3 or more slices of Calamansi on a cup of warm water. Stir and enjoy. Adjust the flavor according to your own taste. You can buy “lemonsito” from the local market or even from street vendors for about PhP 40-50 (US$ 1 – 1.25) for 100 pieces.
Quick Tip: Use honey instead of sugar if you want your Calamansi juice a little sweeter. Sugar(glucose) is food for bacteria and we don’t wanna feed the bacteria, do we? Let’s keep it organic.


5. Get a Massage
Cost: PhP 250  (US$ 6) and can go as low as PhP 100 (US$ 2.40)
Where to Find: Every corner of every street in Cebu

Massage Photo from Wikipedia

Photo from Wikipedia

Swedish? Thai? Shiatsu? Doesn’t really matter. Any type of massage can do wonders to your body. Not only does it help us relax, it also improves blood circulation and flush out toxins from our body. Heck, I would even want a good massage even when I’m not sick. Wouldn’t you?

Sauna Photo Credits: Nomads Hostels

Photo Credits: Nomads Hostels

Quick Tip:  Some massage places in Cebu offer free use of their Sauna for a slightly higher price ranging from PhP 400 – 700 (US$ 10 – 18). Using the Sauna hastens the elimination of toxins through your sweat while helping you regulate your body temperature when you’re feeling feverish. The steam also helps clear your sinuses which usually causes sore throat.


I’m proud to say I haven’t been down with the flu or the common cold for quite some time now. I just follow these cheap and simple remedies as soon as I feel the symptoms kicking in and within hours I’d feel a lot better. It might not be found in your doctor’s prescription but it wouldn’t hurt to try, would it? Who knows, it might just work as well for you as it does for me…And please do let me know if these made you feel better.

Also, feel free to share your own alternative remedies for flu and colds in the comments portion of the page.


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  1. pepe says:

    just so you know there is no toxic dose of vitamin C

    for further study check out this book http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/pdf-files/why-book/whybook_02_sep2003.pdf (poster is not affiliated)

    • Nurse-issistic Traveller says:

      I’ve read an article about Vit C overdose, although it’s not fatal but it can still lead to some other health risks.

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