Categories
mindanao Philippines Travel

Off to Siargao the Surfing Capital of PH

Since before, Siargao is already known for its waves that attract surfing enthusiasts around the world. Siargao is a small island located in the Eastern part of the Philippines with a land area of approximately 437 square kilometers.

Siargao’s name is derived from a kind of mangrove tree called saliargaw. When you are above the island you can see that Siargao has large mangrove forest.

Last week we went to Siargao to experience island living, get closer to the beach, and experience a peaceful place once again after 3 quarters of grinding for living this year. Though our visit is just for a couple of days it was absolutely awesome!

Itinerary

The first day was actually just half-day and mostly dedicated to the travel, the only thing we did is dine at Budhha Thai Restaurant.

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Club Tara

Our second and half of the third day were in Club Tara Resort, this resort is well known. The resort is like inspired by Maldives cottages. As I can remember, the resort’s aerial view was once placed in tourist cards back then when I was in elementary along with Chocolate Hills of Bohol, Maria Cristina waterfalls in Iligan, etc. So somehow it’s my childhood dream destination.

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21st Siargao National Surfing Cup at Cloud9 General Luna, Siargao Island
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Half of the third day was spent visiting Cloud 9 in General Luna, however, there’s an ongoing competition (21st Siargao National Surfing Cup) during that time and it was so crowded so we decided not to pursue the surfing lesson. We just watch the competition for a little, took some photos and videos then decided to travel to the palm forest.

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We chartered a boat to and from Club Tara

Because of the limited time we were not able to visit Magpupungko Rockpools, we also did not take the island-hopping since it’s not new to us anymore (because it’s common here in Cebu). Call us old souls because we also did not take the Sohoton Cove, we weren’t excited about it. We both don’t like jumping and spelunking. We both prefer the staycation in Club Tara for this travel. Maybe in the next visit, we will consider those activities. ūüôā

Budget

Below is the rundown of the expenses that I had during my stay. Please note the time of writing, the common expenses that you may incur like transportation and food may change as time goes by.

  • Flight
  • Land transportation
    • Tricycle fare is Php20 during day time and Php 30 during the night time within General Luna
    • Tricycle from/to General Luna tricycle terminal or drop point to Dapa is Php 40
    • Van from airport to GL is Php 200
    • Van from General Luna to the airport is Php 300 (early flights got only a few van passengers that’s why there’s a price hike) in our case we are only 4
    • Rent-a-scooter is Php 350 for 24hrs (we only use it for a few hours) + gas Php 65 per liter. Don’t grab the offer if it’s more than this price.
  • Sea transportation
    • boat charter to Club Tara is Php 1,500 per way per boat
    • boat ride to and from Socorro Php 120
  • Food
    • Miguel’s Taqueria Php 350
    • Buddha Thai Cuisine Php 405
    • Carenderia/hawker Php 140
    • Club Tara dinner Php 750
  • Accommodation
    • Tuazon Vella Php 1,600 (shared, so I spent Php 800 only)
    • Club Tara Php 5,241.60 (shared, so I spent Php 2600 only)
    • Kokai Php 800 (shared, so I spent Php 400 only)

I hope you find this blog post helpful if you’re planning to visit Siargao. The best time to experience Siargao’s waves is during “ber” months especially November and December.

Categories
Philippines Travel

Team Building at Pacific Cebu Resort

Team building is a company’s initiative to let its members know each other well, bond, create camaraderie, and teach each and every one the values that the company holds. Besides the fun that it creates, it also helps loosen up the hard-working members a bit and enjoy the season.

We had our Summer Team Building for our department at Pacific Cebu Resort last Sunday. This was our second time to conduct team building here. Resorts in Lapu-Lapu City or Mactan Island are known to cater to this kind of event especially during summer. Along with us are other companies too having their own team building activities.

If you are from Cebu or maybe a tourist but you already booked your accommodation from a different hotel and wanted to check out this beautiful all white resort and inspired by Santorini Greece color palette. You can avail Pacific Cebu Resort day-use or day-pass access for Php 1,300 only. The day-pass has lunch buffet if weekend but consumable during weekdays.

Pacific Cebu Resort is located on the eastern coast of Mactan Island in Cebu, one of the major coral islands in the Philippines. The exact location for your Waze, Google Map, or Grab driver to locate is Suba-Basbas, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan, Cebu, Zip 6015, The Philippines.

As of this writing, they are offering a promotional Cabana day use on top of your current accommodation type (night stay or day-pass) for Php 5,000 good for 5 persons with consumables worth Php 2,000. They were awarded as the ‚ÄúMost Favorable Hotel of 2017‚ÄĚ in July 2018 in Jalpak in Japan; Pacific Cebu is managed by Sav Hospitality Limited.

Categories
Philippines Travel

Happy Colors at Happy Beach PH

Joining the Generation Z bandwagon by posting curated images on Instagram is the name of the game especially this summer. Everybody including us millennials is posting summerific pics all over social media sites. Here’s this one place in Cebu that alters the usual beach, pool or, sea and sand background. Besides from the usual, they want your Instagram to pop colors, happy colors to be exact! The first super instagramable friendly beach paradise in Cebu (if not the Philippines).

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Happy Beach Cebu located in Tambuli Beach (East), Pag-utlan, Maribago, Lapu-lapu City offers an all year round attraction that fits your taste for instagramable places.

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Note: as of this writing, when you reach the first gate register yourself in a tent booth and the guards will provide you an entry receipt which you will keep for the whole duration of your stay otherwise you need to pay Php 350 as entrance fee. I guess it’s because they are located inside a private area. Don’t worry if you are Happy Beach Cebu’s guest (booked online) you don’t need to pay and they will just give you the receipt and that is what you need to show to the second gate and to their ticket booth inside.

yes babe?

IG worthy areas are Pink & Purple Bali, Happy Jungle, Pink Pool, Floating Zoo, Yellow Mirror, and Sofa Swing. You may also rent towels, and lockers for storage (if you are a day-use guest).

Book online for Happy Ticket for only *Php699 to access and enjoy for the whole day (7AM to 10PM) the IG worthy areas mentioned. Please note that the price varies depending on the day (weekend is Php849 or Php899 for walk-ins). Check their website or contact them for the updated pricing https://www.happybeach.ph/

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If a day is not enough for you, you can also stay too overnight as they have boutique rooms. They also have restaurants and a bar for chilling while feasting your eyes in the colorful surrounding or enjoying the sea breeze. You cannot bring food in the vicinity but don’t worry they have a restaurant inside, price menu range starts from Php 170 to Php 499 up.

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Categories
Adventure Philippines Travel

Staycation at Marco Polo Residence Tower 2 Cebu City

I was just looking around booking.com for a good place to stay for staycation within Cebu City and I found this place interesting. It is part of the condominium residences of Marco Polo Hotel. The location is at Nivel Hills, Apas, Lahug so it’s located in an ascending part of Cebu City but the city is still so accessible. I took the superior studio unit, it has one double bed and a sofa-bed, room size is 38 square meter, with a kitchenette so we were able to cook and feels at home, it has TV set and game console, as well as a washing machine; for full list visit here.

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The pool and other amenities are located at the Upper Ground level.

Tip: Contact ahead the host and see if he/she is responsive. It’s important for me that the host is responsive and accommodating even if it’s virtual since this place is a residential and not a hotel. Proceed with caution if the host is not responsive especially if you are a total foreigner to the place; you don’t want to face unexpected challenges during your stay and no one is there to assist you, right? The good thing was I got an accommodating host.

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The pool is L-shaped, 4 feet deep across.

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I find the place so perfect because it’s not crowded, we were the only people swimming at this time.

The place has free parking (outside the building), the place is secured and comfortable. Bring ID with you as you need those upon check-in. The guards will ask for it in the reception (Lower Ground) before the host will hand over to you the room key and the elevator NFC card. Make sure to include in the authorization letter that you will use the pool if you wish to use it, the pool is 200 pesos per head but check with your host as this may change. None of us are smokers but ask the host first if you can smoke and for the designated area for smoking.

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We enjoyed our stay and I hope you will enjoy yours too  ^_^

Categories
Adventure Philippines Travel visayas

A quick getaway to Bohol Island

Bohol is known for its chocolate hills, tarsiers, and of course paradise-like beaches but it has more to offer nowadays and beyond. Bohol is just a few hours boat-ride away from Cebu, it’s almost like an extension of Cebu so we decided to take a quick getaway and to visit also my friend’s relatives.

We stayed in Panglao for 2 nights and the first thing we visited was the Baclayon Church.

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At that time La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church, was being rehabilitated because some parts of it especially the interior were affected by the recent strong earthquake on 2013

La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church or also known as Baclayon church because it’s located in the municipality of Baclayon was founded by Juan de Torres and Gabriel S√°nchez both Jesuit priests in 1596. The church is a National Historical Landmark and was formerly included for the¬†UNESCO¬†World Heritage¬†Tentative List of the Philippines¬†since 1993 under the collective group of¬†Jesuit Churches of the Philippines.

We had our sumptuous lunch buffet at Loboc River Cruise where we were entertained by a live band featuring bisaya’s best hits as well as we had a stop-over to witness the dancing and singing Balsa choir and dance troupe (Balsa means water raft).

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We passed by the famous road in Bohol where a canopy of tall trees creating shade and provide a cool temperature in the area, the Loboc Man-made forest. The 2-kilometer stretch man-made forest was so quiet because the trees planted here are mahogany and became a death zone according to James LaFrankie, writer of the book ‚ÄúPhilippine Native Trees 101: Up Close and Personal‚ÄĚ, because the mahogany trees are foreign it cannot offer fertile soil for local fungi, food for mammals, berries for birds and insects, therefore, they are unable to effectively thrive themselves in this area.

The next stop was the Habitat Butterflies Conservation Center in Bilar just 5 minutes away from the man-made forest. We learned a lot on this visit for 20 pesos entrance we were guided by a well-versed and comedic tour-guide. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies, the skippers, and the moth-butterflies. 

Most butterflies do not eat but rather drink to maintain their water balance and energy stores. They sip flower nectar, rotting fruits, sap flowers on trees, bird droppings, or animal dung. Butterflies do not sleep with shut eyes because they don’t have eyelids, they just rest called quiescence under a large leaf or rock. In general, their lifespan is just 2 weeks to 2 months so “Life is too short” for them indeed.

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Camiguin Island from afar

On the following day, we had our lunch by the beach at¬†the Boracay of Bohol: Anda beach (we settle at Quinale Beach Bar). Here also located the now-known Cabagnow cave pool; I did not go there but only the couple Ace and Merich¬†because my old-soul self kicks-in and I just wanted to relax by watching the waves slowly creep the shore and the people and kids enjoying the sea. Tribya: Here in Anda beach you can see from afar the Camiguin Island’s silhouette.

You never visited Bohol if you won’t visit the famous rolling chocolate hills and purchase some sweet Calamay.

Bohol is now developing flower farms similar here in Cebu and they also have a glowing flower farm like in Lapu-lapu’s 1000 roses,¬†The Jardin Necitas. Whether it’s nighttime or daytime the vibrant colors of the flowers will capture your eyes and you’ll surely can’t resist striking a pose because of its instagramable scenery. The entrance is I think 35 pesos, they have a small canteen inside but the place is kind of far if you are coming from Tagbilaran City.

After all the tours it’s time to relax and enjoy the peaceful beach of Bohol. We took pictures of the sunrise, I jog along the shore, ate breakfast together, and of course dip and enjoy the crystal clear sea of Panglao, Bohol.

We tried also this cafe that we can see in Robinsons Galleria, the Buzz Cafe.¬† Here in Panglao is where their original restaurant/manufacturing site is located and of course, we tried the organic flavors of their ice creams to know if they have the same taste in Robinsons Galleria and the verdict is: the ones in Cebu still offers the authentic ice cream flavors. I think what they (in Cebu) don’t have yet is the flower salad which is weird but the organic eaters will surely love this place. Everything here is organic and I love the location of their restaurant it’s above the cliff and overseeing the beautiful sea.

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Bohol will soon become as progressive as Cebu in a few years from now. Major projects (some are proposed and in-progress as of this writing) will soon realize like Bohol Business park similar to Cebu’s IT park or Ayala Business park for BPO and KPO industries, the recently opened Panglao Island International Airport, Cebu-Bohol Power interconnections this 2021, upgrade of Bohol connectivity to the national fiber optic node into fully-protected submarine cables ready for commercial use, accreditation of special economic zone, monorail system stations at the Bohol business park to connect Tagbilaran city to Panglao airport, Cebu-Bohol Friendship Bridge (2026 -2035) though this is still in the feasibility study but this is part of the long-term Visayas spatial development framework: inter-island bridges. Botanical gardens, public parks, golf course, boulevards, water treatment facility, and many more.

Categories
Adventure Philippines Travel visayas

First time in Boracay Island

When you are stressed out and you need to relax and unwind, we Filipinos are very lucky because the natural gems of the tropics are within our country. We have beautiful waterfalls, rivers, mountains, amazing roll of hills, and of course beaches. We don’t need to spend a fortune to experience white and fine sand, pristine crystal clear water, adventures within paradise, and relaxing services. We all have it in here whether you will explore it in Luzon, Visayas, or Mindanao surely you will experience one.

The most famous gem that we have and we are very proud of because this is known worldwide is Boracay Island. Boracay was recently closed for 6 months, a hiatus for it to recover and somehow clean and restore the island’s beauty. The hiatus started on April 26 and ended on October 26 of 2018.


I remember the time when we went to this beautiful paradise a year prior to its hiatus. We were there September of 2017, there are a lot of foreigners and local tourists as well despite the fact that it was an off-peak season. So far it was the first trip that for me I truly enjoyed my vacation because we were really very relaxed. Usually, my travel is more of discovering the place so we tried to compact our schedule to visit the different attractions sites or activities for that place. But in Boracay, we did not have an itinerary, it’s a come what may thing, it’s like we have so much time to waste. We sleep as long as we want, we wander the beach, we experience activities that are not in the plan. Our only solid plan when we were there was to relax, look at the beach, walk on the shore, take a dip or swim in the powder blue sea (usually seashore’s are turquoise but Boracay is like a huge swimming pool, the sea is powder blue).

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There are really instances that hotels are inviting passers-by to have a luncheon in their restaurant in exchange of little time to spend to hear their membership feature. Lucky for us we were invited, we didn’t expect it, someone just approached us and we even thought that it might be a scam. The hotel is Astoria Current

Though we can experience activities like parasailing and helmet diving here in Cebu, why not try it in Boracay too?

Beside from sleeping.. Eat..eat..¬† and eat is an activity that’s part of the “relaxing” agenda hahahaha

So far, I think we spent around Php 10,000 plus for this trip, below are the items I can remember.

  • Airfare: ~3K to 4K
  • Accommodation: ~1.5K each
  • Ferry ticket: 75 per way
  • Terminal fee: 100
  • Environmental fee: 75
  • Parasailing and Island Hopping: 2K
  • Food: ~2K
  • Van: 200 per way

It was really worth it and will surely come back, as of this writing Boracay is still rehabilitating, especially the streets and the waste management. The road is not that good right now and unlike before that you can visit the island even without a reserved accommodation as of this moment you cannot do that, you need to have a reservation because they are controlling the crowd which is nice. Let’s face the fact we humans are the reason why our natural resources and beauty are devastated.