travel


Still remember the old PLDT commercial where one kid was placing a long distance call to Cebu and the kid operator confirmed the call by saying “B” Cebu?

I forgot what year it was launched but I still have vivid recollection of this.  And recently I’ve posted an album in my Facebook account entitled B to relive that moment since I’ve traveled to Cebu.  I actually traveled alone out of adventure.  The original plan was to spend few days in Bohol for my birthday celebration but I thought of making a side trip to Cebu since its neighboring island to Bohol.  I thought that diverting a day would add spice to my vacation and I was certainly correct for doing that.  So here’s my blog post about my trip to Cebu last March 6.

Destination: Cebu City

How to get there: By air from Manila

Budget: 2000 (exclusive of airfare)

Travel companions: None

First impression: It’s not my first time in Cebu and I’ve always find Cebu like the Metro with heavy and congested traffic.  It’s sunny and foreigners are literally everywhere.  But my recent travel to the island made me realize that Cebuanos are very friendly and helpful.

Things to do and see: Cebu is the center of Christianity in the country.  (I hope I am right about this)  Cebu is a small island and you can actually go around for a day.  This is the very reason why I pursued the travel.  There are lots of things to do and one of them is to visit local churches.  Cebu has a number of old and beautiful churches adored by locals and foreigners, too.

Actually, the best way to maximize your time in Cebu is to drop by Mactan Island first since it’s just Php 18 away from the airport if you’ll take a local vehicle.  Then you can go to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño for Php 23 when you get there you can just walk around since it’s near to the famous Magellan’s cross and Fort San Pedro.

I was lucky that one of the bosses in our office is from Cebu and she was in the city when I visited.  I was able to go down south of the province, to Naga and was able to taste the famous “sutukil” or grilled seafood but if you don’t have the time and free ride, you can actually go to Mactan island near the Lapu Lapu monument and it’s famous for the “sutukil” too.

One of my favorite of this trip is when I got the chance to go to Mountain View Nature Park and get to stay in place and eat, rest and enjoy the view, it’s overlooking the city.

overlooking Cebu

Tips: Say no to traveling by taxi.  Cebuanos can speak English and not to mention they are very friendly and helpful.  Riding local modes of transportation wouldn’t be hard.  In fact, during this travel I have saved more than five hundred pesos.

Things that I’d try when I’d go back: The next time I’d go to Cebu and if I’ll have a traveling buddy, I’d like to try the Sky Experience Adventure at Crowne Regency Hotel.  I was just too afraid to die alone since I’m afraid of heights.  You might want to learn more about it just click the link here.

Local food that I’ve tried: I’ve always loved seafood and Cebu have a wide variety of choices being near to the coastal area.  I have tasted two local food the first one is “Saang” or spider shell in English.  It was my first time to taste it and I’ve never seen one in the Metro.  It tasted like snails.  Then the second one is “Balat” (not sure if this is the right translation I just searched this over the internet) or sea cucumber.  It actually tasted good and it was crunchy.

"saang"

 

"Balat" or sea cucumber

Highlight of the trip: In summary my recent trip was very fulfilling, fun and full of adventure.  I got to taste local food, got to go around the city for free.  I was even lucky to go inside Plantation Bay to take a look in short span of time since there was an event being held that time.  I have seen the overlooking “picturesque” beauty of the city from the Mountain view park.  Traveled alone and navigated my way and rode the local mode of transportation and didn’t get lost.  This is the ideal way of celebrating my birthday, being in an adventure trip alone.

Plantation Bay Cebu

 

"the tourist"

With this experience, I am very certain that I’ll go back to Cebu and try to go to the other islands like Camotes, Bantayan or Malapascua when that time comes you’ll expect another blog post from me. Until then!

April 2005 was the first time that I went to Tagbilaran City and it was for work so I wasn’t able to visit the beach that time.  My second time was with my kaps Trina and her family where we did a Cebu-Tagbilaran-Cebu route and we just stayed for one day in Panglao.  It was a great time and I promised myself that I’d go back to the wonderful island.

I initially planned this trip for a friend whom I think and believe really needs a time to think and serenity.  So planning this trip was like hitting two birds at a time, I’m helping a friend out and I’m doing myself a favor by going outside Luzon.  Plus, I really missed going to the beach and I had to try my underwater camera and everything fell in the right place.

Though this trip wasn’t really an easy thing to plan, there were challenges came along the way and I’m glad it still pushed thru.  We ended up being 6 in the pack and one of my craziest travels ever.

 

Destination: Panglao Island

How to get there: By air from Manila

Budget: 9,000 inclusive of fares, taxes, accommodation and food

Travel companions: Merski, ODH, Mojacko, Stephen, Bullet (rushers)

First impression: For me Panglao Island will always be the place where I’d want to go to when I want to have peace and solitude.

Highlight of the trip: In summary I think the highlight of this trip is the friendship that I’ve gained and bonding with these friends.  It is a first to most of them and being the mastermind of this trip my main objective was to ensure that everyone goes home with a smile that they’ll bring those memories forever.

I guess I can categorize the highlights into 3 parts, 1st part is the Chocolate hills tour, we got to have lunch in a cruise boat but before doing so we were able to see Bohol’s python and an “animal show” was staged, too.  We went to the butterfly sanctuary and I was impressed by the guide because he talks with too much knowledge and mistakable for an entomologist.  Climb the top of the hill to appreciate the beauty of the “green” chocolate hills, mustered the courage to finish the hanging bridge and took a lot of pictures at the man-made forest.

The 2nd part was my favorite because this is the very reason why I wanted to go back to Panglao Island.  We woke up early in the morning and traveled for an hour to see the dolphins.  After that we ate breakfast the beach then headed for snorkeling.  We were blessed with equipped and polite boatmen and every peso was really worth it.  After spending an hour and half snorkeling we transferred to a deserted island called Virgin Island where we spent a little less of 30 minutes.  Took more pictures and walked thru the sand bars and breathe fresh air.  That was the last stop of the morning and we returned to the resort for lunch.


The last part was the night of playing cards, exchanging stories, thoughts and ideas.  Whenever I think of Bohol, I remember the almost 2 minutes of non-stop laughter because of Mojacko and how he was too serious about the game 123 pass.  This is one true example of having night outs without beer but sheer laughter and enjoyment and for me nothing will beat those nights.

Local words learned: Bohol originated from the word Boho that means hole from which spring water usually gush forth

 

Things to do and see: Your 3 days and 2 nights stay in the island will be enough but if you have another day to spare I would definitely recommend that.  There are lots of things to do in Bohol and it can be divided into 3 parts.

Part I – The Chocolate Hills Tour where you can get to visit the Baclayon Church, the Butterfly Sanctuary, Python visit, Hanging Bridge, the Blood compact and of course, the magnificent Chocolate Hills.

Part II – The Panglao Island, this is a must thing to do.  You just have to wake up early for these activities dolphin watching, breakfast at the beach, snorkeling then island hopping.  Then you’ll have the rest of the afternoon in the resort.

Part III – The City Tour where you’d get to visit Hinagdanan Cave and various churches and get a feel of the city.

 

Tips: Get a tour guide with van rentals inclusive and tie it up with your hotel accommodation.  I highly suggest do an extensive research on this.  We were able to save 900 per person because I have booked our accommodation with tours outside.

Before going back to the hotel, make sure you have water and snacks because stores are hard to find in the resort area and hotel food are too pricey.

Lastly, say no to horse playing better be safe than sorry.

 

Things that I’d try when I’d go back: I think what I’d like to try next time is scuba diving Bohol has been known as one of the diving spots in the country with only healthy corals and school of fishes to boast.  Aside from that maybe next time I’d also include a travel of 2 hours from the city to EAT Danao which is the newly developing haven of adventure with tube rafting and zip lines to name a few of what it can offer.

 

Local food that I’ve tried: We went to the Bee farm and got to taste organic food from Corn muffin, to Malunggay spread, Salabat tea and the Spicy Ginger Ice cream.  I went to the free taste; I wasn’t in the mood to shop and to do a food trip that day.

In summary, going out-of-town will always be something that I’d do.  I can go alone but nothing will ever surpass the experience of being with good friends.  This trip will certainly be one for the books.  The pain-staking planning, extensive research, making hundreds of calls to make this trip as close to perfect was really worth all the trouble.


I love traveling, going to the beach, doing crazy things once in a while.  I am adventurous and I’d try everything once.  These are the reasons that I’ve considered when I was researching for a camera.

My first and only requirement was it should be an underwater camera for the reason that I’ll try my best to do scuba diving this year and I’d been planning this since 2003.  The first thing that came to my mind and was the recommended camera by almost all people that I know was the Canon D-10 unfortunately it wasn’t available since December 2009.

Since I was visiting my family in the US I’ve decided to defer my plans and look for the camera later on.  Then one day I was just walking with a friend in Megamall and saw Olympus’ Stylus Tough 6020 and 8010.  Then the birth of my other requirement which is it should be shock proof and crash proof.  If you know me well, I am probably one of the clumsiest people in the whole world.  I am a dropper.  I’d probably drop a gadget after buying it and I’d scratch it after a day or two and I’m not kidding.  Yes, it is also not a good idea to lend me your gadget.  Ha-ha! Not really, I’m just kidding I can take care of it, I can also be careful at times. (You see I need to do this disclaimer.)

Anyway to make the story short, this is what I’ve discovered about Olympus Stylus tough 8010:

  • WATERPROOF

A revolutionary system of waterproof seals and gaskets keeps water out so you can take pictures as deep as 33 feet underwater. 

  • SHOCKPROOF

Durable metal body with an innovative shock-absorbing technology protects it from drops of up to 6.6 feet.

  • FREEZEPROOF

It’s Freeze proof down to 14°F/-10°C. Perfect for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and other winter fun, this camera is winterized to perform at below-freezing temperatures!

  • CRUSHPROOF

With its rugged body and reinforced LCD, the STYLUS TOUGH-8010 is designed to withstand up to 220 pounds of pressure so your camera and images are always protected.

 

Its specification and other features are: (You can also check it out here)

 

  • 14 MEGAPIXEL

An amazing 14 million pixels in the high-resolution CCD create superior image quality. Create poster-sized prints without losing a single detail.

  • 5X WIDE-ANGLE OPTICAL ZOOM

A 5x wide-angle optical zoom captures even more of the subject into each shot. The lens does not protrude from its body so it is further protected from harsh conditions.

  • 2.7″ LCD

This large 2.7″ LCD features an extra-wide viewing angle and anti-glare technology for easier composing and shooting even in direct, bright sunlight.

  • ONE-TOUCH HD MOVIE

With One-Touch HD Movie you can record widescreen, crystal clear HD movies (720p) right from your camera.

  • 2GB INTERNAL MEMORY

Store more photos and videos than ever before, right in your camera with 2GB of internal memory (usable memory is 1.63GB)

  • DUAL IMAGE STABILIZATION

Dual Image Stabilization combines Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds so you can capture crisp, clear images even if the subject is moving.

  • TAP CONTROL

Operate picture playback, shadow adjustment, flash mode and more just by tapping the top, back and sides of the camera. Tap Control is ideal for underwater use or when wearing gloves.

 

So if you want to take it to the limit.   This is the go-anywhere, do-anything camera you’ve been waiting for. It snaps stunning photos — and records HD movies — wherever you are.   There will be no more problems with hurtling down a rugged trail, plunging underwater, balancing on your snowboard because the STYLUS TOUGH-8010 is engineered to thrive in any conditions.  To see the proof I have attached this video from YouTube. (Credits to Olympus’ website)

As early as July 2009 our family planned this reunion.  This activity will entail a big budget so I saved up money upon getting the idea.  The first question was where will it be, in the Philippines or in the US?  It was resolved last September 2009 when our parents needed to migrate to the US.  It being held here in the US bought me time to meet my good friends in high school who are already staying here.  

 

Last Tuesday I got the chance to meet and spend time with them.  They took a time off from work and I am really touched and thankful they did.  I had a blast.  I can even say I had the best experience of my life.  We went to Union City to do the indoor sky diving.  At first upon hearing the idea, I was anxious if this activity will entail us to go to a high place then jump needless to say that idea made me a little scared but nonetheless excited. 

  

To give you more idea of what I’ve experienced read on. 

iFly is a facility that provides a safe way to experience true human flight as skydivers do. Our vertical wind tunnel accurately simulates free-fall at speeds of 120 to 150+ miles per hour, without jumping, falling, or heights. 

iFly is extremely safe. Gone are the many risks that are inherent in skydiving. There are no airplanes or parachutes to worry about. Our highly-trained instructors are right beside you, to assist you in learning basic maneuvers and to make sure you feel completely in control throughout your entire flight. 

The flight chamber is lined with an elastic mesh at the bottom, which you can walk and rest your body on. Most flying is done within a few feet above the net, so there is almost no risk of injury due to falls, instruction, and quality of the airflow. 

Almost anyone can fly, including seniors and children as young as 3 years old. If you weigh more than 250 pounds, please call to ask if we can accommodate you. Children under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian present to fill out and sign the necessary waiver forms. 

Those of you with a history of back problems or shoulder dislocations should check with your physician before flying. 

Most beginning flyers will begin to tire after 2 to 4 minutes of flight time. Physically speaking, it is a workout similar to swimming. 

  

To learn more of IFly you can visit their website here.  If you have the time and nothing better to do, you should try it.  It’s worth every peso. 

Here are the pictures taken during my flight. 

 

I believe I can fly

 

 

Special thanks to Pi-anne, Thea and Elmer for this wonderful experience.

Things aren’t that great lately but this thing really got me excited today and for the coming week end get away.

I’ll be out of the country from Saturday afternoon until Tuesday.  When I’ve planned this trip with my good friend, Helki, it was all out of adventure trip and fun.  But today, I need this trip more than anything else in this world.

I’m not depressed but I have to think things over and start weighing things all over again.  I just feel that the pieces don’t fit anymore.  Again, I’m still doing great; I just need some space and time to think.

And I’ll be doing it here.  

 

 

When I get back hopefully everything will be different.  A happy pill is all I need but then again happiness is a choice, I guess I ain’t gonna need the pill anymore.

I have planned this upcoming trip with my good friend Helki but due to some personal reason, I might take this trip alone.  I am still remaining hopeful that I’d travel with her.  Aside from the fact that it would be fun to have her on a trip, it would be also a great time to bond, talk and do new stuffs together.

Though traveling alone wouldn’t be a problem since I’m also looking forward to do an adventure travel as this is part of my 101 things to do in 1001 days.  Well, I’m that adventurous, surprised? I don’t think so.

Today I really planned to post at least two entries so I’d make up for this month’s slow movement of my blog.  Well, actually the past month and this month was really a drag since I wasn’t able to post much.

Now I know the difference between having a real life and virtual life.  Before I used to say that it’s not possible not to maintain your blog because especially when so much is happening around you.  I find it very weird since you’ll have lot of things to say, then it happened and dawned on me.  I totally neglected the fact that when you’re busy doing and enjoying stuffs out there, you tend to lose some of your virtual life of which I can’t complain.  I have no problem about it.

Though I miss some friends from way back, I guess it’s the price of enjoying too much.  Besides, I don’t get to feel that they do miss me back.  Some of them yes because they are my good friends but most of them miss me for convenience, and sad to say I’m a changed man today.

Anyway, I’ve spent the whole afternoon and evening researching on things to do in this trip, preparing for the budget, looking for the cheapest accommodation and transfers.  Yes, you’ve read it right; this travel might entail transfer from one place to another.  To give you an idea where I am going here are some pictures of the place I’m planning to visit in two weeks time.



departures20title20shot

This is another Nat Geo Adventure show that I truly enjoy, Departures is an adventure travel television series.  I have made myself clear that traveling is one of my passions. 

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It features best friends Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach, from Brantford, Ontario. The goal being to expand their perspective on life while challenging each others as well as their own limits. Wilson and Lukach travel to various exotic and interesting destinations throughout the world. The style of the show is similar to a road trip. They are accompanied by Andre Dupuis, their friend and camera operator.  The show is taking place over a one year hiatus during which time they suspend their lives for the year.  Wilson’s idea was that he wanted to do the show while it was still possible as the opportunity may not be there as their futures unfold. Wilson and Lukach both commit to a year away from home regardless of how challenging, for the life experiences they may otherwise miss. (Source: wikipedia)

The show is really entertaining; I like how Justin describes each observation and his personality.  He’s funny and bubbly.  This show is worth watching and I’m glad that it has two seasons already and I hope they’d make another season of which I’m sure is something that worth looking forward to.  For more information, you may visit their official website here.  I also took the liberty of attaching a youtube link of one of the deleted scenes from the show.  To show how funny Justin is…

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