All posts by Consumer Live

Offers Consultancy, Blogging, Video, Sales & Marketing on 'Anything Consumer'!

Last Leg: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 5)

So, we are now in the final segment of our Luzon to Visayas adventure trip — and what a ride it has been! Yes, just one more sea travel and two land trips then finally, we’re back to Cebu City; but not after a few memorable days in Bacolod City, of course.

Anyway, while traveling by plane is cool — as you get to your destination faster and thus have more free time when you arrive — traveling by land and sea are simply much better. After all, if it’s adventure you really seek, then long land and (at times rough?) sea travels would get really your juices flowing right off the bat — yep, whether locally or internationally!

Okay, okay, adventure is out there in your intended destination — whatever part of the world it may be — but really, aren’t they just mostly beaches or slices of nature? See?? Then why not make the Philippines part of that experience? Yeah, especially if you’re a local, otherwise, a foreigner who is already in the country or planning a vacation somewhere on earth. See for one, the Philippines’ got thousands of islands to hop around and consequently beautiful sceneries and beaches to relax and enjoy! So.

Last Leg: Bacolod to San Carlos to Toledo.. then eventually Cebu City

Bacolod City to San Carlos City. Bus. 2h 20m. P153. Now while San Carlos is still part of Negros Occidental, understand that it is almost 80 kilometers away from Bacolod, so you got to get to South Ceres Bus Terminal first which is in Luzuriaga Street for that bus ride.

In this trip, you would be passing by the towns of Murcia and Don Salvador Benedicto before reaching San Carlos. There are actually some nice sceneries and tourist spots (like the Negros Chocolate Hills, mountain resorts and some man-made forest of sorts) along the way that if you are traveling by car and got some spare time, you could actually stop first and make some memories. I was in a bus, so the most I could do was take pictures on the go. Not bad.

image
Rich sugarcane fields of Murcia, Negros Occidental

San Carlos City to Toledo City. Fastcat. 1h 10m. P150 + P20 terminal fee. It was about 4:10PM when the bus arrived at the San Carlos bus terminal. And I found out that there were still two trips scheduled for Toledo City, 5PM (Fastcat) and 6PM (Lite Ferries) — and so, I started asking around about the place like accommodation, malls, places of interest and stuff. You know, maybe I could spend even a night or two first before boarding the ship to Cebu. Haha.

image
Gaisano San Carlos City

Then again, I’ve just been away too long and it’s already a new year so okay, better next time since I am also planning to climb Mount Canlaon (2,435 meters in Negros Occidental) anyway. Yeah, hopefully sometime this year I’d be at its peak. Hopefully.

image
Port of Toledo City, Cebu

Toledo City to Cebu City. Van. 2h. P100. Here I took the 5PM trip to Toledo and arrived after an hour. Yeah, it’s nighttime once again. And they say there are only two Ceres buses that ply Toledo that by the time I arrived, only vans remain for trips to Cebu City. And so, after taking some pictures, I then joined some of the ship’s passengers in the tricycle (P10 per head) to the van’s terminal.

20 minutes later, our van left Toledo for Cebu City.

Advertisements

Bacolod City: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 4)

After more than a couple of days in Iloilo, I could not really say anything negative except for how I wish I could stay there a little longer? Haha. Indeed, I liked the place. Urbanized yet still maintains that cozy atmosphere.

Still, if I would extend my stay, I’d just end up getting behind my schedules so it was simply time for me to pack up and head for Bacolod City, yes, another of those key cities in the country.

Iloilo Fastcraft & Roro Terminal

Iloilo City to Bacolod City. Fastcraft. 2h 20m. P200 + P30 terminal fee. With maximizing time in mind, I took the 10:30AM trip to the City of Bacolod and after a little over two hours, our ferry safely arrived at the port of Bacolod, Negros Occidental. Hmm. Looking at the map, it’s actually like just a stone’s throw away from Iloilo City, however, since we were coming from the river of Iloilo plus we need to navigate around Guimaras Island province, such explains why these fast ferries take over two hours of travel. Right.

Iloilo City to Bacolod City route

Anyway, unlike my earlier trips, I’m fresher here having had a few days of rest and leisure in Iloilo — that in fact, right after I arrived in Bacolod, I just dropped off my luggages in my hotel room and left for “The Ruins” right away. Yeah, The Ruins! And that landmark is even like outside of Bacolod City already!

Of course, I needed to eat lunch first. And so after having Bacolod’s specialty in Chicken Inasal, I was ready and off to The Ruins!

Leaving The Ruins though is more of a challenge since it’s isolated and there are not many tricycles that ply the road out there, so do not be surprised if you are asked for a P50 fare going back to Bata terminal — yeah, even with somebody else on board. I was.

Anyway, we’ll be having a special blog about The Ruins — in pictures!

TRIVIA. Did you know that it was in this tourist spot that I had the most “selfies”? And would you believe that I literally had a thousand photographs in all of this 2-week travel escapade?? Unbelievable, that if I do not be selective and just post each one of these pictures daily, that’s good for like a 3-year spread in social media! Wow!

Coming up, the last leg of our holiday travel spree!

Iloilo City: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 3)

After finally deciding on not pushing through with a Boracay adventure, unlike my other stops, I then immediately took the bus to Iloilo City — yeah, before I change my mind and head to Boracay instead. Ow. After all, it’s really tempting..

Especially when you think of spending the night first in Caticlan! Remember, Boracay is just 15 minutes away. And since I only slept for an hour in the ship to Caticlan, I thought I might get dizzy (you know how the bus could smell when its freshener and aircon are mixed with different odors) if I would just go straight to Iloilo.

225 kilometer route from Caticlan to Iloilo City (estimated time by car travel)

Caticlan to Iloilo City. Bus. 6h. P387. One might say just sleep in the bus since it’s a looong trip to Iloilo, then again, I couldn’t get to really close my eyes that long — since everything around me was new! Oh yeah, I did sleep in my trip from Manila to Batangas but I already know Manila and Batangas was nowhere in sight yet. So.

Halfway to Iloilo City, a nice breakfast stopover

Nonetheless, the trip had a stopover for breakfast which was good considering not just the long trip but for those passengers who wish to refurbish their energy levels. And yes, the bus had free WiFi on board but what’s the use when my phone was almost empty at 10 percent — so better preserve its power for some shots along the way. Still, what’s nice about this bus (which was actually a Ceres Liner) was that it had a toilet on board, certainly convenient so as not to interrupt long trips. It’s located at the middle part of the bus and aligned with the luggage compartment. So just imagine the elevation of the passenger seats and the height of the bus itself!

After six hours of land travel from Caticlan to Iloilo, I immediately sought to check-in to my hotel to unload my luggages then leave for lunch — yes, before returning and taking a brief rest as my phone’s also dead; and so, I could not really take photos of anything yet.

While there were many places I checked out in Iloilo City, guess one of the highlights of my stay was the Iloilo Riverside Boardwalk in Mandurriao. Unfortunately, I visited this wonderful tourist spot right after my lunch at SM City Iloilo the following day. So, why “unfortunately”? Because I was not on the mark for the Iloilo Esplanade River Ride. Notice the schedules in the video?

Anyway, we would be having pictures of my Iloilo trip and the rest of my adventures in the coming blogs once the whole trip back to Cebu has been completed, so stay tuned.

Next up, Part Four of our continuing travels!

The Boracay Enigma: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 2)

Well, we still got a long ways of travel to go but for this issue, we bring you a sort of a funny conundrum in “to go or not to go” to Boracay. Whaaatt!?

Now to continue.. and picking up from Roxas, Oriental Mindoro.

The long line at Roxas’ ticketing booth, pier

Roxas to Caticlan (Aklan). Roro ship. P408 fare + 30 terminal fee. The ship fare here actually varies from shipping line to shipping line and this is around P400-500 per head. I was just lucky to get some sort of discount that time since I traveled on a rainy midnight (with so many other passengers on a holiday rush) as I was thinking of going to Boracay first before continuing my travels.

But lo, the ship was just so full (I even reminded the ship’s crews of overloading) that we had to sleep at the ship’s cafeteria while many others were just on the ship’s floor — yeah, you know, like even near the stairs and where we walk! I bet nobody really had a good rest that time. Hey, I only slept about an hour at most in this four-hour trip or in fact, for the next 12 hours!

Caticlan to Boracay is a mere 15-minute boat ride

Anyway, by the time we arrived in Caticlan at around 4AM or so, we were just exhausted. And this made me ponder about my plan to go to Boracay. And so, I thought about it for two hours while having a meal and talking to the locals as Boracay Island is just a 15-minute boat ride from Caticlan! Should I go or not??

Possible Expenses (Boracay): Boat one-way P175 (for Filipinos, but just P30 for Aklanons, haha wow!) and P250 (for foreigners) — well, it’s their livelihood so. Anyhow, hotels or lodging costs P4,000 to P40,000 or so per day — though if you are lucky, you might find some vacancy in their around 1,000/day rooms. Meals cost P270 on hotel buffets or you could find eateries outside with about a P70 complete meal package. These not counting other expenses like souvenirs, snacks, drinks, supplies and so on, so having some extra cash (or if you brought your card) would be helpful.

Caticlan, Aklan

Still, while I could stay for 2-3 days out there, I simply wanted every penny to count. Like, I won’t sleep at all if I could. Haha. You know, just roam and explore. But because of circumstances, I would, like, just squander a day in Boracay just sleeping. So, whatta waste!

In the end, I said, “Okay, next time. I am just beat that all I’d probably do there is sleep — though if I even could.” And surely that won’t do since I love staying up late when I’m in a new place and especially since it’s Boracay, who wouldn’t??

Stay tuned for the third part of our continuing travels!

Travel Philippines: Luzon to Visayas in two weeks (December 2017, Part 1)

The holidays inarguably gives most of us more free time not to mention a little more funds at hand; and so encouraging us to do something a little more adventurous as well. And perhaps that’s exactly what happened this Christmas season of 2017 to many of us..

With a business trip to the north, Luzon that is, I felt that it was time for a different kind of experience — at least after my purpose has been done, of course. And so, a two-week adventure!

MY ROUTE: Cebu City to Manila to Batangas City to Calapan City to Roxas, Oriental Mindoro to Caticlan to Iloilo City to Bacolod City to San Carlos City to Toledo City and back to Cebu City!

Luzon to Visayas travelogue: 5 land and 4 sea travels. Actual travel routes are not straight paths

Wow, I could have just flown back again to Cebu! But yeah, this time it was a mix of air, rough seas and long hours of land travel that even included night and dawn trips, most of which you could not imagine how exhausting they actually were — but in the end, just all worth it.

For your reference and in case you plan to do such an adventurous trip, oh connecting trips, as well — guess there’s no real need to tell you the exact days of my travel (since you may want to cut it short or prolong your stay in one or several places depending on your time, interest and budget) but just the costs (as of December 2017), the time it took and some comments. Take note that these are basically my travel expenses and not counting the hotel stay, laundry, meals, snacks, supplies, souvenirs, in-city fares, tourist spot fees and some emergency money. And so, without further adieu..

Air Travel: Cebu City to Manila

Cebu City to Manila. AirAsia. 1h 20m. P2,300. The plane trip left as scheduled but was actually 20 minutes ahead of its ETA (estimated time of arrival) which has sort of become a signature for AirAsia as this has always been the case whenever I fly the airline. Hmm, that’s good. The airfare, on the other hand, varies depending on when and where you booked and when you wish to fly. Frequent flyers know this. The nearer your flight date, the more expensive it becomes. On the contrary, the farther your flight date, the lower the airfare would be, of course with consideration to the airline’s price threshold.

Manila to Batangas City. Bus at Taft Ave. cor. Buendia. 1h 40m. P168. When in Manila, be mindful of the traffic so watch your sked. Anyhow, considering the distance (103 km) and traffic, my long-time friend informed me that the trip could take 3-4 hours. But to my pleasant surprise, it only took less than two hours. So yes, great!

Port of Batangas

Batangas City to Calapan City (Mindoro Oriental). Roro ship. 2h 30m. P200 fare + P30 terminal fee. I actually got to the pier at about mid-morning in hope that I could leave by lunchtime at least — but the rains just had so many passengers caught in disarray that even with several shipping lines open for booking, I was only able to secure mine for the 3PM trip that only left at around 3:30PM.

Calapan City to Roxas (Mindoro Oriental). Van. P200. While both places are in the same province, the distance was really quite far (119.3 km) so it took the van 2h 30m to reach Roxas in this north to south trip. What’s tough in riding a van though is the placement of your luggages. With most everybody having at least a backpack or two and no real compartment in the van, you would be forced to just let your baggages sit on your lap for the trip. At least, initially.

Port of Calapan

Mindoro’s basic disadvantage: No buses. So, consider your itinerary.

Watch out for our second part, The Boracay Enigma!

Consumer Info: HIV and Sexuality

When one hears of the term HIV, what does normally come to mind? AIDS? Well yes, obviously, since it is the precursor of the dreaded disease. And now, with the continued rise of such cases in the Philippines as in 1,013 new cases as of June 2017 — where 969 of which comes from sexual contact – maybe it is time to especially check on society’s sexual behavior.

But first, a few facts about HIV.

  • HIV was believed to have originated from SIV-infected monkeys in Congo back in the 1920s. It was transferred to humans through ‘hunting’, like, as a result of monkeys being eaten or their blood getting into cuts or wounds of people hunting them.
  • Symptoms which normally appear between 1-2 months include: fever, fatigue, head ache, swollen lymph nodes, achy muscles, joint pains, skin rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, dry cough, and night sweats. Yes, while these symptoms may sound ordinary, notice that they do appear in many other illnesses as well — since these are signs that one’s immune system is being attacked. Thus, if you are unusually experiencing any such sign, make sure to have yourself checked by a physician.
  • At risk groups include partners of people with AIDS, or those who inject drugs, or hemophiliacs (one with serious disease that causes a person who has been cut or injured to keep bleeding for a very long time) as well as homosexuals.
How HIV/AIDS is spread

Now, sexual behavior. Okay, more than a means to procreate — sex as we may put it is a biological need, thus, even the Bible suggests that one gets married so as not to commit sins of the flesh such as fornication and orgies. However, man would only listen to his urges and those who shares his views. Yet they even pride themselves of having a personal relationship with God?? Worse, ’cause of people’s desire to be appreciated, “in”, or trendy in their styles — they even accuse others of perversion when they are the ones who actually instigate their so-called perversion. Talk of sticking more mud.

Example. If a girl wears kind of revealing clothes (plunging necklines, high slits, short shorts, et cetera) or even doing something that could show more skin than usual, men would generally look at her. Is that being a pervert? No. Why? It’s human nature. Men would always be men. And it is by no means shielding the folly of man. Because you should not have worn such clothing in the first place if you do not want to be stared at. Hey, even the Bible suggests to dress modestly, 1 Timothy 2:9. If you do not follow the Word, you sin. Simple.

Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are. Better be with a few who are righteous.

So see, society’s adamance and misguided beliefs has simply caused even more sexual harassment and rape cases these days.

Still, more than other influences like drugs and alcohol – being with ungodly people (or those who do not really try to follow the Word) only encourages the weaker souls to fall for just about every kind of sin there is, 2 Corinthians 6:14 – my, what with technology being a vehicle of lust and materialism?! And so, powerful, scheming men then just capitalized on this worldliness.

While technology offers convenience and entertainment, it’s also a vehicle of worldliness.

In the end, don’t you think HIV was simply God’s mysterious way of bringing wrath to immorality? And don’t say you use protection or there’s a cure – ’cause God has a million ways to get to offenders.

TODAY: 10 Famous Landmarks in Cebu City

So now, how about those top landmarks in Cebu City? Well, especially if you are new or have not really been to Cebu, visiting these attractions within the city would surely be worth your time — as more than just souvenirs, having photos wherever you may go are memories to cherish.

Still, while the older the landmark, the better it is for posterity — there are some spots that are not even a decade old which is a good sign since it only means Cebu City is not just trying to preserve its tourist attractions but making new ones as well.

And so, here now are the 10 Famous Landmarks in Cebu City..

Basilica Del Sto. Niño
Magellan’s Cross
Fort San Pedro
Cebu Heritage Monument
Colon Street: The Oldest Street in the Philippines
Pedro Calungsod Chapel
SM Seaside City Cebu: The 3rd Largest Mall in the Philippines
Cebu Taoist Temple
Sirao Flower Farm: Cebu’s Little Amsterdam
Temple of Leah

There are certainly other sites in the city, like our featured image — it’s the Cebu Provincial Capitol; however, while some of them may also be beside those we picked (like, Plaza Independencia is just in front of Fort San Pedro, also, SM Seaside and the Pedro Calungsod Chapel are just fronting each other), we actually chose spots based on what truly defines Cebu City — yes, as of today.