Tag Archives: Cebu

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

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!

TODAY: Top 10 Things in Cebu City

As the world turns, times change and so do trends. Still, not all ‘hot’ stuff is new — others have been around since civilization could remember that we sort of ignore them.

So in no particular order, here are the current ‘trends’ in Cebu City.

Zumba

With greater emphasis on health and beauty nowadays, Zumba has become a way of life — that one could normally see (and join for free) these workouts in malls, whether at the top floor or at the car park.

Lotto I Swertres

Games of chance sort of gives the masses some hope in trying times that it has brought about an unusual ‘brotherhood’ especially in swertres where numbers are shared to help each other out.

Regular Mall Bargains

With mall bargains and ‘ukay-ukay’ stores everywhere, locals are just not yet ready to embrace the convenience of online shopping.

Massage Kiosks

Saunas and spas have been feeling stiff competition from electronic massage chairs to massages offered by the blind that they have to do promos to stay relevant against these ‘on-the-go’ alternatives.

Fresh Avocado Juice

Haven’t really noticed this even last year (have you?) in the streets of Colon, so avocado juice is definitely one of those new hot stuffs out there — and could be a seasonal thing from now on. After all, it’s healthy and delicious — and affordable, too!

Ice Skating

There may not be snow in the Philippines but ever since locals have been introduced to ice skating, we have seen enthusiasts grow immensely. Would we see more Michael Martinez’ someday?

Short shorts

While ‘ukay-ukay’ has now been a fixture, here’s one clothing line that seems to get more and more fans from such stores — the short shorts — that it has become part of the new everyday attire.

Street food: Seafood

The famed ‘pongko pongko’ has recently expanded! Though this tasty seafood in BBQ sticks isn’t sold alongside puso (hanging rice), it’s still addicting. Haven’t you tried it?

Self-service car wash (above) | Coin-operated laundry (below)

We already know about the existence of self-service restaurants but self-service car washes and self-operating laundries are on the rise. Tho car washes are for those on the road, these laundry shops are especially good if you’re not so busy. And they’re pocket-friendly!

Skateboarding

Do not be surprised if you see more than just cars and motorbikes on the road these days, skateboarding has become increasingly popular among youngsters that it has hit the streets and has even been restricted in many schools.

In Pictures: Hidden Valley Wave Pool (Pinamungahan, Cebu)

Have you been to Pinamungahan? How about to their Wave Pool? Well, it is said to be Cebu’s first wave pool, you know the kind of ‘wavy’ stuff you normally see at the beach — so it must be some place that would interest many — yes, in spite of the distance.

To Get Here. With your starting point at the South Bus Terminal, take a bus going to Lutopan, Toledo City. Then ride a ‘habal-habal’ which is P60 per head — and that’s just one way, so imagine how far it is from the highway. Yes, 7.8 kilometers. Do not worry though, there are already motorbikes waiting over there as well that is for those who are done with their experience.

The signage where you should stop: Brgy. Bunga
Opposite the signage is the start of the 7.8 kilometer road to Hidden Valley

Still, the distance is about 58 kilometers from Cebu City with buses taking the Naga-Uling road, however, if you got your own vehicle — you could take the Toledo wharf road. This is to the right of Tabunok proper, or the road going to Jaclupan. Either way, it would still take at least around 2 hours of travel — but for your gasoline’s sake, of course, the shorter distance would be preferable.

The main entrance and to the left is the reception area
Just inside the resort and the parking area as well

Well, parking would not be a problem here as you can see.

The actual resort entrance

Meanwhile, the wave pool fee is P150 for adults and P125 for kids.

To the right upon entering
To the left upon entering

As of this writing, they are planning to put up a zip line and sky bike.

Directions

The area is about 2,000 square meters and has 2 resorts actually, so you might get confused. Just ask. The one we are featuring is the Wave Pool Resort while the other one is the Mountain Resort.

Full-length view
Near the wave machine
Opposite end of the pool
Another angle of the opposite end
The opposite sidelines
The waves
Waves from the sidelines

Cottages are nicely located and pretty affordable though.

Tables and Chairs: P350
Umbrella Cottage: P500
Inside the native cottage: P600
Mushroom cottage: P800

However, what’s not really nice here is the corkage. Imagine paying P50 per menu or kilo for food?? How about P100 per case on drinks, or P250 per one whole lechon? It’s like you’re being forced to buy.

Like, short orders ranging from P105 to P180 on single round buffet.

Accommodation

Meantime, accommodation is from P2,500 to P8,750 per room and though you would have free use of pools, that depends on the type.

The resort’s top view

In the end, coming over for the day tho would be a nice experience.

Food Review: Lamb Adobo (Brique)

If you’ve just been eating the same old meat like pork, beef and chicken for a lengthy period now, many times, it would be a welcome respite to have something else..

Not just goat meat, or carabeef but say ‘lamb’ — the favorite food in the Bible. And so we did when we dined at Brique in Ayala Center.

image

image

This was the lamb adobo that we had. Ok, t’was reasonably priced.

image

Looking closely tho, all it really had were some leeks and garlic — not even the usual oiliness of adobo could be found which was good, at least in regards to the oil as it became sort of healthy..

image

Other than that, well. Frankly, the dish was bland — even with some renown sauce added to it — it was still bland. While the meat could have something to do with its taste, guess it was just a poor recipe.

Brique could have improved on it by adding some herbs and spices, yeah, along with some garnishings — like spinach, lettuce or even tomatoes. Even if it may look like a burger, at least its got flavor.

More so, missing out on so many of their drinks listed on their menu was just a little too upsetting, that it was kinda funny already.

Anyway, if only for the ambiance, t’was okay — yes, the service, too.

In Pictures: Compostela Boardwalk Beach Resort (Cebu)

One of the smallest beach resorts one could ever go to is the Boardwalk at Compostela, Cebu — that is 26 kilometers north of the city!

T’is easy to find though since it’s just right after the municipal hall and the town’s public market; however, just before the Green Lagoon Park which is also in Compostela. Okay, got it!?

Compostela Municipal Hall is to the left when coming from Cebu City
From Cebu City, the Boardwalk is to the right

Anyway, smallish as it is, the Boardwalk’s got a handful of signages?!

Signage #1: Just after the reception
Signage #2: After the kiddie pool and the cottages
Signage #3: In front of the main pool

We are not even counting the resort’s ID! Well, it’s just noticeable since the place is clearly just a few hundred (??) square meters in area. And so, everything is just on a rectangular landscape.

From the entrance, the cottages are to the right
Rooms are to the left

Well, the resort proper is kind of cute though — and perhaps never really experienced overcrowding unless those bigger resorts are full. So, you got ’em little pools all for yourself with this one..

Main pool
Kiddie pool

Even tho with limited parking space. But who cares, you’re alone!

Parking area just before the resort proper

How ’bout checkin’ our ‘live’ tour, ey, you might see somethin’ else!

To follow and see our other adventures, CLICK HERE and subscribe.

In Pictures: Green Lagoon Park (Compostela, Cebu)

A lagoon park that’s pleasantly close to Cebu City, the Green Lagoon Park is just 27 kilometers north of the city proper! Have you been there?

Well, if you’re all alone or even with a partner, you would not really have to spend much getting there as even a jeepney (with no need to ride a ‘habal-habal’) will do since the place is just along the highway of the municipality of Compostela. See??!

The entrance to Green Lagoon Park
Reception Area
TO THE RIGHT OF THE ENTRANCE: 2-way road going to the shore with cottages on the side
Cottages near the shore
STRAIGHT ROAD FROM THE ENTRANCE: Onto the rooms
View of the rooms from the back
The playhouse just before the pool
Pool fee is P100 for adults and P50 for kids
This is the only pool they have but it’s good enough

By the way, if you notice, the place is spacious enough, so do not worry about parking space. Check out the video for a ‘live’ feed.

One of those fun things you could do here is play volleyball. Oh, did I hear ‘basketball’?? Sorry guys, I didn’t see any court. Nada.

Volleyball area near the shore

Also, for those who love to sing, there’s no ‘videoke’ here — but you could bring your own tho. And whether there’s singing or not, there is drinking; ey, your corkage fee okay? At the entrance.