Tag Archives: Philippines

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

TODAY: Top 10 Mall Games in Cebu City

It’s the Halloween, and what timing! Longer holidays and sure, people just enjoying their vacation. Well, while many may have gone to their hometowns, else, beaches and other interesting places. Malls still do offer some unique fun, not just movies but in games as well — yes, whether for children or adults!

But before we proceed, here’s an interesting trivia. Did you know that most of these mall games have various names depending on the mall that you’re in? This could be confusing, thus, we just decided to give them our own descriptive name instead — so, just take a careful look at the pictures for you to recognize these games.

Here goes..

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Shooting Hoops

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Kiddie Fun Ride

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Combat Video Game

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Stuffed Toy Grabber

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Car Driving Simulator

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Deep Sea Board Shooting

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Coin Treasure

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Videoke Box

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Gun Shooting Video Game

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2K Basketball Video Game

If some of your favorite mall games are ranked lower, or are not even on this list — then it means they are not found in most malls but are only seen in selected or larger malls in Cebu City. And so if they are not around, how could they be played with, right?

Anyway, there’s just so much more to add or improve in terms of mall games in this part of the world — no worry, we’ll get there.

TODAY: Top 10 Food Kiosks in Cebu City

Okay, let’s now get into kiosks — not those big, fast food chains or restaurants that we instinctively think of but the more popular, little ones that we usually see in the malls of Cebu City.

Yes, while a couple of them may have already found their way out of food carts and onto resto-type spots with a few tables and chairs — they still could not be categorized as a full-fledged food store as they still don’t have enough of such franchises instead many still thrives on kiosks that we know of.

And so, we bring you today’s Top 10 Food Kiosks in Cebu City which we categorized as follows: Current Craze, Fast Rising, and Old Favorites.

CURRENT CRAZE

  • LEYLAM. Now, who doesn’t like beef? Well most everyone does except, understandably, for those bounded by religious beliefs as well as some vegans out there. And with options for rice, noodles or wrap, Leylam has become the biggest hit in Cebu City as you could have them for either a dreamy snack or a delightful meal.
Leylam
  • POTATO CORNER. Fries. And more fries. Guess, it’s more than just those flavorings but it’s simply the love for these delectable slices of deep-fried potatoes that even with just plain salt would do.
Potato Corner
  • HOTDOG ON STICKS. Cheesedog. Bacondog. Save for a real dog, hotdogs have been a favorite practically since time immemorial — that other similar kiosks have sprouted all over town!
Hotdog On Sticks
  • PEDRO PEDRICO’S. For pizza fans, this store must be heaven. While they don’t really have as many flavors as those big players, their options for slices and solo packs gives them that edge on affordability.
Pedro Pedrico’s

FAST RISING

  • TURKS. Here’s more meat and all wrapped for you in Turks — where the only disadvantage could in fact be its classy image and therefore its price, yeah, as we are speaking of the general public.
Turks
  • SANTINO’S SUPREME SLICES. Speaking of class and just like Turks, it’s the layout of Santino’s is what makes it classier than other pizza kiosks. Then again, with mainly just four common flavors, the only advantage it has compared to those bigger pizza chains is that it could be bought per slice — while against other kiosks is of course its size.
Santino’s Supreme Slices
  • LUGAW NI BOSSING. Clearly, many just liked the idea of bringing mother’s arroz caldo out of the kitchen and onto the public through Lugaw ni Bossing as we could see in its reception. But while there may be some differences with mom’s delicious home-cooked delicacy, this is the closest that you can get.
Lugaw ni Bossing

OLD FAVORITES

  • CEBU’S ORIGINAL LECHON BELLY. The simple yet not so simple lechon has been the pride of Filipino cuisine. Yet even with its crispy skin, how could we just forget its succulent belly?
Cebu’s Original Lechon Belly
  • MASTER SIOMAI. Another of Cebu’s pride is the siomai — or the dumpling as known by many other than locals is just as tasty as it could be. And probably the only fix here could be its consistency with the sauce.
Master Siomai
  • WAFFLE TIME. Nope, it’s not really tiring to have especially if it’s cheap and still tasty as pancakes but only with a hotdog or some filling inside. Waffles are simply a good choice for those on a budget.
Waffle Time

Notice that most of these kiosks are just about in every mall in Cebu City?