Tag Archives: travel

In Pictures: Mantayupan Falls (Barili, Cebu)

Here is one of the more than 90 falls you could find in Cebu province.. the Mantayupan Falls in Campangga, Barili — some 60 kilometers southwest of the city.

Oh, did you know that it’s just about 300 meters away from another wonderful adventure? Well then, let’s see these pics first..

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Hmm… Can you see ’em clearly? I mean the print on the signboard. If not, here goes. There are actually 2 falls here, one is 14 meters high and the ‘main’ falls is about 98 meters high..



This is the 14-meter high falls; and it’s the first falls you’d see.



Now, t’is the ‘main’ waterfalls at 98 meters.. A lot really gathers here to have picnics, you know. The ‘wind’ is pretty cool off the falls, yeah!


For the curious, here’s what that small sign says — check it out!



And yes, in case you wish to spend a night or two, they got rooms.


So, what can you say? Okay, the water is not blue nor green; well, it just rained before we got there. Still, it’s bathable. After all, it’s running water, remember?! Just be careful.



Barili. Sikwate. And Growing Old.

T’is actually a town where I spent a lot of my childhood summer vacations. Barili. The creeks we used to have a swim, the hills we used to climb just to watch our favorite TV show at our neighbor’s house, the games we played like ‘siato’, the early no very early mornings when we used to eat puto with sikwate (hot chocolate)..

Puto with sikwate, just about finished

Yeah, a lot of fond memories. And so, I visited the place again.

Shamrock Barili, bus stop over

To Get Here: From South Bus Terminal, ride a bus, normally Ceres with the Barili signboard. Then get off at the town’s center either at the Municipal Hall or at Shamrock which is really just a few meters apart,  so the fare is the same, P72 per head. And from there you could go about to whatever tourist spot you wish to visit — through ‘habal-habal’ or by hiking.

Town Parish Church
Town Park
Town Public Market

Well, remote places like this may take time in its development; but you know what? These are just the kind of places where its nice to retire and grow old..

Retiring with your buddy

And enjoy puto with sikwate every morning.. Till next time!

Olango Island. Tinolang Manok. And Rice.

As in many, if not most, little islands — Olango Island in Lapu Lapu, Cebu is peaceful and abound with natural beauty but, obviously also faced with some challenges.

First, being an island off the province’s mainland, potable water presents some kind of problem. Second, transportation. Oh, more than what you’re thinkin’ of. Hey, the island has a means to be connected to the mainland — and that is through pump boats! And within the island? They ‘already’ got their vehicles in.

Yep. The keyword is ‘already’. Meaning, that was before the barge they used to transport bigger and heavier loads got damaged, but that it hasn’t been repaired nor replaced to date — a dilemma that definitely affects trade, commerce and development among others.

The road from the pier to 'eskina'

Save for bread, the high prices of food is proof to it.

'Tinolang Manok' at the 'eskina' eatery

A simple Filipino delicacy in ‘tinolang manok’ is at least 133 percent higher compared to that in the mainland. And we’re not just talking about pricing for ‘tourists’ but for locals as well, that is even for Olango locals!

The eatery at the 'eskina'

Yet as a whole, we could take comfort in their ‘rice’ though. Uhm… A single serving is about enough to satisfy your belly. And if you’re not satiated, you could even get an additional one for ‘free’. Yeah, that is if they ran out of rice and that you could take the toasted bottom.

Till next time.. Enjoy!

Carcar. Lechon Paksiw. And Ice.

T’was already noontime after my early morning visit to Simala Shrine, and so, my belly started to complain. Many people were at the eatery just outside the ‘sacred grounds’, and most visitors actually heads straight to that place to satisfy their appetite. Then again, the menu is quite common and even pretty expensive at that. Yeah, even a cup of rice was, what, P12 or so..

And so, I decided to head downhill and then, have an impromptu visit at Carcar — Cebu’s ‘chicharon’ capital.


The stretch along the road where 'chicharon' is sold
The stretch along the road where ‘chicharon’ is sold

Hmm… Do you know that ‘chicharon’ could in fact be consumed as one’s viand? Oh, we’re sure you do unless you’re from some place else. Well, that’s how tasty chicharon is!

Carcar's famed rotunda
Carcar’s famed rotunda

But since we already know Carcar’s reputation for chicharon and even lechon, better have somethin’ else — a spin off! Right. And yeah, ‘lechon paksiw’ certainly fits the bill!

So, could it make its mark as chicharon and lechon did?

Lechon Paksiw
Lechon Paksiw

Okay, the rind or skin was just right — not ‘rubbery’. The sauciness or ‘soup’, if you want to call it as such, wasn’t like just vinegar or soy sauce mixed with chopped lechon. The ‘laurel’ was enough, though they could have used some pepper. The meat.. not so soft, as in perfect.

Open, sidewalk eatery
Open, sidewalk eatery which is actually just along the ‘chicharon’ stretch

That if ever there was some ‘serious issue’, t’was actually not in the lechon paksiw or even on the eatery’s open sidewalk location but — in its soda?! It was just dead warm, and no ice!? Wow!

Okay, no big deal.. Till then. Ciao!

In Pictures: Simala-Lindogon Marian Monks Shrine (Sibonga, Cebu)

One of the coolest architectural beauties not only in Cebu but in the country as well is the Simala-Lindogon Marian Monks Shrine found on the mountains of Sibonga. Yep, that’s right, thousands flock this place not only for their pilgrimage but because of its structures.

The Front
Far Left
Far Right

Reminds us of, what, St. Petersburg? Really. They’re kinda similar especially at first sight. Even The Great Wall has some similarities, too. Ahh, just makes us itching to get to ‘Lil Russia’! Haha!

To Get Here: Get to South Bus Terminal first, unless, your house is somewhere along the route of the buses to Sibonga then you could just wait along the highway. Now, if you happen to ride a bus in which the signage says ‘Simala-Sibonga’ then it would most likely go all the way to the shrine (the fare is about P75) — just ask the conductor if they’d go to the mountains.

Otherwise, if it says ‘Oslob’ or something like that, then you have to get off the corner of the road going to the church; again, just tell the conductor. If so, and at the corner, just ride a ‘habal-habal’ for P20 per head.

a-front-left a-front-right a-middle-earth

By the way, do you actually know what makes this place special to the pilgrims? Its said ability to heal. See. If ever you get that chance to come over, you’d notice more than a handful of people in crutches hoping their faith could heal their issues.

And true enough, you’d even see a museum of healing testimonies as well as donations (wheelchairs, crutches, et cetera) among others on display!


And so, especially for this ‘miraculous’ reason, visitors are required to adhere to dress codes and even remove their footwear as respect to the sacredness of Mary.

Watch out for our video on the Shrine.. Till next time!

In Pictures: Balamban, More Than Just an Industrial Hub (Cebu)

Located over 60 kilometers northwest of Cebu City, Balamban is known to be Cebu’s west industrial hub — yep, what with the shipyard situated in its locale!

Still, it’s more than just about shipbuilding; as it’s a lively town with a wonderful cultural heritage!

To Get Here: You actually got three routes in going to Balamban. Through Busay. Toledo-Wharf road. Or through the Naga-Uling road which is where buses from the South Bus Terminal passes by. Fare is P70 one way, while travel time is over two hours.

Naga-Uling road is where you'll turn going to Toledo then Balamban
WCIP at Tsuneishi Road, Brgy. Buanoy

Okay, like Naga City (South Industrial Hub of Cebu), the place is not really known for beaches; yeah, even though it’s got a coastal area. Instead, life could be found in the town’s center..

The Parish Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Senyang, the town's most popular restaurant
The Public Park
The Baywalk

From its parish church to its sports center. And onto to its public market with its various eateries to its public park — yes, as well as its sports oval and its baywalk which is especially lively during the weekends and at night!

And by the way, here are two facts that could get your interest going even higher..

Balamban is one of those vegetable baskets of Cebu

One. Did you know that along with Dalaguete, Balamban is a major ‘vegetable basket’ of Cebu province? Really. Notice the tags on the veggies you buy at the supermarket?

Sports Oval where 'baseball' is the most popular sport

Two. Were you informed that the town’s ‘baseball team’ is one of the best in the region? Seriously. Do you actually check the dailies whenever there’s a Palarong Pambansa?

Well, if you did plan ahead, you could also try to arrange an ‘educational tour’ to Balamban’s shipyard. Wow!

In Pictures: Solea Resort – Part 2 (Alegria, Cordova)

So here now is the second part of our feature for ’em resorts — Best Western Sand Bar and Solea. Yeah, these are in fact two resorts sitting side-by-side but normally referred to as one, the more unique or ‘different’ name — the Sand Bar.

As promised, we bring you the pools.. and more!

Okay now, some of the landscaping miscues..


While vehicles may be ‘well’ parked (well?) at about the entrance of the resort, it just looks tight and messy. Yeah, despite the space. Not only that, valet parking should be pronounced. After all, it would be quite a walk under the heat of the sun.


Soil maintenance should be round the clock. See, understandably the ground is not all flat, so ‘patches’ of green or brown could affect the landscaping in spite of the nicely spread seats and couches.


Okay, the ‘chess-like’ design near the side-end of the resort is cute; however, its ‘baldness’ on that area makes us question if this area was not really part of the plan. Hmm…

Then again, overall, t’is just a great place to be!