Skydiving in Cebu

Cebu Skydiving
Hello Bantayan Island (from the scary propeller plane)

Last December, a friend asked if I wanted to join Skydiving in Cebu. I said yes, thinking that the trip wouldn’t push through anyway. Even after booking flights to Cebu, reserving hotels, depositing downpayments, I was still thinking that it would be cancelled. I can’t back out and be a pussy. It was part of my ‘Things to Do’. I never imagined that I could jump out of a plane, 10 000 ft above sea level. Yet here are photos to remind me that I was crazy enough to do just that!!!

Cebu Skydiving
This is it pancit! No turning back!
Cebu Skydiving
Smiling at the camera! hahaha

Cebu Skydiving
Chillax-ing while free falling! 🙂 
Cebu Skydiving
Best feeling ever! Wohoo!

It was 2 minutes of free falling. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that pull in my tummy. Or maybe I did, but I failed to notice. I was overwhelmed by the wonderful view of Bantayan Island and the cold wind rushing to my face. I was just smiling the whole time. I still can’t believe that I did that!!! But I’m glad I experienced it. 

That jump costs Php 18K. And add the hotel in Bantayan, for 2 nights (2000-2500 per night), fare going to Bantayan from Cebu City (around 600 one-way), meals (150 per meal), and rent for the motorcyle to go around the island (300-500). My responsible-money-conscious self is shaking her head silently. Haha! But it was worth it. Pramis! 😅

Swimmin With The Stars

I never thought I’d experience swimming with stars. I’ve been to Liwa Zambales last year, but I didn’t fully appreciate its beauty then. But my visit last weekend showed me how great the place was.

It was a few weeks ago when my friend, Joan, and I decided to go the beach. There was no definite plan. Just a goal: to spend the weekend with the sand, sea, and sun. 
Getting there was not that easy. It was a good 4 hour drive from Manila. And to reach Kuya Bot’s place, we turned left somewhere along the highway. It was a struggle for us. Because our signal light was broken then. Haha. And it was a dusty and lonely road, I never imagined that there would be ‘resorts’ further along. But it was the best place to go to when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The gigantic trees in the area have a calming effect on me. And the beach! I love it. It was not crowded.

Every now and then we’d see some plastic floating but we’d fish that out. Liwa beach is too precious for us to destroy. I realized this when we decided to indulge ourselves with some night dip. 


There were tiny glowing things on the shore. And when you’re in the water, you’d see more of them. It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced. I wish I have a camera that could capture that moment. I’ve said ‘Amazing’ more than a hundred times that night. I never thought I’d experience that. Swimming with the phytoplanktons was the best! It was like swimming in a sea full of stars. 🙂

White Bean Cafe: Unexpected Hideout in Naga City

I’m a sucker for pretty things and pretty places, so you can just imagine how happy I was that I found White Bean Cafe in Naga City. I can sit in their comfy chair all day, drinking tea and reading my favorite book. They also serve good food so you can just order some of their dishes when you get hungry.

White Bean Cafe, Naga City
It looks like Kuya Guard is planted in the pot. lol.

This is my favorite side of their place, I call it the ‘Blue Side’. I like the combination of blue, white, and pink. It’s just so dainty and pretty. I’d usually stay at this side of the cafe. I’d only sit on the other side if all the seats here are taken. And yes, this side is always full.

White Bean Cafe, Naga City
The ‘Blue Side’

White Bean Cafe, Naga City
The ‘Yellow Side’

I was fortunate that the company booked me in Nagaland Hotel, which is just above White Bean Cafe. For 5 days, I’d always have my breakfast at this pretty place. What a great way to start my day. 🙂

White Bean Cafe, Naga City

It’s a great way to end your day too! They have affordable pasta, sandwiches, and rice meals. Here are my favorites in their menu:

White Bean Cafe, Naga City
Burger!!!
White Bean Cafe, Naga City
Kare-kare

White Bean Cafe, Naga City
Chicken Pesto Pasta

If ever you’re in Naga City, don’t forget to drop by White Bean Cafe. It is located near the busy Panganiban Street, found at the Ground Floor of Nagaland Hotel and across Robinson’s Naga.


White Bean Cafe
www.facebook.com/whitebeancafe 
+63 54 473 2111

PawiSurf Day 1: Sun & Pawikan

Last March, I decided to join my friends’ surfing trip. Neil & Neil (N2) Surfing Co., regularly organize 2-day surf trips in San Narciso, Zambales for Php 2000.00 per person. This includes the fare, accommodation, food, and surf lesson. I was lucky enough to join the last batch of PawiSurf. Aside from surfing, you also get the chance to release baby Pawikans into the ocean.

San Narciso Zambales
We’re N2 Surfing!

The food they served during our stay are all fresh and yummy. I don’t really like fish (except Salmon), but the fish steak was really good! Perfect time to start my Seafood Diet (When I see food, I eat it).


San narciso Zambales
Fish steak!!!


We headed for the beach around 4 PM. We had to pass by these beautiful trees going to the beach. It’s like a nature trip; very peaceful and quiet. 

San Narciso Zambales
Road less traveled. lol.
When we got to the beach, there was no one around. The water was flat which is not good for surfing. So for the first day, we had to cancel the surf lesson and just wait for the sunset. It was amazing!

San Narciso Zambales
Deserted beach with crystals in the sand.
Pawisurf
Sunset in San Narciso, Zambales

My photo did not do any justice to the beauty of sunset in Zambales. I’m sorry, I wish I know how to capture it. It was just pure bliss, sitting there at the shore, with beers and new found friends.

San Narciso Zambales
Local folk trying to fish



After watching the sunset, we decided to visit the baby Pawikans. Unfortunately, only 1 egg hatched when we visited the sanctuary. The others are still inside their shells. They’re not mature enough and we have to wait for it’s brothers and sisters.



San Narciso Zambales
Hello baby pawikan!
San Narciso Zambales



Every night, during Pawikan Egg Laying Season, locals of Lapaz San Narciso Zambales patrols the beach for these eggs. They call themselves ‘Pawi Rangers’. They collect the eggs and transfer it to a fenced sand area where the eggs can safely mature and hatch. As stated in Wikipedia, four species of the sea turtle have been identified as “endangered” or “critically endangered” with another two being classed as “vulnerable”.  The Pawi Rangers are all volunteers that want to help protect these endangered species. When the hatchlings are old enough, the Pawi Rangers then release the pawikans back to the ocean.

San Narciso Zambales
Life Cycle of a Sea Turtle

It was a very humbling experience. Imagine being born as a sea turtle, where you have to fight your way to live. Starting from egg until they mature, they always have to fight to survive. Go fight win, Pawikans! I’ll cheer for you and hope you”ll grow old.



Neil & Neil Surfing Co.
+63 917 580 6390



More Than Just Sushi

The new SushiDito Branch is now open and they’re serving more than just sushi! Yes, they also have Filipino dishes and Italian dishes that you could choose from.

The new SushiDito Branch shares the place with IlForno and Klasikos. IlForno serves homemade pizza and pasta, while Klasikos offer the greatest traditional Filipino Food. With this feature, customers are no longer confined to enjoying one cuisine. Hooray for more options!

SushiDito Damosa
Quick panorama shot of SushiDito by Danaea

A few weeks ago, together with other Davao Bloggers, I got to taste the best from their menu. Here are the dishes that I liked best:

SushiDito Damosa
Il Forno’s Selvatici

Did I fail to mention before that I like cheese and tomatoes? The Selvatici is topped with mix mushroom, alfredo sauce, dice tomato, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Perfect combination! You can enjoy this pizza for as low as Php 220.00.

SushiDito Damosa
Il Forno’s Cremoso Dip

After a bit of Google-ing, Google Translate says that ‘Cremoso’ is the Spanish word for ‘Creamy’. It was indeed a creamy dip, with bits of herbs unknown to my taste bud. But it was all blended so well and the unknown-herbs complement the cheese. Suffice to say, the dip was so good we had to ask for second serving of bread. The Cremoso Dip is available for Php 180.00.

SushiDito Damosa
Seafood Bicol Express

The Seafood Bicol Express contains a variety of seafood like shrimp, mussel, squid, and fish. The seafood is cooked in a special sauce. It wasn’t spicy as compared to other ‘Bicol Express’ food that I’ve tasted. But the sweet and salty combination of the sauce makes you want to eat more! The Seafood Bicol Express is priced at Php 210.00

SushiDito’s Yamata no Orochi

The Yamata no Orochi is a group meal that contains Salmon Sashimi, Tuna Sashimi, Miami Roll, California Maki, Salmon Nigiri, Tuna Nigiri, Orange Dragon, and comes with 1.5L Coke. This meal is good for 4-6 persons. I fell in love with the California Maki!!! The Yamata no Orochi is priced at Php 1350.00.

Overall, the food is good and affordable. Next time my friends and family visit Davao City, I know where to bring them! With their quality service, authentic food, and value-for-money, this will surely be a remarkable dining experience for them! *excited* Family, please visit soon! I love you! 😀
 
And if you’re a bit lazy to visit them in LandCo, you can also order online or thru phone. Delivery is free!

SushiDito Davao
www.sushidito.com
http://facebook.com/sushidito.davao
G/F Hai Global Building, Pryce Business Park
Bajada, Davao City
(082) 295 3333
(+63) 932 855 2555

GoHotels Mandaluyong for every Juan

Whenever I’m in Manila for work, my default place to stay is GoHotels Cybergate Plaza. Why?

 

1. It’s convenient. Located along EDSA, GoHotels is very accessible to all types of transportation. I can easily take a cab and in 15 minutes I’ll be in our office in Ortigas. Provincial and Local Buses always stop in Robinson’s Pioneer which is just beside the Cybergate Plaza. You can also took the train, as the MRT Boni Station is nearby too.
Hello EDSA from my Queen-Bed Room 🙂
2. Clean and Comfy. I hate dust and dirt, so I always make sure that I’ll sleep in a clean and comfortable surroundings after a day of hard work. I stayed in hotel rooms that looks classy and elegant, but when you lie on the bed, you’ll never see the sun again because of the bug bites. Eww.

Comfy bed and comfy sheets!

3. Affordable. Yes it is affordable compared to other hotels in Manila. You can get a room for as low as Php 1300.00, if you’ll book 1 week ahead and the prices can only go as high as Php 2300.00. I actually tried walking-in a few times and still got a room for Php 2300.00. Their booking system is like that of an airline company. The prices increase as the demand increase. So if you’re going to book on the same day that you’re going to stay there expect the price to be from Php 2000 – 2300 range. They also have room sales regularly where you can book your room accommodations ahead of time for a lower price.

I also have a list of things I do not like/enjoy while staying in GoHotels:

1. Key Cards. They get f*cking deactivated all the time. This happened a few times to me already and during the most dire times too. One time I went home around 3 AM so tired and sleepy and when I tried the 2 key cards that I have, both aren’t working. Just thinking about it makes me annoyed again. Anyhow, I went down to the lobby again to have them re-activated and that’s when the Front Desk Lady told me that the key cards are sensitive to gadgets and can be deactivated anytime. Who doesn’t own a gadget nowadays???

2. No Room Service. The hotel doesn’t have their own restaurant so when you stay there, make sure you’re prepared to survive. Hahaha. Don’t worry, the building has MiniStop Convenience Store at the Ground Floor level so you can get your water and chips there. As for food / meals, they also have Tokyo Cafe where they serve Japanese Food. Or if you really want cheaper / affordable meals you can just drop by Robinson’s Forum which is just beside GoHotels. They have an assortment of fastfood and food carts inside.

3. Thin Walls. If your neighboring rooms are very boisterous, you can just dial the front desk and request that they notify the nearby rooms to quiet down. But basically, you can hear their stories and sounds if they’re doing something naughty inside. hahaha. You can even hear the footsteps of other guests in the hallways.

So far, the reasons why I like GoHotels still weighs more to me than the dislike list. I still and will always choose to stay in their Cybergate Mandaluyong Branch. Thanks for making GoHotels the place for every Juan! :))

Let’s Go to Europe!!!

As part of the company’s incentive for our team effort, the whole Task Force Everest Team is going to Europe! Yehey!

Task Force Everest: Me, Ralph, Jephelle, Lai (Renoir Consultant), Elmer, Rachelle, Richelle, Milady, Bino is missing again

I may not have mentioned this before, but last May 2013, I got pulled out from the QA Department to join Project Everest and help reach the project’s goals. It ended last October 11, 2013 and the whole team’s hard work showed positive results. Thus the company granted us the Eurotrip. 😀

So now it’s a whirlwind of Visa Processing, Clothes Shopping, Itinerary Planning, and not to mention saving money! It’s not everyday someone gives you an all-expense paid trip to Europe, so the whole team is planning to make the most out of this experience.

Visa Processing

I am new to this. I’ve never traveled outside the country. If all goes well, this Eurotrip will be my first international trip! So excited! 😀 Going back, like what I said I am new to this visa processing thing. I didn’t even know what the visa is called. Thanks to Google, I learned that we need to get the Schengen Visa to enter Europe. The Schengen Visa grants entry to 25 countries that are included in the Schengen Area (for more information visit: http://www.schengenvisa.cc/). For the Schengen Visa, you can process it in any of the 25 countries, provided that you will stay most of the duration of your trip in that country where you will apply for your Schengen Visa. So for example you plan to travel for 5 days in Europe and you’ll be staying 3 days in France and 2 days in Italy, you’ll have to process and apply for your Schengen Visa in the French Embassy. That’s what the travel agency said. lol.

This is it! Pansit! *cross-fingers*

Clothes Shopping

We are planning to travel during the last 2 weeks of November. That’s almost winter time there so my wardrobe isn’t really suitable for the weather. I’ve started looking for boots, jackets, thermal clothes, gloves, and earmuffs. It’s a ten day trip and I wonder how I could survive that weather?

Trying on some winter jacket 🙂

Itinerary Planning

Neither one of us have been to Europe yet so this part was really challenging for us. It took us a while before we agreed on which countries to visit. It was just initially Paris, France but since we’re there already, we decided to include Barcelona, Spain and Rome, Italy in our itinerary too. Anyone who’ve been to these places already? Care to share where to eat, sleep, and visit in these places? It will be highly appreciated! :))

So excited about our trip! But still need to prepare a lot of things. Gaaah! I’m really really praying and hoping that our Visa Application will be okay! *cross-fingers* Go Team, Go!

Cebu Pacific Web Check-In

As a frequent Cebu Pacific flyer, I’ve decided to come up with the advantages and disadvantages of using the Web Check-In Service offered by Cebu Pacific based from my personal experience.

Advantages

1. Less Worry. You can be at the counter 45 minutes before your flight and not worry about your reservation getting cancelled or sold to someone else in the event of a fully booked flight. Also, if you’re traveling light (no checked-in baggage), you can just print your own boarding pass and go straight to the Boarding Gate and await your boarding call.

2. Bag Drop Counter. For those who are traveling with luggage, CebuPac have specific Bag Drop Counter where you can check-in your luggage and get your boarding pass. Usually, the Bag Drop Counter have shorter lines as compared to your regular check-in counter.

Bag Drop Counter – Genius!

 Disadvantages

1. No More Re-Booking. Yes, If you’ve already web-checked in and in the event that you wanted to cancel your flight and re-schedule it to another date, you can no longer re-book your flight. I personally experienced this during Typhoon Maring last August 2013. I was in Tacloban for field work and was bound to return to Manila for an important meeting. The weather was really bad in Manila then. I decided to push through and use the web check-in service the night before my flight since there are no updates of my flight being cancelled.

My boarding pass

On the day of my flight, CebuPac already announced that they are willing to re-schedule flights To and From Manila because of the bad weather conditions. However, when I called their hotline, this service no longer apply to me as I have already web-checked in. When I got to the airport, the place was jam-packed since the earlier flight of CebuPac got cancelled and a lot of passengers wanted to get in our flight since it was still scheduled to fly. 3 hours later, sorry, I mean 2 hours 55 minutes after, they finally decided to cancel it. Annoying isn’t it? Did you know that if your flight is delayed for 3 hours from the ETD, the airline is required to provide passengers with meals (Passenger Bill of Rights). So they waited until the last 5 minutes of that 3 hours before cancelling our flight. So there I was, hungry and annoyed. It took me another 3 hours before they can cancel my check-in and rebook me to another flight. Grrrr! I never hated the Web Check-In that much since then.

Agitated passengers

2. Bag Drop Counter. Not all Cebu Pacific Counters have this. So far, I’ve only experienced the hassle-free check-in in Davao City and in Terminal 3. For locations like Cebu, Iloilo, Ozamiz, and Tacloban, they use the same counter for your bag-drop and for your normal check-in. So Web Check-In for these locations are basically futile.

3. Not Available to All Flights. Did you know that the Web Check-In is only available for Airbus flights or their short flights? I’ve noticed this when I flew in from Davao to Cagayan de Oro and Manila to Naga. So if you’re booked to these flights don’t bother checking their website anymore as they’re not available.

So far, these are the only ones that I could think of. Do you have some experience with Web Check-In service that you’d like to share? 🙂

Don’t Talk to Strangers

I’m sorry, Tita! I failed you. I talked to a stranger. I even had lunch with one. It’s a Dimsum-All-You-Can, so I’m sure you’ll understand, right..? lol.

Unlimited Yum Cha
Jasmine Restaurant in New World Hotel Manila offers Dimsum-All-You-Can for lunch time. I learned about this the best way, which is experiencing the whole thing for free. Thank you, Stranger!

Oh so happy~ Sorry for the blurred picture, Stranger’s hand is shaky. lol

We started our Unlimited Yum Cha Experience by ordering everything on their Steamed Menu. I told the waiter that it was our first time there and we wanted to try everything. And then he brought this cart of happiness to our table!!!


Cart of Happiness
I accept early Christmas presents such as this Cart of Happiness, btw! HAHAHA. From the Cart of Happiness, these are the items that I enjoyed:
Shrimp Dumplings

Pork Dumplings Quail Egg

Pork Dumplings and Crab Roe

Chicken Feet Tausi

Steamed Spare Ribs Tausi

I greatly recommend their Shrimp Dumplings! Out of the all the items in their menu, it was the one that I loved the most. Next on my list was the Pork Dumplings Quail Eggs and Pork Dumpling Crab Roe (yes, I love pork so it might be a little biased! lol). The Chicken Feet Tausi and Steamed Spare Ribs Tausi was so soft that the meat comes off the bone so easy. It was a bit spicy, but flavorful nonetheless.

We also tried Fried and Baked Selection. They brought this plate with assorted dimsum:


From L -R: Barbecued Pork Pastry, Wagyu Beef with Mango Rolls,
 Seafood Taro Puff, Shrimp Wonton, Deep Fried Shrimp with
Bean Curd Skin Roll 

I honestly prefer their Steamed Selection than the Fried and Baked. Or maybe because I was too full with all the Shrimp Dumplings that I ate? HAHAHA. Anyway, I still tried one of each. Of all those in the plate, I liked the Shrimp Wonton dipped in Sweet and Sauce.

Chocolate, Peanuts, Glutinous Dumplings

Dessert Time!!! Because we’re too full, we asked the waiter to just serve the best seller dessert in their menu. So he brought this Glutinous Dumplings with chocolate and peanuts. It’s like “Buchi or Butsi”  but instead of the regular Sweet Mongo filling, they replaced it with chocolate and then coated with ground peanuts. I just wish they offer “Buchi” though, because that’s my favorite among other things.

Jasmine tea and Iced Tea

The Unlimited Yum Cha comes with free Jasmine Tea and a glass of iced tea or soda for Php 695+ per person and Php 950+ per person with  a glass of champagne. Thank you again, Stranger! Until our next food adventure! 😀

Jasmine Restaurant
2/F New World Hotel
Esperanza Street corner Makati Avenue
Ayala Center, Makati City, 1228 Philippines


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Tacloban City: Staring is Rude

Filipinos still aren’t used to tall girls, are they? I was walking around Tacloban City today and I still got stares from almost everyone that I passed by. Don’t get me wrong, I like my height. I just don’t like being stared at. Anyway, in my quest to find that quiet spot where people wouldn’t be rude, I stumbled upon Sunzibar.

Sunzibar is a Mexican-inspired restaurant located in the downtown area of Tacloban City. I didn’t even know this place existed, until I got lost. Originally, the plan was to spend my afternoon in Cafe Lucia. But alas, it was closed. So I looked for another hiding place and google said Calle Z. Google also said that Calle Z is open from 6 PM – 4 AM. F*ck it! It was just 12 noon then and I needed a place to eat and read. I am really thankful to this blog post for recommending Sunzibar. It wasn’t easy to find, though. They don’t have an overhead signage, just this cute double-face signaged that is very insconpicous. So if you’re walking on the other side of the street, you might miss it just like what happened to me. I had to stop at a milk tea place and ask the locals about the location of Sunzibar.

When I got there, the place was really jam-packed. It makes you look forward to what they can offer. Surely, people wouldn’t frequent this place if they don’t have something good to offer, right? I asked for their best seller and they recommended the Rum Ribs. Okay, I can eat Ribs. On their menu, it said “Ribs so tender, the meat falls off the bone… It comes with 2  glasses of iced tea, salad,  and rice so more people can share”. I appreciate the thought miss, but do I look like “more people” to you? I can’t eat all that. Well maybe I could, but not now when I just drank an extra large milk tea, okay? Thank you. Their next recommendation was the Pan-Grilled Chops. Ooooooh pork! Me likey!!!



Sunzibar’s Pan Grilled Chops

It was humongous! That was 2 slabs of porkchop served with rice and salad. The pork chops were specially marinated and pan-grilled with barbecue sauce. It was a very good meal! And cheap too! This meal costs only Php 147.00. Good meal, good deal! I took time eating and savoring my food that all the tables started clearing up!

As I don’t want to go out in the open field with a lot of staring people, I ordered again (Hahaha excuses! :P).  Nachoooooos! It was overflowing with cheese when they served it. Tasted great too! The tortillas, as I’ve read in their menu were hand-rolled and made fresh daily. Yes, it was crunchy and tasty. I can eat it even without the cheesy toppings. Very affordable for also for only Php 118.00.

Nachos!

I am very happy with this restaurant. I wanna try the Rum Ribs next time, but first I’ll find a friend or maybe a boyfriend to share that meal with! Hahaha. I’ll definitely be eating there again before I leave this week. Thank you for being a good hiding place, Sunzibar!

Sunzibar Restaurant
Burgos St., Tacloban City
(053) 321 2645


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