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#Philippines

Cebu

The Charming Island of Malapascua!

Malapascua is described by the lonely planet as “The Thinking Man’s Boracay” and is the next greatest beach discovery after Boracay. It is like Boracay 5 /10 years ago or I would describe it as Boracay less the nightlife (very quiet at night!) . The sand is sugary fine and the waters are calm such that you can imagine you have a large swimming pool that you can swim for miles. I’ll be writing a series on Bantayan/Malapascua adventure in time for the summer season and specially holy week which is the peak season for these beaches.

I’ve been here about five years ago and now there is an authentic Italian Restaurant (La Dolce Vita) and new resorts (Blue Corals) have been established. Night life is still quiet, although a disco bar, Maldito, was established 3 years ago but it just recently closed. Overall, I’m happy that its charm has been kept intact over the years. This would change once the roads have been developed and the port established. This continues to be one of the best kept secret beach for a select few to enjoy. Normally, you would only see foreigners in this island because it is promoted by Lonely Planet.

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Cebu

Finding Serenity @ Kota Beach, Bantayan Island!

This is one of my favorite beach in the Philippines! I’m glad I was able to go back here for the second time almost after 5 years… I like its rustic charm where there is no TV, the clocks seems to slow down, you are like watching in an omni-theater about beach nature at its finest. Kota Beach is located in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island and on the tip end of the Sta. Fe beaches. You could walk along the beach to the left and find Marlin’s Beach Resort, White Sands, and Santa Fe Beach Club. On the right of Kota Beach, you can also find Budji Resorts and other smaller resorts.

Unfortunately, this island is full of irony because they got exposed to tourist price early so some of the food are expensive specially if it is owned by a foreigner. However, you can have Karaoke with drinks already for P100/person. Danggit sells for half the price here in the Bantayan Market because it is produced in the island. Also, Bantayan is known to be the “Egg Basket of the Visayas”. More than 100 tons of eggs per day are produced on the island and sent out to the nearby regions (quote from Tara Cebu). They don’t have diving resorts but Marlin’s Resort would have water sports available and ski-boarding since the beach faces the open sea. Lastly, Bantayan Island is the only place where you can eat meat or Lechon during the Holy Week and this is recognized by the Church!

I’ll be writing a series on Bantayan/Malapascua adventure in time for the summer season. Stay tune for that series.

Viaje del Sol

[Viaje del Sol Series.8] Carlitos’ Workshop – Our Last Stop

This our last stop of the tour, and unfortunately Carlito’s was in Manila working on his exhibit in Megamall. BTW, his house is practically an exhibit of most of his works and I captured some more photos of his steel sculpture. Like an exhibit, It would be great if the host or somebody would be there to tour you around the exhibit to give you the stories behind the masterpieces. I posted earlier a mini-series on Carlito’s Workshop:

Carlito’s Workshop 1– Intimidating House with Surprisingly Hospitable Host!
Carlito’s Workshop 2 –Photogenic House with an Outstanding Garden 🙂
Carlito’s Workshop 3 — Carlito’s Coffee

The only difference now, is that recently he is charging P100 as an entrance fee to Carlito’s Workshop. Worth it if he is around to entertain you personally.

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Viaje del Sol

[Viaje del Sol Series.6] Sumptuous Lunch @ Ugu Bigyan!

By this time, it is already 1pm coming from the Kubli Springs. The highlight of the tour has always been Ugu Bigyan which is a sure winner in terms of food and overall ambiance. This is my first time to eat lunch here and we already know that the merienda is superb. For P350/head, you get a generous serving of the best Filipino lunch I ever tasted and looked forward to. This is not your usual Gerry’s grill or Dencio’s but home-cooked Filipino food at its finest. They don’t have an ala carte menu but a fixed lunch set depending on what fresh ingredients would be available. C’mon lets savor Ugu’s food via these food shots…

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Viaje del Sol

[Viaje del Sol Series.5] The Charm of Kubli Springs


Jay was very kind enough to let us visit Kubli Springs which is still an undeveloped properly owned by their family. You have to cross this spring and go upstream where Jay had setup lunch picnics or evening dates all for the same price of P500/person (standard line pricing). This springs is an extension of the Kinabuhayan Cafe and once developed, I’m sure this is one of the nice secret dining places in Dolores, Quezon. I love nature and settings such as these are priceless and I can already imagine a better alternative to Villa Escudero’s lunch where you also eat with your feet submerge in water and tables are setup on top of the water.

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Cebu

[Sinulog #4] a Pilgrimage to Sto. Nino de Cebu Basilica


A pilgrimage to the Basilica of Sto. Nino is a must if you are a devoted Catholic and specially if this was your first time to the Sinulog. They say that you should make three prayer wishes (3) every time you make your first visit to a new church and they will come true. I truly believe in this and with the miraculous power of the Sto. Nino de Cebu, it will be granted. Remember, that Sto. Nino de Cebu is the link between Philippines Pagan Past and our country’s Christian present. You can see the original Sto. Nino de Cebu which was given as a baptismal gift to Hara Amihan, wife of Cebu’s Rajah Humabon coverted the first Christians in the Philippines archipelago. Most people go to the Sinulog not only for the grand parade but also to do this pilgrimage to the Sto. Nino de Cebu.

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