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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Family

LASIK Surgery @ American Eye

Photos and text by Enzo Diaz

As I type this blog, it has been 15 hours from my LASIK surgery. My eyes are still a blurry but I am fully functional. The bring light coming from the morning sun still hurt my eyes but I am fully functional. In fact, in the evening of the operation, I was out having dinner with friends from 7:30 to 9:30; having some red wine in Bistro 101 with my old friends from 9:45 to 10:30 and played Texas hold ’em till midnight. I owe all of these of course through the expert handling of the doctors and nurses of American Eye Center.

Laser-assisted in Situ Keratomilieusis (LASIK) is a procedure used to eliminate or reduce near sightedness (Myopia), far-sightedness (hypertopia) and/or astigmatism. I had this procedure four years ago when my eyes had a grade of 2.50. Yes… thats right! It was not completely eliminated the first time around so I had to do the enhancement procedure again to clip down my 1.50/1.25 vision. And because of the lifetime guarantee of the American Eye Center, I didn’t shell out any fee (otherwise, a new LASIK procedure will cost Php 68,000 or US$1, 300.00 for both eyes)

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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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Cebu

[Sinulog #3] The Sinulog’s Grand Parade


Map courtesy of Sinulog.ph

Originally, I thought that you could witness the entire parade in a few hours but I underestimated the sheer number of participants in the parade. A total of 93 participants broken down into Sinulog-based participants (3), Free Interpretation (9), Float (20), Higante (21) and Puppeteers (9). Although the number of participants is already reduced by 25% versus 124 participants in 2005, you would have to watch it the whole day just to see all the contestants. This reminds me of the Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in Australia with its sheer number of participants, colorful and artful displays and shows.

The parade starts in P. del Rosario to Gen. Maxilom Ave. to Fuente Osmena circle then finally to the Ceby City Sports Center. You practically have to walk the entire time if you want to follow the parade. It is best to bring a cebu city map, and a camera. The parade kicks off at 9am and enters the Cebu City Sports Center starting at 1pm onwards. Every dances to the Sinulog which is a dance ritual in honor of the miraculous image of the Santo Niño. The dance moves two steps forward and one step backward to the sound of the drums. The best view of the parade is to be IN the parade where you can take photos as close up as possible while the street dance are happening.

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#Restaurants

Welcome to my Jumbo Kingdom!

Jumbo Kingdom is one of the most misunderstood structures in Manila Bay. A lot of people are intimidated with its magnificent floating restaurant structure and often mistake it to be a casino (which was rumored during Erap’s time). In 2000, two tugboats crossed from Aberdeen Harbour in Hong Kong to Manila Bay just to bring to manila one out of three Jumbo Floating Restaurants. It’s claim to fame is not only its magnificent sculpture, precise workmanship and intricate detail but also its delicious Cantonese Chinese restaurant! Jumbo Kingdom boasts of 11 VIP rooms equipped with videoke, a Fine Dining Restaurant, Crystal Banquet Hall and the Jumbo Music Lounge on the top floor (which is the place to be). This is definitely worth a visit if you have visitors/ balikbayans — the food is definitely good but the desserts were disappointing 🙂

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Cebu

[Sinulog #2] Essential Guide to the Sinulog Fiesta


When attending the fiestas in the Philippines, you should have a game plan on how you would best experience it. Sometimes, it would take insiders who really know the Sinulog’s activities to be able to help you out in your game plan. In this essential guide, I would give you how to best experience Sinulog based on what worked for me during the festivities and what would I do differently when I visit Sinulog next year.

How to best experience — Sinulog!
1. Watch the Grand Parade in the Streets — The parade is soo huge that it starts at 8am until 7pm in the evening before you are able to watch the entire parade. Its soo grand that you just hope that you get to watch the best parts. You can watch it in the Grandstand in the Cebu City Sports Complex but I find it pretty boring but it is like watching the best cultural shows in the south part of the Philippines. In the Streets, don’t watch it in the sidelines behind the line boundaries. It is best that you bring a camera and act like a photographer so that you can walk on the streets while the performance is going on.
The best area to watch the parade is in the Fuentes Circle where the epicenter of the entire grand parade is located. This is one of the stops before the Grand Stand show where they practice their performance to the crowd. It is also where a lot of booths are located and street dancing is happening.

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