Monday, September 17, 2012

The Island of Camotes

August 25, 2012 

We arrived at Consuelo, Camotes at around 10 am and immediately went to Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort. A part of their services was the port-to-resort transfer so everything went smoothly. Their check in time is 2 pm. We had to wait for a few hours before we saw our room. We decided to go on the island tour instead of the following day.

Lake Danao Park
Lake Danao
I think the picture could not convey how beautiful  the place is. Looking at the vast expanse of the lake made me realized that it can really be a bit spooky with its quiet and serene environment.  You feel as if you are being dragged into the middle of the lake and then drown yourself in misery. (ooops) I guess that's why pinoys have lots of scary lake stories. Lake Danao even has its own legend. You can read about it because they put up a huge storyboard.

Kayaking would have been perfect but we're not experts so an accidental swim can be a possibility. (ew) A "mini-boat' can be rented but a group of tourist beat us to it so we decided to proceed to our next destination. 

Bakhaw Beach 
Bakhaw Beach
This is a public beach and I think there is an entrance fee of P20. Its long, beautiful sandy shoreline was so inviting. I loved it. According to our guide, most people come here in groups as the nearest accommodation The Borromeo Beach Resort cater to these type of visitors and rates are reasonable too. You need to bring your own food as there are none nearby and I also think they allow cooking which is good and economical. 

Timubo Cave

 Yeah, I know the picture is poor and blurry but the cave is really lovely. It boasts of cool and crystal clear waters. If I have the chance to go back again, I would definitely take a dip. I was wearing a maxi dress and didn't bring any extra clothes so a swim was a bad idea. I didn't want to go through all the hassle really. The descent was not difficult. The cave has a stone walkway going down and lights that would show the way. As long as you're careful, it's perfectly safe. (of course)

Buho Rock

This is the first resort in Camotes. Our guide said most people come here because of the rock formations. (picture time, we love pictures) We didn't go down to see it more clearly as that would mean climbing back. (haha, lazy!). In my defense, I was already super tired with closer to 20 hours of being awake. Any exertion of effort would probably send me to the ground. Anyway, we stayed for a few minutes, looked at the beautiful blue-green sea and reflect on how life has been so far. Introspection and stuff. :) 

Baywalk and the Agora

The Baywalk is the "Roxas Boulevard" here in Camotes.

This is the perfect place to go on a date, walking hand in hand while talking about most probably some future stuff. If not that, one can always try the exercise bars. Show all the muscles. haha. Anyway, people come here for the grilled food during the evenings. After checking the Agora, we did not stay long and opted to eat at Santiago Bay instead.  

Santiago Bay Beach
Let's have some coffee.
It's not the best picture there is but the beach is really lovely with its long stretch of creamy shoreline. Too bad the tide was low and we didn't get to appreciate its beauty. What I love about that afternoon was that there weren't many people around so everything was quiet, serene, cool and breezy. It was the perfect place to relax and eat after a tiring but rewarding tour. 

Our guide recommended Pito's Sutokil to us which we naturally went to first. He said it's where the fresh and best fish are cooked. And maybe it is the best place to go but we didn't really like the location and other stuff so we transferred and ate at Nena's Grill and drinks. It is located at the center of the carinderias around. We were the last few people around so we had the place to ourselves.  The food was really good and we were stuffed. They have excellent customer service too. There was light rain and they set up two big umbrellas to shelter us. All I can ever say after was "I am so busog." After we had our meal, we head back to the resort for some rest. 

We paid our guide P1500 for the entire afternoon tour. He had a van which didn't have a good aircon to be honest, but I guess it was enough. We get to see a lot of places on our own pace. He was friendly and told stories about life in the island. We initially thought that maybe it was expensive but I think that was the standard price for a rented van in the island. The resort that we're staying in charges more and is limited to just three locations if i'm not mistaken. I guess the deal that we had was just the right price. Anyway, Camotes is a good place for some relaxation. I intend to be back one day. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

To Camotes

August 25, 2012

Sunny. Happy face. 

We were crossing our fingers for good weather as Typhoon Igme continues to exit the country. It was raining pretty hard before our trip to Camotes. However, the sun was up on the day and I was super happy about it. 

I was actually sharing this trip with my friend's family as an advanced birthday celebration for herself. Since we are local to Cebu, we just used public transportation to get to Danao Port which is the jump point to Consuelo, Camotes. 

There are at least 3 ways that I know of that will get us from Cebu to Danao. First is via bus in the North Bus Terminal. Second is the V-hire or vans that are stationed at SM City. I'm not familiar with the first two options as we choose to go by jeepney. Since it was still 7 am, this was the best option as they tend not to wait longer and people filled it quickly (well mostly).  

Travel took up about an hour and a half. We were almost, no, we were definitely late. We were just so lucky that the  coast guard or whoever was in charge didn't give the permission yet for the ship to leave. We were still able to buy tickets. They are usually punctual by the way so that was really such a relief. 

Schedules as of August 25
The disadvantage of arriving that  fashionably late was that the seats were full or some people were just plain selfish they were letting their bags sit instead of people. We managed to find seats on the second-level deck.  It worked out pretty well for us because we had the space for ourselves.  It had a great view of the sea and it was not packed with people so I got a good hour of some shut-eye. Next time, BE EARLY. Ha!

Camotes was a good 2 hours away and I was excited to see our boat getting father away from the port.  The perfect weekend began.
Danao Port

Mangodlong Paradise Beach Resort was so waiting for me. :)
So relaxing.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lapu - Lapu Shrine

July 14, 2012

My friend and I accompanied our supervisor to Mactan Airport. She was flying back to Manila after giving us our first yearly appraisal in MediCall Philippines, Inc. I can't believe it has been a year and a half already. How time flies indeed! :)

Since we were already in the area, we decided to visit the Lapu-Lapu shrine. One just can't have a lot of opportunities to visit it. It is too far from Cebu. It is more convenient if you go by car as oppose to by jeepney (unless you wanted the rugged experience). I took this as a chance to finally visit this iconic hero.

Directions from Mactan Airport
We didn't realize that we already passed by the area and had to turn back after asking one local. I wrongly thought that the statue is in the center of a roundabout, towering over everything like a Colossus of Rhode. Okay. The comparison might be an exaggeration but you know you get the idea. I was a bit disappointed that it can't be seen from the road. Hence, we initially got lost.
Fanciful expectations.
The entrance.

The Lapu-Lapu shrine is a small park. This obelisk greeted us upon entering and I think was dedicated to Ferdinand Magellan. It has his name on it. Glorias EspaƱolas.

Lapu-Lapu's statue is in the other side of the park facing the mangrove. We immediately went to it and took some pictures. History already told us that this Datu of Mactan refused to succumb to foreign rule and eventually led his allies to battle that resulted to death of a certain portuguese explorer.

The statue completely embodied that of a warrior armed with his kampilan and kalasag. He was imposing alright with his bronze skin and six-pack abs. (Haha girl talk).

I wish the picture came out a bit better than this. Unfortunately, the weather was gloomy and it was still early morning. The light wasn't that good. I think he would look more awesome with blue skies and noon-day light.

On our way out, we stopped to look at a few native shops that were already open at 7 am. After a few minutes, we went home as it was drizzling already. So that was my short visit to the shrine. One heritage site off my list. :) A lot more to go.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Three. Pex Book Challenge

Read this sometime in May. 

I enjoyed the book. I love both characters Dane Madousin and Aerin Renning, the top 2 brightest, intelligent 17 year olds in The Alliance. They were both accepted in Academy 7, the top exclusive school that trained the future military and government leaders in the Alliance. The world is huge and it has a lot of potential to explore should the author expand this into a series. 

One thing that I didn't like about it is the ending. It seems a bit anticlimactic to me. I felt that the secret that they're trying to be find about both of their past was given too easy and fast. 

I did like the relationship of Dane and Aerin and the way the author handled it. It was not forced and she just let them grow by how they interact in the school's subjects, teaching each other how to fight and sharing a troubled past. 

Rating: 4/5

Pex Book Challenge 2012

Second book.

Title: The Vampire Diaries - The Awakening
Author: L.J. Smith
Time: 4/15/2012
Rating: 3/5

I do not watch the TV series so I can't really compare the two. I've decided to read the book because the TV series is well into it's Season 4 is it? That's a lot to catch up. 

Little did I know that the novel series already has 10 books. Wikipedia. The Awakening is where it all started and it depicts Elena and Stefan as the protagonist. 

I didn't really like the book very much. Though I did finish it within 5 hours or so. I actually had to forced myself to get to the ending. It's not really that bad. I just didn't like it that much that I'll probably will not finish the entire novel series.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

2011 - Manila

I was excited for two thousand eleven to start because it meant leaving the depressing two thousand ten behind. 
And it started with a welcome banner.

A new job brought me to Manila for training and I stayed at a dorm-type apartment near Makati with my other colleagues. I had a wonderful 4-month workation. Everyone was very accommodating and really tried to help us settle in. The job was a bit difficult at first because of the 3-month long training that we had to go through before "graduating." However, with the ever helpful training staff we made it. 

But what is Manila without fun right?
- Tagaytay. Check. Though I didn't go. Grinch. :) 
- Cagayan de Oro. Check. Yes. They allowed us to go home with an all-expense paid airplane tickets. (Thanks!)

- Clark Airbase Festival. Check. It was my first Hot Air Balloon festival. We arrived at dawn and thankfully found a place near the wired fence where the balloons were being set-up. We stayed for the whole day, going around the field taking pictures of the various booths on display.  We rested a bit at SM Clark, had lunch at McDonalds, pretended to read books at National Bookstores to pass time. (feeling geeks! ) We waited until sunset for the "night" part of the festival and witnessed Darth Vader light up. We went home immediately after that to avoid the rush of people leaving the area. 

- Bamboo Organ Church. Check. Endless cam-whoring as usual. We visited their museum and went through the tour. The guide showed us old relics, piano keys, pictures, articles about the Bamboo Organ's history since it started. Unfortunately, we missed the choir and the festival.