CAMIGUIN ON A TIGHT 10K BUDGET [PHOTOS, VIDEO, TIPS, EXPENSES]

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Camiguin, the island that has been tagged as the Hawaii of the Philippines and also The Island Born of Fire. It’s located southern in the country, part of the northern Mindanao territory and it’s very famous for many things such as Lanzones (super yummy), hot and cold springs and as well as their nearby sandbar that has an amazing view of the entire island.

From the moment of touchdown on the island up to the take-off: what I took away from this escape is that this island is not just about beautiful scenery and the food/delicacy, but also on how to live like the locals and be educated with the total mystery behind the devastating history of the island.

Unfortunately, our budget was very limited to P10,000.00 only and we have to maximize what we have in a steep priced island. So, booking flights and resorts as well as searching for places to eat plus bargaining to the lowest prices and also be there like one of the locals are most of the talents you need to have if you are with us on this budget for two, and you really need an escapade.

No matter, I’ll give you tips on how to survive on a very tight budget.

And there’s no better way for a vacation like this in Camiguin than to prepare, book ahead and anticipate adventure coming your way.

PREPARATION (BOOKINGS AND ALL)

Preparation is the key. I’ve learned a lot about preparation from my partner and how important it is especially in going on to an important escapade.

Although we’ve planned this entire tour for months and months ago, it keeps on getting pushed due to financial circumstances. I’ve made all the research I can have and Google is just your friend and everything is there. All you have to do is search. And I made some rough estimate for about P10, 400.00 for both of us and that’s for the entire tour (via Ship).

First and foremost you have to book for your trip; sea or air. For our case, we chose to wait for piso fare promo of Cebu Pacific because… everyone knows why. And we got our ticket for P3, 880.48, good for both 3 days, 2 nights, roundtrip, via Cebu to Camiguin and vice versa.

TIP #1: For those people who would go via sea, here’s the information you needed (VIA CEBU)

Super Shuttle Ferry travels weekly basis according to parasbeachresort.com and cebuboattrips.com

  • Costs about P800.00 – P1,000.00
  • Port 1/8
  • Trips
  • FRIDAYS:  8:00PM – 8:00AM
  • SUNDAYS: 8:00PM – 8:00AM
  • Contact : (032) 232 3150

*No fast-track available

Second, after booking the transportation, you have to book to where you’ll be staying. There are lots of hotels and resorts in Camiguin and all you’ve got to do is Google it. I really do believe in staying in a high class hotel or resort, but it’s nonsensical when I go to a place for an escapade and choose an expensive stay; that’s why I’d rather have the cheaper one. I mean, all I need is a place to rest my head after every exhausting day and that’s it (except I need an air-conditioned room hehe).

Anyhow, we’ve tried Paguia’s Cottage (contact 09276527621) before and I have to say I’ve got a bad experience with them while over the phone, even when some bloggers say that the place is good and cheap (probably the cheapest price in all Camiguin) but the owner was not friendly at all. She sounds skeptic rather welcoming, and I hated it. We tried to contact them again months later, but then they did not answer their cellphone, so it’s their loss.

And we tried to contact Agohay which the owner sounds really warm and welcoming, and she speaks straight English and Japanese as well, very impressive. The rooms in Agohay starts at :

Non Air-con P950
Isla Cottage P1,780
Superior Cot. P1,980
Villa Room P2,180

TIP #2: We got to bargain at their Superior room and got it for P1,800.00 instead. So, we booked it for 2 days and down-payed in their BDO account.

TIP #3: Usually, plane and ship arrives very early on the time of the day, and check in at Agohay is at 2:00PM; it actually depends on the room if it still has guests or not… if not, then Agohay allows you to have the room earlier, if not (like us) we have to wait up until 2:00PM. If this is the case, your itinerary should be changed. Also, you could get the chance to discover Camiguin as a local.

Third, our itinerary. Yes, you’ve got to do an in depth research about this one because this can save you time. Although usually, almost all of the resorts offer the entire itinerary package for THE SAME GOVERNMENT REGULATED PRICE (good), you can just avail to it.

TIP #4: Create some PLAN B and C if in case PLAN A doesn’t work.

There are a lot of blogs who has specific itinerary in Camiguin, and ours was not far away from theirs. Below WAS our planned itinerary (based on the blogs I’ve read):

DAY 1 – Friday

8:00AM – Airport-Resort

2:00PM – Check in

3:00PM – 5:00 – White Sandbar
6:00PM – DINNER

DAY 2 – Saturday

7:00AM – Call time

8:00AM – Old Volcano Station of the Cross

9:00AM – Sunken Cemetery

10:00AM – Gui-ob Church Ruins

11:00AM – LUNCH

12:30NN – Sto. Nino Cold Springs

2:00PM – Katibawasan Falls

3:00PM – Ardent Hot Springs

4:00PM – Go back to resort

5:00PM – Dinner

DAY 3 – Sunday

6:00AM – wake up and Airport

But then our itinerary has been changed due to some circumstances, and it became this:

DAY 1: Friday

6:45AM – Arrive in Camiguin

7:00AM – Arrive in resort

7:00AM-11:00AM – Wandering Mambajao Market/Uploading pictures on Facebook/Surfing the net

11:00AM-12:00 – Lunch (at Mambajao Market)

12:00PM – Check in (Thank God)

And due to heavy winds and treacherous weather, our White Island tour was cancelled for the next day 6:00 in the morning.

12:00-5:00PM – Wandering Mambajao Market yet again/Swimming Pool time

DAY 2: Saturday

6:00AM – Wake up call/Going to White Island

7:00AM – Back to resort

9:00AM – Call time for Island tour

9:00-10:00AM – Soda Cold Spring

10:00-11:00AM – Sto. Nino Cold Spring

11:00-12:00NN – LUNCH (at Catarman Market)

12:00-1:30PM – Old Church Ruins/Sunken Cemetary/Walkway to Old Volcano

1:30-2:30PM – Katibawasan Falls

2:30-3:30PM – Ardent Hot Springs

3:30-4:00PM – Back to resort

4:00-6:00PM – Dinner/Buy Pastel (at Mambajao Market)

6:00PM – back to resort

Fourth and lastly, pack up your bags with complete stuff, and never ever, ever forget your camera SD Card (just what I always do and did).

THE EXPERIENCE

DAY 1

My partner and I woke up 4:00 in the morning because our flight was 6:00AM and flights to and from Camiguin usually starts on that time range. Although exhausting, I was still excited.

When we finished checking in and waiting for us to go to the plane, I was reminiscing to some stories about how small the aircraft would be going to provinces like Camiguin, and it was a little bit daunting to me.

When we got to the service bus and onto the airplane; the stories were right, it was indeed very tiny compared to the towering Cebu Pacific international airplane, more so to the PAL one. Claustrophobia is one of my fears yet still I’m up to the challenge.

And we went inside the aircraft and the flight wasn’t that smooth because of the typhoon that just got out from the Philippine area of responsibility, and some treacherous dark clouds were still present up in the air. It was a tumultuous ride and I was never scared my entire life. I didn’t have fears before when I was flying, but the aircraft seems so fragile that it could go down anytime now.

Miraculously, the flight didn’t take an hour, it was more like 35 minutes, and thank the heavens it was that short! Because it was really, really scary.

Also for a fact that it was my first time to have a woman captain on-board did a little sexist thought in my subconscious which my partner and I realized after. We’re all sexist in a way, but the landing was very, very smooth and it was impressive. Who run the world? Hehe

Camiguin Airport was very small and simple, and we were greeted by Manong with a card-board with my partner’s name on it and he drove us to the hotel (and that’s for P250.00 not including the hotel stay… don’t ask).

TIP #5: VERY IMPORTANT TIP, we realized that if we knew we could just ride a local tricycle going to the resort, we wouldn’t have spent P250.00 going to it. If you want to take this advice; go out of the airport and there are 2 kinds of tricycle there: Green Tricycle that’s bound east (and never ever ride this one if you’re going to resorts on the Western side of the island) and the Orange Tricycle that’s bound west. Ride an Orange one and tell the driver you’re going to your resort. For Agohay, the rate is P10.00. See, it’s a lot cheaper compared to having a service.

TIP #6: But when you’re going home and your flight is early like ours which was 6:10AM, I think it’s wise to have a service from the resort because there are no early tricycles around the island at that time.

The resort was good. The walkway towards it looks really expensive and the cottages looked amazing. They had a pool and also, but most important, they have WIFI in their restaurant area.

We arrived soon and told us that the check in was 2:00PM like they told us we could check in earlier if it’s already available and since there are still people in the cottage; they let us wait for 12:00NN. But it was fine, we were too early though.

I was about to grab my camera and take a picture of the entire villa; but then an error message popped up: NO SD CARD DETECTED. The horrors run through my senses and I know my partner would get pissed off me because it has always been my problem. I told him and he was cool with it (outside) and so we asked if there are SD cards available in town, and Manong told us that there’s FUJI in their market. And it was fine.

Also, we were hungry and the food prices in the resort were a bit high though so we looked for ways on how to have lunch.

TIP #7: If there’s a market, there’s food –Chef Andrew Zimmern

We bought a 2GB SD card in their market only for P300.00 who sells camera, cellphone and those kinds of stuff, but not in FUJI FILM because I knew it would be very expensive there, and again we’re limited.

Cafeterias in Mambajao Market

Cafeterias in Mambajao Market

We also had lunch inside their market but away from the smelly fish stands of course, but it was hard to look for the cafeterias, but thankfully, we were persistent in finding food. Chef Andrew Zimmern’s quote is the key to survive a budgeted trip.

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After, we went back to the resort and they already let us in our cottage at 12:00NN not 2:00PM THANK GOODNESS! And both of us were amazed by our room. It was the superior cottage and it was huge. I could get a pom-pom and start my own dance routine there without damaging stuffs because it was really big. It also has cable TV and a couch. Yes, a couch.

But what impressed us the most is the outdoor shower. It was so sexy and sophisticated. It did feel like international.

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Although the air conditioning did not suffice the entire place, there is still an electric fan that could pump up the coolness of it, so it’s just fair. And we got that room for P1, 800.00 only. So impressed.

We were about to be ready for our white island tour, but then they have to cancel it due to the weather that’s not friendly at all, and have to rebook it on the next day, 6:00AM.

TIP #8: All tours are regulated by the government. For the island tour, it’s for P1, 700.00 with driver and car good for 8-12 people. White island tour is P450.00 for the boat ride, still good for 8 pax. And you could drive your own motor bike or scooter and mountain bike, good for P500.00 and P400.00 respectively.

And since we were just two, we don’t plan to take the P1, 700.00 package for 8, because it would be impractical. What we did was to ask the front desk if they know someone who could offer us a cheap price for two using motorcycle. The price started P1, 200.00, but we said no and told them we’ll just be the one who’ll look for someone else outside the resort. Then the price lowered to P1, 000.00 down to P800.00 as the last price.

TIP #9: Play hard to get when you don’t like the price. *wink *wink

And since we will not be doing anything in that day, we just relaxed in our cottage, dip in the resort pool, took a bath in our sophisticated outdoor shower and have our dinner at Mambajao market again to save a lot of money.

DAY 2

White Island (Entrance is P40.00 which you will pay in the resort)

We woke up 6 in the morning and the banka was ready to go, and we were excited. Across our resort, we could already see the White Island but there were a lot of movement happening there, only to find out that those were people… I mean fifty plus people. It was a shock to me because I wasn’t prepared for a crowd in a tiny developing island, but anyhow, the more the merrier.

The sea wasn’t that much friendly but it was tolerable.

And when we arrived on White Island, and jump in on the smooth sand; we looked up seeing the breathtaking view of the entire Camiguin Island.

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The beauty was surreal; it was more like you would see in a film. We have to stop on the edge of the shore to take in the beauty in front of us while the water splashed to our feet wet.

And it was selfie time.

We also got the chance to sit down and buy some treats from Manang who sells junk foods, ready to eat boiled eggs and boiled bananas. And then, the guy who sells raw sea urchins went near and we get to try some of it, 3pcs. for P50.00 (expensive), but it was heavenly. The taste was what I really loved about sea foods. It was delicious and perfect.

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I also took a dip in the very cold water and got back home right after.

TIP: You can’t put bags anywhere because the waves will get all your stuff wet (or worse will carry your stuff in the ocean). Especially on a high tide where waters are rough. It’s best to bring small bags or a mobile table, and go there by 10:00AM (not advisable due to heat) or 3:00PM.

SODA COLD SPRING (P30.00 for Entrance Fee)

By 9:00, our island tour started. Our manong driver for the motorcycle suggested that it would be best if we go to the farthest destination and back to the nearest so it wouldn’t be that much inconvenient in going home, and we agreed.

First we went to Soda Cold Spring.

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The pool was clean and huge because of the flowing waters and there are a lot of people diving in it too. I was impressed by how clear the water is when I dive in, and I have to use my GoPro with it to capture my underwater moments, and it was awesome.

TIP: Buy GoPro, the best thing you’ll ever buy… you won’t regret.

Most of the underwater shots in my video are shot in pool because it was just fantastic there.

STO. NINO COLD SPRING (P30.00 for Entrance Fee)

It’s the farthest location in the tour, and when we got there and have a glimpse inside and… we just did not like it because it was more like Soda Cold Spring but with more people, so we decided not to try it there not to waste even more money, and Soda Pools are way better than in Sto. Nino Cold Spring.

LUNCH

Again, we were on the budget so we ate at the nearest market in Catarman, and Andrew Zimmern’s quote didn’t fail us.

OLD CHURCH RUINS (Donations)

Manong also educated us about the old volcano that erupted and is now inactive, and the active one, Hibok-Hibok.

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Aside from the tour guide services our manong offered to us, this is one of my favorite places in Camiguin because it’s where I learned the catastrophic history of the island. There’s a plaque there narrating about the old volcano named Vulcan that destroyed the land and lives of the people living in 1871 and how the old church remained up to this day even when we could only see the topmost part of it, as well as the convent and bell-tower.

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SUNKEN CEMETARY and WALKWAY TO OLD VOLCANO

Just very near the Old Church Ruins is the Sunken Cemetary. I learned that the huge cross that we are now seeing is just a monument built for the cemetery itself. The real cross is meters away from where it is which you can see by the waves it creates afar.

And we also noticed that there are waves created in a semicircular sense around the monument, and a local told us that that was the border of the cemetery and it was the road going to the Old Church before it sunk.

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Also, we bought some of the souvenirs there in Sunken Cemetary for the lowest price of P5.00 and it was all good.

For the Walkway to Old Volcano, we didn’t went up because first, manong told us that it’s very high and you’ll have to spend an hour to get on top, second, there’s really nothing much going on the mountain, and third, my partner remembered that one of the bloggers said that they’ve climbed but didn’t reached the top because it was exhausting and went back down instead.

Across the walkway, you can buy souvenirs and shirts in a higher and reasonable price.

KATIBAWASAN FALLS (P30.00 for the Entrance Fee)

The falls was really good and the water was so cold, even colder than in the cold springs that it felt like we were on the ice bucket challenge. And to be honest after dipping in once, I did not went back to dip because it was ice cold water.

But we did spend time there because there were less people around and the falls was relaxing.

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ARDENT HOT SPRING (P30.00 for the Entrance Fee + Cottage Fee)

I think Ardent Hot Spring is the famous and most visited in all of Camiguin (besides White Island) because there are rooms to stay in and also it’s one of the flagship of the island for the tourist to come. It’s located near the active volcano, Hibok-Hibok and the water is warm and relaxing. There are nets above to hold the falling leaves to stay the waters clean.

DELICACIES

A part of being one of the locals is to get a taste of the island’s delicacies. One of it is the Lanzones fruit which is so much good, another is their Kiping which is made from coconut, I guess due to its taste that I don’t like much, and the very famous Pastel by Vjandep (pronounced as Vandep). Lanzones and Pastel are meant to be pasalubong (souvenir/gift).

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Kiping

TAKEAWAY

For us on a really tight budget for an escapade, there’s really no better way than to live like the locals. Find the cheapest ways in order for you to survive and as well as enjoy all the rides even if it means inconvenience. The island gives me a glimpse of Hawaii-like features especially when we pass by the edges and see the beautiful view ahead.

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Camiguin is an island rich in history sense which creates a mystery for travelers out there. I love the fact that the prices are regulated by the government and I also appreciate the fact that using and throwing plastic is strictly prohibited in the island.

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There still are places in Camiguin that I haven’t been like the Mantigue Island, and there are a lot of things that I haven’t done like snorkeling. But then those days when I was there gave me a lot of lessons in travelling and budgeting, also learning the ways of the locals and discovering new things that I surely will remember my entire life.

Also, when we got back to the resort, I can’t shake the fact that there are a lot of dead bodies in the island, and maybe, just maybe they’re still haunting the roads, confused. LOL

Anyhow, thanks Camiguin!

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES

Here are our expenses (good for two):

  EXPENSE (in Peso)
Plane Ticket (roundtrip): P3, 880.48
Service (from and to Airport/Resort): P500.00
Resort: P1, 800.00 x 2 Days= P3, 600.00
Boat to White Island: P450.00
Island Tour Motorcycle: P800.00
Entrance Fees:
White Island P80.00
Soda P60.00
Katibwasan Falls P60.00
Ardent Hot Spring P60.00
Souvenirs and Pastel P90.00+P180 =P270.00
Food P1, 000.00
TOTAL: P10, 760.48

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JUMP IN FUNTASTIC ISLAND| EXPERIENCE [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]

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Cebu: with its rich culture and one of the most booming in the Philippines economically, you could never go wrong North, South, East or West. But this time, I’m going up North… farther North to visit a somehow new travel destination and it’s in a very small island in Medellin, Cebu and it’s called Funtastic Island.

Like the usual travel tips, once you go south, you go to South Bus Terminal, and once you go north, you go to North Bust Terminal (there ain’t west and east here in the Queen City). Anyhow, find a bus that’s bound to Medellin and tell the person in charge that you’ll be stopping by wherever you want to stop: in our case, we rented an entire V-Hire because we were 11 and we have reserved a room in a resort that’s located in Medellin proper since there are no resorts or room for rent in the island.

Although for a fact it’s really not named Funtastic Island; Gibitngil Island is a twenty minute ride away from Medellin port via a banka or small boat.

 

TIP #1: you have to go there with your friends, specifically 10 to 15 to fill in the entire boat and to spend less as well for about P1, 200.00 (usually P1, 400.00 but we managed).

 

TIP #2: DON’T GO THERE ON A RAINY SEASON. Although it’s bound to be fun while experiencing the tumultuous ride; but it’s extremely dangerous. The banka is just too small and looks fragile for the incoming waves that are vast and strong. We went there on a rainy day, and to tell you it was terrifying, although we managed due that my friends are super funny, you can’t even remember that what we’re dealing is buhis buhay (life threatening).

 

Upon drawing near to the island; we have to reach the other end of it but there was this magnificent view I didn’t imagine Cebu would have that greeted us: these were the stone cliffs of the island. It was so Palawan-like. The humungous stone walls that has been holding the waters for ages was designed beautifully with its natural formations. It was jaw-dropping because it was unlike any other in Cebu.

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Anyhow, when we reached to the island, the people and the scenic view greeted us. It was colorful and alive, and many people were there even when the weather wasn’t really nice. The waters were so indulging because of its blue inviting color which happens to be really clean unlike any other beaches in Lapu-Lapu.

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TIP #3: Go to the island with all of your necessary stuffs: from camera to snorkels to food and drinks to your own booze and ice buckets with ice of course because you can’t buy anything from the island, except for the cottage rent.

 

Upon docking in the nice sand of the island, we went straight to the entrance (of course selfies and group pix are not included). The entrance fee is P10.00 and the cottages range from P150.00 to P500.00 depending on the size of the cottage.

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But the fun won’t happen when you just take a dip in the cold waters, the fun starts when you decide to jump in their 30ft diving spot.

Trust me, it’s really, really scary.

Although you’ll end up in the clear and deep waters of the island, but the fact that it’s 30ft still remains to be 30ft HIGH.

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We’ve had couple of stops and starts in going to and fro to the platform. There were unnecessary dramas and crazy pauses deciding to jump or not. It was totally funny seeing friends there with you and cheering for them to just take a dip, plus the readied cameras that eventually gets low-bat because of the time consumed by all the drama.

Well, when you dive, you just have to.

The enthralling fall gives you the hype that could make you scream, “WHOOOOOOOAAAA!!!!” and that’s what happened…. to my partner, not to me. I know I’m a chicken, I have fear of falling. Well, I don’t regret not jumping either, (LOL) but I also wished I could have. The fact that the waves are so strong was a plus factor too since there’s no one who can assist you whenever you’re there, not even a rope that you could hold on to upon going back to the shore.

Anyhow, Funtastic Island will not be fun without friends, so I suggest going there with them.

 

OUR VIDEO

MORE PHOTOS! (Cheers to Louie for some photos taken!)

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THE MALAPASCUA SUMMER | THE UGLY TRUTH AND THE PARADISE FIND [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]

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Malapascua is an island located at the northern tip of Cebu, and a barangay of Daan Bantayan with its local name ‘Logon’. The island of Malapascua is known for the crystal clear water beaches and white, powdery sand shoreline. Also, it’s been a diving spot for people who loves witnessing coral reefs and under the sea wonders. Malapascua is also known for the Thresher Sharks that are abundant in the surrounding waters of the island.

I still can never forget the first time I went there way back ten years ago: we had our struggle in going there but when we arrived at the beachfront; it awed me to my soul. The clear blue waters were at the most splendid and captivating. The memory stuck in my mind still.

Not until I went there ten years later.

 

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT MALAPASCUA

Let’s start from how we travelled.

First, we (all people know) rode a Ceres Bus bound for Maya that has a sea port where numerous of transportation boats await.  The ride was a painful 4 hour drive (not unless you have your own car or service). We started our trip from the North Bus Terminal by 7:00AM and arrived at Maya port by 11:30. It was long and torturous. But I let it pass and just enjoyed the annoying smoke and dirt that is visible in my face.

The boat you will ride on from Maya port to Malapascua Island

The boat you will ride on from Maya port to Malapascua Island

Next, when we arrived at Maya port, there were several boats parked in their port. So my partner told me that we should go to the ticketing office to pay the port fee and so on. But then, one local told us that they were not present any longer right after the great typhoon Yolanda. The ruins left by the typhoon are still visible in the port, actually. There were people (usually locals) barking at everyone who reaches the port and it feels like everyone new has no idea where to go. So, we asked one local on what to do and where to go and just pointed at one boat that will transport us from there to the island. But it was a wrong boat so we transferred to the right one.

We waited there for an hour or so because they have to fill 30 people in that boat. By the way, the fee for the boat is P80.00 per person. (If and only if the tide is low, there will be an inconvenient small boat or banka that will transport you from the port to the boat waiting afar that will cost you another P20.00)

After Yolanda, there was no organized direction on what to do and where to ride there at the port. We were frustrated about that fact and it was scorching hot.

Then we arrived at Malapascua after 20 minutes. Before we docked; we could see the beauty of the crystal clear water (you can see in the video below) as the boat rushes to the beachfront and it is magnificent.

And then we docked, unfortunately I was not impressed. What welcomed us shocked me, and you can see in the pictures below.

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It is fitting that Yolanda struck the island so badly that it destroys most of the trees and nearby buildings/cottages but it’s unfathomable for the government not to take actions in any of these unfortunate circumstances when it’s already six months passed. And there were no governing rules upon littering in the seashore.

The part where we stopped 10 years ago in the island was now a place of garbage.

We hadn’t had our lunch so we ate at Mabuhay Restaurant or whatever it is called. We ordered many foods (ala cart kuno) because the waitress said it was good for 1 person only when in fact it’s good for 2, DUH. We waited for almost 2 hours before our meal arrived. It’s very, very annoying, although their food is OKAY. But still, it’s beyond frustrating.

At that time I felt like it was a wrong decision going there. It’s really dreadful.

 

THE PARADISE FIND IN MALAPASCUA (THANK GOD)

But then we were there because a friend of my brother invited us to come over the island for their fiesta, and so it’s good to know that there’s someone who could navigate us to somewhere different and clean.

I was not hoping to find one, but then when we went to his family’s house in Guimbitayan, located at the other side of the island; the beauty of the beach there was magnificent. I was in awe seeing the shore and the clear blue waters.

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When I dipped, it was just perfect. I was then transported back 10 years ago, and reminisced the feeling of awe. It was almost deserted, and I can only see us playing around the very long sea shore.

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The sunrise is just perfect for the PANG-Instagram/Facebook photo-shoot we did. It captured the island’s vibrancy to life.

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My father and our friend’s grandmother built a tent for us to relax and feast our eyes to the beauty of the beach. It was really pleasing.

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At night, the moon serves as your spotlight to go and take a dip without wondering where your companions are, even though it’s black dark there because the houses around don’t have electricity maybe due to Yolanda (again).

We just brought tents with us to stay for the night.

Nearby, the people build a campfire on the shore, which for me is not good at all; and the local children were playing around it. It was nice of sorts though.

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THE ISLAND VIEW AND THE YOLANDA RUINS

Our friend told us to go to Bantigue cove which is just a walk away from where we were staying. And so, we realized how little we have seen from the island. And we reached the part where the sand is softer (on the shore and in the waters) and the view is nicer.

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To reach Bantigue cove, we have to climb up the hill and it shocked me to see the back part of the island where there’s a soaring high lighthouse at the top.

It was stunning as you can see in the pictures.

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But then when we reached the cove itself, there were ruins everywhere.

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Our friend told us there was a resort built but destroyed by Yolanda (AGAIN AND AGAIN!). There were just ruins everywhere that entails a PANG-Instagram/Facebook photo-shoot.

The beach in Bantigue cove was not at all nice now, so we climbed back.

 

CONCLUSION

I realized that I should never just be mediocre, just because the beach front frustrates me doesn’t mean there’s no other part of a place that will ‘wow’ me. It’s very essential to everyone who loves to travel. Never Stop.

The island is full of garbage now, there are so many issues that I’ve found when I was there from Maya port to the island itself; and it’s for the government to take action and for the people also take initiative.

Malapascua is such a beauty! Reliving its potential means potential for a booming tourism. People just have to create ground rules and not just write it but to apply, organize and follow it, and with just that; the island will be perfect again.

 

COSTS AND FEES

Bus (back and forth) – P163.00 + P163.00

Boat (back and forth) – P80.00 + P80.00

Small Boat (if lowtide both to and from) – P20.00 + P20.00

Stay (At Moonlight Resort – for me not advisable) – P1,600.00 AC Room

 

Note: I cannot post all the costs, room availability and the food here because our friend’s family plus my parents paid for many things there.

 

OUR OWN MUSIC VIDEO

MORE PHOTOS! FEAST YOUR EYES!

At night, under the stars

At night, under the stars

Tents, Tents, Tents

Tents, Tents, Tents

Our friend's house.

Our friend’s house.

The local name for Malapascua.

The local name for Malapascua.

Starfish everywhere! It made me happy.

Starfish everywhere! It made me happy.

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Cozing under the tent.

Cozing under the tent.

Push mo pa!

Push mo pa!

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Stay cool under the sun.

Stay cool under the sun.

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The Sunrise.

The Sunrise.

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THE OVERLOOKING INDULGENCE | MOUNTAIN VIEW NATURE’S PARK EXPERIENCE [PHOTOS]

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To be direct, Mountain View Nature’s Park in Sitio Garahe, Busay, Cebu City is one of the most famous places you could hear from talks in town because of the overlooking indulgence of the entire Cebu city, and I’ve been here for plenty of times but never experienced the way I did on the Holy Week passed.

 

HOW TO GET THERE?
Same as my blog for Lantaw Native Restaurant, which is just around the corner of the entrance there in Mountain View, if you don’t have a car, you can go there by taxi which you can rent from J.Y. Square, P250.00, or by Habal-Habal (motorcycle) which costs P50.00 per person, or if you have your own car; that’s probably the best.

 

STAY THERE

Because of a family affair, I got there again. To make the story short; my mother and brother rented a stay for one night just for P1,200.00 non-air conditioned room.

The P1,200.00 Cottages

The P1,200.00 Cottages

I have a short knowledge that there was lodging in Mountain View! So bummer of me.

So the clan went there for a hike and ended up gasping for breath because no one expected how difficult it is to reach on top since it was most of their first times.

Back to the room: it was big, enough for my clan of ten (imagine that) but sush, they didn’t know we were that plenty. Though some of my family members brought with them tents and just stayed outside. The room is (as they say) good for four people. The bed is humungous and very good to sleep into.

You can order food in their canteen and have them delivered in your room if you like.

 

TIP: If you’re planning to go there, have your rooms booked ahead of time, especially on weekends and holidays like the Holy Week. And I, most especially, like for you to book on the air-conditioned room, good for P1,500.00 on the overlooking deck part because you can see the city lights from the windows of your room, and there’s no need for you to climb up just to see it.

 

WHAT TO DO?

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You can also enjoy their amenities. They have an Adventure Obstacle that is variety for P150.00. Their trail entails a lot of challenges; from walking on an unstable hanging bridge (but safe) to zip line-ing your way to excitement. This is available 9:00AM to 7:00PM daily.

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You could also experience their very cold swimming pool that’s good for P100.00 on adults and P75.00 for youngsters. It’s very good for kids because the highest is just 4 feet, so no fret.

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You can do camping, as I’ve said a while ago. There are certain places you can do it, but mostly, people build their tents when the dusk hits the horizon.

I’ve seen people grill outside of their rooms too.

You can soul search, or try marathon from the top down to the entrance of the vicinity. (Just kidding, you’ll end up getting killed)

And when nightfall comes, the city lights below will enchant you. It’s very amusing and enthralling yet at the same time very serene. Looking away from the busy city makes you go past through everything you’ve been through and ponder about your life. It’s very nice, I tell you. I’ve been there many times, yet the city lights never fails to amaze me.

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It’s best to see it in their viewing deck which you could also have a booze with your friends. Thank GOD there’s no entrance pay.

 

TOO EXPENSIVE?

Here’s the catch, is all the amenities too expensive or too much? Well for me, there are a lot of transactions to be done in the spot, and the prices are quite revamped from the normal prices in the city, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s really quite difficult to transport goods from down below up there on the mountain, that serves justice.

Also the crew’s salary hehe.

 

CONTACT

Telephone – (032) 231 5444

Facebook

 

PHOTOS

Another evening shot

Another evening shot

Cebu in the morning.

Cebu in the morning.

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THIS EUROPEAN SITUATION | HUNA-HUNA CLIFF RESORT [PHOTOS]

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FBTW

-          ★★★★

The dreading city life requires you to escape from it in order to maintain balance in your life. Ahh, the relaxation you acquire gives you pleasure. Whenever you look online for a place to stay or to escape; there’s always something that holds you back. But this time; try to pursue it, and you’ll be pleased.

And one resort that’ll give you that exact relaxation away from the city is in Huna-Huna Cliff Resort. It is located at Buyo, boundary Carmen/Catmon, Cebu.

Huna-Huna is a Visayan word for thinking, pondering or contemplating. True to its name; Huna-Huna Cliff Resort offers you a peace and serenity for a calm experience.

With its European Villa inspired theme; you could never go wrong to its relaxing feel facing the vast Camotes Sea. This European situation requires your full attention to its nonchalant ambiance convalescing from your city life.

The white walls and marble tiles of the villa are idyllic, hinting Santorinni, Greece.

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The overhead pass is nostalgia of somewhere in France; and the Family house for number of guests makes me remember of an Italian Villa.

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The beaut of the place gives time for yourself to escape and contemplate your life while sitting on the bench looking afar on the effervescent Camotes Sea.

Guest House in Huna Huna

Guest House in Huna Huna

 

GOING THERE

Going to the resort is easy.

All you need to do is to ride a bus bound north at North Bus Terminal, near SM City Cebu. There you will find huge busses; and all you need to find is Ceres Liner. It’s fast, hourly and safe (sometimes, depends on the driver).

When telling the co-operator of the bus (kondoktor) where you’re heading; you can directly say in Huna-Huna, because most of them already know where it is. If not, then tell him at Buy, boundary Carmen/Catmon. The cost will only be P55.00 per person; so it’s not that really expensive.

From the city, you’ll be travelling 1 hour and a half if there’s no traffic. The resort can be found on the right side of the path; and there’s a marquee on the side of the road, if you have a car of your own or the co-operator forgets about you and where you’re heading.

 

TIP: Whenever you reach Carmen, Cebu; call the co-operator’s attention and make him remember where you’re heading. Or better yet, open Google Maps if you’re on 3G, but I doubt it will operate well on the countryside.

 

THE PLACE

Booking ahead is always the best thing to do whenever you want to go to a certain place so that you’ll have a guaranteed stay. And when calling the resort (numbers at the end of the post), they will ask you to pay full at their Banilad, Cebu office.

For me, trying to book a room for the next day was lucky because I was only giving a promise to them that my partner and I will not cancel our reservation. But that was really our plan, so cancellation would be inevitable (hehe), but really, try to book really ahead of time.

The air conditioned rooms are available for P2000.00, good for 2 pax with breakfast, and the check in time is 1:00PM, check out on the next day, same time. (Room rates below)

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They also have a 2 storey guest house, good for family or group of people.

The resort also offer some relaxing spa treatment for the price range of P900.00-P1,500.00.

 

THE ROOM

We stayed in Room 11 of the resort, and that is on the bottom-most part on the cliff near the beach where you could take a dip.

The room is just fabulous. Its clean and our stay there was marvellous. If relax is what you’re looking for, then this is perfect for you.

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The room is small BUT very, very relaxing. You’ll have your own veranda with table and seats; and for us at Room 11, the sea is just beneath us. It really looks luxurious even thinking about it right now makes me want to go back there.

Staying in their room makes me want to stay there forever.

I love their lights which have the control switch on how bright you want it to be; the very functional hot and cold water which for other resorts are not present; and the bed is soft, so as the pillows and the comforter.

The bed is facing the glass door with the sea as our breath taking view. The window on our left side is a perfect instrument for the sunrise to take a peek before we realize it.

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Sometimes you’ll forget to close the glass door and hear the rushing sound of waters outside while you are lying like a king or queen in your very comfortable bed.

And our veranda is perfect for dinnertime, with the warm, romantic lights plus the stars above us.

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It was just pure lux. C’est la vie.

 

TIP: And you should try to ask if Room 11 is available. *wink

 

THE FOOD

The food is variety there, and mostly it offers Filipino style of cooking. But their breakfast is mixed from Filipino to American to whatever it is in their menu that you’d like to have.

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You’ll only have to order ahead of time because they still have to prepare your food from scratch, so it takes a bit of time to finish and serve it to you.

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The price ranges from P130.00 – P250.00 depending on what MEAL you order. There are also offers that reach P300.00-P500.00; these are specialties.

 

THE BEACH

The beach is just part of the resort with no shoreline that is a little bit rocky on most parts. I did not get the chance to swim because I really did not want to. I just wanted to relax in our room, and in our sophisticated veranda.

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THE USHER-DOG

When we checked in, we were greeted by a huge black dog (I have no idea what breed it was) which I was much afraid of at first due to its size; when we walked down to our room; he was ahead of us following the attendant, and whenever we stopped, the dog looks at us trying to signal something; then we realized he wants to take us to our room. The dog named ‘she-she’ (I think) was really, really sweet. She had our hearts just for a short stay there because of her kindness to visitors.

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HUNA-HUNA CLIFF RESORT

I’m still pondering how relaxed my partner and I were on that resort, and wishing we could just lie there forever… with money magically appear on our table. HAHA

But then, Huna-Huna Cliff Resort is a resort away from hassle.

 

CONTACT

Cellphone: 09173179741/09322242375

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

 

ROOM RATES

*According to hunahuna.com as of 4/8/2014

Air Conditioned Rooms

Php 2,000

Inclusive Breakfast for 2 (two) persons

Prices are regardless of single or double occupancy

Extra Bed without breakfast Php 500

 

Fan Rooms

Php 1,000 to Php 1,500

Exclusive of breakfast

Prices are regardless of single or double occupancy

Extra Bed without breakfast Php 500

 

*Day use (maximum of 3 hours)

Air Conditioned Rooms

Php 800 (Php 100 each extra hour)

 

Fan Rooms

Php 500 (Php 100 each extra hour)

 

Entrance fee is Php 75 with free use of our cottages. Huna Huna Cliff Resort reserves the right to refuse or discontinue at any time any accommodation to any persons it deems unacceptable under its standard.

 

RATING

Rooms – 5

Food – 3

Service – 3

Facilities – 3

Ambiance – 5

OVERALL – 3.8/5

 

MORE PHOTOS

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our veranda in the evening

our veranda in the evening

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Our veranda in the morning

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Our room in the evening

Our room in the evening

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Sunrise

Sunrise

FBTW

 

 

 

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VIVA, PIT SENYOR! | SINULOG 2014 [TIPS] [PHOTOS]

(Tips are usually in Italics)

VIVA!

It’s once again the Festival dedicated to Sr. Sto. Nino that contributed to the inception of Christianity in the Philippines and defined Cebu.

Cebu, known as the Queen City of the South, is famous for the Sinulog Festival that gives tribute to the young Jesus, Sto. Nino, which was brought by the Spanish people (via a statuette) that was led by the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan.

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Sinulog is annually held on the 3rd Sunday of January: Grandiose floats and costumes plus fluid-like dances, true to the name ‘Sinulog’ that came from the Cebuano word ‘sulog’ meaning ‘like the movement of the water’; this is culminated on the last day of the 9 day celebration.

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Every year, there are plenty contestants coming from different places in the Philippines contending to win for the best dance interpretation to win in the Sinulog Contest. The Grand Parade will first have to show off the contestant’s dance interpretations in the streets of Cebu City leading to Abellana which will be the arena to show off their fab dances to the judges.

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Everyone from various places, Filipinos or Foreigners alike enjoy the mardi gras that gives the best street dance feel due to the loud drum beats that make you move and shout ‘PIT SENYOR!’. Even children are held on their parents’ shoulders to let them see the colorful parade on the streets.

SINULOG 2014

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Probably the most crowded Sinulog I’ve ever attended, and also everyone’s opinion.

There are a lot of sight sees that you’ll enjoy in every corner of the city. You’ll have to enjoy every painted faces to street dances people do. Also, henna tattoos are a trend too, and everywhere you go; there are people who cater to giving you that Sinulog vibe.

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Fuente Circle is one of the best places to go during daylight; which you can visibly see every float passing by. Some with famous local celebrities that usually defined what is like being a Filipino. But most floats have extraordinary designs. Ahead of the floats are their dancers who usually make stops to some spots to offer a dance to street judges.

People could also try to roam around starting at Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino, (Sto. Nino church) dance your way to the crowd at Jones Street reaching Fuente Circle.

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The wonderful floats go all the way from morning until the evening. And right after every contestant is done; there the fireworks begin.

I personally enjoyed this year’s Sinulog because it was not sunny at all; everyone loves the sun, and I do, but sometimes it’s just too painful out there; but not this year, it’s purely cloudy, it drizzled in a while but did not bother everybody at al.

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I noticed the trend of GoPro cameras nowadays that takes videography, photography and selfies to the high level… literally.

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AYALA FIREWORKS

Every spot in the city; there’ll be fireworks.

One in Abellana, right after the last contestant is done with their presentation: another one is in Crown Regency in the heart of the city, one at SM City Cebu and the most celebrated and waited is the Ayala Center Cebu Fireworks.

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Ayala is not just famous for their mall, but for their annual Sinulog fireworks show that costs them thousands to millions of pesos. But not just that; Ayala Fireworks is famous because of their unique and spectacle show.

They don’t just show you explode here and explode there kind; you will see heart shaped blasts or Saturn shaped or a smiley: all you need to do is ready your camera and tick at the right time when it explodes.

The extravagant firework show always ends up in a humongous firework blasts that lights up the entire vicinity that gives magnificence to everyone that is watching.

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If you’re wondering where I had my dinner; Ayala is a perfect place to go. BUT, there’ll be less chance to dine perfectly and fast there. My partner and I ate at Simply J’s Restaurant. I purposefully did a reservation ‘just in case’ we can’t dine in Ayala, and that was the case. But the place is miraculously almost deserted when we arrive there.

There are couple of affordable restaurants just within the vicinity of Ayala mall for you to dine yet not be able to miss their grandiose fireworks show like Simply J’s, Kuya J or Rodeo Grill.

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SINULOG NIGHT LIFE

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Then the real party begins!

Everyone works their way in Mango Avenue to party! If you ever want to get wet and wild then this place is surely for you. Just make sure you’re ready to get down and dirty because the crowd will be crazy.

Baseline, Alchology, and Yo.u are the bars that you usually hear where the party is to the extreme. Bottles of alcoholic drinks are surely on the grounds wherever you go. Everyone you’ll see is surely drunk when the clock hits 12 for sure.

That surely was the most crowded because I encountered problems passing through Mango Street but nevertheless… still alive!

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VIVA, PIT SENYOR!

Sinulog 2014 was crazy.

Next year would be another blast, for sure.

MORE PHOTOS!

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A SOUTHERN LEYTE TREASURE | MAASIN EXPERIENCE

Maasin is part of Southern Leyte and has a crime rate of almost zero. Maasin is a small town with lots of pedicab ride as a means of transportation. People spoke the accent as of the people in Bohol, collocating ‘y’ to ‘j’ like the word ‘Unya’ which means ‘later’ in English, which is somehow uttered as ‘Unja’.

It’s my first time in Maasin, and my first in Southern Leyte too. And this is the hometown of my partner and this is also my first time to spend Christmas away from home and my first time to spend it with someone really special. So, as you have read, there are a lot of first times happened.

But, Maasin is just a small part of Southern Leyte and is slowly progressing to a bigger name. Yet, when I was there; I’ve found good stuffs to visit and try.

GETTING THERE

We had to ride either a Cokaliong ship or Roble that will take us from Cebu port to Maasin port directly, but has the schedule of Tuesdays and Thursdays. In our trip; it was a special one on the very eve of Christmas.

The ride was five and a half hours long, and there was not much in the infinite ocean that bridges us towards our destination. Although, it was for a fact a little bit rainy and gloomy so instead of whining; I just took the chance to savor the grayness beauty of the surrounding. And it did not fail me.

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WHERE TO STAY?

If you want to be in the accessible part of Maasin, which is just near to everywhere you want to be; try Southern Comfort hotel that priced you cheap with an okay room to stay. Although not really a five star kind, but surely, if you want an affordable and a nice place to sleep; this is the hotel for you.

WHERE TO EAT?

Maasin has a lot of Karenderias specifically what they call McDo. Nope, not McDonald’s, but a comic term ‘Mag-duko-duko’ which translates ‘bowing’ in English, meaning when you eat in that barbecue spot; you usually bow your head as to savor the taste of whatever offer it is in there.

Azotea de Maasin

Azotea de Maasin

But there is also a spot in Maasin that has just opened which gives you a city view: Azotea De Maasin. A home-style restaurant located at a high point which in a distant you can see the entire Maasin.

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Great view with cool wind blowing through my chilling senses that is perfect for lovers and friends.

GRECIAN RESORT

My partner took me together with his cousins in a nearby sea-side with a nonchalant but slowly getting the fame resort named Jaime’s Resort. The beaut is such Grecian that made me fall in love while taking a sip of my cold chocolate drink and having that magnificent façade, facing the vast, blue ocean and telling me how far I am away from home, all behind my wayfarer glasses.

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You can also have your stay there in Jaime’s Resort for a steeper price, yet satisfaction guaranteed while staying.

You can also watch or play with the European owner’s golden retrievers that will surely uplift your spirits.

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GET LOST

While one of my dreams is to travel the world; I would perfectly like to get lost in a small town like this and discover on my own. It’s perfectly safe, and everyone is surely willing to help you locate your destination.

Maasin is a place with lots of corners plus some traditional houses; a refashion of the Spanish colony way years ago.

It was Christmas time when I got there and the festive is not extravagant as of the one in Cebu; yet you can still see the glimpse of Christmas lights on each house and in their plaza that has a big Christmas tree with a sleigh ride going round in circles for children and adults alike.

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My partner took me to places in Maasin at night, specifically in the plaza of their provincial seat that has a humongous field with uncanny trees plus a glance of the clear night sky above. All in a pedicab ride.

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The pedicab ride gives you also a straight fact of how provincial Maasin is, and how far the place is from advancement; but that’s a good thing to start with, because, of all the places in the Philippines that’s growing; we also need some places that should remain as what it is. It may have a little upgrading; but I prefer culture over it in this Southern treasure.

Pedicab Ride

Pedicab Ride

By the day, his mother and niece took me above one of the highest peaks in Maasin which was the Monte Cueva Shrine. Its location is atop the mountainous part, and has a thousand steps before you reach the very solemn cave church.

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You can see how religiously inclined these people are; and so I can relate. The cave is a dome shaped treasure in Maasin that has a light coming from a trap above the cave ceiling that allows light to enter and illuminate the statue of Jesus praying at the altar depicting the Holy Father talking to him.

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I love staying even just a little while in this place, even when I’m catching my breath from the tiring thousand steps we took.

Then we get to see the shrine that has a Mother Mary statue right above the highest peak facing the entire beauty of Maasin.

Maasin Birds Eye View

Maasin on broad daylight

Also, I got the chance to pray in their old church that offers Latin masses for people who understands the language.

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I never got the chance to visit the other shrine in Maasin which was more famous due to time constraint.

You can sense the true rural form that culminates calm and peaceful. You can also feel the growing need for advancement, but still grab a hold to the most important thing which is the Culture.

I wished I had more time exploring the growing wonders of the place, but maybe next time I visit, then it has plenty more for me.

Sunrise upon going home to Cebu

Sunrise upon going home to Cebu

MORE PHOTOS

Inside Maasin's Church

Inside Maasin’s Church

The Cave Church's entrance

The Cave Church’s entrance

A couple of blur - B&W shots

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