It was already late at night when I arrived in Cebu.
I didn’t realize that it was hard to get a cab at the airport, so I used Grab. It was actually my first time to use the app. Yes, after years of making waves in the Philippines, it was only a few months ago that I’ve tried it. I didn’t even download the app on my phone. I sought the assistance of a Grab personnel at the airport to book a car for me. I know, I am so oldies. Hahaha!
So that’s it. I got on the car and told the driver my hostel and the address.
When I arrived at the hostel, it was already like a few minutes before 11PM. With all my huge backpack and all, I went straight to the reception.
I told them that I booked online. While the reception dude was looking for my booking, he asked for my ID. So I gave him my company ID because my driver’s license is already expired and left it at home. You know, I wasn’t able to renew it since I don’t have a car anymore.
To my surprise, he told me about their policy of requiring 3 valid ID’s for guests availing the dorm type room. Oh my, they’re even worse than banks for requiring identification. Aside from my company ID, I only had another one which is invalid because it’s an ID for a membership.
I woke up to the sound of two dudes who were in a hurry packing their backpacks.
It was my first day in Cebu. I checked-in in my hostel at about 11PM so when I entered my room, it was pitch-dark and I had no idea who were my roommates. They were all asleep.
I sat down on my bed, and they greeted me good morning. By the sound of their voices, I had an idea that they were Europeans, but of course I couldn’t distinguish which part in Europe. Hahaha! Until one dude introduced himself as Gustav. That’s what I heard and understood about his name. He apologized if they woke me up. I told them, it’s already 8AM so it’s okay. Read More
Bohol, a province in the Philippine’s Central Visayas Region is a tourist haven that has lots to offer. Considered by many as one of the most eco-rich as well as iconic destinations in the country, it draws both international and local tourists alike who want to relax and unwind in a “green” setting. For starters, the province made a name for itself and became a regular in a myriad of travel packages in the Philippines primarily because of the Chocolate Hills, an area of over 1,700 hills that are spread over 50-square kilometers of land. It should be noted though that there is more to Bohol than these geological formations. But before we get to the details lets take a quick look of the general activities that you can do while there. Read More
Who would have thought that a simple dude who writes can stay at Shangrila Mactan Cebu for free?
Thanks to Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines for inviting me to be part of the Visayan leg of TBEX Post tour. Early morning, we arrived in Cebu from Bohol through ferry and we immediately started to tour the city.
Then, we checked in at Shangrila Mactan Cebu [Hotel Details Here]. For those who are planning to stay at this hotel, you better prepare your credit cards because they’re requiring every guest to have their credit cards photocopied. This is I guess the hotel’s way to charge you if ever you destroyed something in your room. Hahaha! Of all the hotels that I’ve stayed this is my first time to experience this. Is this how
sosyal luxurious hotels work?
When I had the chance to visit Bohol, I realized that this island in the heart of the Philippines is a complete travel destination.
It has stunning islands and beaches which is the Philippines is famous for, but aside from that it has an awesome countryside to give a unique adventure and relaxation. Plus, it has an interesting history. No wonder, it was coined as the Jewel of the Philippines.
My visit to Bohol also changed the way I answer a question, like if a friend or a reader asks about a place that I recommend to explore in the Philippines. If they want stunning beaches and all, go to Palawan. If they want historical sites ,go to Ilocos. But if you want it all, go to SM just kidding! Haha I mean go to Bohol. Seriously!
After snorkeling at Hilutungan Island, we were off to our next destination.
I was pretty excited because I heard that’s where we were going to have our lunch. Haha The snorkeling can be very exhausting, so I look forward to the next island which is called Nalusuan.
It was our second day in Cebu with some international travel bloggers as part of the TBEX post tour. I was one of the Filipino bloggers invited by our Tourism Promotions Board. We woke up early that morning for the island hopping in Mactan. When I hear about islands in Cebu, the first thing that usually comes to mind are Bantayan and Malapascua etc. Well, those islands are actually very far from the city and that would take hours of travel time.It’s about time for you to know that there are beautiful islands near Mactan Cebu that are equally stunning and most of them are Marine Sanctuaries.
Panaghoy sa Suba. (The Call of the River)
An award-winning Filipino film in 2004 which is about the story of the lives of Filipinos in Bohol during World War II. It was mostly shot in Loboc River. And with its success comes the curiosity of many for this river in Bohol.
I remember constantly seeing a picturesque photo of Loboc river that time. I was too young then that I never imagined myself that I would be an avid traveler and a travel blogger. But the photos remained in my memory.
It is not pronounced as Ba-sey.
That’s the first thing you have to know when you travel to this town in Samar known for its caves, underground rivers and diverse ecosystem. There is no “ey” sound in the Waray dialect. I should know because I am waray myself. I was born in Northern Samar.
The correct pronunciation is Basai or Basay. The word Basey or its mispronunciation was propagated by American soldiers based in the town during the American colonial period.
It was about 6 PM, I was alone, naked in a huge, fancy and comfortable room at Amorita Resort in Bohol when someone knocked on the door. I quickly put on my robe (sosyal robe! haha) to check it out. I saw one of the hotel staff with a smile and said “Good evening sir, complimentary from our chef.”
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“You know, this beach was named after Alona Alegre.”
Grace told me with her sweet smile and enthusiasm. I was about to ask her, who is Alona Alegre? I had this idea that she must probably be an actress from the past because I am aware that Filipinos are crazy for celebrities!
Huh? Alona… who? But it wasn’t necessary because Grace shared the whole story.
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The Universe, or God, sometimes has better plans for you, despite of wanting something else.
For days and weeks, I’ve been waiting for an email, a confirmation about a press trip abroad. I remember how a travel blogger friend and me messaged one another every single day checking if one of us has received the email.
Two weeks before that trip, I gave up.
If I really made the cut, they should have contacted me earlier. I remember that night, I told myself that it wasn’t for me. There are other opportunities. Besides, I can travel to that country in the future on my own. I just simply let..it…go.
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I am quite updated about what’s hot in Philippine Tourism.
Being a domestic traveler, a friend with travelers and a member of some of the biggest social media travel groups in the country, I can say I am aware of the newest craze or destinations in the country.
I’ve seen the rose to fame of Hulugan Falls, Kalanggaman Island, Jomalig Island, Maniwaya Island and Masbate islands to name a few. The time when everybody realizes that hey the Philippines is more than just Boracay. That there are still a lot to explore.
So I was wondering why I haven’t heard of any buzz about Balicasag Island in Bohol? That’s the time when I learned about our itinerary after being invited by Tourism Promotions Board and Fuentes Manila to take part in the TBEX tour (Travel Blog Exchange) in Cebu and Bohol together with some awesome travel bloggers from around the world.
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