#EatIligan: Iligan Food Appreciation Tour 1.0

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Background

‪#‎EatIligan‬ is an invitational Iligan Food Appreciation Tour organized by the Iligan Bloggers Society, Inc. in celebration of the annual Social Media Day. Social media influencers are invited to visit and experience the food scene in Iligan City.

In 2013, IBS, Inc. has successfully launched ‪#‎ExperienceIligan‬, a still ongoing unified online campaign to highlight Iligan City in the internet by encouraging Iliganons and visitors to use the hashtag in their social media activities.

Recognizing the power of online media to capture the attention of potential tourists and visitors and the notable fundamental shift as to how people utilize social media, this project was conceived to continue to crowdsource tips from locals and create global exposure for the local businesses.

#EatIligan

#EatIligan Weekend: July 2-3, 2016

This year, the Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS), Inc. held the first #EatIligan: Iligan Food Appreciation Tour last July 2-3, 2016. The 2-day event seeks to highlight in various social media platforms Iligan City’s food establishments as well as its local delicacies.

Awesome right?

Luckily, I was selected this year to participate and meet with new bloggers in Iligan City who is up for a weekend of foodie adventures.

#EatIligan Experience

It is actually my first time to join a food blogger’s tour like this one, and I never regret my decision even if I have to travel miles and miles all the way from Davao just to be there in Iligan!

I’m a foodie, and food crawls like this ignites the adrenaline in me. I love exploring and trying out new restaurants in the city and sharing the experience with people who have the same passion with food as me. Isn’t it obvious in my body?! LOL.

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I never knew what the word “diet” meant during the #EatIligan food tour because of the overflowing amount of food being served from Breakfast 1 and breakfast 2, then Snack 1 and Snack 2, Lunch 1, 2, and even Lunch 3, until Dinner 1 & 2, all the way to midnight. Just imagine that! #NoSpaceForFoodinmyTummy

It is a 2-day [July 2-3, 2016] tour that really showed the best and the newest restaurants there is in Iligan City. Here’s our itinerary:

Event Duration:

Start July 2 (Saturday) @ 9AM
End: July 3 (Sunday) dinner time

Day 1 – July 2 (Saturday)

– ARUMA COFFEE LOUNGE

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– JACKO’S KAN-ANAN

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PIZZARELLA BISTRO

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– B.BU.Q BARBECUE HAUS

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– Edi’s Spicy Lechon

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Day 2 – July 3 (Sunday)

 – TEDT’S CAFE AND BAKERY

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 – Espasol from Dyl’s Homemade Delicacies –

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Ramen-yah

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– PATER AL-KUWAIT

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– Deliciosa Ice Cream

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– Am’s Chicken Haus

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 – CALDA PIZZA

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 – WISH YOU WERE HERE

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Wish you were here Iligan

Our accommodation:

 – HOMESTAY ILIHAN

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–  – –

It was indeed one amazing, gastronomic foodie adventure weekend! I’m looking forward for more food tours in the future! Thank you #EatIligan and to Iligan Bloggers Society for this event. I’m truly grateful for the experience and for all the new friends I’ve gained and bloggers I’ve met.

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#EatIligan Foodie Bloggers and Friends!

Indeed, Iligan City is not just about chasing water falls, it’s also a place for food adventurers to explore, dine, and experience. Let your taste buds chase the various flavors that Iligan has to offer, from cakes, pastries, barbecues, crispy chicken, pizza, ice cream, Japanese foods, Pater, Palapa, Cheding nuts, lechon, and a whole lot more – you’ll be surprised how much choices there is! And how delicious they all are!

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I will be blogging each restaurant soon! Watch out for it! ;)

How far will you travel just to find a long lost family member?

Apparently, distance doesn’t matter to people who have always wanted to connect to a long-lost relative.

Take for example the case of Malou Caise, who had travelled from Toronto all the way to the Philippines just to find her family after typhoon Haiyan devastated Tacloban. Malou’s case is a sad story, for the reunion she had with her surviving family members were shrouded with death and suffering.

But while the realities of reconnecting with family aren’t always happy, there are those that are quite inspiring, particularly when the reunion happened the most unusual of ways.

Take for example the story of a girl who discovered that she had a long-lost half sister when she read a memoir titled, Wild. The book’s author, Cheryl Strayed, described her father in the book, and the unnamed girl realized that Strayed was describing her father. She emailed Strayed and while the two are yet to meet, there’s a very good chance that the two will see each other someday. After all, there’s always a longing to see family, especially those who have been estranged from an early age.

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Another story documents two online bingo buddies who had been playing together for years, but didn’t realize their connection until just recently. Long-lost sisters Elaine Walker and Jackie Green found each other through the help of an heir-hunting organization called Finders, and a little bit of Facebook searching. When they realized their relationship, the two travelled to meet each other.

Reunions of long-lost families can be extremely heart-warming moments that there’s now a TV series dedicated them. The aptly named Long Lost Family show helps long-lost family members, who usually have no idea that they’re related, reconnect. According to the show’s producers, they receive tens of thousands of applications from people who are desperate to find someone, which is proof that people will always be longing for a connection with family.

There are many perks to travelling but going the extra mile just to see someone whom you haven’t seen for a long time will always yield the best rewards.

Getting Inked on February 29th! My First Tattoo Experience!

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Tattoos have a power and magic all their own. They decorate the body but they also enhance the soul. Why not wear your heart on your skin in this life?

I’ve always wanted to get inked. But it took me a while to finally come up with a design that I really loved and something that will truly embody the real me. I wanted my first tattoo to be something simple, yet meaningful to me.

So I’ve come up with these designs..

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Placement will be on the wrist..

Why February 29?

Every 4 years, February gets an extra day—so I just thought why not make the most of it?

It’s a strange amazing day that comes only once every four years. For the rest of the time it does not “exist.”

In mundane terms, it marks a “leap” in time, when the calendar is adjusted to make up for extra seconds accumulated over the preceding three years due to the rotation of the earth. A day of temporal tune up!

Apart from that, this day also holds another secret—it contains one of those truly rare moments of delightful transience and light uncertainty that only exist on the razor edge of things, along a buzzing plane of quantum probability…

A day of unlocked potential.

Will you or won’t you? Should you or shouldn’t you?

So YES! I decided to use this day to do something daring, extraordinary and unlike myself. I bravely took a chance to shape a new pattern in my personal cloud of probability!

Getting BOGZified!

Getting your first tattoo is something very special, and I want nothing but the best tattoo artist to do this.

So months before, I already started my research, asked a couple of friends, and made up my mind to choose Bogz Flores of Tattoo Avenue to do it.

He’s quite popular in Davao and is often mentioned when you’ll search Google for the best tattoo artists here in Davao City, as a matter of fact he had even been featured in Mindanao Times Newspaper. His tattoo works are also amazing, check here. So why not?

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My First Tattoo Experience!

So yes! On the evening of February 29, 2016. Me, along with my travel buddy, got our first ink and tattoo experience in Tattoo Avenue!

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Here’s my travel buddy’s tattoo design –

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Is it painful?

So the question almost always asked is, “Is it painful?”

Well truth is, the pain I experienced is way LESS than what I expected it to be.

Yes, it is painful at first. Just imagine a thousand ants biting you, or a thousand needles altogether piercing through your skin! But hey, the pain is what makes every tattoo experience worthwhile & unforgettable. No pain no gain, right?

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On a pain scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the lowest, and 10 the highest), I’ll rate my first tattoo experience on a scale of 7.

That’s not really painful actually! And believe me once you’ll get used to the pain, it becomes normal and natural, and can even be a pain na hahanap-hanapin mo!

And that splendid hum of the needle, oh boy, it’s just so good to the ears!

Perhaps these are just some of the reasons why they say, tattoos could get addicting!

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My Tattoo Design

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So here’s my tattoo design.. On the left side of the wrist, the word, ‘free‘ with a bird on it, to signify my freedom-loving soul.

Then the dashes (30 of them if you’ll count), since my favourite number’s THIRTY, connecting to form a heart with a letter ‘R‘ (for Rojae) on it ending in an airplane to signify my love for travel.

See also the placement of the heart, which is in my pulse, signifying that my love to travel is just soo deep that it runs in my veins! haha😀

So what do you think? Do you wanna get inked as well?

“A tattoo is a true poetic creation, and is always more than meets the eye. As a tattoo is grounded on living skin, so its essence emotes a poignancy unique to the mortal human condition.”
― V. Vale

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Terrible Experience at Hinterland Cafe in Tuguegarao City

Sorry if this blog post came earlier than expected. Our Cagayan Valley trip’s not yet over but we just have to share this not-so-good experience we’ve had in one of the cafes in Tuguegarao.

It all started when me and my buddy started looking for a coffee shop in the city to hang out and stay. As freelancers and travellers, we usually stay and work in coffee shops in most of our travels, with our laptops and backpacks.

As a matter of fact, due to my love of coffee shops I even made this list of coffee shops in Davao. You could check out my post here.

So here goes my story, or rather a letter we’d like to get across..

Dear Hinterland Travel Cafe,

It was by perhaps by good fate that we happen to stumble upon your coffee shop in the search results of Google while searching for recommended cafes in Tuguegarao City.

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Your business name, with emphasis on the ‘Travel Cafe’, caught our attention immediately. As a self confessed traveler, freelancer, and coffee lover, finding a coffee shop that bears the word ‘travel’ is just awesome.

So yeah, we found a contact number in your Facebook Page. With no hesitations, we called you to inquire if you do have electrical sockets in your cafe (as they’re just a necessity, perhaps one of the many reasons why I love Starbucks coffee shops haha!).

You said, “YES!”

And oh, did that made us happy, and without doubts we took the ‘Tricy’ (tricycle) to head to your cafe.

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So we got there, and to our surprise there’s no other customer in the coffee shop. Honestly, I really don’t have any problem with that. As a matter of fact, I’m one of the few people who are allergic to too many people. Sounds funny you may say, but I’m just happy finding a place and keeping it all to myself. Wala kang kaagaw, walang ingay, peaceful, perfect place to do my online work! Right?

The time we got there, the only people there are the owner/manager and his staff.

We ordered some drinks (was quite disappointed though to find no cold coffee drinks for sale in a coffee shop, was hoping to get refreshed of an Iced Americano pa naman sana). But anyway, moving on..

We even had a small chat with the manager, mostly about where we came from, travels (as he also owns a travel agency), places to go, and some stuff about the coffee shop which I found out had just opened last year. Nothing much..

Time passed and we got quite busy as me and my buddy started doing our freelance online work, eyes glued to our laptops. If I remember we entered the coffee shop at around 6pm.

Two hours have passed, it was 8 o’clock already, still no other customers are in sight. I was quite surprised as the waiter approached to ask if we will still order something.. So even though we haven’t finished eating and drinking all our food and beverages yet, I do have this gut feeling that the gesture of the waiter’s imposing us to order again..

I’m not even sure if the manager asked him to came over to us for us to order again. During that time, I could sense that the manager’s watching our every move since we were the only ones (customers) there.. or am I just paranoid?

It was just 2 hours – but okay, we just ordered again kahit na busog pa masyado kami..

So in an hour after that, we settled the bill, and left. They close at 9pm. We left at around 8:30pm.

— Day 2:

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It was around 2pm that we decided to visit the cafe again. To our surprise, still there’s no customer in sight today.

We just like how their WiFi is fast, and the affordability of the food. Plus of course, the place is also good.

And since we haven’t had our lunch yet, we ordered a meal (lunch sets). Then started working our usual online VA duties in our laptops.

After 2 hours, at around 4pm, our laptops’ batteries are already draining.. So we acted on plugging in our adaptors to the nearby electrical socket, when we were surprised when the manager (the one I’ve had a conversation yesterday) told us that they restrict, or do not allow, the customers to use their electrical sockets, say for charging laptops for example.

So we were quite shocked.. then how come we were allowed yesterday? And what’s the use of having all the visible sockets near the tables in the coffee shop if it’s not intended for that?!

So since we really needed to have our laptops charged, we just offered to pay, and he agreed.

But deep inside, we were really disappointed..

Maybe it was just the experience of frequently visiting and staying in a lot of coffee shops already that does have electrical sockets and lets you charge your gadgets for free, that drove our expectations too high for this cafe.

I was even upset as their name says they are a ‘Travel’ Cafe.. So maybe they could be more friendly and accommodating to the needs of tourists and travelers like us perhaps?

Not just that, what is REALLY FRUSTRATING is their OUTRAGEOUS FEE for using their power outlets. We were SHOCKED to see in our bill an additional 100 PESOS???!! Seriously?!

It didn’t even took us one hour to charge??! What the??!

We started charging at 4pm. And minutes before 5pm we left the cafe.

Too bad.. I was originally planning to blog about this cafe, with all the intentions of promoting it to my friends, especially this is the first ‘Travel’ Cafe that I’ve been in to.

But after what happened? You just made us feel that all you really care is BUSINESS and MONEY.

I’ve actually wrote a review on their Facebook page – and it saddens me to see that they actually blamed us for ‘staying too long’ ? 2 of the 3 people who replied to my review are actually their staff..

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It was as if the place is really jam packed.. but no. WE WERE THE ONLY CUSTOMERS they’ve had. AND WE ARE ORDERING EVERY ONCE IN AN HOUR OR TWO. So what’s bad about that?

If you do not want your customers to stay ‘longer than a regular time to eat’ (as mentioned in your comment) then you should have informed us ahead of time.. May time limit naman pala ‘tong cafe ninyo.

And correction, we only stayed for 6pm to 8:30pm (as opposed to the 4-8pm) that the other person who commented said.

Andami nga naming in-order eh.. Plus may binayaran pa kaming 100 pesos laptop charge fee for one hour??!!

Aba matindi.. Daig pa ang PER HOUR RATE NG INTERNET CAFE ah..

Coffee Shop Etiquette

To close this post, I’d like to share this related article to you:

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Coffee Shop Etiquette

Particularly this part,

How Long Can I Stay?

All of the coffee shop employees we interviewed agreed that they love having customers around. “I’d much rather have someone in my store than have an empty café, even if its the same person the whole day,” says Dunning.

 

 

Biggest Online Sale in the Philippines this Year: Only at LAZADA!

Lazada Online Sale

The Philippines’ biggest online shopping site, Lazada Philippines, will have its BIGGEST Online Revolution Sale tomorrow, November 11, 2015.

The Lazada Philippines Online Revolution 11/11 will be your chance to shop before the end of the year. Shop for new fashionable clothes, own your favorite gadgets, toys, and home appliances.

Lazada Online Sale

Get 30% and as much as 80% off on selected items. Enjoy free vouchers, hourly flash sale, hot deals from different categories, and exclusive partner offers.

Lazada Flash Sale!

Here are some of the craziest online deals you would not want to miss. This FLASH SALES are expected to run every hour.

Lazada Sale

Online Sale

The biggest Lazada sale season, Online Revolution, (also accessible from the Lazada mobile application), is scheduled to start on November 11 and will run all the way to December 12.

Check out the discount codes!

If you follow the Lazada Philippines Facebook Page, you will often see discount codes being given out. Take advantage of this! Make sure to download the Lazada Mobile App also for more Lazada vouchers!

Lazada Mobile App

Start browsing for your favorite items and get ready for the biggest online sale from Lazada Philippines.

Logon to www.lazada.com.ph today and get ready for tomorrow’s Online Revolution Sale!

Ultimate Camiguin Travel Guide: How to get there, Budget Itinerary, Attractions, and so much more!

Camiguin Travel Guide

It was with typhoon Lando that my third visit in this ‘favorite’ island of mine that I’m going to share with you today took place.

Camiguin Typhoon

I’m not sure why every time I set foot on this mystery island it seems to be accompanied most often with threatening clouds, skies, or seas and that the weather is likely to be bad. You see, my first visit here was when Typhoon Sendong came, and now, my third time, it’s Typhoon Lando.

A friend of mine even shared a story to me about this particular island, wherein according to him, it is in this island that all the negative energies in this side of the planet often converge and congregates.

Mystery Island

Nevertheless, like every adventure story there is, nothing’s stopping the characters in venturing out the rough seas and stormy weather, amidst whatever story there is behind this majestic island.

So what’s the island I’m talking about? Yes, it is CAMIGUIN ISLAND (you probably guessed it already in the title! haha).

How to Go to Camiguin?

This is the route me and my friends took coming from Davao city.

Davao >> Cagayan De Oro >> Balingoan Port >> Camiguin

Here’s our Camiguin Weekend Itinerary

  • Oct. 16, 2016 (Friday): Boarded 9pm Bus from Ecoland Terminal Davao City to Cagayan de Oro (6-7hrs travel time).
  • Oct. 17 (Saturday):
    • 5am arrival in CDO, head to Balingoan + ferry to Camiguin,
    • 12noon arrival at Camiguin
    • Afternoon Camiguin DIY tour
  • Oct. 18 (Sunday): Camiguin inland tour (White Island tour’s not available this day due to Typhoon Lando)
  • Oct. 19 (Monday):
    • Morning tour to White Island (pwede na mag tour! yay!)
    • 12 Noon: Check out from homestay in Camiguin
    • 2pm: Took ferry to Balingoan
    • 4pm: Van from Balingoan to Cagayan de Oro
    • 6pm: Head back to Davao

  1. Take Rural Transit or Bachelor Express bus. They ply the BuDa route (Bukidnon-Davao). It will take you around 6-7 hours. Aircon nonstop first class with toilet will cost you 600 Pesos. There are discounts for students. It is best to take the bus at night and just sleep it off. When you wake up in the morning, voilah! you’ll already arrive in Cagayan de Oro!
  2. Upon arrival at Agora Bus Terminal in CDO, take a bus heading to BALINGOAN. There will be buses available in the same terminal. Take note that there are a lot of pesky van barkers who’ll follow you and insist to take you where you are heading. Just ignore them though. I always felt more safe riding in a bigger bus than a smaller van anyway.
  3. The trip from Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan will take you around 2 hours with multiple stops (no nonstop buses). Just enjoy the view though. Tip: Pick a seat on the LEFT SIDE of the bus to enjoy the scenic coastal view along the way!
  4. Upon arrival at Balingoan Bus terminal, no need to take a tricycle, you could just walk to the Balingoan Port, head left, cross the main road and in 300-500 meters you’ll reach the port.

  • Direct ferries ply from Balingoan to Camiguin daily, almost every hour. Fare is at 170 Pesos + environmental tax of 5pesos and terminal fee of 15pesos.

Ferry to Camiguin

Here are some wacky snapshots while aboard the ferry.

Boat to Camiguin

After an hour or two, you’ll disembark at the Port of Benoni (Camiguin’s main Port for ferries coming from Cagayan de Oro). You could arrange a multicab or van from your accommodation to fetch you from Benoni Port as this is 30 minutes away from Camiguin’s center in Mambajao and an hour away from Yumbing (where most accommodations I recommend are located). Rates are usually from 450-600 per vehicle.

Benoni Port Camiguin

How to go from Benoni to Mambajao and Yumbing in budget?

If you are in a budget travel though, you could take a public multicab outside Benoni Port to take you to Mambajao (fare is 30 pesos only), then from Mambajao take a tricycle or motorella to Yumbing for 10 pesos only. Not recommended though if you have a lot of hand carry baggage as the motorella is a bit small that you’ll share with other passengers.

Where to Stay in Camiguin?

Having visited Camiguin for the third time already, I’ve stayed in various budget accommodations. Below are some of my recommendations based on experience. I suggest choosing an accommodation located in YUMBING in Camiguin (30 minutes away from Mambajao, Camiguin’s center). This area’s near the beach if you’d like to go strolling on your free time, various recommended resto’s are also walking distance. This is also where the famous Paras Beach Resort in Camiguin is located. In front of it are lined with these affordable accommodations though for budget backpackers like us:

  • Paguia’s Cottages (stayed here on my first visit on 2011)
    • Location: Rocky Village,Yumbing,Camiguin
    • Tel#: (088) 387-9018 / Call/Text : (+63) 09173107085
    • Email : roel.paguia@yahoo.com
    • Rates: P800-1,000 per night for a room for 4pax. (Almost 200-250 pesos per person).
  • Pabua’s Cottages (stayed here on my second visit in November 2013)
    • Address: Rocky Village, Yumbing, Camiguin Island, Mambajao, 9100 Camiguin, Philippines
    • Phone:+63 88 387 9033 / 09064152557
    • Owner: Mr. Puloy Pabua
    • Rates: P1,000-1,200 per night for a room for 4pax. (Almost 3oo pesos per person).
  • Tabada Homestay (stayed here on our visit this time in 2015)
    • Location: Rocky Village,Yumbing,Camiguin
    • Contact No: 09186306672
    • Booked at Agoda (Pay later option!)
    • Rates: 1,200 for room for 4 pax. GOOD WIFI connection!

Camigun Fast Facts and Trivia

Camiguin

  • The name “Camiguin “ is derived from the word “Kamagong,” the name of a tree in the ebony family. Original inhabitants of the island were the Manobos from Surigao.
  • Do you know that Camiguin is the smallest island with the most number of volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on earth?
  • It is also the only place in the Philippines which has more volcanoes (7) than towns (5).

Amazing isn’t it?

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island Tour

With only 64.5 kilometers of concrete circumferential road, the visitors are wowed by the accessibility of all the tourists spots. In a day, one can experience the sense of awe and wonder the scenic spots evoke.

Camiguin, the island, borne of volcanic fire, is a paradise. The geologic events of the past have carved the island perfect for adventure seekers. Here, one could trek the Mt. Hibok-hibok, or bathe in the natural hot spa in Ardent Hot Spring, swim in the cool waters of Sto. Nino Cold Spring, the Soda Water Pool, and the three falls – Katibawasan, Tuasan, and Pamonglo.

Camiguin Inland Tour

It has two famous islets, the White Island and the Mantigue, both endowed with white and powdery sands, and pool-like water forms where the weary can dip and relax. So many wonders, so many scenic spots, yet taking only few hours of your precious time to experience them all.

Camiguin White Island

Camiguin Mainland Tour Rates

So how much is an inland tour in Camiguin? Note that this DOES NOT include the White Island tour (that goes for a separate fee ber boat).

Inland tour in Camiguin are usually done in vans and multicabs (my preferred option coz I just love the open air and the scenic views!). A full day tour will usually cost around 1,500 to 2,000 Pesos for each multicab.

Camiguin Multicab Tour

We were able to haggle from 1,700 offered price to 1,500 (divided by the 5 of us, that’s 300 pesos for each person, not bad!)

So what are you waiting for, let’s go explore & experience Camiguin one by one!

Must Sees in Camiguin!

  • 10:00 am –pick up from accommodation
  • 10:30 — Tongatoc Cove
  • 11:00 — Walkway to the Old Volcano (entrance fee is 5/head)
  • 11:30 — Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery (100 pesos per boat of 5-6pax)
  • 12:30 – Lunch (and swim!) at Soda Water Park (entrance fee is 30/head)
  • 2:00 pm – Tuasan Falls ( no entrance fee )
  • 3:00 pm – Sto. Niño Cold Spring (entrance fee is 30/head)
  • 4:00 pm – 16th Century Guiob Catarman Church Ruins
  • 5:00 pm – Ardent Hot Spring Resort (entrance fee is 30/head)
  • 6:00 pm – back to accommodation

Magic Number is 30!

Just something I’ve noticed, here in Camiguin, almost all entrance fees to resorts, hot springs, cold springs, etc. cost 30 PESOS! This is something implemented by their local government. So when you’re in Camiguin, just remember the number 30 (happens to be my favorite number too!)

Camiguin Attractions

1 . Tongatoc Cove Overview Spot

Just a quick stop here for a photo opt on this overlooking spot. The view’s simply amazing and stunning (add to that the boulder like waves below brought by typhoon Lando during our visit).

Tongatoc Cove Overview

2. Walkway to the Old Volcano

Walkway to Old Volcano and Stations of the Cross is an 8 kilometer path with 14 human-sized stations situated at Mt. Vulcan in Barangay Bonbon, Catarman. The spot is actually one of the famous tourist destination in Camiguin Island especially during the Lenten Season as it serves as a pilgrimage site to Roman Catholic devotees.

Camiguin Walkway To Old Volcano

3. Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery

The Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island marks the swept remains of the island’s rested locals. Driven underwater when Mt. Vulcan Daan erupted in 1870’s, the large cross has served the town’s people, as well as the tourists, a scenic spot to memorialize the departeds buried there.

Sunken Cemetery of Camiguin Island

Only the crosses of the tombs can be seen above the water, as a reminder of the doomed cemetery, though some of the tombs may be visible during low tide.

Camiguin Sunken Cemetery

Tip: For fun photos and shots to add to your album, I tell you most boatmen here in Camiguin that will accompany you to the cross marker do know amazing fun poses and camera tricks! Just give them an extra tip!

Camera Tricks

4. Soda Water Park 

A pool filled with natural streaming soda water from the volcanic springs of Bura. It’s probably the only Soda spring in the Philippines. It has great scenery as its cold water provides a refreshing splash to bathers and picnickers.

Soda Water Park

Here I am and below me is source of the soda water flowing in this pool. I just love this shot! Pardon, I’m an Aquarian and a water lover at heart! haha😀

Soda Water

5. Tuasan Falls

Tuasan Falls is the newest tourist attraction in the province of Camiguin. During my previous visits, mainland tours do not include a visit to Tuasan Falls, not until now. I found Tuasan Falls more beautiful though than Katibawasan (another waterfall in the island which had been included in tours since 2011, my first time here).

I love the falls’ rugged beauty and the natural setting of big rocks that complements with the flow of shivering cold crystal-clear water surrounded by rich flora. The water is really refreshing!

Camiguin Tuasan Falls

6. Sto. Niño Cold Spring

And when we couldn’t get enough of the cold from Tuasan Falls, we headed to another much colder water attraction in the island of Camiguin, the Sto. Nino Cold Spring!

The Sto Niño Cold Spring is a natural cold spring that flows down from Mt. Mambajao and is filtered by layers of minerals from the mountain, therefore it is clean. The temperature is naturally maintained from 20-25 degrees celsius.

Camiguin Sto. Niño Cold Spring

Here’s more, during our visit to Sto Nino Cold Spring, me and my friends also discovered another activity!

FREE FISH SPA!

Oh yes! you heard that right! While me and my buddies were sitting by the pool, we noticed small fishes trying to come close and bit our toes! It was really ticklish and we couldn’t help ourselves from laughing and giggling! But boy, who can’t resist a free fish spa right?

Fish Spa in Camiguin

7. 16th Century Guiob Catarman Church Ruins

The Old Church Ruins of Camiguin, built in 16th century is one of the oldest and unique structures in the island. Unique because it is made from coral stones. The Church was later destroyed to ruins because of the 1871 Mount Vulcan eruption.

Before, during my visit in 2011, there used to be a small chapel inside the ruins compound. However during our present visit, the chapel’s already gone.

Old Church Ruins of Camiguin

At the back, there is a huge tree there that is said to be more than a century old. Nice to take photos below the tree.

8. Ardent Hot Spring Resort

Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort is a natural hot spring heated by Mt Hibok Hibok, an active volcano in the country.

This is by far my favorite destination in all of the spots offered in the Camiguin inland tour! I believe it is because of its calming effect it can give to an individual, a visit here is a great way to release stress after a day or week of work.

Camiguin Ardent Hot Spring Resort

Backpackers and adventurers like us will surely love soaking in this hot spring after a long travel, island exploration and adventure in the Island of Camiguin. A perfect way to end Camiguin’s mainland tour!

Camiguin’s White Island Tour

And to save the best for last, our last day in Camiguin is spent exploring the popular White Island.

Luckily, the weather cooperated and we were allowed to set sail to White Island. Rate is at Php 450.00 for the boat that could accommodate 5-6 passengers to take you to the island, and Php 20.00 for environmental fee.

camiguin island

Camiguin White islet

Camiguin beach

Camiguin indeed is a majestic place. Perhaps it is why it’s my and my travel buddy’s favorite island destination here in the Philippines. An island so small yet almost all kind of wonders are here – whether you are looking for a dip in the beach, a plunge in a cool water pool, a relaxing hot spring, everything’s already right here! It’s remote and simple yet warm and diverse. Nature lovers will surely enjoy it.

I love Camiguin and I am sure you will love it too. Hope this travel guide helps.

Camiguin Travel Guide

Cheers to more travels! Happy trails! ^^

Coffeecat (Davao): a Place to Chill, Chow, and Chat

Coffeecat in Davao

So I’m on a quest to visit (and yes give a review) of most (if not all) of the coffee shops that had sprouted here in Davao City.

If you haven’t, you could check the list of coffee shops in Davao city that I’ve recently posted here.

So today I’ve got a chance to visit one of ’em, the Coffee Cat Coffee Shop.

Coffee Cat in Davao

Prior to my visit to this coffee shop, I’ve already read several write ups about it. Coffee Cat originally started here in Davao, however in July 2010 they also opened a branch in Cebu city.

And I have to say that most reviews I’ve stumbled upon are all giving the shop an excellent rating. Because of this I might just have set the bar too high or had expected too much.

Originally they used to have two branches here in Davao, so I chanced to visit the first one located in Torres Street. Apparently, the shop’s nowhere to be found and someone told us that it had already closed. oh well =(

Here’s an image of their previous branch in Torres anyway..

So moving on, me and my travel buddy went to the second branch near Sutherland (a popular call center here in Davao) along Quirino Avenue. And yes! Eureka! We found it!

Upon entering the coffee shop, I found the interior design inviting and modern, even reminded me of a coffee shop we used to stay to work way back in Vietnam.

Coffeecat in Davao

Coffeecat Menu

The coffee shop boasts a wide array of refreshing drinks and delicious food in their menu. You could choose from Coffeecat’s popular coffee variants, refreshing “Specialteas”, creamy milk tea varieties, and their famous blended drinks called Avalanche.

Coffeecat Menu

Avalanche is available in several variations. The one we’ve ordered Coffee Jelly Avalanche and Matcha.

They also serve yogurt smoothies that come in Tarty Mango, Strawberry Swing, Original Tart, and Green Tea flavors.

Coffee Jelly Avalanche

We also got to sample their Angry Harry – one of their best seller pastas. A taste of italian with some mix of spice and herbs!

Angry Harry

How about the WiFi / Internet Connection at Coffeecat?

Apparently, this is the one thing I’ve read from other blogs (recommending the shop for a ‘fast’ wifi) that I found extremely disappointing.

For someone who frequents coffee shops, mostly with a purpose to work (as you know I do work online) and at the same time chill away from our usual desks at home, there is nothing more heartbreaking than being able to find out that after you’ve ordered and everything else, you’re greeted with an unreliable not to mention s-l-o-o-o-w-w-w-w internet connection.

Oh well =;( at least I know now that this coffee shop is just one of those many that doesn’t offer a reliable wifi. What do you expect here in the Philippines anyway?

Perhaps I’ll just sit back and enjoy my coffee and food for now. Anyway, their food and drinks here are simply awesome and delicious! Happy eating!

Upwork/Odesk Issue: No Specific Policy Violation resulted to PERMANENT ACCOUNT SUSPENSION.

upwork_blog_img1-645x285

Hi everyone! I’d like to ask for your help regarding the Upwork/Odesk account of my friend and fellow freelancer.

It all started when he received this email from the customer support from Upwork.. a policy violation that is not CLEARLY specified which resulted in the suspension of my friend’s account.

Screenshot #1

Screenshot #1

Then though how many times my friend asked about the specific violation he violated, Upwork’s support won’t answer him correctly and clearly. —

See the following screenshots for their entire conversation (until now ongoing)..

Note: no alterations had been made, no statements had been deleted.

002 Screenshot

002 Screenshot

Then here’s the reply of my fellow freelancer:

003 Screenshot

003 Screenshot

Reply of Upwork support after several emails from my friend:

004 Screenshot

004 Screenshot

Last conversation they had so far =;(

005 Screenshot

005 Screenshot

Long story short, in the end my friend’s account was PERMANENTLY TERMINATED. Sad thing is there had been NO CLEAR indication what the policy violated is =;(

I’d like to seek for your help if anyone knows someone from Upwork who could shed a light on this case. I know my friend had been honest and I believed in him. We had been working together in Upwork for quite some time now and I know how hardworking he is and how he delivers quality results.

I just find it too unfair for him to go through this.. That’s why I’m trying to help.

PS. I had been in Upwork for almost 4 years now and have never encountered something like this.

Update:

It turns out several other Upwork freelancers also had a similar experience, of having their accounts getting suspended for no CLEAR reason at all.

As to the possibility of my friend’s client filing a complaint against him, that might have caused his account suspension. I could attest that this COULD NOT be the case. As you know, my friend’s main client is my client also. I’m managing him as the team leader (with other Upwork freelancers also). I’m the one in direct contact with the client and the client didn’t file any complaint.

As a matter of fact here’s what my client said about my friend:

I had no issues whatsoever with his work. I even gave him 2 good reviews for both jobs.

My friend eventually asked our client to temporarily close his contract since that’s what Upwork’s support told him to. Client agreed with a guarantee that he’ll just offer a new contract once the issue’s fixed.

But from what you see, that didn’t happen. Upwork instead suspended my friend’s account for good. He can’t event withdraw all his funds!

My client had already started asking Upwork/Odesk about my friend’s contract. But Upwork’s support’s taking too long to respond. The client already wants to offer a job to my friend again because we need him in our team.

But how could he do so without an account at Upwork? You might say why not open a new account instead? Believe me. He tried doing that but how could he? Eventually Upwork will still find out about it, and your duplicate account will just be terminated.

Is this fair? In my 4 years of working at Upwork I’ve never encountered an issue like this. For a freelancer whose mainly relying at Upwork for his hard earned funds (not to mention the 10% they are providing to Upwork for a job they earned the hard way), this is just NOT FAIR.

What do you think?

List of Coffee Shops in Davao City

Davao Coffee Shops

They say you can’t buy HAPPINESS,

but you can buy yourself a CUP OF COFFEE,

and that’s pretty much the same =)

So as my own way of sharing happiness, and for someone who just loves coffee (and a freelancer who tambays most often in coffee shops in search for fast wifi, hehe), here I am, compiling a list of all coffee shops in Davao city.

Davao Coffee Shops

I’ve also added some side comments for those with recommendations, must try, etc. This list will be constantly updated so feel free to add any coffee shop you knew that wasn’t mentioned here.

Those in BOLD are those I’ve often read with good reviews!

I’ll also be writing an individual blog post for those coffee shops I’ll find interesting. It is my wish to visit them ALL😉 *wink

Coffee Shops in Davao City

Coffee Shops Davao

1. 128 Ostrich Steak Hauz & Coffee Shop – Airport View Tower, Catitipan
2. 51 Coffee Shop – Victoria Plaza Mall
3. Agong Cafe – Duterte St.
4. Au-Alit -Davao Doctors Hospital
5. Basti’s Brew – Legazpi St.
6. Basti’s Brew – Victoria Plaza Mall
7. Bigby’s Café – SM City
8. BluGre Café – Landco Corp. Tower [Must try: Durian Coffeeccino]
9. BluGre Café – Matina Town Square Mall [Open 24/7]
10. BluGre Café – SM City
11. Bo’s Coffee Club – SM City
12. Bo’s Coffee Club – Torres St. [Open 24/7]
13. Bogser’s Java & Jazz Coffee Shoppe – Bangkal, Davao City
14. Brew Crew’s Coffee House – Juan Luna St.
15. Brewedcasters Café – Car Park Building, G-Mall
16. Brewhaha – Davao
17. Brewtique – Bo. Obrero
18. Bruegger’s Café – Autoshop, Bajada
19. Bryan’s Grill & Café – Obrero
20. Café 54 – Victoria Plaza Mall
21. Café Andessa – Cabantian Road
22. Café Barcellis – J.P. Laurel Avenue
23. Café Breizh – The Venue Complex
24. Cafe Demitasse – F. Torres St [Must try: banoffee pie, creamy carbonara, moist chocolate cake, and mudslide frappe]
25. Cafe Firenzo – Damosa Market Basket [Must try: Lavazza cheesecake]
26. Cafe Firenzo – Quirino Ave
27. Café Juna – Juna, Matina
28. Café Marco – Marco Polo Hotel Davao
29. Café Palma Gil – Palma Gil St.
30. Café Uno – Waterfront Insular Hotel
31. Caffe Vivere – Mt. Apo St.
32. Calle Cinco Coffee – Roxas Avenue
33. Calle Cinco Coffee – Victoria Plaza Mall
34. Chicco Di Caffé – Poblacion District [Must try: Coffee Halo-Halo]
35. Claudes’ Café de Ville – Rizal St.
36. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – Abreeza
37. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – SM Lanang
38. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – The Peak, Gaisano Mall [RECOMMENDED FOR GOOD AMBIENCE]
39. Coffee Dream – Damosa Gateway Mall
40. Coffee Dream – DMSF
41. Coffee Dream – Market Basket
42. Coffee Dream – SM City
43. Coffee For Peace – Matina
44. Coffee Grounds by Golden Lion Dormitel – Roxas Blvd
45. Coffee Monster – Ilustre St.
46. Coffee Plus – Davao
47. Coffee Pod – Torres St.
48. Coffee Spot – C.M. Recto
49. Coffeecat – Jacinto Ext [Must try: Durian Tapioca, Avocado, Coconut, and Mango are just some of CoffeeCat’s Avalanche drink and Pearl Milk Tea variants]
50. Coffeecat – Sutherland Compound (Quirino)
51. Coffeecat – Torres Street – NOW CLOSED
52. Copa Bossa – Quimpo Boulevard
53. Corum Coffee Shop – Bajada
54. Cups and Lowercase – Torres St.
55. Darcy’s Place – Lapu-lapu cor. Sobrecarey Street
56. Davao Coffee Express – NCCC Mall Matina
57. Dayaw Coffee & Tea – SM Lanang [24/7]
58. Dulce Manos Café – Juan Luna St.
59. Fabulous 50’s Cafe – Crown Regency Hotel
60. Fagioli Coffee Club – Lanang
61. Fagioli Coffee Club – Quirino Ave.
62. Figaro – Chimes Mall Davao
63. Figaro – J.P. Laurel Ave, Bajada
64. Figaro – SM City
65. Fiscalizer Restaurant and Coffee Shop – Ponce Reyes Street corner D. Suazo Street
66. Formula Pete’s Café – Bajada
67. Gloria Jeans – Grand Regal Hotel
68. Green Coffee – F. Torres St, [Open 24/7] [Must try: Blueberry Ensaymada, Freeziccinos]
69. Green Coffee – J.P. Laurel Bajada Ave [24/7]
70. Green Coffee – Marfori Hts
71. Hazel Coffee Shop – Buhangin-Cabantian-Indangan Road
72. Hazel’s Café – Bajada
73. Hue Cafe – Ateneo Business Center
74. JavaJive – Quirino [24/7]
75. JavaJive – Wheels N More Drive, J.P. Laurel Ave, [24/7]
76. Jelly Citea – Juan Luna St. and Matina Town Square
77. Jose Rafael Fine Coffee – Lanang
78. K1 Coffee – Ecoland
79. K1 Coffee – Torres St.
80. Kalakoa Coffee Hut – 3/F Abreeza Corporate Center [RECOMMENDED FOR FAST WIFI]
81. Kamayo Café – Palma Gil St.
82. Kangaroo – Central Bank, Quirino St. [Must try: Kape Balos, a local version of the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, made from civet droppings]
83. Kape de Bohol – Jacinto St.
84. Karl’s Koffee Korner – Dacudao [24/7]
85. Karl’s Koffee Korner – SM
86. Karlo’s Coffee – Jack’s Ridge [Must try: Kape Marang, Durian Coffee Gelato, Mangosteen Frappuccino, Guyabano Coffee Freeze, and Kape Langka]
87. Kasagingan Kapehan – Torres St.
88. Koffie-pauze – Palmetto Place, Talomo
89. Kopi Roti – Jacinto St.
90. Le Grandeur Café – Grand Menseng Hotel
91. Miko’s Brew – Chavez St
92. Mini Air Dog Cafe – Mabini St, Poblacion District [RECOMMENDED: first dog-friendly cafe]
93. Mon Bebe Café – Chinatown
94. Mon Bebe Café – Lopez Jaena Street [Must try: authentic Italian coffee]
95. Mon Bebe Café – Seawall, Ecoland
96. Monster’s Café – Ilustre St.
97. Net Front & Coffee Shop – C.M. Recto
98. Nezz74 Café – Obrero
99. PeaceBuilders Community Café – University Avenue
100. Pia’s Café – Davao
101. Port Café – G-Mall
102. Pronto Mario – Sta. Ana Avenue
103. Purple Bean Coffee – Star Oil, Cabantian [RECOMMENDED FOR FAST WIFI]
104. Roadhouse Café – SM CIty
105. Rolls & Buns Bake House-Coffee Shop – Buhangin
106. Sarimanok Coffee Shop – Agdao
107. Scott & Cates Coffee Express – Doña Vicenta
108. Sea Green Cafe – Circumferential Rd, Poblacion District
109. SilverCup – Mt. Apo St.
110. SkyGo Cafe – Davao International Airport
111. SouthBrews – NCCC Mall Maa
112. Spro Coffee Shop – Gen. Luna St.
113. Starbucks Coffee – Abreeza Mall
114. Starbucks Coffee – SM City Ecoland
115. Starbucks Coffee – SM Lanang [RECOMMENDED FOR GOOD AMBIENCE]
116. Street Café – Juan Luna St.
117. Tata Benito’s A Whole Latte Love Coffee – J.P. Laurel Av.
118. Tata Benito’s A Whole Latte Love Coffee – World Palace
119. The Café Mediterranean – Sales St.
120. Tump Café – NCCC Mall
121. Turkish Coffee Shop – Bonifacio St.
122. Twosome Palace Coffee Club – Victoria Plaza Mall
123. Woodberry Cafe – (Beside The Paper Tree) Sta. Ana Avenue
124. Yellow Hauz / Coffee at Yellow Hauz – V. Mapa St, cor Mabini St [RECOMMENDED FOR GOOD AMBIENCE] [Must try: Chai Tea Latte,Wintermelon Milk Tea, or the Matcha Green Tea]
125. Zabadani Layered Coffee – Ponciano St., Davao City

Additions:

126. Cafe Amoree – Damosa [Open 24/7]
127. Cafe Tavera – Avanceña St, Torres area
.

So what are you waiting for? Tara mangape ta!
.

Day Tour at Corregidor: A Step Back in Time

Not far from Manila is an island that holds so much history – Corregidor.

corregidor

So one day on our short trip to Manila last October 19, 2014, me and my friends decided that to join a day tour in our country’s last military station before the Japanese took over of the Philippines in 1942.

corregidor tours

Corregidor Day Tour Cost

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