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.


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.


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:


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..



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


  • 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!


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

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.

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.


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

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


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.


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

Continue reading

The Road from being Unfit to Fit: My Weight Loss Story towards Fitness!

I’m back.

Yes. After almost months of being on hiatus, I’m finally back to tell the story of my absence.

You see, 3 months ago I made a decision that I know will change the path that I’m trekking – particularly my travel-ful and adventurous lifestyle. You may have wondered why suddenly I’ve stopped travelling. No more blog stories, Facebook travel posts, status updates, etc.

I’ll admit, I missed it all. But I’ll also have to be honest, that I haven’t regretted anything – and I’m happier to come back fitter and stronger.

stronger than yesterday

Transformation Challenge

Three months ago, I started becoming conscious of the change that I’m witnessing in my body. Obviously all this traveling, eating and unhealthy food choices are already taking their toll on me – making my clothes tighter, my belly bigger, and my Facebook photos uglier to look at. Continue reading

Beautiful Batanes Valentines

Oh what perfect way to celebrate the love month with a trip to one of the loveliest places here in the Philippines – Batanes!

It was on the morning of the 14th of February when I set my foot first on this lovely islands.

While the rest of the country celebrates this romantic day with a bouquet of flowers, chocolates & romantic dates, here I am in this quaint island where you won’t see the grand festivity of the so called ‘Valentines Day’, no flower shops to be found, no expensive chocolates, nor megamalls and cinemas for those romantic dates.

But what could be found here is much much much more beautiful than what usually lies and what the rest of the country experiences today.

Gone Biking in Batanes

So on our first day in Batanes, we just spent the day roaming around this lovely island on our rented bikes. Nothing to worry, nothing to hurry, we still have more time.


Asul na bato
Sa tuktok ng mundo;
Sa makipot na pinto
Nakatagong paraiso

Along walang humpay
Sumayaw at maghintay;
Hiwagang nakasampay
Sa hangi’y nananalaytay

Sa puso ng dagat nahagilap;
Katuparan mo ay alapaap.

Credits from : http://allpoetry.com/poem/5599751-Batanes-by-second-born

How to Plan a Budget Trip to Batanes

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~Walt Disney

Biking on Batanes

Biking on Batanes

Traveling had once been a distant dream for me – not until I started to switched jobs leaving the traditional office employee workplace and started becoming a freelancer. Yes it may be unstable but as they say nothing’s really stable in this world, even corporate companies that you thought are stable goes into bankruptcy.

So here I am after 3 years of being a freelancer, still holding on, enjoying the freedom I have – and now with my dreams slowly coming true.

Let’s begin with this dream trip that I’ll share to you today. A trip that almost every traveler here in the Philippines wishes to have – however most are afraid due to the high cost that usually accompanies a trip to Batanes.

Is Batanes really expensive?

But is it really that expensive? A question often asked by many. But what would you feel if I’ll tell you that it’s not that expensive at all? Let me show you how to achieve that dream of yours of a budget trip to Batanes.

1. Find a Promo Fare for a Flight to Batanes

Begin by trying to find promo fares for flights going to Batanes. If there’s one thing that makes Batanes really expensive, it’s the air fare. For this trip I was able to find a promo fare from http://www.flypalexpress.com (Philippine Airlines Pal Express) for only roughly 900Php one way, around 1,757Php roundtrip all in.

Welcome to Batanes

2. Finding an affordable Homestay in Batanes

A trip to Batanes is best enjoyed if you’ll be staying long enough in the island itself to fully appreciate the wonders it has, probably one that will last for 4 or 5 days or even better , more!

For you to accomplish this and still stick with your budget, it will be best to stay in a Homestay than in expensive hotels. Yes, hotels in Batanes can be really expensive. Rates start at 1,200 pesos per night

Where to Stay in Batanes?

I’m sure you’d love it if I’ll tell you there’s a homestay in Batanes where you could stay for just a very affordable price  of 350/day.

Marfel’s Lodge

One of the newest homestay facility in Basco is Marfel’s Lodge. Operated by a local resident Felomena Batan Fitero, Marfel’s has two locations – the original one located just a few meters away from the airport, and the new Annex near Petron Gas Station in the center of Batan (this is where we stayed).

Other facilities include a common toilet and bath, a small living room, a dining area, and a kitchen that you could use to cook your own food (saving you from spending much eating out), and a WIFI connection is also available. A perfect budget accommodation in Batanes!

Another thing that I love about Marfel is the kindness and hospitality that Ate Fe has. I could say that in all my travels she’s the kindest caretaker I’ve ever met.

Ate Fe – 0908-8931475 (Marfel Lodge Contact Number)

3. Avail an affordable Batanes tour

Another thing that’s a plus when you’re staying at Marfel’s is that you’ll have no difficulty arranging your tour. Ate Fe can contact Ryan Cardona from used to work for Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA) but now a freelance tour guide anytime for you to be accommodated in his tour groups.

Ryan Cardona (Smart 0998-9885898).

How Much Batanes Tour Cost?

Enjoying the View at Vayang Rolling Hills

Enjoying the View at Vayang Rolling Hills

A typical packaged 3-day tour at Batanes if you’ll avail Ryan’s package is quoted for 4,000 pesos each. It includes tours in Batan (North and South) and Sabtang islands, 3 lunches, permits/fees, van/jeep, guide, land transfers, boat ride (Batan to Sabtang and vice versa) and water while on tours. It is important that you get an accredited tourist guide that will not just show you the tourist spots but will also share information about the place.

DAY 1: Batan North (Requires at least 5 hours)

DAY 2: Sabtang Island (Requires at least 1 full day)

DAY 3: Batan South (Requires at least 8 hours)

Batanes DIY Tour

You could also opt to hire a tricycle if you’d like to have your own DIY tour and do not want to join the big groups. This way you get to manage your own time.

Tricycle Rental in Batan cost – 200/hour, maximum of 2 persons per tricycle.

For our tour, me and my buddy decided to take the trike tour in our Batan North (1,000Php for 2 pax)  & Batan South (1,500Php for 2 pax). While the Sabtang Island tour I suggest it will be better to join the big group of Sir Ryan as the trip includes arranging a boat ride, pre ordered meals, etc which could quite be a hassle if you don’t have contacts in Sabtang Island.

So for the whole tour we just spent Sabtang 1,900Php + North Batan 500Php + South Batan 750Php each for a total of 3,150Php.

Oh destiny.. Was surprised to have my favorite number as the number of the trike we've had for the tour - this was randomly contacted by Ryan.

Oh destiny.. Was surprised to have my favorite number as the number of the trike we’ve had for the tour – this was randomly contacted by Ryan.

Batanes Itinerary & Total Expenses

So for our total expenses and daily itinerary, here’s a breakdown. This is a per person cost (there were 2 of us for this trip, you’ll likely to get discounts if you’ll be traveling with a large group I guess).

Airfare: 1,757Php

Accommodation: (350day x 5 days) = 1,750

Day 1 (Feb. 14, 2014) – Batanes Valentines Day gone biking around Batanes – Pictures here – bike rental (50Php x 2hrs) = 100Php, Lunch (350Php), Food for cooking bought at the market (200Php) = TOTAL COST: 550Php

Day 2 – Sabtang Island Tour (inclusive of lunch) – 1,900Php

Day 3 – Sunday bumming around Basco, foodtrips, souvenir buying – 1,000 Php

Day 4 – Batan North – 500Php + Pizza for lunch at Casa Napoli (150Php) = 650Php

Day 5 – Batan South 750Php + Lunch & Dinner – 500Php = 1,250Php

TOTAL: 8,857 Php including airfare from Manila

*Not included is the Davao – Manila airfare, and those whimsical souvenir buys that you’d like to have & cravings.. For this trip we’ve allotted 8,000Php allowance.

Stay tune for more posts of our adventure & tours around the magnificent attractions in Batanes. Kapian kamu pa nu Dios!

Beautiful Batanes

Beautiful Batanes