It’s been 14 years of virtuous friendship. We’ve weathered all the drawbacks that came between us and still sturdy despite time and distance. In all those years we’ve all been together, we’ve experience almost everything besides traveling out of town by plane. Thank God for promo fares and for our flourishing businesses and careers that we’ve all managed to support this trip. “Connections” that’s what we have and simultaneously we journeyed two of the most picturesque cities in Central Visayas ~ CEBU and BOHOL
A day before our birthday (me and my twin sister Sarrah) June 09,2012 via Cebu Pacific delayed flight, Phase 1A started the first leg of our tour to the 10th largest island of the Philippines ~ BOHOL
BOHOL (Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Bohol), Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Bohol, is a first class island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region, consisting of Bohol Island and 75 minor surrounding islands.Its capital is Tagbilaran City. The province is a popular tourist destination with its beaches and resorts. Boholanos refer to their island homeland as the “Republic of Bohol” with both conviction and pride.A narrow strait separates the island of Cebu and Bohol and both share a common language, but the Boholanos retain a conscious distinction from the Cebuanos. Bohol’s climate is generally dry, with maximum rainfall between the months of June and October. The interior is cooler than the coast.
Since it was the first for us to travel by plane together, we wouldn’t miss capturing it for the world!
sitting beside our eldest kiddo ~ Kuya Dwayne :-)
We landed around early afternoon at Tagbiliran Domestic Airport.
Tagbilaran is a 2nd class component city in the island province of Bohol, Philippines, and serves as its capital. It is the principal gateway to Bohol and is known as the “City of Friendship”. Tagbilaran is considered by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia as one of the eight Philippine Dream Cities, along with Samal, San Fernando, La Union, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Marikina, Naga, Calbayog City and Surigao City. It was also recognized as one of the 20 “Most Competitive Cities in the Philippines” and “Pinoy Cities on the Rise” in 2005 and 2007, and first in the Quality of Life Category for the same two years, awarded by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center.
We traveled approximately 16km from the airport to our home away from home in Bohol
~ Lost Horizon Beach Resort~
Lost Horizon Beach Resort ~ Radiating with precious features, Panglao Island in Bohol, Philippines is one of the country’s hidden treasures. On this lovely island paradise, every corner is a truly welcoming escape. So get away from it all and see this tropical gem at its fullest with Lost Horizon Beach Resort. Nestled at the premier Alona Beach, indulgence greets every visitor. Take a step on its powdery white sand, a dip in its sparkling blue waters, and experience the hospitality of a warm hotel staff. At Lost Horizon Beach Resort, we offer the comforts of a peaceful retreat with nature’s most prized magnificence. Source
Our first half day was consumed on randomly browsing Alona Beach and its nearby establishments. We took the time to settle in our respective rooms, bought personal stuffs and spent dinner by the beach. Lost Horizon’s dinner was not a good experience for all of us. The afternoon sun was still up when we ordered and got served around past 7pm.
However, our friend Corito got a suite room with veranda, idyllically facing the beach that served us our hang out place for a few snacks and drinks before bed time. The kids just spent time making sand castles. We all decided to call it a day and hit the sack early for our much needed rest in preparation for our tour the next day. (Bohol tour was also arranged by our resort, Lost Horizon)
June 10, 2012 ~ Happy Birthday Sam and Sarrah! We had our birthday wake up call from our friends who ransacked our room at around past 5am. We walked along Alona Beach to unearth the best yet affordable restaurant to spend our first breakfast in Bohol. We found a bistro near Panglao junction, right across BPI (time to check out some cash) that serves breakfast plates for as low as Php120-150. All geared up before 8 AM and our Bohol Tour began!
A refreshing Birthday morning in Alona Beach :-)
First Stop: The world renowned Chocolate Hills
The Chocolate Hills is a geological formation in Bohol Province, Philippines. There are at least 1,260 hills but there may be as many as 1,776 hills spread over an area of more than 50 square kilometres (20 sq mi). They are covered in green grass that turns brown (like chocolate) during the dry season, hence the name. The Chocolate Hills is a famous tourist attraction of Bohol. They are featured in the provincial flag and seal to symbolize the abundance of natural attractions in the province. They are in the Philippine Tourism Authority’s list of tourist destinations in the Philippines; they have been declared the country’s third National Geological Monument and proposed for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Source
The walk is really backbreaking but worth every 214 steps to get to the observation deck and see that chocolaty wonder. The weather was hot yet windy and we all enjoyed clicking our camera buttons capturing natures one of a kind creation for the first time. Another one down on my list of “post cards” came to life adventures.
More walking awaits us as we headed right after to find the long lost siblings of our good friend Erwin, the Tarsiers! Hahahaha :-P We used to compare Erwin’s eyes resembling those of the Tarsiers ~ whopping round
The Philippine Tarsier (Carlito syrichta), known locally as mawmag in Cebuano/Visayan and mamag in Luzon, is an endangered species of tarsier endemic to the Philippines. It is found in the southeastern part of the archipelago, particularly in the islands of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It is a member of the approximately 45 million year old family Tarsiidae, whose name is derived from its elongated “tarsus” or ankle bone. It is the only member of the genus Carlito, after the species was removed from the genus Tarsius. The new genus is named after Carlito Pizarras, known as the tarsier man, is the field manager at the Philippine tarsier and wildlife sanctuary on the island of Bohol, and a champion of tarsier conservation in the Philippines. Source
We traveled the road to Upper Bonbon in the town of Loboc and finally met the smallest primate in the world~ The Philippine Tarsier at Tarsier Conservation Area.
The Tarsier Conservation Area is an initial six-hectare woodland, a stone throw away from the Loboc part of the man-made forest, Tarsier Conservation Area is the new home of the captive tarsiers previously displayed for tourists along the Loboc River for decades. An initial three-hectare area is now ready for tarsier viewing with pebbled pathways for visitors laid out around the wooded sanctuary while a thatched-roofed waiting area showcasing tarsier souvenirs has been constructed to accommodate the expected influx of visitors. A 60-vehicle parking area with modern and clean rest rooms are all part of the 25-hectare Tarsier Conservation Area. Umbrellas are also available for the visitors during inclement weather while trained guides will usher tourists around the hilly terrain. Entrance fee is Php 50 (40 for senior citizens and students with ID) and free for children 12 years and below. Source
A short orientation was given to us before entering the Tarsier premises.
I enjoyed watching how delighted the kids were upon seeing the little fella.But I relished the moment more when my friend Corito merrily teased our friend Erwin when she softly whispered “Tito Weng, where are you?” when we were spotting the tarsier on the trees. LOL.
Corito: Tito Weng!!! Where are you??? hahaha :-)
Unfortunately, touching and flash photography is prohibited for this adorable creature. According to our guide, touching them will shorten their life span and since Tarsiers are nocturnal, they don’t like lights or flashes from cameras or even loud noise. They have a tendency to commit suicide once disturbed. Weird!
The conservation also has a souvenir shop that sells Tarsier inspired items like head bands, key chains, ball pens and a lot more. There is also a stall that vends Bohol delicacies that includes the famous Peanut Kisses.
Peanut Kisses ~ Inspired by the famous Hershey Kisses chocolates of the United States, the Boholanos made their own version of Kisses, and poof, Peanut Kisses was conceived. Later on, they decided to make the Chocolate Hills, the popular Bohol attraction, the concept of such specialty. In a very short period of time, the locally-made kisses became a hit among tourists and visitors. Aside from the fact that it signifies Bohol with its chocolate hills-like formation, it is light, crisp and really delicious. Source
More and more walking requires our next stop: The Bamboo Hanging Bridge
The Bamboo Hanging Bridge~ crossing the Sipatan River in the Municipality of Sevilla, Bohol, is a fun tourist spot to visit. It was originally constructed using just bamboo and rope. Today the rope has made way to steel cables, giving added safety and stability. The deck of the bridge is still formed out of woven bamboo slats. In places some of these appear broken but it’s still sturdy enough to take the weight of tourists and locals alike. The bridge spans around 40 meters and offers a great view of the emerald Sipatan river below. On the far side of the bridge you will find a small shop, selling souvenirs and a welcome cold drink and snacks. Additionally you will find “The Buko King”. He can strip a coconut (buko) in something like 10 seconds using just his teeth. Entrance fee is Php 10.00. Source
I defied my fear of heights and for the very first time, I was able to cross a hanging bridge! A noteworthy experience I did in celebration of my 32nd birthday.
Right where we parked, there is a small store that sells Tabléas (or tableyas). As a sweet chocolate porridge (champorado) and hot choco addict, I hoarded a few packs for myself.
Tabléas (or tableyas) are 100% pure cacao beans that are dried, roasted, ground and then formed into tablets traditionally used in the Philippines to make hot chocolate. Bohol is known for this sweet delicacy and the famous tableya maker in Bohol is Dalareich Tableya.
Next Stop: Man Made Mahogany Forest
Man Made Mahogany Forest~ Located in Bilar, Bohol, the 2-kilometer expanse of verdant vegetation mostly of Mahogany trees, added with ferns, some wild bushes and flowers, attracts by-passers. Picture yourself walking into the Garden of Eden – the colossal Mahogany trees that rise up exquisitely from both sides welcome you with a chilly breeze of tranquility. Wholly protected under the government law, the Mahogany Forest was part of the nationwide reforestation program that was launched in the 1960s during the reign of Diosdado Macapagal. The 857.4 hectares of bare land was gradually planted with young Mahogany trees by volunteers, and after a few decades, the growth of these trees turned out to be wondrous and remarkable, making it a definite pit stop for tourists who pass by here. Source
This halt is like our refreshment stop after long hours of walking from the previous sites we visited. The ambiance is so refreshing and feels soothing to the eyes.
We really did take pictures and goofed along the highway. I guess that might have taken us to the “real” Garden of Eden if we didn’t watch vehicles that suddenly appear in the middle of nowhere! ^-^
It’s time to rest our sore feet and nurse our starving stomach. There is nowhere else to spend lunch in Bohol but to a place known for its scenic and winding Loay-Loboc River with lively floating restaurants drifting about ~ Loboc River Cruise
Waiting for our time to ride and shine at the buffet table! :p
Still smiling kahit starving! #HappyKids
Our boys trying to play it cool with a growling stomach! LOL ^-^
A cruise along the river starts either from the Loay Bridge (in Loay) or at the Poblacion of Loboc. The package includes buffet lunch (eat-all-you-can) of Filipino delicacies while enjoying the tranquility of the placid blue green water and the endearing other floating restaurants you can come across along the cruise. On top of that, a live band serenades you with sparkling mix of Tagalog and English songs.
“The Birthday TWIN” :-)
Loboc River Cruise Package Rate: Php 400.00/ person
Loboc River Cruise Updated Rates Breakdown:
P300.00 – River Cruise and Lunch
P100.00 – Maintenance, Safety and Security Charges
0-3 years old – free without drinks
4-8 years old – 50% with drinks
9-11 years old – full payment less P50.00
12 years old and above – full payment
Trip Schedule: around lunch time usually 11am with actual boat departures depending on tourist arrival. The cruise takes about an hour and a cultural dancing awaits you at one of the stops along the way.
Boys goofing with the cultural performers during our stop ^-^
Tito Dex , Fush and Madz trying the bandurrias! ;-)
Animal Attack! Fuelled with the buffet meal from our cruise, we blissfully enjoyed the next stop. It may be minimal but all you can see is exotic indeed ~ Xzootic Animal Park
From Tagbilaran City, it is a short drive to Agape, Loay where Xzootic Animal Park is located. For an Xzootic entrance fee of only Php20, you can see a few exotic animals such as the ostrich, civet cat, asian leopard, bear cat, macaque monkey, porcupine, owl and others. The main attractions are two pythons, each weighing over 200 kilograms.
Despite the fact that it’s bloodcurdling, I guess everyone enjoyed the two pythons the most. However, the replica is also a charmer! LOL
After the daunting pythons, we headed immediately to the sanctuary of the “butter-coloured fly”. According to popular belief, their name was derived from the fact that they are attracted to butter milk, they are colorful and they can fly ~ The Butterflies at Bohol Butterfly Sanctuary.
Bohol Butterfly Sanctuary has been established by butterfly enthusiasts and is now gaining recognition. There are more or less 300 butterfly species native to the province and the sanctuaries are aiming to conserve and raise the butterfly population in the island.
The sanctuary comes with landscaped flowering gardens, the beauty of which soothes the senses. It is a welcome addition to the attractions of Bohol and is now part of the itineraries of foreign and local visitors alike.
Our pretty Ate Tep-Tep matches the beauty of a milkweed butterfly on her hand.
A butterfly camera trick for my eldest niece Airah :-)
They have educated team that will give you a short lecture about the life cycle of a butterfly. They also have real framed butterflies of different types. Feast your eyes to the variation of colors you can see.
I happened to work and live close to Libis and I often visit the Church of St. Pio and dropping my petitions there from time to time. Surprisingly, i got goose bumps all over when we visited this church ~ Baclayon Church
The Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in Baclayon is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. It is one of the best presevered Jesuit build churches in the region,although in the 19th century, the Augustinian Recollects added a modern facade and a number of stone buildings that now surround the church. The first Spanish missionaries or doctrineros in the region, Fr. Juan de Torres and Fr. Gabriel Sanchez, first settled in Baclayon in 1595. Shortly after their arrival, a visita was erected on the spot. Although Baclayon was the first seat of the Spanish Jesuit missionaries, fear of Moro mauraders soon forced them to move their headquarters more inland, to Loboc. Only in 1717, Baclayon became a parish, and construction of a new church commenced. Some 200 native forced laborers constructed the church from coral stones, which they took from the sea, cut into square blocks, and piled on to each other. They used bamboo to move and lift the stones in position, and used the white of a million eggs as to cement them together. The current building was completed in 1727. The church obtained a large bell in 1835. In the Baclayon church is a dungeon, which was used to punish natives who violated the rules of the Roman Catholic Church.
A major tourist attraction of this church is the image of Padre Pio, or Saint Pio, which is imprinted on one of the pillars of the church. Look closely and get goose bumps all over.
Saint Pio (Pius) of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap., (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968) was a Capuchin Catholic priest from Italy who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. He was born Francesco Forgione, and given the name Pius (Italian: Pio) when he joined the Capuchins, thus he was popularly known as Padre Pio. He became famous for bearing the stigmata. On 16 June 2002, he was canonized by Pope John Paul II.
Last stop: Blood Compact Shrine
Dexter joining the sculptures as Bruno Mars! :p LOL
Bohol Blood Compact Site is located in Barangay Bool, Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines. This particular site was made in honor of a very important event in the Philippine history done between Miguel Lopez de Legazpi of Spain and Rajah Sikatuna of Bohol.This Sikatuna-Legaspi blood compact is considered as the First Treaty of Friendship between two different races, religions, cultures and civilizations. It was a treaty of friendship based on respect and equality. This event is commonly known as “Sandugo”.
The Bohol Blood Compact sculpture was made by the National Artist, Napoleon Abueva, a Boholano himself. It is placed on an open and raised dais portraying five (5) life-sized images of men gathered around a table with Legazpi and Sikatuna supposedly making a toast. Standing on the dais, visitors are treated to a good view of the Bohol Sea and the contour of that particular side of the island of Bohol.
Fronting a public school of Barangay Bool, the site is easily accessible since it is along the national road. Many shops offering souvenir and gift items are along the road and across it.
All girls were wasted but our boys still has the energy to goof around the shrine. We were on the side walks doing a li’l pasalubong shopping! We never loose energy when it comes to that!
We finally called it a day and went back to Lost Horizon and enjoyed the birthday dinner treat by our friend Corito for the twin clowns of her life. She took out food and set up a dinner table on her veranda while we enjoy the live band playing downstairs. We took a walk along the beach in search for masseuse to ease our sore muscles from our tiring sight see.
Good Morning Alona Beach! Our last day in Bohol but we all decided to skip the island hopping so we won’t be pressed for time to meet our 11:30 AM boarding time for Cebu via Ocean Jet. We just enjoyed a short dip and breakfast by the beach.
Thank you for the birthday TAN Bohol!
————————————— C O N N E C T I N G ————————————-
In time for the celebration of Philippine Independence, we traveled and commemorated this heroic event at the Queen City of the South ~ CEBU!!!
Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines, with Cebu City as the main center of commerce, trade, education and industry in the Visayas. Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named Cebu the 7th best island destination in the Indian Ocean-Asia region in 2007, 8th best Asian-Pacific island destination in 2005, 7th in 2004 and in 2009. In a decade it has transformed into a global hub for furniture making, tourism, business processing services, and heavy industry. Source
We took off from Tagbilaran City Port around past 12 noon and arrived at Pier 1 in Cebu Port past 2 pm. It was a sunny and tranquil 2 hours sail via Ocean Jet. The most convenient way to get to Cebu from the neighboring islands is by fast ferry. Fast ferries offer a high speed passenger service, often using Singapore or Danish built catamaran type motorboats. These have a cruising speed of about 50 kilometers per hour. When you are on board, these boats resemble aircraft, including the safety instruction video just before departure. The fare is about three times the fare of a regular ferry. Some have a small open-air deck, where you can feel the breeze and watch the islands pass by, but others don’t allow you to go outside during the trip.
Kiddos ganging up Tito Dex’s iphone while cruising! :-p
Ocean Jet offers a very cozy and safe cruise and we got it for a promo price of Php 550 only! (current rate for tourist class is Php 800 plus Php12 Tagbilaran port fee)
Please see current schedule from Tagbilaran – Cebu:
Upon arrival at the port, we immediately headed to our home away from home in Cebu ~ Grand Tierra Suites
Gran Tierra Suites is a boutique hotel situated within the hospital belt and doctors’ clinics, among which are Cebu Doctor’s Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital, Velez and the Vicente Sotto Hospital. It is also near Fuente Osmeña Circle, the heart of Cebu City. Within a 5-10 minute short cab ride from the suites, one can reach the SM Mall, Ayala Center, Downtown Cebu City and other important areas.
The Ocampo family chose to stay in Crown Regency to experience skywalk and edge coaster.
We had our things settled and us girls quickly went to Taboan Market to do an early pasalubong shopping. It was my 3rd time in Cebu for 3 consecutive years. My first was spent mostly in Bantayan Island, my second was a 3 day tour of the entire metro up to the southern tip of Cebu in Badian (Kawasan Falls). Obviously, it was not my first to visit this market which is famous for selling dried fishes, longganisa, dried mangoes and a lot of Cebu delicacies . You ask for fish, they will give you an ocean! Just take a cab and you won’t go wrong for the place is known as the “pasalubong” haven in Cebu. WARNING: Make sure to wear comfortable, inexpensive clothes going there. You will stink like hell afterwards. :p
After the glorious-whiffing shopping in Taboan, we went back to Grand Tierra to take our much needed shower! :p Sarrah’s good friend and high school buddy Dyan paid us a visit in the hotel who is now a resident of Cebu (Dyan married a native Cebuano,Ruswell) and brought us to one of Cebu’s inihaw haven~ Matias Barbecue.
Tita Dyan with my nieces, Aiofie and Airah. :-)
Aside from the oft-mentioned Larsians, Matias is a popular BBQ joint located on A.S. Fortuna St. near the corner of Hernan Cortes St., Mandaue. They offer a wide range of inihaw to choose from. Matias grew from a tiny stall to a sprawling open-air under-the-trees eatery that can serve hundreds of people. Basins of skewered meat – chicken legs, breast, gizzard, liver and intestines; pork, chorizo, squid are beside the grill.
It was definitely a long diurnal! We’ve managed to cross the boarders, shopped and dined out in a day. After grilling at Matias, we all went back to our hotel and rested. The next day will be longer than any other days on our trip. We will tour Metro Cebu and catch our midnight flight back to Manila.
Happy Independence Day! We woke up to a sun shiny morning in Cebu in celebration of Philippine Independence. Everyone’s deliberating what to gobble for breakfast. Luckily, just at the right side of Grand Tierra, the famous stall I always enjoy whenever I’m in town is available ~Pungko-Pungko
The pungko-pungko (which in Tagalog means “upo-upo“) is the Visayan counterpart of the “turu-turo”. In a pungko-pungko stall, you’ll get to enjoy your food in an almost squatting position sharing a small table with other diners. Pungko-pungko stalls are found almost everywhere in this city. People from all walks of life are often seen here enjoying ngohiong (fried veggie roll), ginabot (fried pork large intestine), tinae (fried pork small intestine), chorizo (fried pork sausage), fried fish head, dried squid with puso (native hanging rice) all in one tray. You won’t see anybody using spoon and forks while eating in a pungko-pungko. Diners often use thin plastic sheets for a glove to pick their morsel of choice and then dunk it in a tiny bowl of spicy vinegar with onions.
My twin sister Sarrah and brother in law Jack enjoying the chicharon bulaklak with “puso” to match!
It was my friends first time to try and I’m glad to see how thrilled they were. It was sinful yet a deliciously cheap and accessible banquet for us grownups. And what else to get for the kids but their all-time-favorite Jollibee.
Erwin and Ruel trying pungko-pungko for the first time! :-)
We were picked up from Grand Tierra around 9am. Our friend Corito rented a van for us and a car for their family to tour us around Metro Cebu. And our first stop was ~ Magellan’s Cross
Magellan’s Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese, and Spanish explorers as ordered by Ferdinand Magellan upon arriving in Cebu in the Philippines on (depending on source) April 14 or 21, 1521.
This cross is housed in a chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street (Magallanes being the Spanish name of Magellan), just in front of the city center of Cebu City. A sign below the cross describes the original cross is encased inside the wooden cross that is found in the center of the chapel. This is to protect the original cross from people who chipped away parts of the cross for souvenir purposes or in the belief that the cross possesses miraculous powers. Some people, however, believe that the original cross had been destroyed or had disappeared after Magellan’s death, and the cross is a replica that was planted there by the Spaniards after they successfully colonized the Philippines.
Second Stop: Minor Basilica of the Holy Child
The Minor Basilica of the Holy Child (Spanish: Basílica Menor del Santo Niño; Italian: Basilica Minore del Santo Bambino) is a minor basilica in Cebu City in the Philippines that was founded in the 16th century. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church established in the country, purportedly built on the spot where the image of the Santo Niño de Cebú, a statue depicting the Holy Child Jesus was found in 1565 by Spanish explorers led by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The image is the same statue given by Ferdinand Magellan to the wife of Rajah Humabon as a gift over forty years before after Humabon’s baptism to Christianity on April 14, 1521. It was found by a soldier preserved in a burnt wooden box after Legazpi razed the village of hostile natives.
Erwin praying: “Dear Lord, sana po matagal pa ang susunod na trip namin, puro palabas ang pera dito!” LOL :-)
Third Stop: Cebu Taoist Temple
Built in 1972, the Cebu Taoist Temple is located in Beverly Hills Subdivision in Cebu City, Philippines. The temple was built by Cebu’s substantial Chinese community. With an elevation of 300 meters above sea level, the temple is a towering, multi-tiered, multi-hued attraction accessible by three separate winding routes.
Unlike the neighboring Phu Sian Temple, the Taoist temple is open to the worshipers and non-worshipers alike. A ritual among devotees is where one prays to the gods to grant one’s wish. The ritual includes washing of hands, going inside the chapel barefoot and dropping two blocks of wood. If the blocks of wood are both face up then one could make a wish. If not then it is not yet the time for one’s wish to be granted and one has to come to the temple some other time.
The temple is the center of worship for Taoism, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Zi. Another ritual among Taoist devotees, which is done during Wednesdays and Sundays, is the climbing of its 81 steps (representing the 81 chapters of Taoism scriptures) to light joss sticks and have their fortune read by the monks.
The entrance to the temple is a replica of the Great Wall of China. There’s a chapel, a library, a souvenir shop and a wishing well. The spacious verandas offer a scenic view of the downtown Cebu.
You just have to observe two things while inside the temple: (1)Taking pictures inside the temple is strictly prohibited (2) Silence please!
Wena, Sarrah and I tried one of their rituals. The Taoism way to pray uses a pair of kidney-shaped wooden blocks as a medium to communicate to god. They ask their questions, problems or wishes and they are answered accordingly. Here are the steps to follow then visiting the Cebu Taoist Temple:
1. Wash both your hands to represent cleanliness upon talking to god.
2. Light the Joss stick and then kneel down while holding the Joss Stick with both your hands. Pray for guidance so that the god may grant enlightenment to your problem or wish.
3. Take two blessed wooden blocks and hold them flat-side up with both your hands.
4. Ask your query in a simple manner. Make sure to ask only one question at a time.
5. Drop the wooden blocks gently on the floor and your answer will be according to these positions:
YES – If 1 Wooden Block is “Flat” and the other Wooden Block is “Half Round”
NO – If 2 Wooden Blocks are both “Half Round”
MAYBE – If 2 Wooden Blocks are both “Flat”
Here are a few more reminders:
1. Before you start asking your question, problem or wish, you first have to ask permission if god is ready to accept your question in mind. Follow step number 5 in order to know so.
2. If the answer is YES, then you can start asking your question, problem or wish.
3. If the answer is NO, you will need to come back another day and ask again. You may also ask for assistance from the Temple Attendant.
4. If the answer is MAYBE, then your question is not very clear. Try to simplify your question and ask again.
5. After you’ve asked all that needs to be asked, kneel down and express your gratitude to god. Ask for his blessing and grace in life for you.
Lunch Break!!! Where else to bring the gang for a sumptuous treat but to my favorite restaurant in Cebu ~ Casa Verde
Established in August 2002, Casa Verde is a chain of family-owned restaurants in Cebu City. Spanish for ‘green house’, Casa Verde’s name was influenced by the owners’ Spanish roots and the color of the Ramos Branch, which used to be one of the family’s ancestral homes.
Value for Money has always been the restaurant’s philosophy. Casa Verde believes that everyone deserves to enjoy great food and quality service at reasonable prices in a comfortable atmosphere. It’s casual dining at its best.
Casa Verde is the perfect place to let your hair down and enjoy a steak or two with family and friends. The ambiance is simple and casual, with knickknacks and collectibles from the personal collections of the owners. It’s also interesting to note that all of the restaurant’s signature dishes are named after some members of the family. We bring homestyle comfort food to the next level. (Upper Left: Brian’s Ribs; Upper Right: Tingting’s Tavern Shrimps; Lower Left: Lauren’s Lava; Lower Right: Caryl’s Country Salad)
We met the Ocampo family there and had the group experience the infamous Brian’s Ribs.
My brother in law Jack having a big bite of Brian’s Ribs (Baked pork ribs with sweet tangy piquet sauce served with rice and corn & carrots. An enormous and delectable feast for only Php198)
It was definitely a BURPP for Phase 1A Fam! For inquiries and reservation, you may vist their website at http://www.casaverdecebu.com
Trying to contemplate where to go after our lavish lunch, we decided to drop by CnT Lechon right across SM Cebu. The line was unbelievably long! We patiently waited and did a little chitchat on their basement parking since the restaurant is located at the 2nd level of the building.
Lechón is a pork dish in several regions of the world, most specifically Spain and its former colonial possessions throughout the world. The word lechón originated from the Spanish term lechón; that refers to a suckling pig that is roasted. Lechón is a popular food in the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, other Spanish-speaking nations in Latin America, and Spain. The dish features a whole roasted pig cooked over charcoal. Additionally, it is a national dish of the Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Nowadays in most of Latin America, the original use of a suckling pig has given way to a medium-sized adult pig.
Since we waited too long, we hoarded a box of almost 10 kilos or more i guess! :-)
Still as indecisive as we were after lunch and after lining up at CNT, the unpredictable weather that time made us all sluggish to go anywhere far. But our ever dominant friend Corito persuaded as to go an uphill drive (almost an hour from the city) to visit Cebu’s renowned observation deck ~ TOPS
TOPS is situated 2,000 feet above sea level on the cool hills of Busay, it is an excellent sight-seeing spot/ observation deck which offers a breathtaking view of Metro Cebu and the islands of Mactan and Olango. Open kiosks are available for daytime picnics and instant evening parties.
True to her words, the place is soothing and structurally splendid!
The main ground is decorated by concretes in hexagon form and withered Bermuda grasses. The covered resting and eating area is wonderfully made by big concrete stones and designed in curves and circles. The tables and sitting area which can be used by anyone are made of concrete too. There used to be several stores that are opened in the place but lately, there are only 2 left. One is a souvenir shop which sells keychains, cellphone charms, magnetic decors, bracelets, necklace and hats. The other store is selling snacks such as junk foods, sodas, beers, juices and noodles.
Our very own Ate Teptep captured this artistic wall at the entrance! :-)
We made this spot our playground and stayed there for almost 2 hours taking the craziest pictures, jump shots, chitchat while taking a whiff of fresh air.
Us girls doing our usual chinwag while Dexter goofs with us! :-)
The boys having their fair share of silliness! :-)
We also sealed our relationship by circling around The Bell and followed the instruction to strengthen our bond.
But of course, we defied the boys with our own jump shots! :-)
I’m quoting Drew Barrymore on this image, “There’s a tremendous difference between alone and lonely. You could be lonely in a group of people. I like being alone. I like eating by myself. I go home at night and just watch a movie or hang out with my dog. I have to exert myself and really say, oh God, I’ve got to see my friends ’cause I’m too content being by myself.”
After our merry banter in TOPS, we all came back to the city for a last minute pasalubong shopping and dinner before heading to the airport for our midnight flight back to Manila. Some of us paid a quick stop at Lapu-Lapu Shrine.
The Lapu-Lapu Shrine is a 20 metres (66 ft) bronze statue in Punta Engaño, City of Lapu-Lapu, Cebu, Philippines, erected in honor of Datu Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who defeated Spanish soldiers and where the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed in the midst of the Battle of Mactan on 1521.
My sister and her family with the “golden” Lapu-Lapu :-)
Just like any other days, our trip came to an end..but at least it was an hour delayed! LOL It was a back and forth deferred flight from our favorite airline Cebu Pacific Air.
The spree brought us so much pleasure that we all even had energies to gag in the airport while waiting. Our friendship also produced bubbly kiddos who are also equally free spirited as we are.
Our little Doras and Diegos! :-)
And since we spent extravagantly on this trip, we need to earn it back. So Jack and Dave had to work their ass out while waiting! **LOL**
Phase 1A will see you in November… BORACAY!!!