Saturday, December 03, 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Bohol Part 3: Panglao Tour

I earlier shared that we stayed in Dumaluan Beach Resort, Panglao Island, Bohol. I was excited for our Panglao and Countryside Tour. I really did not know where our tour guide would take us that day but I earlier requested that breakfast should be at Bee Farm.

Welcome to Bohol Bee Farm!

I was really excited to taste their "gumamela salad" as what people i know calls it.

Bohol Bee Farm indoor pool

Views from Bohol Bee Farm's Buzz Cafe:

Bohol Bee Farm's Fresh Garden Salad
So, it's not just gumamela...
Next stop: Paying a visit to Bayoyoy

Bayoyoy, as of our visit, is already 64 years old. He is the smallest man in all of Bohol. Bayoyoy can't see nor talk but he is fortunate that he has a supportive family who never fails to take care of him. He's actually like a small child who could only eat cereal, oatmeal and milk. Visiting Bayoyoy is free, but the visitors' donations would really be a great help for him and his family.

Next stop: Dauis Church

The church of Dauis in Panglao is the home of the miraculous water. At the foot of the church's alter is where Mama Mary's Well may be found. This well is regarded as miraculous by the Panglao residents and is also known for its healing power. Also, the water that comes from this well is naturally fresh and potable despite its proximity to the sea. We were told that it was free to take water from this well, but that was before. Now, modernity has set in so you can now get your miracle water in bottles. The church does not charge a fee for the water, but of course, you still have to pay donate a minimal amount for its bottling.

Later that evening, we also went to Alona Beach. Boholanos say that Alona is like Boracay. I've never been to Boracay so I didn't quite know what to expect. When we reached Alona Beach, there were a lot of people, it wasn't really crowded but there were a lot of people. Boholanos say that Alona Beach is where the "fun" is. I was actually surprised about this place because I've imagined that Bohol is a very conservative place. In Alona Beach, there are mini bars and loud music

The next part of this series will be about our Countryside Tour. Stay tuned! =)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

My love for Dahican

Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental

I love this place! I grew up spending my summer time in Mati and a visit at Dahican is always the highlight of my summer vacation. I didn't know how to swim, then, and I was always afraid of the huge waves. I stayed on the shore, got sand on every inch of my body, including my scalp!

As I became a teen, trips to Dahican were less frequent as we got busy with school. Between college, work, and law school, I could barely visit Dahican and I guess the only time I went to visit the place was on December 2008.

The past few years, skim boarding was getting popular as a sport. I immediately thought about Dahican's potential for skim boarders and surfers as the place is thrived with waves all year round. Plus, I have never really seen Dahican lose its water even on low tide...

I used to want skim boarding and surfing until I abandoned that "want" because I thought that I could never ever be able to do it. Not until my recent Dahican trip last October 30 to 31 that my skim boarding and surfing fantasies were brought back to life.

Skimboarding is not as easy as you see it. I incurred a lot of scratches on my knees and shins.

Thank you for the two consecutive long weekends, I was able to go back to Mati on November 5 to 6 to attend my cousin's birthday party and of course, do a quick visit to Dahican. This time, I was able to try my luck at surfing and I was surprised that I was able to stand on the surfboard at my first try! Yehey!

I wonder if I can still go back next weekend?

Anyway, here are the expenses for the Mati Trip:

Davao-Mati Van Fare: P220 (aircon, estimated 3-hour travel)
Davao-Mati Bus Fare: P272 (aircon, estimated 5-hour travel)
We spent P81 for gasoline from Mati Poblacion to Amihan, Dahican, two trips, using a motorcycle
Pedicab ride is available at around P70 one way from Mati Poblacion to Amihan, Dahican

By the way, the Seaside Restaurant in Mati serves the best fried lumpia at P7.00 per piece.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Bohol Part 2: Panglao!

I admit that Panglao, for me, is one of the most beautiful places I've been to. Last 2005, when I passed the CPA Board Examination, I was gifted with a trip to Bohol and I fell in love with Panglao Island. I said that I would really go back to Panglao.

From the Port of Tagbilaran, we hired a tricycle that would take us to the jeepney terminal going to Panglao. The fare was only P30.00 for us both. The jeepney fare is P20.00 from Tagbilaran to Dumaluan Beach Resort. Bohol's jeepneys have something unique. I experienced "jeepney extensions" when I was still very young but it has already been banned here in Davao City a long time ago. Can you imagine Bohol's jeepney extension that I'm talking about? Here it is:

Sitting on a stool
Some parts of the road going to Panglao are already concrete and some roads are already under construction. Just be sure that you're ready with your handkerchief if you'll be riding the jeepney (or any open vehicle) because the way could get very dusty. We alighted around 50 meters away from the resort entrance. We could have just walked but there were a few motorcycle drivers offering their services so we boarded one at a fee of P10 per person. The motorcycle driver gave us his cellphone number and also told us that if we wanted to go to Alona Beach, we could just text him. He quoted us a fare of P50 per person, one way. Wait for my Alona Beach post on Part 3. =)

When we were at the Dumaluan Beach Resort, we were greeted by their very accommodating receptionist and even allowed us to check in early. Check the photos of the resort below.

Standard Room P1,300 (approx. $30) per night
Good for 2 persons
The room was large, with a cabinet, dresser, and mirror. I was also glad that it had more than one socket so that we could charge our cellphones and camera simultaneously. The room was also equipped with an airconditioner, toilet and bath sans the hot shower (all the other rooms, except the standard room, have solar-powered water heaters).

Below are the photos we took at the resort:

Waiting for our lunch.
See photos here.

Unfortunately, our underwater camera broke down after the last pic above. We took shots for our day 2 using our phone camera. More stories and photos on the next part of the Bohol Series.

Monday, October 24, 2011

BOHOL PART 1: Going to Bohol

This is the first part of a series of posts about my Bohol Trip.

Starting point: Cebu City
Destination: Tagbilaran, Bohol

We came early (around 8am) to the Port of Cebu to catch whatever boat is travelling to Tagbilaran. Lucky there was a schedule at 9am via Weesam Express and will arrive in Tagbilaran at approximately 10:40am. The ticket costs P500.00 per person. After getting our tickets, we proceeded to the terminal, paid our terminal fees, "checked in", and waited for boarding. Sounds like flying, huh?

Is it just me? Or this really looks like a CebPac for the sea?
Other trips from Cebu to Tagbilaran are offered by Ocean Jet, Supercat, and other shipping lines. If you want to travel with ease, you might want to know the schedule of your preferred shipping line. When we went to the Port of Cebu, we had no actual shipping preference: we just wanted to go to Bohol with what's available and Weesam was right there fit on our schedule. If you're looking to Cebu-Tagbilaran trips, there is a schedule posted here.

The trip takes one hour and 40 minutes in a Fast Craft. I've been to Bohol before but it was via Cebu Ferries, Nasipit-Jagna route and it took us 6 hours. This time, the trip would be faster and it was my first time to ride a Fast Craft so I really did not know what to expect. It did not help that a week before our trip, there was a storm and some of the previous week's trips have been cancelled due to bad weather and huge waves.

Generally, our cruise was peaceful and I actually had a great time sleeping for almost an hour. However, around thirty minutes before our scheduled arrival, huge waves were rocking the boat. I wasn't really afraid at first but when I saw my window getting splashed with seawater, I got terrified! Hahaha! I could laugh at myself now but during that time, I was really scared and praying that we could arrive at Tagbilaran safely. I think I was the only scared passenger that time because most of the passengers were not really affected with the waves. I took photos of the "turbulence" as shown below:

Gladly, we arrived in the Tagbilaran Port safely. 

By the way, if have not yet booked a hotel beforehand, the Port of Tagbilaran has an Information Booth which is really very helpful. A tourist was even given a map when she asked for it. There are also a lot of information on the tourist destinations and even package deals for guided tours. Also, vans are parked outside and ready to transport tourists to their selected destinations. As for us, we wanted to travel the Boholano way: we boarded a tricycle that would take us to the jeepney terminal for Panglao. But that's for another post. Stay tuned.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cebu Jam

My first time in Cebu! My stay was a short one - less than 24 hours. Our main goal was to go to Bohol and since there are no direct flights from Davao to Bohol, we decided to stay in Cebu overnight.

Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines. I was not able to roam that much but I noticed how their streets could get so tight with cars and public transportation. Traffic is heavy specially on Friday night (and because we're that lucky, we went there on a Friday night). To make things more complicated, it wasn't just an ordinary Friday night, it was also a payday so it is expected that a lot of Cebuanos would be going out for shopping and leisure. I also noticed that Cebu's streets are narrow, and I blame it for lack of urban planning. But I don't think urban planning is a thing of the past. Cebu, after all, is a very old city.

My Cebu experience is good. There are rumors about Cebu being a haven of snatchers and some of our friends warned us beforehand to be extra careful and vigilant. Fortunately for us, we did not experience anything terrible or troublesome. One thing that's difficult to decipher, though, is their jeepney route. I had a hard time looking for the correct jeepney to ride on because their routes are coded alphanumerically: like, 17C, 12A, etc. I think it's hard to memorize those codes! Lol!

The photo above was taken at around 7am in Mango St., Cebu. The street is almost empty - completely opposite from the traffic jam the night before. By the way, I think there is a nice souvenir store in Mango St. but I was not able to get its name.

Should I go back? I think I would. I loved the IT Park, the Death by Chocolate, Ilaputi. I know there are more places worth visiting in Cebu. Maybe next time I can also visit Magellan's Cross and other tourist attractions Cebu has to offer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Club Asiano Resort

sunset at Club Asiano Resort
photo by SSantos
Model: CZamora

2 bedrooms
2 living rooms
with comfort room, jacuzzi, kitchen,
terrace, and veranda
Ohana's Interior:
rooms upstairs

view from the living room no. 1 upstairs

room no. 1


room no. 2

going up/down?

kitchen/dining area

living room downstairs

t/b with jacuzzi

Duplex Cottage Interior:

Other Accommodations:

Small Cottage Interior

Open Cottage

Seashore Cottage

Seashore Cottage Interior and Views:

These days, it's hard to find some private time in resorts because it would almost always be crowded. There are a handful of private resorts in Samal but you know that you should also be ready for their steep prices. It's good to know that there is one alternative resort that could offer your some private time without breaking the bank - that's Club Asiano Resort located in Camudmud, Island Garden City of Samal.

A friend, Don M., recommended this resort for our high school reunion. I must say that it exceeded my expectations. The resort is small but it has everything that you need: ample and secured parking space, comfortable and clean accommodations, cooking and grilling area, function hall, and it even has a private videoke room. We Filipinos love to sing! I like it that the videoke room is private so you can still sing without waking up other resort guests. Hehehe!

At Club Asiano, you don't need to worry about overcrowding. It's semi-private (or you can have it exclusive!) and you need to make your reservation first so it's guaranteed that you will be accommodated properly (no waiting time for other guests to check out before you get your own cottage, how's that for a treat?). The place is simple and peaceful so if you want some downtime and just want to relax, Club Asiano is the best place for it!

Another plus: a part of the beach is shaded. Thanks to the big tree along the shore. The beach is also perfect for little kids as there are no waves in this area (Camudmud faces Davao City). By the way, the resort is just around 7 kilometers away from the Babak Wharf. It is best to bring a 4-wheel drive vehicle when going there as the road going to the resort is downhill and rough. Although there is a cemented portion, you might not be able to track it if you'll be going there for the first time. The place is also accessible via habal-habal so don't worry. And, it's not that far from the main Circumferential road, it wouldn't hurt to exercise your gluteal muscles and hamstrings for a 5-minute walk.

We were housed in the Ohana Cottage (Php 7,000 or around $150), the biggest in the resort. The structure is mainly wood but I really find it beautifully crafted (I wonder who their architect is?). Twenty-two (22) people were there for our reunion and although there were only two bedrooms, Club Asiano was ready for the bigger crowd. There were extra mattresses and we utilized the spacious common room upstairs.

I must say that Club Asiano is perfect if you want to host exclusive parties. Rates as of 10/15/2011 are as follows:

Ohana Cottage (1): P7,000
Duplex Cottage (2): P2,500
Small Cottage (1): P1,500
Seashore Cottage (1): P1,000
For a more complete information about the resort, please visit them at