Apr 14

Mmmmmmm Stands For Chef M

Dinner was already served but my tastebuds are still looking for something. I have already taken my coffee but it looks like my fourth cup for the day wasn’t enough.

In an attempt to let the idea of gorging on leftovers slip my mind, I scrolled the gallery of my phone. At first, it was effective. But when I came across some photos of Chef M delicacies, my cravings came back and doubled up.

Chef M

Chef M’s mouth-watering special torta

I bit my lips as I recalled how cheesy their ensaymadas and tortas are. And the memoire of their special silvannas that once melted in my mouth has made me drool. Their special mamons that come in four different flavors, topped with cheese and butter are tempting me. I remember how I gobbled a few slices of their spongy chiffon cake. All of their specialties have matched my taste and I’m dying to savor them once more. (Geee!!! What’s going on with my hypothalamus right now? And why it has to be on a Good Friday?)

chef m silvanas

Special silvannas that melt in your mouth

Choco and Berry flavored silvanas

Choco and Berry flavored silvanas

If I have aroused your appetite, I probably owe you some information about Chef M. Chef M bakes with love and caters happiness not only to consumers in Tubigon, Bohol but also to locals from neighboring towns. Lining up on their shelves are freshly baked breads, cakes, pastries, and even butter toasts and garlic sticks.
IMG_20170219_081248For inquiries and orders, they can be reached on 09177193777 or 09328555416 email them at chefmfoodspecialties@gmail.com. Or if you are living nearby, you may visit the bakeshop in Tubigon Commercial Complex, Tubigon, Bohol.

I’ll give these delectable pastries a miss for now. For now, I’ll just keep my faith on the adage mind over matter”. Perhaps, I’ll just dream about them for now.

Apr 13

The Pull of La Luna Sangre

abstract eclipse photo

abstract photo resembling an eclipse. A manipulation by Edsel Manapsal

The moon never fails to fascinate me, whether it’s a quarter or half or full. But when it’s big and round and near, it gives me an unfamiliar, mystical chill. It may be its gravitational pull that makes me literally uneasy (oh gosh…is this normal?). Or maybe I’m just overly reacting and imagining things.

Last night’s pink moon reminded me of the flash fiction I’ve written over a year ago. Red Blood Moon is about an ordinary mortal, Luna Fletcher’s dramatic physical change into a strangely winged chameleon, struggling yet proud to be called the Mistress of the Moon. I couldn’t remember what has moved me to write about it, but I’m sure it wasn’t done merely to frighten readers with paranormal transformation. I believe it was about embracing the change.

 

The pink moon has also prompted me of an upcoming Filipino paranormal melodrama romance TV series by Cathy Garcia-Molina. La Luna Sangre (The Blood Moon) is Lobo’s third installment starring the young loveteam, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. As a sequel to 2010’s Imortal, I bet most of La Luna Sangre’s scenes are full of shapeshifters’ duels, with both characters grappling, standing up for their respective packs while fighting against a bizarre pull toward each other.

My very own Red Blood Moon and ABS-CBN’s La Luna Sangre aren’t identical. But these two unrelated fictions have one thing in common. Both of them demonstrate a supernatural transformation with the blood moon playing a big factor. And whether the connection between the moon and paranormal activities is a fact or a myth, I still love that huge ball illuminating the earth at night.

Apr 11

4 Ways To Fall For Ingkumhan Falls

 

Wondering how far your Php20 can go? Imagine this.

Hiding in the middle of a woodland in Barangay Bauhugan, Dimiao, about five kilometers away from the poblacion, is the unexplored Ingkumhan falls. Streaming from approximately 30 meters above, Ingkumhan Falls is the most distinct waterfall that I have seen, so far.

The Caves

The calm lagoon where the clear emerald green water drops are fenced with trees, making it look enchanted. Guarded with nature-carved rocks forming like caverns , Ingkumhan Falls looks captivating yet mysterious.

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ingkumhan falls

The Fun

Water rafting is one of the activities that this ecotourism spot has to offer. And if you are gutsy enough, you can take your excitement to the next level by diving from trees into the depths of Ingkumhan’s natural pool. The rope-swinging and somersaulting is also a heart-pounding adventure you don’t want to miss.

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If you just want to sit back and relax, cottages are available for rent. But my favorite nook was up there, where the water comes from – where I can rest my feet and get an unobstructed sight of swimmers, divers, and swingers without them knowing.

The Other Side

A few meters away from the rapid is a diverse scenic point that promises to give you a some sense of inner peace – a perfect spot for soul-searching or solitude or for some yoga, blogger or goddess poses.

ingkumhan falls

Photo taken by Rjane Alcantara of WhenInBohol

 

The Challenge

Getting there wasn’t as easy as I thought. We had to work our way down to the base. But the trod along a narrow path and the descent on a hundredish-step rock staircase was so worth it. Though it was a little challenge, every muscle pain was paid off by a magnificent view.

Captured by Keats Ronquillo of BoholEyes

Photo by Keats Ronquillo of Bohol Eyes

Photo by Keats Ronquillo of Bohol Eyes

Ingkumhan Falls is just one of Bohol’s nature wonders waiting to be explored and known – a virgin place that is worth discovering.

Apr 09

One Summer Morn In Astoria Bohol

I seldom see the sun as it rises (only when I work all night long until daybreak). I’m not an early riser, so to speak. But waking up at four in the morning to get myself ready for a visit to Astoria Bohol was worth it.

 

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Astoria Bohol is just 10 minutes away from Tagbilaran City and about an hour and half away from my hometown. Boasting its lap pool that’s facing the Mindanao Sea, the resort has become one of my go-to summer destinations in Baclayon, Bohol.

astoria bohol

Along the long stretch of white, fine sand in Barangay Taguihon is where the resort’s beach chairs and dining tables stand, making it easy for beach bums to grab some carbs before getting a tan.

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20170326_064604The resort serves delectable Filipino and international breakfast buffet, from lugaw to maruyang saging to tropical fruits.

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And of course, adding up the fun was the company of great friends, friends I am willing to give up my beauty sleep for..

astoria bohol

Beaches are best explored with great friends.

Astoria Bohol can be reached on +632 335-1111 or email at rsvn@astoriabohol.com. Their Manila Sales Office is in Astoria Plaza 15 J. Escriva Street, Ortigas Business Center, Pasig City and can be contacted thru +632 687-1111 / 335-1123 loc. 8302/ 910-0557.

Mar 26

And the race is back on! Tour de Cebu is Returning to Bohol

Panglao Island, Bohol, March 26, 2017–   And the race is back on! Tour de Cebu will be returning to Bohol on October 20-22, 2017 for its 4th Tour de Cebu – A Touristic Rally Across the Visayas – another round of regularity race consisting of vintage cars made in 1972 or older and is driven across the nation where the goal is precision; not who finishes the race first.

 

Last year’s 3rd Tour de Cebu’s route kicked off in Cebu making its way to the port of Tubigon in Bohol. Thirty-three beautiful vintage cars made its way through the scenic route of Bohol’s landscape and capping each end of the Bohol route at BE Grand Resort in Panglao Island, a triple A luxury resort, whose one of the active members is BE Resorts Group’s President, Grand Benedicto. Behind the wheels were the crème de la crème of the nation’s businessmen and professionals alike such as  James Deakin , (CNN Philippines’ Automotive Journalist) who stole the show driving Grand’s  550 Porsche Spyder, world-renowned designer, Kenneth Cobonpue, and businessmen tycoons Michael Lhuillier, Darren Deen, and Congressman, Red Durano, to name a few. First-time and youngest participant, Martin Aguilar, took home the trophy as the champion for the 3rd Tour de Cebu

tour de cebu

TDC 2016 Signed Poster

 

On March 25th, eleven out of the 33 riders made its way back to Bohol for a fun drive and at the same time, identify the routes for this year’s rally and capping it off once again at BE Grand Resort. Returnees were Kenneth Cobonpue, Michael Lhuillier, Jay Aldeguer, Glenn Soco, Tony Lozada, and Lui Alvarez, to name a few – who have a shared passion and enthusiasm for cars.

 

Major Bohol media were also invited to the Resort for a casual press conference over breakfast on March 26th wherein they got the chance to get the first & latest scoop for the upcoming Tour de Cebu. This prelude to Tour de Cebu aims to relay the message to the public as early as this quarter as this is a community-engagement activity. This also aims to continually promote tourism in Bohol and position the province as the best tropical rally destination in Asia.

Breakfast Press Conference

Breakfast Press Conference

“The reason why we’re coming back is because it was just so phenomenal last year [the Tour De Cebu event] in Bohol; from the amazing hosting of the local government and kids [students] – the local support was high,” raved Michael Lhuillier, the new appointed Chairman for PACE.

 

While the date is already set for the 4th Tour de Cebu, they are still working on the routes as there are so many great roads and towns in Bohol. Over 50 participants are expected to join including international groups from Hong Kong and Singapore.

 

BE Grand Resort, Bohol, a 208-room resort is owned and managed by Cebu-based property developer Enrison Land, Inc. (ELI), a family-owned corporation that shares the values of Filipino excellence for global recognition.

 

 

For more information, visit www.beresorts.com.

PRESS CONTACT:

Karen M. Ello

Asst. Communications Manager

T: +63 38 412 9000

F: +63 38 412 9088

M: +63 995 510 0832

E: karen.ello@beresorts.com

 

Mar 21

Getting High at Osmena Peak

Some 85 kilometers away from Cebu City, in the town of Dalaguete, is the Mantalongon Mountain Range. Part of this ridge is the province’s highest point, standing at around 1,000 meters above sea level – the Osmena Peak.

osmena peak

Osmena Peak got its name from one of the province’s prominent families, the Osmena’s. Taking pride of its uniquely spiked hills stretching to the shoreline of its neighboring town, Badian, Osmena Peak has become a must-climb spot not only for pro mountaineers but also for amateur hikers.

We were halfway there.

We were not there yet.

osmena peak

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How To Get There

From the Cebu South Bus Terminal, take a bus or van going to Bato or Oslob or Liloan, Santander and get off at the Dalaguete Public Market. A habal-habal will take you to the peak’s foot from there.

Travel Time

The bus/van ride from the City to the town’s public market will take around 2 hours. Travel time from Dalaguete to Mantalungon is approximately 45 minutes.

Expenses

Fare from Cebu City to Dalaguete is around Php150-Php200.👦👦 The fare for a habal-habal ride is negotiable, but paying Php100 per passenger per way is pretty fair. 

Onsite, an environmental fee of Php30 will be collected from each adult hiker (children are free).

Not a mountaineer?

No worries! Young tour guides are eagerly waiting for you there. They won’t charge you. They will only ask for a tip.

The guide, giving Pierre a piggy-back ride

The guide, giving Pierre a piggy-back ride

Best Time To Climb

While Osmena Peak is accessible all year round, it is best to be up there when the sun is up for two reasons – safety and optimum photoshoot session.  It was a little cloudy when we went there. The trail wasn’t slippery but the foggy weather gave us a murky view. Still, the peak’s magnificence prevailed.

mountains are beneath us, clouds behind us...we are on the top of the world

mountains are beneath us, clouds behind us…we are on the top of the world

 

Mar 19

My Top 4 Churches In The Philippines

 

Holy week is almost here and for most Catholics, this is the best time to visit churches. I have been to several churches in the Philippines, but only four stand out for me.

St. Vincent Parish Church in Calape, Bohol

This Gothic-inspired Catholic church has always been my favorite not only because it is dubbed as the Epitome of Bohol Gothic, but because it is a witness of most of my life events being a Catholic. I was baptized, had my first communion, confirmed, and got married here. Built in 1802, this church still stands after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Bohol in 2013.

 

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Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine, Lucban, Quezon

This 5-hectare property almost has it all from the Garden Of Eden, to Noah’s Arc, to Gallery Of Saints, Angel’s Hill, to the Luklukan ni Maria. What I love most about this place is climbing the 305 steps to get to the 50-foot statue of the Risen Christ, one of the tallest statues of the Ressurected Christ in the world.

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noah's arc

kamay ni hesus

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Monastery Of The Holy Eucharist, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu

When I first visited here,  I couldn’t believe I was inside a church. I thought I was in one of the castles in Morrocco or was it in Greece, or Geneva,  or Ukraine. The Simala Church was built in 1998 by Marian Monks and has become a must-go place for believers of miracles.

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lenten destination simala

Photo grabbed from Lil Manapsal

Photo grabbed from Lil Manapsal

simala church churches in the philippines

Photo by Lil Manapsal

 

St. Michael The Archangel Church, Jagna, Bohol

A hundred-meter long, the St Michael The Archangel Church is the longest in Bohol. I love its bell tower, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because of its Mexican-like structure or its Copacobana-resort-like-color combination, or mybe its because of those pine trees, I really don’t know. I just love it.

ubay bohol churches in the philippines

The striking bell tower

There are a lot of churches in the Philippines that I have been to and I still have to visit a hundred more of them. So far these are my favorite. What are yours? Share them here.

Mar 15

My First Liebster Award

It’s an honor to be nominated by Shailesh Pahuja of My Heart On The Road for the Liebster Award.

Shailesh is an adventurer and globe explorer who loves culture and people.

 

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is made by travel bloggers for travel bloggers and is a great opportunity to be more involved in the community, discover new blogs and connect with them.

Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

If you have been nominated for the award and you choose to accept it, you should write a blog post about the Liebster Award following these rules:

Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site on your blog.

Display the award on your blog.

Answer their 10 questions about yourself.

Nominate 5-10 other bloggers for the award and inform them via social media (the nominees have to have less than 3000 followers).

Create your own set of questions for your nominees.

Enjoy winning an award and pass this great feeling onto someone else!

To get the ball rolling, here are answers for questions that Shailesh asked me.

 

Out of all the countries/cities you have visited, which one did you like the most?  – My favorite place on earth is Bohol, Philippines. I love its wondrous nature and awesome people. Can’t help! It’s my hometown!

What is your favourite travel hack/tip? – When traveling solo on a budget, couchsurf. It’s one way of immersing into the place’s culture (and save!). Don’t forget to give your host a token or better yet, cook meals for them.

Which objects you cannot leave at home while traveling? – My phone, wallet with ID’s in it, pens and notebooks, and my travel kit

What changed in your way to travel since you started your travel blog? –  I’ve become more observant, and mindful of directions so I have an answer when people ask me how I got there by public transport.

 

What are your fears traveling and how do you overcome it – Got lost in the streets with an empty stomach, pocket and phone battery, and I couldn’t understand the language. How I overcome? Someone offered me food so I was pumped up to go back to the streets and found my way to the dorm. Haha.

Which is the best way to travel? Alone, with your partner, in a large group of friends, with your family…? Either way. I love traveling alone when I’m hurt and want to find myself again, but traveling with a group is fun.

Why is your blog called … ? Errr. I don’t know. It’s the first phrase that popped when I was thinking of a blog name and I think it sounds cool.

Why did you decide to start a blog? It was a travel-inspired decision? Because I quit my 8-5 job and I had no other source of income. I created the blog for my portfolio, not travel-inspired.

How do you find inspiration and get new ideas for your blog? – From people I meet. There’s always something in them that’s noteworthy.

Do you have a future or long-term plan with your blog? Of course! Who doesn’t?

 

My Liebster Award Nominees

Jumjum Ouano (Up And Down Da Isla)

Joanne Phillips (I Boholana)

Zion Campo and Bryan Agua (Tarsier Times)

Sarah Ladeza (Saraladeza.com)

Puru Thapaliya (My Everest Trip)

Dennis Dimaano (Debonaire’s Den)

Daryl Orillo (Pinoy Travelpreneur)

 

 

 

Questions for my Nominees

 

  • Why Do You Travel?
  • Five-star or Many-star (like in a camper, sky’s the roof) accommodation?
  • Which do you prefer, solo or with someone?  Why?
  • Guided trip or Do-it-yourself adventures? Why?
  • Where do you want to go next? Why?
  • How would you describe your best travel experience?
  • Why do you blog/vlog?
  • WWhat inspires you to write/make a video?
  • How do you see your blog/channel a year from now?
  • What makes you stop writing/vlogging?

 

 

Mar 14

STARTUP WEEKEND BOHOL: TOURISM EDITION

 

startup weekend bohol

After the successful hosting of the 5th VICTOR Conference, 1st Education Summit and 3rd Creative Congress, Bohol is embarking on hosting another first in the Philippines.

The 3rd Startup Weekend Bohol will be happening this April 28, 29 and 30 at the renowned Bohol Bee Farm focusing on the convergence of technology and tourism

Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism will be the first themed vertical Startup Weekend in the Philippines.

It’s an event where we bring together different stakeholders in the tourism and tech sector to work together to create a number of projects that would help and improve the tourism industry in Bohol and the Philippines.

The event seeks to provide a platform where these two industries (the tourism industry and the tech industry) to come together and work on issues in the tourism sector that could be resolved with the help of modern technology.

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour program that encourages entrepreneurship, engages the community, and fosters a mentality of “learning by doing” amongst its participants.

Startup Weekend has held 2000+ events in 135+ countries around the world, and we are looking forward to making a big dent in Bohol.

By organizing Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism, we hope for a strong partnership with the ICT players and tourism industry stakeholders in developing Bohol as a world class technologically advanced tourism hub in the country wherein we use ICT as a tool in steering local tourism, economic development and poverty reduction in the province. and the country.

We welcome partners from different industries especially from the technology and tourism sector to help us in making Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism a success.

We are looking forward to experts sharing to participants their insights in the tourism industry’s needs to further enhance existing programs, tools, and systems but to also witness and be able to take part in the nurturing of our budding entrepreneurs that are hoping to make a dent in the tourism sector.

This event is organized by members of the Bohol ICT Council.

You can register for Startup Weekend Bohol Tourism here:STARTUP WEEKEND BOHOL TOURISM ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM

Mar 11

Frozen Characters

These Frozen characters were molded by a 7-year-old boy.

frozen modeling clayfrozen modeling clay

 

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